DOI link for Introduction
This chapter introduces the central concerns of the book. I provide an introduction to the growing trend of legal addiction-attribution and outline why such a trend might be of interest. This is followed by a detailed introduction to key literature in the field, including the emergence and meaning of the term ‘addiction’, key concepts, theories and debates in the field, and major points of contestation. From here, I introduce readers to the ‘ontological turn’ in alcohol and other drug studies, explaining how alcohol and other drug scholars have taken up such ideas. I note that there has been surprisingly little work extending these ideas to one of the most influential of all institutional contexts: the law. This is despite the fact that there is a growing interest in the application of related theoretical approaches to law, and an existing conceptual and methodological toolbox readily applicable to legal practices. I then outline some of that work, noting its emphasis on the importance of studying legal practices rather than just legal content. Having set the scene for the book, I outline the methods used in my research and the structure and format of the chapters to follow.