Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy and “Gender Cosmopolitanism”


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

Author: Annika Bergman Rosamond


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

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