June 12, 2019
Alcohol And Drugs History Conference
The Imperative of Regulation is a historical and interdisciplinary project focusing on developments in postwar Dutch drug policies within a European and global context. Dutch drug policies since the Second World War have oscillated between tolerance and repression of drug use. The Netherlands, with their internationally (in)famous reputation of guiding in decriminalization of drug use and in public health harm reduction policies, a reputation established in the 1970s-1990s, have since become more restrictive. However, whether tolerant or restrictive, pragmatic or moralistic, from a historical perspective drug policies in the Netherlands have shown a structural undercurrent of increasing regulation. In other Western countries as well, increased institutionalised interventions in drug use have gone hand in hand with oscillations in strategies and approaches. In this panel, we present some of the project’s results and lessons it can provide to the study of drugs history. Special attention is given to 1) the role of public perceptions in drug related discourses in the media; 2) the interactions between local and national levels of drug policies; 3) the emergence of stereotypical images of regulatory regimes in international collaborations.
Paper presentations by: Toine Pieters, Rafaela de Quadros Rigoni, Arjan Nuijten, Berrie van der Molen, Chaired by Stephen Snelders
Stephen Snelders also organized (and presented in) the panel ‘From Kabul to California: Building a global illicit drug market in the 20th century’ along with James Bradford and Haggai Ram.