Department of Security Studies and Criminology

Dr James Martin

Senior Lecturer

BA (International Studies) (Hons) RMIT University, PhD (Criminology) Monash University

Research interests

  • Cryptomarkets and online drug distribution
  • Domestic and transnational policing
  • Organised crime
  • Vigilantism and non-state governance
  • CCTV surveillance


Dr James Martin is a Senior Lecturer and Criminology Masters Program Coordinator at the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University. His doctoral research focused on the role of police and vigilante groups in an informal settlement in Johannesburg. During his PhD studies, Dr Martin also conducted extensive research as part of an ARC funded project investigating the use of CCTV surveillance systems in urban centres across Australia.

Dr Martin is one of the foremost experts on cryptomarkets and the online trade in illicit drugs, and published the world's first research monograph on this topic. He is currently leading an international team of researchers on an Australian Institute of Criminology funded project examining online illicit drug traders, and is second Chief Investigator on a National Medical Health Research Council funded project investigating the health impacts of cryptomarkets. Dr Martin is also founding member of the Cryptomarkets Research Hub, an international and multidisciplinary research network focused on the study of the online illicit drugs trade.

Dr Martin's online drug research has produced significant impact both within and outside of academia, and was cited by the legal defence team in the trial of the world's most prolific online drug trader, Ross Ulbricht, the administrator of the infamous cryptomarket Silk Road. In 2015 he was awarded the New Scholar Prize by the Australian & New Zealand Society of Criminology, and Macquarie University awarded him the Faculty of Arts Early Career Researcher of the Year Award for 2015.


  • PICT103 - Introduction to Criminology
  • PICT888 - Advanced Criminology Theory

Available student projects

Dr Martin is available for higher degree research supervision in the following topic areas: cryptomarkets; online illicit drug trading; organised crime; vigilantism; CCTV surveillance.



  • Martin, J. (2014) Drugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs, Palgrave Macmillan: UK

Book chapters

  • Martin, J. (2016) 'Illuminating the Dark Net: The Ethics and Methods of Cryptomarket Research' in Adorjan, Chui and Ricciardelli (eds.) Engaging With Ethics and Method in Criminological Research, Routledge
  • McCulloch, J. and Martin J. (2013) 'Policing the Globe: International Trends and Issues in Policing', in Bersot (ed.) International Handbook of Crime and Justice, Routledge

Journal articles

  • Martin, J. and Christin, N. (2016) 'Ethics in Dark Net Research', International Journal of Drug Policy, no.35, pp.84-91
  • Martin, J. (2014) 'Lost on the Silk Road: online drug distribution and the 'cryptomarket'', Criminology & Criminal Justice, vol.14, no.3, pp.351-367
  • Martin, J. (2012) 'Informal security nodes and force capital', Policing & Society, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 145-163
  • Martin, J. (2012) 'Vigilantism and state crime', State Crime, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 217-234
  • Martin, J. (2010) 'Vigilantism and informal social control in South Africa', Acta Criminologica, vol. 23, pp. 53-70
  • Martin, J. (2009) 'Vigilantes unmasked: an exploration of informal criminal justice in contemporary South Africa' in Segrave M. (ed.) Australian & New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference Proceedings, pp. 142-150

Conference papers

  • Martin, J (2015) New Psychoactive Substances and the Dark Net: The Rise of Cryptomarket-facilitated Drug Trading, ESRC Seminar Series: The Psychoactive Substances Bill, Law Enforcement and NPS in Prison: Problems and Solutions, University of Leicester, UK
  • Martin, J. (2015) Criminology on the Digital Frontier: Methods and Ethics in Cryptomarket Research, British Society of Criminology Conference, Plymouth University, UK
  • Martin, J. (2014) Online vs. Conventional Drug Distribution Networks, International Illicit Networks Workshop, Flinders University
  • Martin, J. (2014) Drug Dealing on the Dark Net: How Cyber Offenders are Explanding the Online Trade in Illicit Drugs, Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology Conference, University of Sydney
  • Martin, J. (2014) 'Fair trade' opium and 'conflict free' cocaine: Online drug dealing and cryptomarket competition in the post-Silk Road era, British Society of Criminology Conference, University of Liverpool, UK
  • Martin, J. (2013) Panellist (by invitation), Sellin-Glueck Award Session, American Society of Criminology Conference, Atlanta, USA
  • Martin, J. (2013) Beyond Silk Road: How Online Illicit Marketplaces are Challenging Law Enforcement and Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs, Thinking Globally about Crime and Justice Seminar Series, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
  • Martin, J. (2013) High Online: Analysing The Rise and Rise of The Illicit Drugs Website, Silk Road, British Society of Criminology Conference, University of Wolverhampton, UK
  • Martin, J. (2013) Silk Road: The New Digital Front in The Global War on Drugs, Australian Critical Criminology Conference, Flinders University, Australia
  • Martin, J. (2011) Resident Perceptions of Crime Control Networks in the Zandspruit Informal Settlement, York Deviancy Conference, University of York, UK
  • Martin, J. (2009) Vigilantes Unmasked: an Exploration of Informal Criminal Justice in Contemporary South Africa, Australian & New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, ANZOC
  • Martin, J. (2009) Do-it-yourself justice: perspectives on informal policing in Zandspruit, Prato Critical Criminology Workshop, Monash Centre, Prato, Italy

Projects and Grants

  • Macquarie University Research Development Grant 2015-2016 - Illicit drugs trading online: A longitudinal comparative analysis of cryptomarkets

Dr James Martin

Contact Information:
Phone: +61 (0) 2 9850 1439
Office location:
Building Y3A Room 227
Macquarie University NSW 2109