Julia is British Academy Global Professor, Criminology, Manchester University. 

The focus of her current four-year research award is driven by the dynamic changes resulting from chemical innovation and digital technologies that are altering supply-side activities in illicit drug markets.
She is researching the impact of decriminalisation and legalisation initiatives on the quality of drug policymaking, stakeholder inclusion and reduction of drug related harms.
Prior to moving to Manchester, Julia was Professor of Comparative Politics, Associate and Acting Dean at the School of Public Policy, Central European University in Budapest.

She has also held research and teaching positions in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford and at Kingston University and has been involved with donor and consultancy projects including for Swedish SIDA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland, and USAID.
Her main geographical area of expertise is Latin America, and she led the Venezuela programme in the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Washington, D.C. Other overseas interests include leading a partnership with Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, on peace and conflict capacity building for female parliamentarians, academics and researchers; and working with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Programme "Using Democracy for Peace".