School of Geography

After the Night-Time Economy? Reconsidering the governance of alcohol consumption in urban Britain

Wednesday 17th March 2021 (13:00-14:00)
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With David Beckingham, University of Nottingham.

This is an online seminar and all are welcome. Please contact for the link.

Part of the Economic Worlds Seminar Series.


This talk presents the governance of alcohol as a shifting relationship between individual, social and market pressures. It reconsiders accounts of the Night-Time Economy, which emerged to describe the particular combination of urban governance, regeneration, and an expanding night-time alcohol-oriented economy in the 1990s and early 2000s. Reports of ‘binge drinking’ were met with a demonisation of individuals who were unable to accept the limits of their new liberal freedoms to drink and even get drunk. This moralising distinction was drawn against the responsible liberal consumer, the stubbornness of the construction contrasting with public health population-level arguments about alcohol harms. 

In this seminar, I will revisit that framing in the light of challenges to the economics of the night-time economy and evidence of changing consumption, particularly amongst sections of the younger markets that were its target. These, I suggest, indicate a shift in the balance of those individual, social and market pressures on cultures of drinking and not-drinking, and examine whether they also indicate a different temporality of risk, that is to say the timeframe over which alcohol harms are experienced and anticipated. 

School of Geography

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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