Useful concept, political device or media hype? In recent years, the world has witnessed the emergence of entities commonly referred to as narco-states, regions or countries where drug trafficking and associated criminal activities have permeated the socio-political and economic fabric, exerting profound influence and control. In the Netherlands, the debate on ‘NL as narco-state’ has sparkled intense discussion and scrutiny, mainly in mass and social media. But what is a narco-state? Is it a useful scientific concept to understand transformations in countries as dissimilar as Mexico, Italy or the Netherlands? Or is it better to be understood as a rhetorical political tool prompting calls for either stronger enforcement measures and resources, or for drug policy reform? Or is it just a commercially successful fuzzword and media hype, sensationalizing the issue of organised crime? This CIROC Seminar will tackle these and other related questions about the changes taking place in various countries in the complex relation between international drug trafficking and both the criminal and the state governance if it.

Programme (in English and partly in Dutch)

09:30 - 10:00    Arrival and coffee

10:00 - 10:15    Welcome and introduction - Prof. dr. Dina Siegel (UU/CIROC)


Morning session: Narco-states in the world?

Chair: Prof. dr. Dina Siegel (UU/CIROC)

In: English


10:15 - 10:45

Can be Italy considered a Narco-state?

Prof. Stefano Becucci (University of Firenze)


10:45 - 11:15


Narco-state in the time of judicial reform:

the case of Albania

 Dr. Idlir Peçi (Peçi & Papagjoni, Albania)


11:15 - 11:40

Coffee break


11: 40 – 12:10


Functional and disfunctional Narco-states: the Netherlands and Mexico compared

Dr. Teun Voeten (Cultureel antropoloog)


12:10 - 12.30



12:30 - 13:30          Lunch - Cafetaria Johanna Hudig Gebouw


Afternoon session: NL Narcostaat

Chair: dr. Damián Zaitch (UU/CIROC)

In: Dutch


13:30 -14:00


Hoe LEAP Nederland aankijkt tegen drugscriminaliteit

Ruben Boomsma (LEAP Nederland)


14:00 - 14:30



Corruptie en Narcostaat

Dr. Joras Ferwerda (Utrecht University)


14:30 - 14:50

Coffee break


14:50 - 15:20


Decadence of political language

Prof. dr. Bob Hoogenboom (Nyenrode Business University)


15:20 - 15:50


Is Nederland een Narcostaat? Zin en onzin van een ‘narratief’

Dr. Edwin Kruisbergen (Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid)


15.50 - 16.30



16:30 - 17:30       Drinks - Cafetaria Johanna Hudig Gebouw






The costs for participating in this seminar are € 195. This amount includes lunch and drinks.

A special arrangement applies to students: we can welcome a maximum of 15 students from the universities participating in CIROC (EUR/TU/UM/UU/VU) at a reduced rate of €25.


Alex Brenninkmeijer Hall - Johanna Hudig Building - Utrecht University
Achter Sint Pieter 200 - 3512 HT Utrecht


Both the registration and the payment method for the CIROC seminars are part of the online services of Erasmus School of Law.
You can register for this seminar via


There are a limited number of places available. Placement takes place on a first-come, first-served basis. After registration you will receive an email confirming your registration and in which you can find further information about the payment method. After payment you will receive another email confirming your payment; this means your participation is final. Payment can only be made via the payment link you receive after you have registered; Unfortunately it is not possible to receive an invoice. Student registration is done directly via CIROC; students can send a request for participation to the CIROC secretariat via For planning purposes, we would like to receive your registration before June 12, 2024.


Cancellation must be made in writing. You can cancel free of charge up to 7 days before the start of the seminar. After that, €50 will be charged.


The Johanna Hudig Building is located in the center of Utrecht and can be reached via bus 28 from Central Station. There is also ample parking nearby. For more information, see


If you have any questions about this seminar, please contact the secretariat at
email: or via the website: