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Drug use and the constitution of homo politicus in Swedish politics 1966–1979
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8923-0870
2024 (English)In: International journal of drug policy, ISSN 0955-3959, E-ISSN 1873-4758, Vol. 126, p. 104357-104357, article id 104357Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

The emergence of the drug user as a political problem in Sweden during the 1960s presented politicians with the problem of how to fit this new character into the existing democratic order. The aim of this article is to examine how Swedish politics sought to regulate democratic participation by establishing norms that conditioned who is recognized as a political subject as well as what counts as political speech and action.

Methods

The analysis is based on a close reading of parliamentary debates, political motions, and public reports and covers the period 1966–1979.

Results

During the examined period, Swedish politics constituted the ideal subject of democratic politics, homo politicus, as a subject embedded in a community of active and politically conscious citizens endowed with the capacity to cooperate and engage in the collective formulation of the common good. Drug use therefore posed a threat to the democratic order due to its passivizing effects that inhibited the cooperation needed to uphold the democratic polity.

Conclusion

The perceived individualism, passivity, and inability of the drug user to engage in cooperation within a politically conscious community of citizens positioned the drug user as a threat to the democratic order. The drug user thereby became a useful figure in the political regulation of the democratic sphere and the constitution of homo politicus, the ideal subject of democratic politics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2024. Vol. 126, p. 104357-104357, article id 104357
Keywords [en]
Drugs, Democracy, Recognition, Homo politicus, Sweden
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Criminology; Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227077DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2024.104357ISI: 001202247500001PubMedID: 38394951Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85186087493OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-227077DiVA, id: diva2:1841503
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FAS 2017-01567Available from: 2024-02-28 Created: 2024-02-28 Last updated: 2024-04-23

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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Language
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