This research project is a comparative study of the drug policies of Copenhagen and Malmö, and of how these policies shape the risk-environments of marginalized drug users in the two cities.
The aim of the present project is to compare results from ongoing research projects on the everyday lives of marginalized drug users in Copenhagen and Malmö. This, to better understand how the different polices and their implementation influence the lives and access to support of marginalized drug users in the two cities.
The social welfare and health care systems of Denmark and Sweden are similar in many ways, but the drug policies of the two countries are very different. Danish drug policy is often described as “liberal”, whereas Swedish drug policy is described as paternalistic and repressive. Drug policy plays an important role in shaping the risks that drug users face and their access to resources that enable them to manage these risks. Because of the similarities between Denmark and Sweden in the areas of social welfare and health care policy, but the differences in drug policy, the two countries are very suitable candidates for studying the effects that drug policy has on drug users´ lives. Two ongoing projects in Copenhagen and Malmö are studying the risk-environments of marginalized drug users in the two cities. This provides a unique opportunity to conduct a comparative study of the role that drug policy plays in shaping drug users risk-environments. In order to do this, we need to make data from the two existing project comparable, collect new data, and conduct joint analyses. The research teams in Copenhagen and Malmö will work together to add this comparative dimension to their ongoing projects.
The research project will focus on two aspects of drug policy that are particularly relevant for the risks and resources of marginalized drug users: Law enforcement and harm reduction policies. The research questions of the project are:
1. To what extent do the drug polices in Denmark and Sweden criminalize marginalized drug users, and to what extent do the drug policies in Sweden and Denmark make it possible to establish harm reduction services?
2. How is the drug legislation enforced in relation to marginalized drug users in Copenhagen and Malmö?
3. Which harm reduction services are available for marginalized drug users in Copenhagen and Malmö?
4. How does law enforcement and availability of harm reduction services structure risks and resources for marginalized drug users in Copenhagen and Malmö?
In addition, we will collect comparable data in the two cities. This involves:
The project runs from April 2019 to February 2020.
Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology
The project is part of a collaboration with Associate Professor and PhD in [social work?], Torkel Richert, and sociologist and Assistant Professor, Johan Nordgren, from Malmö University.