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KBS Thematic Meeting: Alcohol’s Harm to Others – Perceptions, Policies and Approaches

  • Alkohol och narkotika

A thematic conference of the Kettil Bruun Society, Alcohol’s Harm to Others – Perceptions, Policies and Approaches, was held in Helsinki, Finland on September 14-17, 2015.

Conference material from the meeting now available. 

About the conference

“Harm to others” has lately received global interest as a loosely defined, overarching concept in alcohol research. It covers well-known harms and costs to intimates, bystanders, strangers, professionals and social institutions, but also offers the potential for new perspectives.

Rather than talking about separate types of alcohol-related harm, such as mistreated children, insecurity in public and private settings, criminality, loss of person-years and cost of treatment, the concept of alcohol’s harm to others generates information about social relations involved in alcohol-related harm in private and public settings.

N.B. The abstract submission has ended!


The conference focuses especially on historical, cultural and societal differences and on the concept’s added value in understanding and developing policies and cultural change. The program will be organised around the following six main themes:

  1. History and theory of the concept “harm to others”, studies on social movements related to the concept and their impact.
  2. Methodological approaches, strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Harm to families and to other private relations. Empirical analyses of the experiences of the various categories of “others” (individuals, demographic groups, members of institutions and people in different private roles).
  4. “Others” in public spheres such as work places, public spaces and traffic.
  5. Burden to the society and institutional responses: studies on service systems, professionals’ capacity, social insurances, disability costs, reproductive problems, violence and other crimes.

Structure and participation

The official program for the meeting starts at 10.30 a.m. on 14 September. The registration will open at 9 a.m.. The meeting will end at noon 17 September.

We welcome a maximum of 60 participants working with, or interested in subjects relevant to the theme of the conference. Participants with thematically relevant papers will be prioritised, should the number of registrations exceed the maximum number of participants.

Participants with papers will be given an opportunity to present their papers. Each paper will be assigned a discussant and there will also be time for comments and questions from the audience.

Costs of participation  

There will be no registration fee for the conference, but participants will be expected to find finance for their own travel and accommodation. Please check the conference webpage for more information on the possibility of travel support.


The organisers aim at publishing a selection of available papers from the conference. More information will be available later on.


We welcome papers on themes connected to the harm to others perspective.

Scholars interested in presenting at the conference are invited to register via the conference webpage. Abstracts (max. 250 words) can be submitted via the online registration form or by email to .

Notification of acceptance of abstracts will be sent out by 30 April 2015.

Final papers should be submitted by 17 August 2015. Papers should be no longer than 16 pages (font size 12, single-spaced) including tables and references.


If you have questions about the conference, please contact the Finnish organising team:


Committee members from the collaborating Nordic Institutions:
, Norway
, Sweden
, Denmark


Start: 2015-9-14 - kl 0:0
Slut: 2015-9-17 - kl 0:0
Hotel Best Western Rantapuisto, Helsinki, Finland
  • Alkohol och narkotika

Nordens Välfärdscenter | tel: +46 8 545 536 00 | | En institution under Nordiska ministerrådet