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My research focuses on the politics of informal and illegal economies in development. I am particularly interested in the intersection that informal and illegal activities share with states, regulatory actors, and development interventions. My research argues that these produce dynamics that are often overlooked by established policies and methodologies, but that are often critical in understanding development outcomes as well as how economic and political power interact and reproduce each other. 


Gallien, Max. Smugglers and States: Negotiating the Maghreb at its Margins. Columbia University Press. Forthcoming. 

Gallien, Max, and Florian Weigand (Editors). The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling. 1st ed. London: Routledge, 2021.

Journal Articles

Gallien, Max, and Giovanni Occhiali. ‘No Smoking Gun: Tobacco Taxation and Smuggling in Sierra Leone’. Tobacco Control, 2 June 2022, tobaccocontrol-2021-057163.

Bandula-Irwin, Tanya, Max Gallien, Ashley Jackson, Vanessa van den Boogaard, and Florian Weigand. ‘Beyond Greed: Why Armed Groups Tax’. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  (20 February 2022).

Gallien, Max, and Florian Weigand. ‘Channeling Contraband: How States Shape International Smuggling Routes’. Security Studies 30, no. 1 (1 January 2021): 79–106. 

Gallien, Max. ‘Researching the Politics of Illegal Activities’. PS: Political Science & Politics 54, no. 3 (July 2021): 467–71.

Gallien, Max. ‘Informal Institutions and the Regulation of Smuggling in North Africa’. Perspectives on Politics 18, no. 2 (June 2020): 492–508.

Winner of the APSA MENA Section Award for the Best Paper of the Year 2020

Malik, Adeel, and Max Gallien. ‘Border Economies of the Middle East: Why Do They Matter for Political Economy?’ Review of International Political Economy 27, no. 3 (3 May 2020): 732–62.

Book Chapters

Gallien, Max, and Florian Weigand. ‘Studying Smuggling’. In The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling, edited by Max Gallien and Florian Weigand. Routledge, 2021.

Gallien, Max. ‘Cigarette Smuggling: Trends, Taxes and Big Tobacco’. In The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling, edited by Max Gallien and Florian Weigand. Routledge, 2021.

Gallien, Max. ‘Solitary Decision-Making and Fieldwork Safety’. In The Companion to Peace and Conflict Fieldwork, edited by Roger Mac Ginty, Roddy Brett, and Birte Vogel, 163–74. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2021. 


Selected Working Papers and Reports

Max Gallien "The Maghreb’s Peripheral Centers in Permanent Crisis," Middle East Report 305 (Winter 2022).

Anyidoho, Nana Akua, Max Gallien, Mike Rogan, and Vanessa van den Boogaard. ‘Mobile Money Taxation and Informal Workers: Evidence from Ghana’s E-Levy’ ICTD Working Paper 146, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, September 2022. 

Gallien, M. and van den Boogaard, V. (2021) Informal Workers and the State: The Politics of Connection and Disconnection During a Global Pandemic, IDS Working Paper 558, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/IDS.2021.066

Gallien, M. and van den Boogaard, V. (2021) 'Rethinking Formalisation: A Conceptual Critique and Research Agenda', ICTD Working Paper 127, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, DOI: 10.19088/ICTD.2021.016

Gallien, M.; Moore, M. and van den Boogaard, V. (2021) Taxing the Informal Economy is not a Silver Bullet for Financing Development - or the COVID-19 Recovery, ICTD Summary Brief 24, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies

Herbert, Matt, and Max Gallien. ‘A Rising Tide: Trends in Production, Trafficking and Consumption of Drugs in North Africa’. Research Report. Geneva, Switzerland: Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, 2021.

Gallien, M. (2020) De-linking Tobacco Taxation and Illicit Trade in Africa, ICTD Summary Brief 22, Brighton, IDS

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