New Book about Drug Policies of the Nordic Countries

How will the Nordic countries adapt their drug policies in a new situation when several countries all over the world are questioning ‘the war on drugs’? Are there signs of changing drug policies, what arguments are used to challenge earlier policies and what obstacles are there to overcome?

These questions are discussed in the edited volume, Retreat or Entrenchment? Drug Policies in the Nordic Countries at a Crossroads, edited by Henrik Tham.

The drug policies of the Nordic countries have been relatively strict. Since this seems to contradict the internationally recognized liberal criminal policy in general, analyses have been devoted to try to understand this gap. The new question in relation to drug policy is, however, if and how the Nordic countries will adapt to a new situation when several countries all over the world are questioning ‘the war on drugs’ and orienting themselves in the direction of decriminalization and legalization.

Reviewer comments

The overall quality of the book as a whole is high. All authors are already internationally recognized scholars and others look likely to become so. The central question posed by Henrik Tham in the introductory chapter is important and original, that is whether or not the Nordic countries can be viewed as a whole and whether they are moving in a similar more liberal direction over time.
Susanne MacGregor, Professor Emeritus at Middlesex University London and Honorary Professor of Social Policy at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)

The idea of the book presented in the introduction is fresh and interesting and argumented well. The tables that summarize the drug situation and drug policy praxis in Nordic countries are informative and strengthen the argument. The conclusionary chapter by the editor Henrik Tham summarizes the book nicely.
Riikka Perälä, expert in The Network For Preventive Substance Abuse Work

Interest to a wide audience

The volume is of interest to anyone who is engaged, practically, politically or intellectually, in the question of drug policy in a situation where the scenes are changing quickly. The book will be of interest to a wide audience within Nordic countries but also in Europe, North America and elsewhere.

The editor and authors of this edited volume

The editor, Henrik Tham, is emeritus professor and has been Professor of Criminology at Stockholm University. His research has mainly focused on criminal policy, including studies of the rise of the crime victim as a public issue, the general sense of justice, Swedish drug policy in national and international contexts, crime and reactions to crime during the Second World War, and the development of criminal policy in Sweden. He has been President of the European Society of Criminology.

The 14 authors from the five Nordic countries have great experience in conducting research in the field of drug policy and represent different disciplines: criminology, sociology, social work, history and law.

Stockholm Studies in Social Policy and Welfare

Retreat or Entrenchment? Drug Policies in the Nordic Countries at a Crossroads is the second volume of the Editorial Board of the book series Stockholm Studies in Social Policy and Welfare, which is a peer-reviewed series of monographs and edited volumes published by Stockholm University Press.

How to access this book

At the Stockholm University Press website you can download Retreat or Entrenchment? Drug Policies in the Nordic Countries at a Crossroads as an ePub or pdf-file that allows you to read the book online or access it on multiple devices. You may also order a print copy of the book through the website: DOI:

About the publisher Stockholm University Press

Stockholm University Press (SUP) is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals and books. We aim to make journals and books affordable, and to give them the widest possible dissemination, so that researchers around the world can find and access the information they need without barriers.

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