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An ambiguous monolith - The Swedish drug issue as a political battleground 1965-1981
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2013 (English)In: International journal on drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 24, no 5, 464-470 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The drug problem has been a highly ideologized topic in the political debate in Sweden ever since the mid-1960s. The aim of the article is to investigate dominant conceptions of drugs, drug use, society and the individual in the political discussions on drug use in Sweden during the years 1965-1981. Methods: The empirical basis for the textual analysis consists of 146 parliamentary bills and 135 parliamentary protocols. Results: The unwanted drug appear as a sensitive litmus paper, an indication that something had gone wrong in society and as a suggestion of how the good society could be accomplished. The drug problem was connected to ideological core values such as class struggle, Christianity or criticism of urbanism and modernity. Conclusion: The analysis suggests that the drug problem was used as political ammunition, to pick holes in political opponents and to highlight one's own ideological stance. The hegemonic conversational order, the consensual spirit and the agreement that this was the most serious problem, did not hamper these political moves. Rather, the cross-party conception of the problem's severity and accelerating deterioration contributed to a common ground for political arguments and ideological visions. It also meant that the political discussions moved away from the more obvious drug policy issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 24, no 5, 464-470 p.
Keyword [en]
Drug treatment, Drug policy, History, Sweden, 20th century
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96666DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.01.002ISI: 000326007100013OAI: diva2:667402


Available from: 2013-11-26 Created: 2013-11-25 Last updated: 2013-11-26Bibliographically approved

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Edman, Johan
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