I was born 1950 in Amsterdam. My father was a lathe operator and knows everything about diesel engines that is worth to know. During the Second World War he was “recruited” by the Germans as a forced labour and spent some years in the Cologne area until 1944. Then he escaped and joined the Dutch army in the liberated Belgium. After a period in combat and the liberation of Holland in may 1945 he was stationed in Amsterdam until he left the service. And there he met my mother, a seamstress and previously involved in the resistance movement. Maybe it was because of this they met, I don’t know. They had four children, two girls and two boys. I grew up in the very centre of Amsterdam, participated in the Provo happenings, protested against the Vietnam War, was arrested a few times, became interested in illegal drugs (but never got arrested for that) and finally ended up as a student at the Social Academy in Amsterdam. However, I never missed a soccer game when my favourite football club Ajax played at home. If you want to know why follow this link Johan (the untouchable) Cruijff and many others displayed the most beautiful football ever shown (week after week).
After I (successfully) completed my studies at the CICSA Social Academy in 1977, I decided to take a sabbatical year in Sweden. Why Sweden of all places? While studying to become a social worker I spend some summer holidays in Sweden at the Emmaus Björkå community in the darkest forests of Småland, Sweden. An organisation that collected clothes and send them to liberation movements in the third world. During that sabbatical period I met the mother of my son and that is basically the reason why I stayed in Sweden. When he was born in 1980, I decided that it was time for a steady income and I applied for a job as a ward at the detoxification department at the psychiatric hospital in Lund, St: Lars.
After spending almost 11 years in the detoxification business I became unemployed in 1993. A contingency that in hindsight started a totally unexpected academic career. After some preparatory courses I was accepted in 1996 as a PhD candidate at the School of Social Work, Lund University. Can you imagine? A son of a lathe operator and a seamstress? Unbelievable!
Unsurprisingly, my dissertation 2001 was a comparative study about how drug policies in Sweden and The Netherlands emerged and developed in the period 1965 – 1985 and how the differences and similarities could be explained. If the reader is interested see
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After my dissertation I worked as the coordinator for a full scale project (part time), financed by the National Board of Health during 2002 – 2005. At the same time I worked as a teacher in the bachelor program in the subject of social policy. In my spare time I have tried to maintain some activities as a scholar and more specific in the field of drug user organisations. Since 2007 I am also actively involved as a member of the board ofthe Swedish Drug User Organisation (Nytt fönster)
From October 2007 until December 2008 I hold the full time position of the director of study at the institution. From January 2009 until January 2011 I am appointed as the director of study of our master's programme of Social Work and optional courses. I also represent our department in the steering committee of the international master's programme Welfare Policies and Management and the steering committee of the faculty master's programmes, Global Studies, Developmen Studiest, and Social Studies of Gender.
Forskning vid Socialhögskolan
FD Dolf Tops har forskat kring flera aspekter av narkotikaproblemet. Organiseringen av narkomanvården, ungdomar och narkotika och statlig narkotikapolitik utgör de huvudsakliga intresseområden. Ett sidospår var en studie 2001-2002 kring sociala konsekvenser av Casinoetableringen i Malmö och Sundsvall i uppdrag av SoRAD (Centrum för socialvetenskaplig alkohol- och drogforskning) i Stockholm.
De senaste åren har mitt forskningsområde flyttats till att förstå vilka organisatoriska och kontextuella faktorer som betingar narkotikabrukarnas möjligheter att organisera sig i brukarföreningar. Jag är också aktiv som styrelsemedlem i Svenska Brukarföreningen.
För närvarande är jag delaktig i förberedelser för en uppföljande studie av en tidigare jämförande studie av brukarorganisationer i Norden och Nederländerna (Drug Users and Spaces for Legitimate Action). För att förstärka komparationen kommer också andra länder att ingå.