Mafalda Pardal

Mafalda Pardal

Research Leader and European lead for the RAND Drug Policy Research Center

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Mafalda Pardal is a research leader at RAND Europe and the European lead for the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. Her research interests revolve around the analysis of illicit markets and drug policy. 

Prior to (re-)joining RAND, she was affiliated with Ghent University (Belgium) as assistant professor in criminology and postdoctoral research fellow. She has also been a visiting researcher at the Catholic University of Uruguay. Pardal was previously an analyst at RAND Europe.

In recent years, her research has focused on models of cannabis regulation (including Cannabis Social Clubs) and analyses of impacts of cannabis policies on various outcomes; the nonmedical use of prescription drugs among young populations; the environmental harms of illegal synthetic drug production; policies aimed at preventing and disrupting organised crime; drug-related corruption; and other illicit market dynamics. 

Her research has been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, the European Journal of Criminology, the Journal of Drug Issues, in Methodological Innovations, among others. Pardal edited a book about Cannabis Social Clubs, published by Routledge. 

Pardal holds a Ph.D. in criminology from Ghent University (Belgium), a M.Sc. in criminology from KU Leuven (Belgium), and a B.A. in law from the University of Coimbra (Portugal).


Ph.D. in criminology, Ghent University, Belgium; M.Sc. in criminology, KU Leuven, Belgium; B.A. in law, University of Coimbra, Portugal


Portuguese; Spanish; Dutch

Selected Work

  • Pardal, M. (Ed.), The Cannabis Social Club, Routledge, 2022
  • Pardal, Mafalda, Beau Kilmer, Sara d'Auria, Tamara Strabel, Silvia Galimberti, Stijn Hoorens, Tom Decorte, and Ben Senator, Alternatives to profit-maximising commercial models of cannabis supply for non-medical use, RAND Corporation (RR-A2190-1), 2023
  • Pardal, M., Colman, C., Surmont, T., "Synthetic drug production in Belgium - environmental harms as collateral damage?" Journal of Illicit Economies and Development, 2021
  • Mennes, Ralph, Stijn Hoorens, Margriet van Laar, Karin Monshouwer, Marleen Olthof, Pieter Oomen, Mafalda Pardal, Sander Rigter, Ruud Roodbeen, Irene Schoonbeek, and Ben Senator, Onderzoek Experiment Gesloten Coffeeshopketen: Rapportage voormeting 2021: [Study in support of the Controlled Cannabis Supply Chain Experiment: Pre-measurement report 2021], RAND Corporation (RR-A2735-1), 2023
  • Pardal, Mafalda, Lana Eekelschot, Stijn Hoorens, and Emma Louise Blondes, Inzichten in de effectiviteit van preventieve instrumenten in de strijd tegen georganiseerde criminaliteit: [Insights into the effectiveness of preventive instruments tackling organised crime], RAND Corporation (RR-A2303-1), 2023
  • Pardal, M., Decorte, T., Bone, M., Parés, Ò., Johansson, J., "Mapping Cannabis Social Clubs in Europe," European Journal of Criminology, 2020
  • Bawin, F., Emplit, K., Tieberghien, J., Vandenbogaerde, E., Pardal, M., Guillain, C., Decorte, T. , Young adults using prescription drugs nonmedically, Gompel & Svacina, 2021

Authored by Mafalda Pardal

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