Goofball Panic: Bureaucratic Rationality, Economic Interest, and Irrational Sentiment in Post-War American Drug Regulation

When:7 Oct 2014, 12:30pm - 1:45pm
Venue:Morven Brown 310 (map ref C20)
Who:Professor Nicolas Rasmussen, University of New South Wales
Prof Nicolas Rasmussen

History Seminar Series

Historical controversy persists about the meaning of regulation restricting the consumption of certain pharmaceuticals to prescription use. A key episode, the 1951 US legislation that established international precedent, has been interpreted on one hand as an intrusion of the state into the free market linking consumer and manufacturer, and on the other as market regulation demanded both by consumers and dominant actors in the drug industry. Here I foreground the previously neglected role of drug abuse and its control in American concerns about the pharmaceuticals market in the 1940s and early 1950s, seeking a middle interpretative ground for understanding the role of government in the early Cold War USA.

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