Per Olde Johansen, The Norwegian Alcohol Prohibition: A Failure, Criminology and Crime Prevention 14, supplement 1 (2013): 46-63. Special issue: criminological topics—historical perspectives.
The Norwegian alcohol prohibition included fortified wine from 1917 to 1923 and liquor from 1917 to 1927. Attempts have been made, both by researchers and activists, to ‘rehabilitate’ the prohibition. These attempts are self-contradictory, given that the ban on alcohol was lifted. One central argument in the debate concerns foreign pressure: It is claimed that the ban could have lasted had the ‘wine countries’ (France, Spain, and Portugal) been willing to buy Norwegian fish even though Norway refused to import their alcohol. This question can obviously not be answered with any certainty. However, pressure from abroad was not the only difficulty that prompted the lifting of the ban. The article argues that the prohibition generated several ‘internal’ problems, like organized crime, black economy, ‘untraditional’ policing methods, and negligence of social issues other than alcohol consumption.