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On the Road to Permissiveness?Change and Convergence of Moral Regulation in Europe$
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Christoph Knill, Christian Adam, and Steffen Hurka

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198743989.001.0001

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sin, unavoidable evil, or recognized profession?

(p.129) 8 Prostitution
On the Road to Permissiveness?

Eva-Maria Euchner

Christoph Knill

Oxford University Press

The analysis of prostitution regulation in Europe shows that there is no clear regulatory trend towards either more authoritarian or more permissive regulation. While some countries left their regulatory style unchanged, others moved towards a permissive style of regulating prostitutes and clients. A third group of countries has moved in the opposite direction by further restricting legal prostitution. The case studies on Sweden and Germany show that fundamental reforms are possible when two conditions are fulfilled: first, a high ideological fit between governmental preferences and the position of relevant interest groups or social movements, such as feminist movements; and second, these social interests are characterized by a highly coherent and homogenous structure and dispose of privileged political access points. The comparison of Sweden and Germany also demonstrates that—depending on the position advanced by powerful social groups—the presence of these conditions might result in highly diverse regulatory outputs.

Keywords:   prostitution regulation, feminist movements, Germany, Sweden, legal prostitution, government preferences

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