Each year, the course explores one central theme whereby theoretical knowledge is linked to societal engagement. The 9th edition (2023-2024) explores the theme of drugs under the title: We are all on drugs

Although from time immemorial people have always used substances to enter a state of intoxication, stupor or sedation, we cannot escape the impression that drugs and the use of drugs have never been so ubiquitous and commonplace as today.

In the 23-24 edition of Reason and Engage, we look at the various sides of drug use through a socially critical lens. Are repressive drug policies a good way to curb drug use? What are the social and environmental effects of the illicit drug economy? What impact does drug use and drug traffic have on the Global South? How are drug use, social inequality and deprivation related? Is the fight against drugs lost and can it be won? Is there such a thing as responsible drug use and what ethical questions does it raise? Will drug tolerance only lead to an increasing drug use?

In a series of lectures in the first semester and through project work in the second semester, we hope to raise these questions and look for some well-founded answers. To this extent, several internationally respected researchers and writers in the field will share their insights. Additionally students will work together with non-academic organizations in multidisciplinary study groups, in order to answer specific questions related to the drug problem.

Course details

Course holders: Prof. dr. Karl Verstrynge & Prof. dr. Joke Bauwens

Student counselors: Prof. dr. Bieke Abelshausen & Lisa Ahenkona

Contact: redelijk.eigenzinnig@vub.be 

Where to find us: VUB Main Campus (Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel), building C, 5th floor, room 406