Profile photo of Katie Lowe

Dr Kate Lowe

Part-time Lecturer
+852 3917 7459

9.12, 9/F., The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus


Kate holds the position of Research Officer within the Centre for Criminology and Lecturer in the Department of Sociology.

Broadly speaking, she is a qualitative researcher whose research and teaching interest fall in the areas of criminology, law, sociology of deviance, public health and policy, risk and gender. Cross cutting through these fields is an interest specifically in ‘drug use, supply and risk’ within Asia particularly amongst hidden or marginalized communities.

Her research broaches two streams- firstly, to explore through qualitative research (in-depth interviews, ethnographic research, and photo- voice) drug use and supply and the associated risks (harm reduction) among the hidden and marginalized populations of users within Hong Kong. Her second stream, primarily through legal case analysis, explores the growing trend of long-term imprisonment of Foreign Nationals held for drug trafficking within the region of South- East Asia. Before her PhD, she qualified as a barrister in the UK.


Courses taught


The University ofHong Kong

Bar Vocational Course
College of Law (London, UK)

Graduate Diploma in Law
College of Law (York, UK)

BA Hons in Sociology
Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK)

Research interests


Drug use and supply.


Harm reduction.


Current research

The Marijuana Makeover: Criminalization of CBD and the Creation of a ‘New’ Group of Drug Users in Hong Kong?

Pathways to Harm Reduction Drug Policy in Hong Kong and East and Southeast Asia: Principles, Process, and Practices

An Intersectional Lens on Drug Use and Stigma Among Hard-To Reach Populations in Hong Kong

Honours and recognitions

Best Thesis Award, Hong Kong Sociological Association (2020).

Distinguished Paper Award, Hong Kong University Post Graduate Conference (2019).

Open Society Foundation Asian Scholarship (2018).

Selected publications

Lowe, K, and Laidler, K. (2023) Bag Politics and ‘Wall’ Street Capital: The Role of Social Capital in Social Supply Networks and Broader Society amongst Privileged Cocaine Users. Deviant Behaviour.

 Lowe, K (2023). Holiday Hooters: Hong Kong as a Destination for Debauchery – Drug Use amongst Privileged Cocaine Users. In A. Lynes, C. Kelly and J. Treadwell. 50 Dark Destinations: Crime and Contemporary Tourism. Policy Press.

Lowe, K and Ridgway, A (2023). The Keepers of Secrets: Ethics and the Emotional Labour of Working with Privileged Populations During Criminological Research. In M. Adorjan and R. Ricciardelli (Eds.) Ethical Dilemmas in International Criminological Research (Second edition). Routledge.

Ridgway, A and Lowe, K (2022). Looking Within: A Call for Greater Reflexivity in Expatriate Research. Sociological Research Online.