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Editorial transition at Contemporary Drug Problems

Updated: Aug 13, 2023

CDP changes hands this month. Kate Seear, author of Law, Drugs and the Making of Addiction: Just Habits (Routledge, 2020), and kylie valentine, Deputy Director of the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and author with Suzanne Fraser of Substance and substitution: methadone subjects in liberal society (Palgrave, 2008) step into new roles as co-editors.

Following upon the editorship of Robin Room, the journal has been edited for the past decade by David Moore. The new co-editors served as associate editors and they recall, We have strong (and fond!) memories of reading articles in CDP that discuss pleasure, solidarity, and new possibilities; as well as articles that focus our anger and concern for systemic inequality and worldwide injustices experienced by people who use drugs. We think CDP is also a unique journal, given its concern for theoretical and empirical work, and will maintain those elements of the journal’s focus.

We are keen to publish contributions that question taken-for-granted ideas about drugs and the problems attributed to them. We remain open to contributions from authors around the world, and to scholarship from different disciplines, including anthropology, cultural studies, epidemiology, history, public policy, gender studies, sociology, law and Indigenous studies. We strongly encourage the innovative use of methods, concepts and theoretical tools. CDP has welcomed historical analysis. Among Moore’s favorite historical pieces are Johan Edman’s (2012) analysis of the political shaping of drug concepts in Sweden between 1882 and 1982; Kenneth Tupper’s (2012) ‘historical ontology’ of ‘drugs’, discourses and public policy; Ian Walmsley’s (2016) history of withdrawal from the 18th century onwards, and “Drug Use During Pregnancy Policies in the United States from 1970 to 2016” by Sue Thomas, Ryan Treffers, Nancy F. Berglas, Laurie Drabble, and Sarah C. M. Roberts.

As Moore surveys the transitions of the past decade, he notes both continuity and change. “When I took on the CDP editor’s position in 2010, I was honored to follow Robin Room’s distinguished leadership and wanted to continue two of the features that had been central to the journal under Robin’s editorship: its openness to longer papers and its international orientation. But I wanted to make some changes, too. These included setting up a senior editorial team and an international editorial board, moving the journal to SAGE, commissioning book review essays and ‘Contemporary Issues’ pieces, encouraging authors to draw on contemporary theory and consider the politics of their analyses, and establishing the biennial Contemporary Drug Problems conference.”

Sincere gratitude goes to the team of associate editors, Kim Bloomfield, Nancy Campbell, Suzanne Fraser and Mark Stoové, Seear, and valentine, “for their excellent service to the journal, as well as to the international editorial board members, who’ve taken on the unsung but very important contribution to scholarship of peer review, and to Sarah Shinkle, Ankur Paul and Mansi Agrawal at SAGE.” Although some associate editors will remain on the masthead, new associate editors include Mats Ekendahl and Marie Jauffret-Roustide.

CDP conferences have helped to build the interdisciplinary drugs field, and the next one is scheduled for Paris (likely in 2022 due to the COVID-19 situation in France). Originally suggested by Associate Editor Suzanne Fraser, the inaugural CDP conference focused on how drugs are problematized and was held in Prato, Italy, in 2011. The second attended to questions of how the complexity of drug use might be addressed (2013, Aarhus); how drug use might be understood as event, assemblage, or phenomenon (2015, Lisbon); how drugs and their effects are made in the science, policy, treatment, and law (2017, Helsinki); and how the notion and focus of ‘change’ in relation to drugs might be re-imagined (2019, Prato).

An established fixture of the international alcohol and other drug conference calendar, an international community of critical drug researchers provides a collegial forum for innovative, theoretically informed, social research on drugs. CDP is a publishing venue that takes drugs and people who use them seriously. The journal will soon be putting out a CFP for a special issue celebrating the conceptual and empirical contributions of David Moore, as he moves into a consultative role.

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