Prostitution has become an extremely topical issue in recent years and attention has focused both on the situation of female prostitutes and the adequacy of existing forms of regulation. Prostitution, Politics & Policy brings together the main debates and issues associated with prostitution in order to examine the range of policy options that are available.
Governments in different parts of the world have been struggling to develop constructive policies to deal with prostitution – as, for example, the British Home Office recently instigated a £1.5 million programme to help address the perceived problems of prostitution. In the context of this struggle, and amidst the publication of various policy documents, Prostitution, Politics & Policy develops a fresh approach to understanding this issue, while presenting a range of what are seen as progressive and radical policy proposals. Much of the debate around prostitution has been polarized between liberals – who want prostitution decriminalized, normalized and humanized – and conservatives – who have argued that prostitution should be abolished. But, drawing on a wide range of international literature, and providing an overview that is both accessible to students and relevant to policy makers and practitioners, Roger Matthews proposes a form of radical realism that is irreducible to either of these two positions.