New Steering Methods in Regional Policy — Transforming the Alliance of ‘State Feminism'

Citation:

Hedlund, Gun, and Malin Lindberg. 2012. “New Steering Methods in Regional Policy — Transforming the Alliance of ‘State Feminism.’” Women’s Studies International Forum 35 (3): 166–72. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2012.03.005.

Authors: Gun Hedlund, Malin Lindberg

Abstract:

In this article, the theory of ‘state feminism’ is applied on the area of regional development policy, supplementing existing research about state–citizen relationships in northern and southern Europe. Based on Swedish data, it is argued that the former alliance between the women's movement and the welfare state has been transformed as a result of new steering methods in regional development policy in a way that is best understood as a paradox. This paradox includes both stronger and weaker relations. The public support to Women Resource Centres (WRCs) in Sweden is used as an example of ‘state feminism’. The ability of the WRCs to affect policy has changed over time, however, due to the adoption of new steering methods based on networks and market-orientation in Swedish regional development policy. The conclusions induce further development of ‘state feminism’ theory, making it more up-to-date with the prevalent interaction between women's movements and European welfare states.

Topics: Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Political Participation Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2012

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