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Conceptual carpentry as problem handling: The case of drugs and coercive treatment in social democratic welfare regimes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
2014 (English)In: International journal on drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 25, no 2, 320-328 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: The drug and alcohol fields are characterised by continuous contestations of key concepts and the competing uses of concepts by various actors, in different geographies and over time. This study investigates the political processes leading to legislation enabling coercive treatment of (non-psychotic) drug users in Finland and Sweden from the 1950s until the early 1980s. The drug treatment policies are analysed through conceptual changes and innovations. Methods: The article analyses conceptual discussions in public reports in Finland and Sweden, focusing on the work preceding the first legislations where both alcohol and drug treatment were included (in Finland 1961, in Sweden 1982). Theories from conceptual history are applied. Results: The Finnish and Swedish discussions carry arguments from two periods of the Nordic welfare state: in an early development stage and a fragile situation in Finland, and in a more mature and affluent time in Sweden. The paternalistic arguments vary over time and between countries. Still, in both countries and time periods, the view of the drug problem as a youth issue, as particularly enslaving and on society's obligation to protect drug using individuals from damaging their future give enough motivation for coercive treatment. The conceptual work included avoidance of certain terms but in other cases, a broadening of their meaning, to adopt them to the political goals. Conclusion: Close analyses of conceptual history can reveal new features of drug policy struggles and show how central concepts in drugs and alcohol field are continuously contested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 25, no 2, 320-328 p.
Keyword [en]
Drug treatment, Concepts, History, Coercive treatment, Finland, Sweden
National Category
Substance Abuse
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103992DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2013.10.005ISI: 000334139200019OAI: diva2:720883

AuthorCount:2;[DUBBELAFFILIERINGSUBEdman, Johan]Stockholm Univ, Ctr Social Res Alcohol & Drugs SoRAD, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden; Edman, J (reprint author), Stockholm Univ, Ctr Social Res Alcohol & Drugs SoRAD, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.

Available from: 2014-06-02 Created: 2014-05-27 Last updated: 2014-06-02Bibliographically approved

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