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

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

Website: http://www.nordicwelfare.org/kbsthematic2015
Echos of the meeting: “A research perspective on the rise” (Sept 15, 2015)

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.


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:

  • History and theory of the concept “harm to others”, studies on social movements related to the concept and their impact.
  • Methodological approaches, strengths and weaknesses.
  • 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).
  • “Others” in public spheres such as work places, public spaces and traffic.
  • 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

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.


Papers on themes connected to the harm to others perspective are welcomed. Scholars interested in presenting at the conference are invited to submit abstracts (max. 250 words) to nina.karlsson@nordicwelfare.org no later than February 28 2015. Please add max. five key words and a statement of conflict of interest.