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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Jesse Proudfoot

Proudfoot, J. The Libidinal Economy of Revanchism: Illicit Drugs, Harm Reduction, and the Problem of Enjoyment. Progress in Human Geography. 2017.

Author(s) from Durham


Harm reduction is generally presented as the compassionate, pragmatic alternative to prohibitionist drug policy. This article examines harm reduction in relation to debates over the revanchist city in urban geography, arguing that it should be understood as an ambivalent social policy. I advance a psychoanalytic conceptualization of ambivalence to explain the often contradictory character of contemporary drug policy, including harm reduction. Calling attention to the centrality of enjoyment (jouissance) in debates over drug policy, I argue that fantasies about the enjoyment of the Other play a crucial role in drug policy, with profound consequences for marginalized drug users.