Drugs, Risks and Freedoms: Illicit Drug 'Use' and 'Misuse' under Neo-Liberal Governance
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
October 21, 2009
CRIME PREVENTION AND COMMUNITY SAFETY: NEW DIRECTIONS, G. Hughes, E. McLaughlen, eds., pp. 279-296, Open University Press: Milton Keynes, 2002
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 09/120
Harm minimisation became a leading strategy of drug policy in Britain, Australia and New Zealand during the 1980s and 1990s. This paper maps out the ways in which harm minimisation not only was based on risk calculation, but also reflected preferred subjectifications and technologies of certain forms of neo-liberal politics. In particular, ‘drug users’ (as opposed to 'drug addicts') came to be imagined as rational choice-makers who needed to provided with accurate information about the medical, economic and social risks associated with drug taking. Imagined in this way, they could be enlisted into the program, to work 'on their own behalf' as active subjects rather than passive victims.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: drugs, harm minimisation, risk, neo-liberalism
JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 24, 2009
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