Category Archives: Articles

All scientific articles published in journals or books, writen by members of DRUSEC and dealing with the topics of this blog are listed here.

Comment habitent les sujets marginalisés ?

Mélina Germes et Roxane Scavo, « Comment habitent les sujets marginalisés ?  »,, Travaux, 2021. URL : ; DOI :

Cet article interroge les manières dont les usagers et usagères de drogue marginalisées fréquentant des lieux d’accueil à bas seuil habitent l’espace urbain dans deux villes : Bordeaux et Berlin. Grâce à une approche de géographie sociale enrichie de sociologie des émotions et de méthodes de cartographie critique, nous avons mené des entretiens de cartographie émotionnelle, rendus sous forme de collages cartographiques. La topographie de l’habiter de chaque ville est présentée, de même que la construction permanente de « chez-soi », ainsi que les relations avec les autres, entre (entr)aide et entrave. Les enquêtes montrent comment les usagers et usagères de drogue marginalisées habitent la ville dans l’adversité.

Mapping “drug places” from below. The lived cities of marginalized drug users

Germes, M., Klaus, L. and Steckhan, S. (2021), “Mapping “drug places” from below. The lived cities of marginalized drug users”, Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 21 No. 3

Free full-text available on repository HAL-SHS

On top of their legal, economic, social and institutional marginalization, marginalized drug users (MDUs) also experience political marginalization: drug policies shape their lives without their political participation. From a scientific as well as a political perspective, the inclusion of their various viewpoints and situated knowledge is a major challenge, and one to which this paper aims to contribute in light of the experiences and imaginaries of MDUs urban spaces in several German cities.

Following a socio-geographical approach, this paper interrogates how MDUs appropriate and imagine the city, drawing on Lefebvre’s Production of Space and mixing critical cartographic with grounded theory, in the attempt to both understand and reconstruct the world from the situated perspective of MDUs based on their own words, drawings and emotions.

The narratives and drawings of participants show another cityscape, radically different from the hegemonic discourses and mappings antagonizing MDUs and making their existence a social problem. Space appears as a means of marginalization: there are barely any places that MDUs can legitimately appropriate-least of all so-called “public space.” By contrast, MDUs’ imaginaries of an ideal city would accommodate their existence and address further social justice issues.

The notion of “public places” appears unable to express MDU’s experiences. Instead of focusing on the problem of public spaces, policymakers should tackle the question of placemaking for MDUs beyond the level of solely drug-related places.

Emotional Mapping – Towards a geographical explanation of drug use

Luise Klaus & Mélina Germes
“Emotional Mapping. Towards a geographical explanation of drug use”

In: Kaló, Zsuzsa; Tieberghien, Julie, Korf, Dirk J. (Eds.), Why? Explanations for drug use and drug dealing in social drug research. Pabst Science Publishers, 2019.


In Europe, most open drug scenes have similar spatial and social characteristics, especially in the growing dynamic of gentrification. This may potentially marginalise more drug users in public spaces. The cities face the same challenges in terms of governance. Within a perspective rooted in critical cartography and social geography, we propose emotional mapping as a method of conceiving urban lived spaces of drug users in European cities, with the aim of considering marginalised drug users as the subjects of their narratives and spatial representations. The method allows a complex analysis of the spatial experiences of urban space. It shows how the emotional appropriation of space by drug users is embedded in the structural socio-spatial exclusion phenomenon in Europe. Continue reading