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Local vs. National Alcohol Policy: The UK Edition

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Virginia Berridge, a professor of history and director of the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, recently alerted Points to a new briefing her organization published earlier this year. “Local and National Alcohol Policy: How Do They Interact?” is a concise and useful treatise on the difficulties of integrating local and national alcohol policies in the United Kingdom, with resonance for American scholars and those doing transnational work.

London pub

For those interested in bringing a transnational perspective to studies of addiction, policy and governance, the article is of particular use. As Americans, we can also see clear resonance in the UK’s debates over local and national control in our own battles over states’ rights versus the federal government. In terms of alcohol, addiction treatment, rates of arrest and debates over drug legalization, “local versus national” remains a compelling and ever-present debate, and an understanding of the history behind these arguments is as useful here as it is across the pond. While no one in the article argues that history will solve our countries’ issues with alcohol, each scholar reaffirms the need to understand our past. As Nicholls notes, history can “help remind us what the shape of such problems is, and point to the different worldviews and epistemologies that are at work.”

You can download the entire report via the link provided above.



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