The Lost Art of Regulated Tolerance? Fifteen Years of Regulating Vices in Amsterdam

W. Huisman*, H. Nelen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Fifteen years ago, Brants explored the idiosyncrasies of Dutch policy with regard to prostitution, focusing on the situation in the Dutch capital. Amsterdam was on the brink of the enactment of new policies and legislation regarding the legalization of prostitution and the crackdown on organized crime. This article presents a short description and analysis of the latest developments in the prostitution sector in the Netherlands and, in particular, the developments in the red light district of Amsterdam since the publication of Brants's article. The analysis reveals that the majority of her predictions have come true. However, what she did not foresee was that the Netherlands would be in the middle of a transitional stage: Dutch policy has undergone a paradigm shift from a pragmatic, rational approach towards a state of moralization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-626
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014




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