Projects

Dealing with uncertainty on anonymous online drug markets (DYNAMICS)

Meropi Tzanetakis is principal investigator of the Erwin Schrödinger project ‘Dealing with uncertainty on anonymous online drug markets’. This project aims to develop an economic sociology approach to understanding how social interactions enable market exchange on anonymous drug markets.

Meropi will conduct multi-sited digital ethnographic research on socially and culturally embedded practices of cryptomarket users. In recent years, new technological developments on the Internet allow users to proceed with illicit drug transactions with almost completely anonymous identities and locations.

These innovative technologies include anonymising software for communication purposes and virtual currencies such as Bitcoin for payments.

At the same time, supply and demand serve to self-regulate and develop a significant and growing drug market that systematically bypasses drug policy. The project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Virtual Drug Markets – Relations between conventional and online drug dealing’ (VIDRO)

Meropi was leading the subproject VIDRO, which was part of the collaborative research project DROK (Organisierte Kriminalität zwischen virtuellem und realem Drogenhandel). The research project (2014-2016) involved a total of nine partners from academia, the industry and public sector in Austria and Germany.

Online drug marketplaces as well as research on darknet markets are relatively new phenomena. Understanding how this new way of vending drugs impacts upon sellers and customers is critical if we are to better understand the current context of drug market dynamics.

The aim of the project was empirically investigate the degree to which a shift from traditional to online drug trafficking has occurred and to what extent the actors and structures operating on darknet drug-markets are the same as offline ones.

VIDRO employed a combination of classical qualitative research methods and innovative approaches and methods like web scraping and anonymous online interviews. The project received funding from the Austrian Security Research Programme KIRAS of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology.

Contact Me

Dr. Meropi Tzanetakis

Senior Postdoc Fellow (FWF)
Department of Political Science
University of Vienna
Universitätsstraße 7/2. Stock, 1010 Vienna, Austria
+43-1-4277-494 85
meropi.tzanetakis@univie.ac.at
013E EB43 74D3 B441 86ED 2B51 FB5F 9A3D 2DDB 2CA9