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Designing Prostitution PolicyIntention and Reality in Regulating the Sex Trade$
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Hendrik Wagenaar, Helga Amesberger, and Sietske Altink

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324249

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324249.001.0001

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Challenges of prostitution policy

Challenges of prostitution policy

(p.27) Two Challenges of prostitution policy
Designing Prostitution Policy

Hendrik Wagenaar

Helga Amesberger

Sietske Altink

Policy Press

All public policy faces general and domain-specific challenges. General challenges are key tasks, such as mobilising support for an agenda, or transforming policy goals into policy design, that need to be adhered to to realize a policy. In addition we distinguish five domain-specific challenges in prostitution. These are: The pervasive stigma and the urge to control and restrict prostitution that follows from that. Prostitution is morality politics, which results in an ideologically charged, emotive debate about prostitution and a tendency toward symbolic politics. Prostitution policy gets mixed up with immigration policy. Precise, reliable data on prostitution are generally unavailable. And, local policy making is essential for understanding the process and outcomes of prostitution policy. Local policy often deviates from, and is more repressive than national policy making. In our analysis we use concepts and theories of the policymaking process as formulated in the academic policy literature. But above all, by putting the domain-specific challenges central in describing and analysing prostitution policy, we consistently reason from the perspective of the elected official and public administrator.

Keywords:   prostitution policy, stigma, data collection, policy implementation, local policy, migration, controlling prostitution

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