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An all-embracing problem description: the Swedish drug issue as a political catalyst 1982–2000
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 6, 558-565 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: This article examines the political formulation and ideological solution of the Swedish drugproblem in 1982–2000. How was the drug problem described in the Swedish parliament at the time? Howserious was the problem and what solutions were proposed? What were the ideological implications ofthe problem description, and how was the general political and ideological solution formulated?

Methods: The empirical basis for the textual analysis consists of parliamentary bills, government bills andparliamentary records discussing the drug issue during the years 1982–2000.

Results: In the prevailing spirit of consensus in the Swedish parliament at the time, both left-wing andright-wing parties portrayed drugs as a threat to the nation, people and the welfare state. Still, as theideological dimension kept growing stronger, the drug question functioned even better as an arena forpolitical discussions and ideological positions than in the 1970s.

Conclusion: Compared to previous decades, the problem description broadened during the 1980s and1990s, and the drug problem could be used to support arguments on almost any topic. The drug problembecame a highly politicized issue about whom or what to change when the individual and the societyclashed, but also about what the individual and/or society should be changed into.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2013. Vol. 24, no 6, 558-565 p.
Keyword [en]
Drug treatment, Drug policy, History, Sweden, 20th century
National Category
History Social Work Substance Abuse
Research subject
History; Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99917DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.05.010OAI: diva2:689253
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2005-0572

AuthorCount: 1;

Available from: 2014-01-20 Created: 2014-01-20 Last updated: 2014-03-14Bibliographically approved

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Edman, Johan
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