March 1, 2019 at 5:30 pm

Wealth & Poverty | Governing through Partnerships: Neoconservative Governance and State Reliance on Religious NGOs in Drug Policy, March 27


Dr. Nicole Kaufman, portrait

Dr. Nicole Kaufman

The Wealth and Poverty theme presents a faculty research talk by Dr. Nicole Kaufman on “Governing through Partnerships: Neoconservative Governance and State Reliance on Religious NGOs in Drug Policy” on Wednesday, March 27, from 5 to 6 p.m. in Alden 319.

Abstract: From the drug war to current responses to opiates, drug policy in the United States has relied on governmental partnerships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This talk examines the emergence of partnerships with religious NGOs, which officials have used to provide treatment services and disseminate policy messages around drugs. I situate these partnerships in the political landscape shaped by the rise of the New Right and explain the role of neoconservatism in the use of partnerships as a tool of governance. Beginning with the formation of Ohio’s statewide addiction services agency in 1989, I use archival data to examine officials’ justifications and outreach strategies for including religious NGOs in such partnerships. The results demonstrate how officials increasingly recognized the characteristics of the religious community, first emphasizing their social service delivery and later emphasizing the role of religious leaders as health educators. The results raise questions on the ways in which partnerships control organizations and those they serve.

Kaufman is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and a member of the Center for Law, Justice and Culture. Her research examines institutional arrangements that facilitate and limit social inclusion. Her articles on punishment and citizenship have been published in Theoretical Criminology, Punishment & Society, and Law & Social Inquiry.

For more information on this talk or the Wealth and Poverty theme, please contact Dr. Yeong Kim at



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