Philip Kavanaugh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, School of Public Affairs
Olmsted Building, 160W

Philip Kavanaugh received his MA and PhD from the University of Delaware’s Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice. His research is situated in criminology, sociology, cultural studies and public health, and broadly considers how sociocultural factors drive both illicit drug use and drug policy. His newest research critically examines how harm reduction strategies to address the US opioid crisis- such as Suboxone and Narcan distribution- exist within and adapt to the broader war on drugs.

Professional Affiliations

  • Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
  • American Society of Criminology
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems
  • Drugs and drug policy
  • Deviance and social control
  • Critical criminology
  • Critical public health
  • Social theory
  • Qualitative and ethnographic methods

Selected recent publications. For a full list of publication, please refer to the CV linked under the Bio tab. (*denotes student co-author)

McLean K and Kavanaugh PR (2022) “I’m not a good drug dealer:” Styles of buprenorphine diversion in a multisite qualitative study. Substance Use & Misuse 57(3): 452-460.

Kavanaugh PR (2022) Narcan as biomedical panic: The war on overdose and the harms of harm reduction. Theoretical Criminology 26(1): 132-152.

Kavanaugh PR and Schally JL (2022) The neoliberal governance of heroin and opioid users in Philadelphia city. Crime, Media, Culture 18(1): 126-144.

Kavanaugh PR and McLean K (2020) Motivations for diverted buprenorphine use in a multisite qualitative study. Journal of Drug Issues 50(4): 550-565.

Kavanaugh PR and Maratea RJ (2020) Digital ethnography in an age of information warfare. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 49(1): 3-26.

McLean, K., & Kavanaugh, P. R. (2019). Motivations for non-prescribed buprenorphine use in a time of treatment expansion. International Journal of Drug Policy, 71, 118-124.

Kavanaugh, P. R., & Biggers, Z.* (2019). Competing constructions of bath salts use and risk of harm in two mediated contexts. Crime, Media, Culture, 15, 217-237.

Colon, K. M.*, Kavanaugh, P. R., Hummer, D., & Ahlin, E. M. (2018). The impact of race and extra-legal factors in charging defendants with serious sexual assault. Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, 16, 99-116.

Kavanaugh, P. R., & Anderson, T. L. (2017). Neoliberal governance and the homogenization of substance use and risk in nighttime leisure scenes. British Journal of Criminology, 57, 483-501.

2010. PhD, Sociology, University of Delaware
2006. MA, Sociology, University of Delaware
2002. BS, Psychology, Pennsylvania State University

CRIMJ 012 Criminology
CRIMJ 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice
CRIMJ 469 Drugs and Drug Policy
CRIMJ 500 Advanced Criminological Theory
CRIMJ 569 Qualitative Research Methods