BiographyMy research interests include the outcomes of sex work and drug legislation and discourse; feminist, gender, and queer-theory; and harm reduction, HIV/AIDS, STI, and blood-borne infection policy and law. I completed my PhD at the University of Cambridge, for which I conducted fieldwork in Sweden on the outcomes Swedish sex work legislation and drug prohibitionism. I have also undertaken fieldwork in Tanzania, Thailand, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, South Africa, Portugal, and London. I have conducted consultations and focus groups with members of marginalised and vulnerable communities from countries including Australia, Nepal, Thailand, France, Portugal, Cambodia, India, Slovenia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Northern Ireland, Kenya, Indonesia, Tanzania, Finland, Greece, Sweden, Ireland, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
I work for an organisation that commissions services and research to reduce harms associated with gambling, and have previously worked in African health development, and for a human rights organisation for people who use drugs.
I have published two research books with Routledge, and have widely published policy and advocacy publications, as well as peer-reviewed publications.
PhD, University of Cambridge
MPhil, Distinction, University of Cambridge
BA Hons, First Class with Distinction, Cambridge
Abolitionist feminism as patriarchal control: Swedish understandings of prostitution and trafficking
Published: Jun 17, 2021 by Dialectical Anthropology volume 37, pages333–340 (2013)
Authors: Dr Jay Levy; Pye Jakobsson
In this special issue, we note some recurrent themes in international political and discursive engagement with a moral panic concerning human trafficking, notably a conflation of forced and free prostitution, alongside calls to abolish the sex industry through a criminalisation of the purchase of sex. We here specifically examine Sweden’s sex purchase criminalisation, with Sweden being the first state globally to legislate according to this call.
Published: Mar 12, 2015 by Criminology and Criminal Justice
Authors: Jay Levy and Pye Jakobsson
The Swedish criminalization of the purchase of sex aims to abolish prostitution through targeting the demand, while decriminalizing those selling sex in an ostensible effort to protect sex workers – constructed as passive victims of gendered violence – from criminalization. Drawing from authors’ research and that of others, this article discusses the sex purchase law (sexköpslagen), exploring some of its impacts on the lives of sex workers and the dynamics of Swedish prostitution.
Published: Mar 12, 2015 by SWOU
Authors: Jay Levy
This paper provides a brief overview of selected elements of my PhD research, which explored the outcomes of Sweden’s criminalisation of the purchase of sex, as well as Sweden’s criminalisation of the use of drugs; here, I focus solely on the former law. This paper was presented at the SWOU Sex Workers’ Rights Festival in Glasgow, 2013, and an earlier version of this paper was presented in Kansalaisinfo, Little Parliament, Parliament of Finland, Helsinki, in 2012.
Published: Mar 12, 2015 by INPUD and Youth Rise
Authors: Jay Levy
Where harms that may surround illicit drug use are numerous, it is laws and policies, along with their justificatory social constructions and stigmas, that are responsible for driving and worsening many of these avoidable harms
Published: Sep 01, 2015