Global Platform of International Public Policies

Into the ordinary: non-elite actors and the mobility of harm reduction policies

Research on policy transfer and policy mobility has focused much attention on relatively elite actors, such as politicians, international organisations, think tanks, philanthropic donors, and consultancy firms. In contrast, this article uses the case of ‘harm reduction’ drug policy, an area of practice and research that is committed to valuing ‘non-elite’ actors, to show how they are frequently involved in mobilizing policy knowledge. Focusing on the role of service providers, activists and service users in the mobilization of harm reduction models, the paper discusses four key practices associated with these non-elite actors: cooperation, convergence, disobedience and display. The article argues that the deep involvement of relatively non-elite actors in mobilizing harm reduction policies means that multi-disciplinary scholarship would be enriched by going ‘into the ordinary’ in a wide range of policy contexts.


Prof. Osmany Porto

Add comment

Rescheduling of II ICPDDC – São Paulo, Brazil

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We would like to thank you for your contribution to the II ICPDDC. Due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus (COVID – 19) all over the world and the recent confirmation of 200 cases in Brazil, we regret to inform you that the II ICPDDC must be rescheduled.

This was a difficult decision to make. We have been monitoring the evolution of the situation on a daily basis in the past weeks, as well as the recommendations World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health in Brazil. Considering the health of participants, different university travel bans and the advice of Brazilian institutions to cancel public meetings, we concluded that hosting the conference in May was not prudent.

At this stage, we will work on the Conference logistics of the rescheduling and consult our partners to determine a new date, which will be announced in a few weeks. For participants who won’t be able to attend the conference on the new date, registration fees will be refunded.

All the updates about the Conference will be on our website If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:

With kind regards,

Osmany Porto de Oliveira
ICPDDC Organizer