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Artikel

Access_open Boetedoening of lynchpartij?

Enkele reflecties over naming & shaming in the 21e eeuw

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden naming en shaming, transformatie, effectiviteit, punitiviteit, herstelrecht
Auteurs Hans Nelen, Martina Althoff en Janine Janssen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This introductory article of a special issue on naming and shaming addresses the origins of the concept and its transformation during the last decades. The main conclusion of the article is that contemporary forms of naming & shaming come closer to humiliation and public lynching, rather than redemption and self-reflection.


Hans Nelen
Prof. dr. Hans Nelen is hoogleraar criminologie aan de Universiteit Maastricht en redacteur voor Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit. hans.nelen@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Martina Althoff
Dr. Martina Althoff is universitair hoofddocent criminologie in de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Vakgroep Strafrecht en Criminologie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en redacteur van Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit. m.althoff@rug.nl

Janine Janssen
Janine Janssen is hoofd onderzoek van het Landelijk Expertise Centrum Eer Gerelateerd Geweld van de nationale politie, lector Veiligheid in Afhankelijkheidsrelaties aan Avans Hogeschool en de Politieacademie en bijzonder hoogleraar Rechtsantropologie aan de Open Universiteit. Zij is redacteur van het Tijdschrift over Cultuur en Criminaliteit. jhlj.janssen@avans.nl
Artikel

Over schade en schande

Shaming en stigmatisering van ondernemingen

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden naming and shaming, organisatiecriminaliteit, stigma, reputatie, Shell
Auteurs Judith van Erp
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Naming-and-shaming campaigns, in which civil society groups publicly call upon corporations to end harmful behavior via social media, are a powerful mechanism for social control of corporations. This article investigates naming and shaming in modern, global markets through a case study of Shell - one of the most stigmatized corporations of our time. First, the perspective of organizational sociology is used to answer the question why Shell is receiving such significant attention. Next, the article addresses how shaming manifests itself in global markets. The example of Shell illustrates reintegrative shaming, aiming to end harmful activities, as well as stigmatizing shaming that undermines a corporation’s license to operate.
    Finally, this article discusses the potential consequences of naming and shaming for corporate reputations. In the case of Shell, Goffman’s concept of courtesy stigma appears to form the greatest reputational risk, as stigmatization of Shells business partners will create status anxiety and will limit opportunities to develop business.


Judith van Erp
Prof. dr. Judith van Erp bekleedt de leerstoel ‘Regulatory Governance’ aan de Universiteit Utrecht, binnen het departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap. j.g.vanerp@uu.nl
Artikel

Whose narratives?

The Self as (also) an alien – for a complex concept of ‘Self’ in narrative criminology

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Self, narrative criminology
Auteurs Professor Alfredo Verde
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper, answering to a recent critique by Ben Laws to the concept of Self developed by narrative criminology, and recognizing its importance, shows that narrative criminology has formulated a complex dynamic definition of it, in addressing both the limit-experiences and the unconscious dimension. Such enlargement can be attained by adding to narrative criminology the contributions of psychosocial criminology, that considers also the emotional dimension of crime narratives and the enjoyment connected to crime: the offender Self, in this perspective, is a multiplex, not completely definable, sometimes alien entity, which can be exposed analysing in depth criminal narratives.


Professor Alfredo Verde
Professor Alfredo Verde is professor of Criminology, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Italy.

Dr. Olga Petintseva
Dr. Olga Petintseva is universitair docent aan Universiteit Gent en postdoctoraal bursaal bij FWO Vlaanderen (Universiteit Gent – Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Dr. Martina Althoff
Dr. Martina Althoff is universitair hoofddocent criminologie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid, Vakgroep Strafrecht en Criminologie.
Artikel

Narratieve criminologie meets participatief actieonderzoek

Een reflectie over epistemologische mogelijkheden en uitdagingen

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden participatory action research, critical narrative criminology, counter narratives, drug use, stigma
Auteurs Michelle Van Impe MA
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Critical narrative criminologists analyse dominant and institutionalised stories that can contribute to harm but they might also become more involved in interrogating and changing such narratives. The following question would be: in what ways can this be done? Based on experiences from a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project on stigma with people who use(d) illegal drugs, this paper reflects on the epistemological opportunities and challenges of fusing narrative criminology with PAR. Although such an integration raises potential tensions – especially with regard to the role of the researcher – PAR can amplify narrative criminology by offering a framework for practicing critical, ethical and socially engaged scholarship. Vice versa, narrative criminology can deepen PAR in its analysis of discursive power structures and the relation between narratives and action.


Michelle Van Impe MA
Michelle Van Impe is doctoraal FWO-onderzoeker bij het Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy (IRCP) in Gent, België.
Artikel

Pro-cycling’s doping pentiti

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden doping, cycling, cultural criminology, crime facilitative system, organisational crime
Auteurs Dr. mr. Roland Moerland en Giulio Soana
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Throughout the last decade several cyclists have published memoirs in which they account for their doping use. In previous literature such autobiographical accounts have been characterized as attempts of fallen sports stars to sanitize their spoiled public image. In contrast, the analysis in this article will show that the accounts are of relevance when it comes to understanding the problem of doping in professional cycling. Their accounts break the omertà regarding doping, providing insights about the motivation and opportunity structures behind doping and how such structures are endemic to the system of professional cycling.


Dr. mr. Roland Moerland
Dr. mr. Roland Moerland is universitair docent criminologie aan de Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Maastricht.

Giulio Soana
Giulio Soana is afgestudeerd Master Forensica, Criminologie en Rechtspleging, Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Universiteit Maastricht.
Artikel

De ‘criminele sponsor’ van het lokale amateurvoetbal

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden georganiseerde misdaad, organisatiecriminaliteit, voetbal, witwassen, filantropie
Auteurs Professor Toine Spapens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The social role of criminals in local communities has so far received relatively little systematic academic attention. This applies more specifically to their involvement in philanthropic activities. This paper describes and analyses the role of dubious sponsors particularly in Dutch amateur football. Although it is difficult to estimate the scope of the problem, results indicate that criminal sponsorship is not incidental. It mainly concerns corporate criminals, persons involved in drug crimes and outlaw motorcycle gangs. The main goal is to enhance their public image. In most cases, their involvement in crimes or regulatory offenses is difficult to assess without a doubt, which complicates preventative measures. Our analysis shows several interacting factors which increase clubs’ vulnerability to criminal infiltration: setting overambitious sportive goals; dependence on volunteers and a lack of formal integrity policies and internal compliance mechanisms; financial problems; and external pressures associated with the club’s role as the ‘pride’ of the city, the village or the neighbourhood.


Professor Toine Spapens
Professor Toine Spapens is hoogleraar criminologie aan Tilburg University.
Artikel

Access_open Criminaliteit en macht: een inleiding

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden crimes of the powerful, white collar crime, hate crime, eco crime, ‘lawful but awful’
Auteurs Prof. dr. René van Swaaningen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Criminologists have by and large sought to explain crime by the deficiencies people may have. It took till the 1970s until the idea that crime can also be caused by structural power inequalities got an actual name in criminology: crimes of the powerful. Starting with the works of Willem Bonger and Edward Ross in the early 20th century, the author analyses how critical criminologists like Frank Pearce introduced the term ‘crimes of the powerful’ in the 1970s and how this concept was subsequently applied to gender- and racial inequalities, state crime, corruption et cetera, whilst pointing at the topical relevance of using a lens of ‘crimes of the powerful’ as a sensitising concept to analyse present-day problems, ranging from sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church to the banking sector or indeed the expropriation of indigenous lands in the Amazon by soy-farmers and timber traders.


Prof. dr. René van Swaaningen
René van Swaaningen is hoogleraar criminologie en voorzitter van de sectie criminologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

Top-down and out?

Reassessing the labelling approach in the light of corporate deviance

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden labelling, corporate crime, moral entrepreneurs, peer group, late modernity
Auteurs Anna Merz M.A.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Multi-national corporations are increasingly facing attention and disapproval by different actors, including authorities, public and (non-) commercial organizations. Digital globalization and especially social media as a low-cost, highly interactive and multidirectional platform shape a unique context for this rising attention. In the literature, much attention has been devoted to top-down approaches and strategies that corporations use to avoid stigmatization and sanctioning of their behaviour. Reactions to corporate harm are, however, seldom researched from a labelling perspective. As a result, corporations are not considered as objects towards whom labelling is targeted but rather as actors who hamper such processes and who, as moral entrepreneurs, influence which behaviour is labelled deviant. Based on theoretical analysis of literature and case studies, this article will discuss how the process of labelling has changed in light of the digitalized, late-modern society and consequently, how the process should be revisited to be applicable for corporate deviance. Given a diversification of moral entrepreneurs and increasingly dependency of labelling and meaning-making on the online sphere, two new forms of labelling are introduced that specifically target institutions; that is bottom-up and horizontal labelling.


Anna Merz M.A.
Anna Merz is promovendus aan de Sectie Criminologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

Integratief seksindustriebeleid in Nieuw-Zeeland

Succes voor een unieke sociale beweging

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden sekswerk, Nieuw-Zeeland, decriminalisering, sociale beweging, beleidsverandering
Auteurs Dr. Joep Rottier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Contrary to its allies in other countries, the sex industry decriminalization movement in New Zealand, embodied by the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), achieved its goal in 2003. This article explores the reform of the sex industry policy in this country on the basis of a Social Movement Concept. Apart from the specific New Zealand culture, particularly the interaction between three social political aspects – awareness, political opportunities, and a strong social movement organisation – can be identified as crucial factors in realizing a decriminalized sex industry environment. The enactment of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 meant a unique and huge success for a small sex workers movement.


Dr. Joep Rottier
Dr. Joep Rottier, onderzoeker, promoveerde in december 2018 aan de Universiteit Utrecht op de effecten van het seksindustrie decriminaliseringbeleid in Nieuw-Zeeland. Hij is bestuurslid van het Platform SekswerkExpertise Nederland.
Artikel

Prepping and verstehen

A narrative criminological perspective

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Verstehen, narrative, prepping, experience, ethnography
Auteurs Michael F. Mills en Jennifer Fleetwood
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Talk, chat, and stories are ubiquitous in ethnographic research. Engaging with the recently burgeoning literature around narrative criminology, this article argues that considerations of stories and storytelling can add much to cultural criminologists’ pursuit of ‘criminological verstehen’ (Ferrell, 1997). In doing so, we focus on one case study: ethnographic research grounded within the USA’s contemporary ‘doomsday’ prepping subculture. The article considers the value of attending to narrative during the pursuit of verstehen at two levels. First, we address the importance of storytelling upon entry to the ethnographic field – drawing attention to how the narratives researchers share, and their respect for certain stories, can facilitate deep and experiential access to stigmatized fields of activity (such as prepping). Second, we explore how narrative remains in play during immediate experiences. In particular, we argue that fleeting excitements featured in prepping lifestyles are often shaped by the significance of the ‘moments’ in which they occur to numerous personal narratives. We therefore contend that, for ethnographers interested in verstehen, a consideration of narrative offers a means to expand and deepen empathetic appreciation of participants’ worldviews and activities.


Michael F. Mills
Michael F. Mills is Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent.

Jennifer Fleetwood
Jennifer Fleetwood is Senior lecturer in Criminology, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Artikel

De mooie held geveld

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden heroes, downfall, master status, media
Auteurs Prof. dr. Hans Nelen en Dr. Frank van Gemert
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the introductory article of this special issue on the downfall of popular heroes, some relevant aspects in relation to the general theme are explored. Who are considered to be heroes and which elements are relevant to understand the process heroes may go through when they start sliding on the slippery slope, and, eventually, fall into the abyss of disgrace? What is the role that (social) media play in the demolition of their reputation and how do heroes perceive their own downfall and respond to it? The theoretical concept that is used in this article is Howard Becker’s master status and, in particular, the notion that the master status of a fallen hero surpasses and contaminates all other statuses, previously possessed by an individual.


Prof. dr. Hans Nelen
Prof. dr. Hans Nelen is hoogleraar criminologie aan de Universiteit Maastricht.

Dr. Frank van Gemert
Dr. Frank van Gemert is universitair docent bij de sectie strafrecht en criminologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Artikel

Gevallen helden van bedrijfsleven en openbaar bestuur

De ‘fall from grace’ van witteboordencriminaliteit

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden white-collar crime, status degradation, sanctioning, executives, punishment
Auteurs Prof. dr. Wim Huisman en Drs. Dennis Lesmeister
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In criminology, it is generally assumed that the high social status of white-collar offenders prevents them of being targeted by criminal law enforcement. But when they do, they suffer greater social and economic damage because of this high social status. Empirical research on the consequences of criminal law enforcement and conviction for white-collar offenders is scarce, and limited to the US and the UK. This paper used biographies of convicted former executives in business and public office in the Netherlands, to analyse these consequences and the process of the ‘fall from grace’ of white-collar offenders. The consequences are described in four life-domains: health, the private sphere, the occupational sphere and the social sphere. The results show that Dutch executives, in line with findings for the Anglo-American white-collar offenders, experience status degradation and suffer much collateral damage of criminal law enforcement. After the initial horror of imprisonment, they endure prison life fairly well. Individual competences and remaining social and economic capital enable them to return to normal life, although they cannot return to pre-conviction levels of social status.


Prof. dr. Wim Huisman
Prof. dr. Wim Huisman is hoogleraar criminologie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Drs. Dennis Lesmeister
Drs. Dennis Lesmeister is veroordeeld in de Klimop-zaak en is geassocieerd onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Artikel

Een inkijk in het leiderschap van Cannabis Social Clubs in België: criminelen, activisten, modelburgers?

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Cannabis, Cannabis Social Club, Leadership, Cannabis movement, Stigma
Auteurs Dr. Mafalda Pardal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, Cannabis Social Clubs (CSCs) are understood as being social movement organizations advocating for the legalization of a closed, cooperative and non-profit model for cannabis supply among adult users. Drawing on qualitative data collected in Belgium, this paper analyses how one becomes a leader of a CSC as well as the functional role assumed by those individuals. It further unveils how Belgian CSC leaders’ engagement in those organizations and in the wider cannabis movement is perceived. We identify and discuss the techniques employed by those key activists to manage cannabis-related stigma drawing on a framework developed by Lindblom and Jacobsson’s (2014). While CSCs might contribute to normalizing cannabis use and supply, our analysis suggests that CSC leaders face some degree of stigmatization, shifting between conformist and confrontational techniques to manage the perceived cannabis-related stigma. Building on the case of Belgian CSC leaders, this paper makes a contribution to the understanding of an under-researched movement, and the role of the leaders within it, expanding also the application of Lindblom and Jacobsson’s (2014) framework to a novel area of activism.


Dr. Mafalda Pardal
Mafalda Pardal Postdoctorale onderzoeker BOF, Universiteit Gent mafalda.pardal@ugent.be
Artikel

Moral entrepreneurs in de 21ste eeuw

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Moral entrepreneurs, Becker, Discourse, Crusading reformer, Symbolic interactionism
Auteurs Dr. Olga Petintseva en Prof. Tom Decorte
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the introductory article of this special issue on ‘moral entrepreneurs’ in the 21st century, we situate different notions of moral entrepreneurship. Particularly foregrounding Howard Becker’s definition, we discuss its origins and use in subsequent research. The question that we’ve put forward in the ‘call for papers’ for this special issue is to what extent the notion is relevant in contemporary research and who is considered as ‘moral entrepreneur’. The research papers discuss ‘entrepreneurial’ practices of university ethic commissions, medical professionals, police officers and the leaders of cannabis social clubs. We conclude that the underlying rationales and discourses of moral entrepreneurs that the authors identify, reflect contemporary neoliberal ideals.


Dr. Olga Petintseva
Olga Petintseva Postdoctorale onderzoeker FWO Vlaanderen, Universiteit Gent – Vrije Universiteit Brussel olga.petintseva@ugent.be

Prof. Tom Decorte
Tom Decorte Professor criminologie, Universiteit Gent tom.decorte@ugent.be
Artikel

Selectieve ‘culturalisering’ in de praktijk van de jeugdbescherming in België

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden youth justice, Roma, Caucasian migrants, refugees, selectivity, deviance
Auteurs dr. Olga Petintseva
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper focuses on the practice of youth justice (termed ‘youth protection’ in Belgium) in which professional actors ascribe deviant behaviour of youngsters to different cultural and migration backgrounds. Intra-European Roma migrants and refugees from the Northern Caucasus in Belgium are chosen as case studies. Discourse analysis of 55 youth court files and 41 expert interviews with professional actors show that deviant behaviour of these young people is explained in different manners. Two discourses are identified: ‘criminal vagabonds’ and ‘war torn children’. These discourses and their effects in practice differ tremendously for both groups. The broader discussion this article touches upon is the selective inclusion and exclusion in the institutions of formal social control, through social practices of culturalisation.


dr. Olga Petintseva
dr. Olga Petintseva is doctor-assistent aan de vakgroep criminologie, strafrecht en sociaal recht, Universiteit Gent. Haar onderzoeksinteresse situeert zich binnen de narratieve criminologie, cultuurstudies en sociolinguïstiek. E-mail: olga.petintseva@ugent.be.
Artikel

#HOUHETSTRAAT: straatcultuur op social media?

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden street culture, Identity, social media, Performance
Auteurs Dr. Robby Roks en Jeroen van den Broek MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Research on street culture in the Netherlands constitutes an area of relative paucity. Moreover, even less is known about the virtualisation of street culture. In this article, we draw on the social media accounts of a network of delinquent youngsters from Spangen, a neighbourhood in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Analyzing tweets and images on social media, we found Goffmans (1959) notion of the ‘front’ in three main themes: the importance of the negative image of the locality, the communication of criminality, and emphasizing an oppositional relationship with the police. We argue that these results illustrate the performance of a street identity on social media.


Dr. Robby Roks
Dr. R.A. Roks is als universitair docent verbonden aan de sectie criminologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. E-mail: roks@law.eur.nl.

Jeroen van den Broek MSc
J.B.A. van den Broek, MSc, is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Lectoraat Aanpak Jeugdcriminaliteit van Hogeschool Leiden en daarnaast als zelfstandig criminoloog actief vanuit Partner in Crime. E-mail: jbavandenbroek@gmail.com.
Artikel

Alsof zij nooit geboren waren …

Herinnering, ontkenning en de oude Jodenbuurt in Amsterdam

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden memorialisation, Holocaust, Amsterdam, memory, social construction
Auteurs prof. mr. Chrisje Brants
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    After catastrophic events, memorialisation is part of coming to terms with the past and rebuilding the future. It is also part of the social construction of the past – a struggle between conflicting representations of past events by different groups in society, with different memories, interests and degrees of power to influence which version of history is eventually recognized as correct and which is denied. In Western Europe, we tend to study such processes in parts of the world far removed from our own, forgetting that the major genocide of the 20th century, took place in our own cities, and that a process of memorialisation was ongoing there for many years after the war. The Jewish quarter in the centre of Amsterdam has many monuments, buildings and museums connected to the history of the Jews of Amsterdam, the majority of whom died in the death camps of the Shoa. The memory landscape of the Jewish quarter is dynamic, a reflection of a culture of remembrance and denial concerning the Second World War, in which events and people are remembered, but others forgotten. What can the urban landscape of Amsterdam tell us about this culture and its relationship to social and political events during and after the war? What/who are remembered and what/who forgotten, by whom, and why? How has that changed over time?


prof. mr. Chrisje Brants
Prof. mr. Chrisje Brants is emeritus hoogleraar straf(proces)recht bij het Willem Pompe Instituut, Universiteit Utrecht, en professor of law bij Northumbria University, Newcastle, Verenigd Koninkrijk.
Artikel

Positieve veiligheid en positieve vrijheid

Meningen van wijkbewoners in Rotterdam-Zuid over Buurt Bestuurt

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden Big Society, Isaiah Berlin, Charles Taylor, positive liberty, security management
Auteurs dr. mr. Marc Schuilenburg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The article is an ethnographical study of Rotterdam’s experience with a program called ‘Community Governs’ (Buurt Bestuurt). Community Governs, a Dutch version of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS), is a community-based program which goal is to solve neighbourhood crime and disorder problems. Community commitment and involvement are a main component of this program. The article emphasizes the effects that this program had on three levels of trust (performances, intentions and skills) of the residents in police officers and municipal service agencies as partners in the fight against crime and disorder. The results indicate that a ‘positive exercise’ of liberty through political participation of civilians is difficult to realise in poor, inner city, neighbourhoods.


dr. mr. Marc Schuilenburg
Dr. mr. Marc Schuilenburg is universitair docent Strafrecht en Criminologie aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Discussie

Veranderingen in de visie op druggebruik – van een strafrechtelijk naar een gezondheidsparadigma

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden drug policy, paradigms, criminalisation, harm reduction, health problem
Auteurs drs. Franz Trautmann
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Various studies show that the views on the drug problem and appropriate policy responses have undergone profound changes from the 1960s onward. This article is analysing one of these changes, the decriminalisation of drug use, reflecting a fundamental change of view: understanding drug use as a health issue and not as crime. A useful heuristic to understand this type of change is Thomas Kuhn’s paradigm concept. He sees a paradigm as a set of beliefs that are shared by a scientific community and accepted by a wider community. A paradigm change is therefore a socio-psychological process rather than rooted in new scientific or research facts.
    The author analyses the change from the dominance of a crime to the dominance of a health paradigm reflecting its social-historic context, starting with the widely shared concerns about substance use related health problems in the 20th century. These concerns translated into two different views on the essence of these problems, a crime and a health paradigm. The first served as fundament of the international drug control efforts, resulting in the still governing drug prohibition. Yet, the health paradigm was also of influence from the start and gradually gained weight. From the 1970s onwards the health paradigm became more important as part of a wider reform movement. It started in the Netherlands and the UK as bottom-up process criticising criminalising the users of illicit drugs as inappropriate, detrimental for their health and inhumane. The health paradigm was seen as more appropriate.
    The author reflects on the benefits and disadvantages of the health paradigm. Its primary benefit is that it helps to understand the health problems related to drug use. A key disadvantage is its close relationship with the disease paradigm. The latter fits well with the generally negative view on drugs as dangerous or evil. It is encompassing the risk of ‘pathologising’ all forms of drug use and denying phenomena of unproblematic use for, among other things, recreational or spiritual purposes. Like the crime paradigm it can serve for control purposes. The drug user remains subject of control or disciplining policies and is not in charge of his/her own life. An additional problematic issue is that ‘softening’ the approach towards the users seems to be mirrored by a harder, more punitive approach to the producers and sellers of the substances, which are seen as villains, making available the drugs which deserve harsh punishment for ‘devastating’ the lives of users.
    The author concludes with a short discussion of the well-being paradigm as possible alternative for the health paradigm. It covers a broader spectrum than the health paradigm and helps to grasp the negative impact of (problem) drug use, reducing well-being, but is also useful in understanding the positive sides, enhancing well-being.


drs. Franz Trautmann
Drs. Franz Trautmann was Senior Drug Policy Advisor bij het Trimbos-instituut in Nederland. Hij werkte meer dan tien jaar aan harm reduction-programma’s in Amsterdam en leidde sinds 1990 tal van nationale en internationale projecten rond de ontwikkeling van preventie, behandeling en harm reduction-programma’s in verschillende landen en kwalitatief, praktijkgericht onderzoek (Rapid Assessment and Response). De laatste vijftien jaar legde hij zich tevens toe op onderzoek naar het functioneren van de internationale drugsmarkt en naar de beleidsrespons daarop. Enkele weken na het aanleveren van de laatste versie van zijn bijdrage, op 11 juni 2016, overleed hij geheel onverwacht.
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