What is care? Swedish care of drug addicts as a political battleground, 1968-2000

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2006
End date: 31/12/2008
Funding: 2350000 SEK


In this project the kind of treatment of drug addicts, supported and argued for by the Swedish State between the years 1968 and 2000, is examined. On a general level the project looks further into the construction of the typical client, the design of the treatment and the purpose of the treatment.

The popular thesis that the Swedish State has been uninterested in or incapable of managing the treatment of drug addicts is challenged in the project. Instead, as a point of departure, the purpose of the treatment is regarded as something that should be examined rather than presupposed. Furthermore, as the project will make use of a large and previously not analysed source material, alternative interpretations will be offered. Finally, as a consequent method of research, an analysis of treatment programs opposed by the Swedish State will elucidate State management overlooked in earlier research.

A hypothesis to be examined in the project is that the party-political consensus when it came to drug control legislation made the politics of treatment programs even more delicate. Here, representatives from different treatment ideologies fought for their view on social problems and drug addiction, as well as State subsidies. Besides an analyse of specialist and daily press, official reports and parliamentary publications, the empirical examination will therefore especially focus upon the handling of the State subsidies to treatment programs carried out by central authorities.

To sum up, the project will examine the bureaucracy’s strong influence upon Swedish social political development, as shown in several political science studies. Besides the more general analysis of the history and ideological development of the treatment of drug addicts, the project will therefore also problemize earlier research on State control ambitions.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:53