Studying up harm reduction policy: The office as an assemblage

Jia-Xin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: By recounting the making of the office that contributed to the implementation of the harm reduction policy in Taiwan, this paper aims to answer two questions: Who and what assembled to make this policy possible? Which conceptual tool works best to understand what this policy-making was all about? Methods: The research was designed as a multi-sited qualitative study whose materials were collected through archival research, in-depth interviews, and direct field observation. The data were analysed on the basis of the constructivist version of grounded theory. Result: Formulating the office as an assemblage with heterogeneous components and shifting territories, the present work endeavours to show how it was constituted by way of guanxi, or webs of social relationship that blur the boundary between the private and the public, the governmental and the social. Conclusion: This " studying up" approach is hoped to elicit more research on the office in which harm reduction policies are made into the backdrop of drug users on the street.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-477
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Assemblages
  • Guanxi
  • Harm reduction policy
  • Studying up
  • The office

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Medicine(all)


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