Drugs, Crime and Public Health: The Political Economy of Drug Policy (Hardback) book cover

Drugs, Crime and Public Health

The Political Economy of Drug Policy

By Alex Stevens

© 2011 – Routledge-Cavendish

202 pages

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Drugs, Crime and Public Health provides an accessible but critical discussion of recent policy on illicit drugs. Using a comparative approach - centred on the UK, but with insights and complementary data gathered from the USA and other countries - it discusses theoretical perspectives and provides new empirical evidence which challenges prevalent ways of thinking about illicit drugs. It argues that problematic drug use can only be understood in the social context in which it takes place, a context which it shares with other problems of crime and public health. The book demonstrates the social and spatial overlap of these problems, examining the focus of contemporary drug policy on crime reduction. This focus, Alex Stevens contends, has made it less, rather than more, likely that long-term solutions will be produced for drugs, crime and health inequalities. And he concludes, through examining competing visions for the future of drug policy, with an argument for social solutions to these social problems.

Table of Contents

1. Starting Points: Drugs, Values and Drug Policy 2. ‘Afflictions of Inequality’? The Social Distribution of Drug Use, Dependence and Related Harms 3. Beyond the Tripartite Framework: The Subterranean Structuration of the Drug-Crime Link 4. Telling Policy Stories: Governmental Use of Evidence and Policy on Drugs and Crime 5. The Ideology of Exclusion: Cases in English Drug Policy 6. The Effects of Drug Policy 7. International Perspectives: Does Drug Policy Matter? 8. Towards Progressive Decriminalisation

About the Author

Alex Stevens is a Professor in Criminal Justice at the University of Kent. He has worked on issues of drugs, crime and health in the voluntary sector, as an academic researcher and as an adviser to the UK government, and has published extensively on these issues.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Criminal Law / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology