Debating Safe Injecting Sites in Vancouver's Inner City: Advocacy, Conservatism and NeoliberalismDenielle Elliott (2014)
North America's first and only legal, supervised injection site is located in Vancouver and has been one of Canada's most controversial biomedical interventions. Emerging from a progressive harm reduction model, and adopted in many cities around the globe from Sydney to Paris, safe injection facilities are considered by many to be the hallmark of innovative programming for the urban poor. In Vancouver, an intense public debate resulted, focusing attention on addictions, the rights of drug users, and the politics of knowledge. Drawing on the work of Nikolas Rose and Michel Foucault, this ethnographic article suggests that the politics of activism and care that have emerged from the Insite controversy among scientists, researchers, and advocates are characterized by a neoliberal logic, which limits the full potential of this health care intervention. This article considers the specific ways in which scientists and advocates inadvertently adopted neoliberal techniques of governing and conservative politics.