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Re-politicising the Gender-Security Nexus: Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy

Karin Aggestam, Annika Bergman Rosamond

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Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is founded on the broad idea that gender equality is central to security. This article focuses on how the politicisation of this gender-security nexus is discursively articulated and practiced in the case of feminist foreign policy. The problematic is unpacked by analysing the politicisation of the women, peace and security agenda and global gender mainstreaming. To empirically illustrate the gender-security nexus more specifically, we analyse how these politicisation processes are reflected in Sweden’s support for global peace diplomacy and gender protection. The article concludes by offering three final remarks. First, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is an expression of several, at times competing, forms of political rationality. Second, while the fluctuation between de-politicisation and re-politicisation of security may seem productive in terms of policy outcome it can also create contradictions and ambiguities in regards to feminist foreign policy practice. One such outcome is the tendency to conflate gender and women across a number of de-politicised policy initiatives launched by the Swedish government. Third, the re-politicisation and contestation of the gender-security nexus is likely to increase in the coming decades because of shifting global power configurations in the global world order.

Keywords: feminist foreign policy, re-politicisation, de-politicisation, WPS-agenda, gender mainstreaming, peace diplomacy, protection, Sweden, UNSCR 1325


Bibliography: Aggestam, Karin/Bergman Rosamond, Annika: Re-politicising the Gender-Security Nexus: Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy, ERIS – European Review of International Studies, 3-2018, pp. 30-48.