The bulk of research on ‘illiberal policies’, including eugenic legislation, of the early and mid-20th century Europe and US holds that strong states and weak civil societies caused this legislation to be adopted. Similarly, civil society theory has held that ‘gardening’ states tend to encroach on civil society through ‘colonization’, while civil society organizations act as ‘sensors’ for experiences of marginalization. Based on a case study of the discursive and political relations between the temperance organization The Blue Cross and the Danish state 1900-1938, this article shows empirically that this civil society organization introduced eugenic thinking well ahead of state legislation and furthermore lobbied for the illiberal policies on alcoholism that the state enforced in the 1930s. It is further argued that the eventual agreement by the two sides was possible, since both parties were informed by discourses emphasizing community over the individual. Some implications, including increased sensitivity to social relations, culture, and experience, for theories on civil society/state relations are hinted at.
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Event||41st Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association: Beyond Social Science History: Knowledge in an Interdisciplinary World - Chicago, IL, United States|
Duration: 17 Nov 2016 → 20 Nov 2016
Conference number: 41
|Conference||41st Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association|
|Period||17/11/2016 → 20/11/2016|