Phil Mellows: The dialectic of drink: Alcohol and the neoliberal state

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Location: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
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How do we understand the often contradictory and incoherent twists and turns of government alcohol policy? Drink presents the state with a dilemma. Its role is to encourage industry, but the products of the drinks industry are problematic, seeming to threaten the health and order of the economy as a whole. The state negotiates a constantly shifting path through this conundrum. The neoliberal world that has developed over the past 40 years has brought with it a particular kind of state, and with it has emerged a peculiar kind of alcohol strategy, drawn from the orthodoxies of ‘new’ public health, but strangely in conflict with it. Phil discusses the paper, which explores those conflicts in the light of recent alcohol policy in the UK.
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