Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Sweden

Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and “Gender Cosmopolitanism”

Citation:

Rosamond, Annika Bergman. 2020. “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and ‘Gender Cosmopolitanism.’” Foreign Policy Analysis 16 (2): 217–35.

Author: Annika Bergman Rosamond

Abstract:

Gender justice and equality have risen to prominence in the constitution of foreign and security policy. This article locates the analysis of feminist foreign policy (FFP) within the wider context of Sweden’s state feminist tradition as well as its pursuit of “gender cosmopolitanism” in global politics. Both “gender cosmopolitanism” and Sweden’s state feminist tradition provided fertile ground for the formal adoption of FFP in 2014. The article employs poststructural discursive techniques that enable the identification of the statist feminist and cosmopolitan foundations of feminist foreign policy. More specifically, the article provides a discursive analysis of the ethical and feminist ambitions, normative contents, and pitfalls of FFP. Though FFP is grounded in other-regarding cosmopolitan care for vulnerable women and girls beyond borders, it exhibits a range of pitfalls and inconsistencies, such as equating gender with women and, at times, privileging results-oriented strategies over thoroughgoing gender analysis of structural injustices such as gendered violence. The article ends with a discussion of Sweden’s attempts to translate the feminist and cosmopolitan contents of FFP commitments into policy practice, with a focus on the eradication of gender-based violence.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2020

Moving Towards a Feminist Foreign Policy

Citation:

Arshad, Yasmin. 2019. “Moving Towards a Feminist Foreign Policy.”  Pakistan Horizon 72 (1): 63-80.

Author: Yasmin Arshad

Abstract:

The feminist perspective in international relations has become an increasingly popular norm as more and more women call for foreign policy issues to be dealt with from a more gendered lens. With this view in mind, the Security Council of the UN passed Resolution 1325, advocating for inclusion of women in foreign policy, peace and security initiatives at all levels in order to increase gender equality. Sweden is the first country to have a declared feminist foreign policy for which they have created a framework highlighting policy implementations at various levels. This framework is an example of how other countries can also advance the cause of gender equality. However, policy formation and implementation have differing conclusions which is why this paper analyses Sweden's feminist foreign policy and its achievements and whether it is a framework that can be adapted by other countries in different regions as well. The region used as an example in this paper is South Asia which has a different perspective on gender from Sweden and other similar minded western countries.

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Peace and Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2019

What's Feminist about Feminist Foreign Policy? Sweden's and Canada's Foreign Policy Agendas

Citation:

Thomson, Jennifer. 2020. “What's Feminist about Feminist Foreign Policy? Sweden's and Canada's Foreign Policy Agendas.” International Studies Perspectives.  doi:10.1093/isp/ekz032. 

Author: Jennifer Thomson

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Across politics and public discourse, feminism is experiencing a global renaissance. Yet feminist academic work is divided over the burgeoning use of the term, particularly in reference to economic and international development policy. For some, feminism has been co-opted for neoliberal economic ends; for others, it remains a critical force across the globe. This article explores the nascent feminist foreign policies of Sweden and Canada. Employing a discourse analysis of both states’ policy documents, it asks what the term “feminist” meant in preliminary attempts at constructing a feminist foreign policy. It argues that although both use the term “feminist,” they understand the term very differently, with Sweden centering it in domestic and international commitments to change, while Canada places greater emphasis on the private sector. This suggests that this policy agenda is still developing its central concepts, and is thus ripe for intervention on the part of policymakers and civil society organizations.

SPANISH ABSTRACT:
A través de la política y el discurso público, el feminismo está experimentando un renacimiento global. Sin embargo, el trabajo académico feminista está dividido por el uso creciente del término, particularmente en referencia a la política de desarrollo económico e internacional. Para algunos, el feminismo ha sido cooptado para fines económicos neoliberales; para otros, sigue siendo una fuerza fundamental en todo el mundo. Este artículo analiza las incipientes políticas exteriores feministas de Suecia y Canadá. Al emplear un análisis del discurso de los documentos de las políticas de ambos estados, se pregunta qué significaba el término «feminista» en los intentos preliminares de construir una política exterior feminista. Se argumenta que si bien ambos estados usan el término «feminista», entienden el término de manera muy diferente, ya que Suecia se centra en los compromisos nacionales e internacionales de cambio, mientras que Canadá pone un mayor énfasis en el sector privado. Esto sugiere que este proyecto aún está desarrollando sus conceptos centrales; por lo tanto, es propicio para la intervención de los responsables de formular políticas y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
On assiste actuellement à une renaissance du féminisme dans la politique et le débat public à l’échelle mondiale. Cependant, les spécialistes académiques du féminisme sont divisés sur l'utilisation naissante du terme, notamment en référence à la politique économique et de développement international. Pour certains, le féminisme a été coopté à des fins économiques néolibérales ; pour d'autres, il demeure une force majeure dans le monde. Cet article étudie les politiques étrangères féministes naissantes de la Suède et du Canada. S'appuyant sur une analyse du discours de la politique des deux états, il s'interroge sur le sens entendu du terme « féministe » lors des premières tentatives d’élaboration d'une politique étrangère féministe. Il soutient que, bien que les deux états utilisent le terme « féministe », ils le comprennent de manière très différente : en effet, la Suède place le féminisme au cœur des engagements nationaux et internationaux de changement, tandis que le Canada le situe davantage dans le domaine privé. Cela suggère que cet agenda politique est encore en train de développer ses concepts centraux et que, par conséquent, le moment est venu pour les décideurs politiques et les organisations de la société civile d'intervenir.

Keywords: feminism, feminist theory, foreign policy, feminist foreign policy, sweden, Canada

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy Regions: Americas, North America, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Canada, Sweden

Year: 2020

Leading the Operationalisation of WPS

Citation:

Hutchinson, Susan. 2018. "Leading the Operationalisation of WPS." Security Challenges 14 (2): 124-43.

Author: Susan Hutchinson

Annotation:

Summary:
"This paper considers how an intervening security force can implement the relevant components of the suite of United Nations Security Council resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The analytical framework of the paper is a generic operational cycle comprised of preplanning, planning, conduct, and transition. Specific tasks identified in the resolutions are organised in this generic operational cycle. The tasks are those commonly led by security forces, or directed by government, and include: conflict analysis or intelligence; deliberate planning; force structure; population protection; female engagement; support to the rule of law; security sector reform; and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration. This paper focuses on the experiences of the Australian Defence Force, with additional examples from militaries of Canada, Ireland, Sweden and the United States as well as organisational experiences from NATO and the United Nations. The paper draws on operations including, but not limited to, in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Yugoslavia and East Timor. Overall, the paper makes a unique contribution to the military operationalisation of the WPS agenda" (Hutchinson 2018, 124).

Topics: Armed Conflict, DDR, Gender, Women, Governance, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Security, Security Sector Reform, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Balkans, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Rwanda, Sweden, Timor-Leste, United States of America, Yugoslavia (former)

Year: 2018

Migrant Workers or Working Women? Comparing Labour Supply Policies in Post-War Europe

Citation:

Afonso, Alexandre. 2019. “Migrant Workers or Working Women? Comparing Labour Supply Policies in Post-War Europe.” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 21 (3): 251-69.

Author: Alexandre Afonso

Abstract:

Why did some European countries choose migrant labour to expand their labour force in the decades that followed World War II, while others opted for measures to expand female employment via welfare expansion? The paper argues that gender norms and the political strength of the left were important structuring factors in these choices. Female employment required a substantial expansion of state intervention (e.g. childcare; paid maternity leave). Meanwhile, migrant recruitment required minimal public investments, at least in the short term, and preserved traditional gender roles. Using the contrasting cases of Sweden and Switzerland, the article argues that the combination of a weak left (labour unions and social democratic parties) and conservative gender norms fostered the massive expansion of foreign labour and a late development of female labour force participation in Switzerland. In contrast, more progressive gender norms and a strong labour movement put an early end to guest worker programmes in Sweden, and paved the way for policies to promote female labour force participation.

Keywords: labour migration, female employment, Switzerland, Comparative public policy, sweden

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe Countries: Sweden, Switzerland

Year: 2019

Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military: An International Comparison

Citation:

Egnell, Robert, and Mayesha Alam, eds. 2019. Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military: An International Comparison. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press. 

Authors: Robert Egnell, Mayesha Alam

Annotation:

Summary:
“Women and Gender Perspectives in the Military compares the integration of women, gender perspectives, and the women, peace, and security agenda into the armed forces of eight countries plus NATO and United Nations peacekeeping operations. This book brings a much-needed crossnational analysis of how militaries have or have not improved gender balance, what has worked and what has not, and who have been the agents for change.
 
The country cases examined are Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Australia, and South Africa. Despite increased opportunities for women in the militaries of many countries and wider recognition of the value of including gender perspectives to enhance operational effectiveness, progress has encountered roadblocks even nearly twenty years after United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 kicked off the women, peace, and security agenda. Robert Egnell, Mayesha Alam, and the contributors to this volume conclude that there is no single model for change that can be applied to every country, but the comparative findings reveal many policy-relevant lessons while advancing scholarship about women and gendered perspectives in the military.” (Egnell and Alam 2019)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Introduction: Gender and Women in the Military—Setting the Stage
Robert Egnell and Mayesha Alam
 
2. Women in UN Peacekeeping Operations
Sabrina Karim
 
3. Sweden's Implementation of a Gender Perspective: Cutting Edge but Momentum Lost
Robert Egnell
 
4. The Gender Perspective and Canada's Armed Forces: Internal and External Dimensions of Military Culture
Stéfanie von Hlatky
 
5. The Role and Impact of Change Catalysts on the Netherlands Defense Organization: Integration of Women and Gender in Operations
Yvette Langenhuizen
 
6. Women and Gender in the US Military: A Slow Process of Integration
Brenda Oppermann
 
7. Women, Gender, and Close Combat Roles in the UK: "Sluts," "Bitches," and "Honorary Blokes"
Anthony King
 
8. Are Women Really Equal in the People's Army? A Gender Perspective on the Israel Defence Forces
Hanna Herzog
 
9. The Case of Australia: From "Culture" Reforms to a Culture of Rights
Susan Harris Rimmer
 
10. Three Waves of Gender Integration: The Causes, Consequences, and Implications for the South African Armed Forces
Lindy Heinecken
 
11. Integrating Gender Perspectives at NATO: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Charlotte Isaksson
 
12. Conclusion: Lessons of Comparison and Limits of Generalization
Robert Egnell and Mayesha Alam

Topics: Gender, Women, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peace and Security, Peacekeeping, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Africa, MENA, Southern Africa, Americas, North America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Australia, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America

Year: 2019

Cosmopolitan Militaries and Dialogic Peacekeeping: Danish and Swedish Women Soldiers in Afghanistan

Citation:

Rosamond, Annika Bergman, and Annica Kronsell. 2018. "Cosmopolitan Militaries and Dialogic Peacekeeping: Danish and Swedish Women Soldiers in Afghanistan." International Feminist Journal of Politics 20 (2): 172-87.

Authors: Annika Bergman Rosamond, Annica Kronsell

Abstract:

Feminist security studies (FSS) scholarship advocates the analysis of women's war experiences and narratives to understand conflict and military intervention. Here we add a non-great power focus to FSS debates on the gendered discourses of military interventionism. We zoom in on Danish and Swedish women soldiers' reflections on their involvement in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan. Their stories are deconstructed against the backdrop of their states' adoption of a cosmopolitan-minded ethic on military obligation. Both states employed women soldiers in dialogic peacekeeping in Afghanistan to establish links with local women and to gather intelligence, tasks that we less frequently afforded to male soldiers. However, feminist FSS scholarship locates military intelligence gathering within racial, gendered and imperialist power relations that assign victimhood to local women. This feminist critique is pertinent, but the gendered and racial logics governing international operations vary across national contexts. While such gender binaries were present in Danish and Swedish military practice in Afghanistan, our article shows that dialogic peacekeeping offered an alternative to stereotypical constructions of women as victims and men as protectors. Dialogic peacekeeping helped to disrupt such gendering processes, giving women soldiers an opportunity to rethink their gender identities while instilling dialogical relations with local women. 

Keywords: feminist security studies, cosmopolitanism, dialogic peacekeeping, women soldiers, non-great powers, Narratives

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Peacekeeping, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia, Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Afghanistan, Denmark, Sweden

Year: 2018

Is the Future of Foreign Policy Feminist?

Citation:

Thompson, Lyric, and Rachel Clement. 2019. “Is the Future of Foreign Policy Feminist?” Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations 20 (2): 76–94.

Authors: Lyric Thompson, Rachel Clement

Annotation:

Summary:
“In 2014, Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström took the world by storm when she launched the world's first explicitly feminist foreign policy. The new policy would be a way of doing things differently in Sweden's international affairs, organizing its approach to diplomacy, development, and defense under a 3 Rs framework of women's rights, resources, and representation, the latter of which this journal issue seeks to explore.

“How did this come to be? For Sweden, it was not just the future of diplomacy that was female; it was the past and present as well. Sweden's parliamentary representation has hovered near parity for some time. It has also boasted a long line of female foreign ministers dating back to the 1970s. Thus, there was a strong historical precedent of women's leadership that had normalized female power in such a way as to enable the country to offer something unique to the world: a feminist foreign policy” (Thompson and Clement 2019, 76).

Topics: Development, Feminist Foreign Policy, Governance, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2019

Praise or Critique? Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy in the Eyes of its Fellow EU Members

Citation:

Rosén Sundström, Malena, and Ole Elgström. 2019. “Praise or Critique? Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy in the Eyes of its Fellow EU Members.” European Politics and Society, September 11. https://doi.org/10.1080/23745118.2019.1661940.

Authors: Malena Rosén Sundström, Ole Elgström

Abstract:

In 2014, the Swedish Government proclaimed that it would pursue a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP). This initiative illustrates Sweden’s role as a norm entrepreneur, challenging predominant normative frames by enhancing existing gender equality norms. Our article is a first attempt to investigate how other state actors perceive the legitimacy, coherence and effectiveness of this policy innovation. The focus is on the perceptions of diplomatic representatives from other European Union member states. The article is based on a survey and in-depth interviews with officials at member state permanent representations. Our findings demonstrate that it is well-known that Sweden pursues a feminist foreign policy, though knowledge is often superficial. Overall, the FFP is positively perceived. Sweden is generally regarded as a leader in the promotion of gender norms. There are, however, also critical voices. In some countries, the word ‘feminist’ evokes negative reactions. While most respondents think the FFP has had a positive effect on Sweden’s international image, less are convinced that other states will follow suit. The current context, with nationalism and populism on the rise, is not seen as appropriate for pursuing a FFP. Sweden’s success as a norm entrepreneur in this field is thus questioned.

Keywords: feminist foreign policy, sweden, European Union, perceptions, norms

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Nationalism Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2019

Women and Nuclear Energy: Examining the Gender Divide in Opposition to Nuclear Power Among Swedish Citizens and Politicians

Citation:

Sundström, Aksel, and Aaron M. McCright. 2016. “Women and Nuclear Energy: Examining the Gender Divide in Opposition to Nuclear Power Among Swedish Citizens and Politicians.” Energy Research & Social Science 11 (January): 29–39.

Authors: Aksel Sundström, Aaron M. McCright

Abstract:

Whether or not there will be a ‘renaissance’ of nuclear power in the near future may depend upon the nature of support for this energy source among citizens and elected officials. Continued examination of the predictors of opposition to nuclear power therefore remains quite policy relevant. While the existing literature finds modest but consistent gender differences in attitudes towards nuclear power in the general publics of several Western countries, the robustness of this relationship has seldom been investigated across time or among elected officials. This paper addresses both of these gaps. First, analyzing nationally representative data from the Swedish general public between 1986 and 2011, we confirm that the theoretically expected gender divide in opposition to nuclear power-whereby women report greater opposition than do men-is indeed robust over time. Second, examining data from three recent surveys of elected officials at the local, regional, and national levels in Sweden, we find that female elected officials at each polity level report greater opposition to nuclear power than their male counterparts. Our results are consistent with the health and safety concerns argument, whereby women are less supportive than are men of technologies with considerable perceived health and safety risks.

Keywords: nuclear power, gender, public opinion, politicians

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Health, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2016

Pages

© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Sweden