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Regional development policies and the constructions of gender equality: The Swedish case

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  This article uses a discursive approach to analyze how gender equality has and is being constructed and given meaning in the context of Swedish regional policy. Drawing on Carole Bacchi's ‘What's the Problem? Approach’, we explore how arguments concerning the new forms of regional policy are assigning different categories of people different subject positions and, in particular, we focus on the kind of subject positions that are being given to women as a group in this context. The discourse being shaped in national policy is, however, interpreted in specific contexts. Accordingly, we compare the way this new discourse is being (re)interpreted and (re)constructed and the subject positions being ascribed to women in the regional development partnerships and growth strategies in two Swedish regions: Västerbotten and Jönköping. Finally, we draw attention to how both the form and the content of Swedish regional development policies create great difficulties for politicizing gender as a power dimension in society. We suggest that regional politics has become de-politicized and argue for the need for it to be re-politicized with gender included as a conflict dimension.

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... Emphasis is placed on the need for individual actors, both citizens and businesses, to utilize their opportunities to facilitate the region's economic growth and become a strong region. Thus, since the 1990s, Swedish regional policy has moved from being a highly centralized, national government regional policy closely associated with the social democratic aim of levelling out territorial differences and aiding lagging or declining regions to a more decentralized, neo-liberal policy focusing increasingly on promoting growth in the whole country (Hudson & Rönnblom 2007, Hudson 2009). There is a powerful rhetoric of inclusion -of all being needed in the struggle to be successful and achieve economic growth. ...
... Carol Bacchi's 'what's the problem represented to be? approach' to policy analysis (Bacchi 1999;) is used to enable focus to be placed on how arguments concerning the new forms of regional policy are assigning different categories of people different subject positions; in particular, what kind of subject positions are being given to women as a group? (See also Hudson & Rönnblom 2007). Who benefits and who loses from the way of seeing the world imposed by the dominant regional discourse i.e. what are the effects of the discourse? ...
... Sustainable growth is conceptualized in terms of three, supposedly equal dimensions -economic, ecological and social. Instead of being a horizontal goal to be integrated throughout the whole of the policy field, genderequality is subsumed into the social dimension of sustainable growth (Hudson & Rönnblom 2007). Further, despite the increasing formulation of growth as sustainable growth comprising economic, ecological and social dimensions, the economic dimension dominates. ...
Article
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In the move towards governance, Swedish regional policy has changed from a largely centrally steered approach closely associated with the social democratic aim of levelling out territorial differences and helping lagging regions. A more decentralized regional policy with a more neo-liberal vision has emerged in which regions must take responsibility themselves and for their own well-being and be able to compete effectively in the global economy in order to survive and thrive. There is a powerful rhetoric of inclusion - of all being needed in the struggle to be successful and achieve economic growth. In this discourse of 'strong regions' with active, entrepreneurial citizens, what spaces and subject positions are being created for those who do not fit the strong region image? What are the gendered consequences? What happens to those not usually associated with economic growth? Are new spaces opening up for the silent in regional policies? What identities are being constituted for, for example, declining rural regions and non-traditional regional actors such as women's groups, immigrants and ethnic minorities? What are the consequences of this? Are these groups being constructed as active subjects able to influence and shape regional policies or as the passive objects of policies? Using Carol Bacchi's the 'What's the Problem? Approach' (Bacchi 1999), these questions will be explored in relation to a relation to a sparsely populated, peripheral region, V‰sterbotten, in the far north of Sweden.
... This was the result of eight years of lobbying by both women's groups and femocrats." Tora Friberg's proposition in a state investigation to initiate public funding of WRCs was motivated by the active engagement of the rural women's movement in the struggle for a gender-equal regional policy (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). The initiation of public support for WRCs can thereby be considered an example of a state feminism alliance between the state and the women's movement (cf. ...
... However, several WRCs have experienced problems with gaining access to the partnerships. The ones that entered successfully seldom felt that their suggestions were integrated into the policy programmes (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). ...
... The government's new guidelines for WRCs induce them to contribute to 'sustainable growth', in 'regional growth programmes' by the enhancement of 'women's entrepreneurship'. As Hudson and Rönnblom (2007) remark, the new focus on the economic market differs substantially from the original idea of the WRCs to empower women and increase women's influence on regional development policy. The increased emphasis on neoliberal measures and aims in the public funding of WRCs contrasts with Threlfall's (1998:72) perception of state feminism as primarily connected to the public sector, liberating women from "dependence on men, by means of employment in the public sector and state social services". ...
Article
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. (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
... These supported potential and existing entrepreneurs in a more holistic way, taking account of both the business itself and its interaction with family life. At the same time, there was also a strong women's grassroots movement and lobby for a regional policy that integrated gender perspectives, particularly relating to entrepreneurship (Friberg, 1993;Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). ...
... Indeed, these impacts seem to be almost by-products of the programme, with the actual impact of BAW on the women who used it not actually addressed in any detail. According to Hudson and Rönnblom (2007), gender mainstreaming was given prominence in the initial government white paper that established BAW. Packendorff (2001) and other NUTEK evaluations did find that women's entrepreneurship was "different", not just in terms of barriers but also of entrepreneurial behaviour, and that support for women should take more account of work/life interactions, justifying the existence of separate programmes. ...
... However, this has not happened, and the emphasis on gender has gradually diminished; Swedish regional policy has shifted towards a focus on knowledge, networks and collaboration, with gender perspectives not separately addressed (Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). The question of mainstreaming has been depoliticised and marginalised, and BAW -with hindsight -appears to have been a political gesture to appease the grassroots movement and local communities in the sparsely populated areas rather than a serious attempt at supporting women's entrepreneurship. ...
Article
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Purpose ‐ The aim of this paper is to analyse support measures in the USA, Canada and Sweden aimed at encouraging women to start their own business and/or promote growth in women-owned businesses, and in particular the role of women's business centres. It examines whether existing initiatives of this kind have proven successful in their stated and unstated aims; and if elements of practice are transferable to other countries and contexts. The paper also contributes to the gender mainstreaming debate. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Through in-depth interviews across four countries with managers of such centres and other business support personnel, policy-makers and practitioners, the paper constructs a view of how women's business centres fit into the overall policy context, and how they have aided the development of women's enterprise. Findings ‐ The use of international comparisons permits the identification of common approaches to enterprise policy for women. Policy-makers and practitioners will appreciate the nuanced view of the elements that make up several lauded initiatives aimed at supporting women's entrepreneurship, how (and to what degree) these elements work together and how these elements may be used elsewhere. Research limitations/implications ‐ The paper suggests the need for more nuanced understanding of client needs, whether male or female, and the role this might play in the delivery of business support. Practical implications ‐ Policymakers should be clear regarding the objectives of women's centres, as between support principally directed at unemployed/low income groups and increasing the business start-up rate per se among women (leading to economic growth), and even whether support should be differentiated by gender. Social implications ‐ Women's centres are working mainly for the more disadvantaged women, rather than those with real potential as entrepreneurs. Such centres may also reinforce stereotypes of "women's businesses". Originality/value ‐ The key contribution of this paper is that, compared to previous work, it provides a more critical perspective on the specifics of women's business centre initiatives, exploring both the processes and outcomes that lie behind the simple output-related success measures that often characterise mainstream policy evaluations.
... Regionalt tillväxtarbete som politik I SOU Regional utveckling och regional samhällsorganisation (2007:13) som citerades inledningsvis beskrivs regional utvecklingspolitik som social ingenjörskonst. Denna artikulering av regional utvecklingspolitik kan ställas i kontrast till idén om att ökad regional självstyrelse ska leda till starkare demokratisk förankring, större delaktighet och en mer effektiv utvecklingspolitik (proposition 1996/97:36; proposition 1997/98:62; proposition 2001/02:4, se också Johansson & Rydstedt, 2010;Rönnblom & Hudson, 2007;Swyngedouw, 2005). De idéer, koncept och "modeller" som introducerats i den regionala tillväxtpolitiken har också fått betydelse för politikens genomförande. ...
... På detta sätt argumenterar de för att OECDs ideer i högsta grad är politiska, men att de på detta vis transformeras till "social facts" (ibid). forskning om regional tillväxt-och utvecklingspolitik har argument förts fram om att tillväxtpolitiken i Sverige blivit avpolitiserad (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007;Rönnblom, 2008;Johansson & Rydstedt, 2010) och att den regionala tillväxtpolitiken präglas av att den bedrivs under nära nog total politisk konsensus (Montin & Hedlund, 2009a;Johansson & Rydstedt, 2010;Westholm, 2008b). 7 Samarbete och samsyn har vid implementeringen av kluster, innovationssystem och trippelhelix kommit att överordnas konkurrens och konflikt (se till exempel Baldersheim & Øgård, 2009;Sölvell, 2009). ...
... För det andra ger det utrymme att studera ett fenomen i sin kontext. Diskurser, som är av analytiskt intresse i denna uppsats, är alltid kontextberoende (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). Detta innebär bland annat att studiet av ett politikområde kräver reflektion om förhållandet till andra politikområden (Bacchi, 1999). ...
... Dessutom har studier av nätverksorienterade tillvägagångssätt för jämställdhetspolitik visat att även denna styrform bidrar till en avpolitisering då nätverken styrs genom överenskommelser och samarbeten som tenderar att begränsa möjligheten till konflikter och åsiktsskillnader att ta plats. Därutöver tenderar vissa perspek-tiv att ges uppmärksamhet på bekostnad av ett jämställdhetsperspektiv (Isaksson, 2010;Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007;Newman, 2002). Tillväxtperspektivet lyfts fram som ett sådant perspektiv som i nätverksstyrningen ges ett ökat fokus. ...
... Tidigare forskning lyfter fram att en väsentlig orsak till att den nätverksorienterade styrformen får en avpolitiserande effekt för jämställdhetspolitik är att nätverken fattar beslut genom gemensamma överenskommelser och därför inte erkänner avvikande eller motstridande uppfattningar (Isaksson, 2010;Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). Den här studien har i detta avseende visat att motstridande uppfattningar, utöver förekomsten av konsensusbeslut, också begränsas genom den distans som kan finnas mellan aktörer i en nätverksor-ganisation, i jämförelse med den byråkratiska organisationens färre deltagande aktörer. ...
... Research has, on the other hand, questioned whether the network-oriented governance model has actually offered a real difference to the bureaucracy's perceived efficiency and equality problems or if bureaucracy only takes on other more camouflaged forms in the networks (Davies, 2011;Olsson, 2003). In addition, studies of network-oriented approaches to gender equality policy have shown that this form of governance also contributes to depoliticisation as networks are governed by consensus and partnerships that tend to limit the possibility of conflicts and differences of opinion arising (Isaksson, 2010;Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). In addition, network management is also criticised for resulting in increased focus on growth, partly because of the involvement of private actors in the new public governance, which tends to compromise others, especially social values (Prügle & True, 2014). ...
Thesis
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The EU´s regional policy is one of the world's largest in terms of budget size and geographical range. The regional policy promotes project activities across Europe funded by structural funds, of which the European Social Fund (ESF) is one. Its goal is to increase employment, competitiveness and growth, as well as gender equality. Throughout the history of the EU, there has been a tension between formulation of gender equality policy and economic and social issues. However, scholars make the case that the Commission approaches ESF gender equality from a neoliberal perspective. The ESF’s gender equality policy is implemented through administrative processes in national and regional public administration. While public administration plays a central role, scholars know less about how these processes are being played out in practice, and what their significance is for defining a gender perspective in the member states. Variations in member states’ implementation have not been extensively studied. Drawing on the debate of the last decades on changes in public sector governance, and a conceptualisation of ideological processes in implementation, this dissertation analyses differences in implementation of the ESF’s gender equality policy in Sweden and Spain. A network-oriented model was applied in Sweden, whereas in Spain a hierarchical/bureaucratic model was applied. The empirical material is based on interviews and policy documents at EU-level as well as at national and regional level. Through analysis of the relationship between governing and substantive interpretations of political objectives, the purpose of this dissertation is to analyse whether organisational and working practices in Sweden and Spain reinforced or challenged the EU's interpretation and implementation of gender equality. The theoretical research questions are I. Under what conditions do forms of governance reproduce or change substantive interpretations of policy objectives? II. Under what conditions do substantive interpretations of policy objectives affect forms of governance? I argue that there are mechanisms inherent in administrative processes which have ideological consequences, i.e. which affect local interpretations and set limits for discretion in multilevel governance. Unlike previous feminist studies of bureaucracy, I argue that, in comparison with the network model, the bureaucratic model is beneficial for potential policy change in relation to issues of informal power structures, gender equality for example. The paper will also contribute to a discussion on ideological consequences of gender equality policies when private actors are involved in the implementation process, as in the network-oriented model. The results also highlight the need to distinguish between organisational forms and management techniques when operationalising the concept of governing. Such a distinction contributes to a nuanced discussion of the consequences of governance. One conclusion is that, as an organisational form, the network tends to be dominated by bureaucratic management techniques in cases where there is no substantive definition of policy.
... Previous feminist studies argue that "bureaucracy is a structural manifestation of male domination" (Ashcraft, 2001(Ashcraft, , p. 1302 and that there has "always been an uneasy relationship between feminism and bureaucracy" (Ferguson, 1984, p. 3; see also Acker, 1990;Stivers, 1993). In contrast, feminist studies on "post-bureaucratic" governance structures contend that these tend to depoliticize GE issues, thus limiting the possibilities for change (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). This study shows that different ways of organizing and controlling GE policy in public administration affect the conditions for ideological policy outcomes, i.e. administrative processes have ideological consequences for GE policy. ...
... Accordingly, the hierarchy recreates unequal social relationships at both organizational and societal levels (Diefenbach & Todnem By, 2012). Feminist studies have also shown that post-bureaucratic structures, such as networks, contribute to the depoliticization of equality policies because networks are based on consensus that tends to limit the possibility of conflicts and differences of opinion (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007;Isaksson, 2010). Network management is criticized for resulting in an increased focus on growth, partly because of private actors' involvement in the new public governance, which tends to compromise social values (Prügl & True, 2014). ...
... As stated by Alnebratt and Rönnblom (2016) and Stivers (1993), the attention to quantitative measurements in public administration tends to result in the subordination of the gender perspective. And as argued by Hudson and Rönnblom (2007) and Isaksson (2010), the consensual decision-making process within regional partnerships results in a depoliticized approach to GE issues, also contributing to the subordination of the GE policy. ...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union’s regional policy, one of the world’s largest public policies, promotes project activities funded by the Structural Funds, including the European Social Fund (ESF). Besides the goals of increased employment, competitiveness and growth, the ESF aims to increase gender equality (GE). GE is implemented in the ESF through administrative processes in national and regional institutions. Despite public administration’s central role in defining and organizing the GE policy, administrative variations have received little attention. Drawing on interviews and policy documents, this study analyses differences in Sweden and Spain to explore the ideological consequences of governance structures for GE policies.
... Dessutom har studier av nätverksorienterade tillvägagångssätt för jämställdhetspolitik visat att även denna styrform bidrar till en avpolitisering då nätverken styrs genom överenskommelser och samarbeten som tenderar att begränsa möjligheten till konflikter och åsiktsskillnader att ta plats. Därutöver tenderar vissa perspek-tiv att ges uppmärksamhet på bekostnad av ett jämställdhetsperspektiv (Isaksson, 2010;Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007;Newman, 2002). Tillväxtperspektivet lyfts fram som ett sådant perspektiv som i nätverksstyrningen ges ett ökat fokus. ...
... Tidigare forskning lyfter fram att en väsentlig orsak till att den nätverksorienterade styrformen får en avpolitiserande effekt för jämställdhetspolitik är att nätverken fattar beslut genom gemensamma överenskommelser och därför inte erkänner avvikande eller motstridande uppfattningar (Isaksson, 2010;Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). Den här studien har i detta avseende visat att motstridande uppfattningar, utöver förekomsten av konsensusbeslut, också begränsas genom den distans som kan finnas mellan aktörer i en nätverksor-ganisation, i jämförelse med den byråkratiska organisationens färre deltagande aktörer. ...
... Research has, on the other hand, questioned whether the network-oriented governance model has actually offered a real difference to the bureaucracy's perceived efficiency and equality problems or if bureaucracy only takes on other more camouflaged forms in the networks (Davies, 2011;Olsson, 2003). In addition, studies of network-oriented approaches to gender equality policy have shown that this form of governance also contributes to depoliticisation as networks are governed by consensus and partnerships that tend to limit the possibility of conflicts and differences of opinion arising (Isaksson, 2010;Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007). In addition, network management is also criticised for resulting in increased focus on growth, partly because of the involvement of private actors in the new public governance, which tends to compromise others, especially social values (Prügle & True, 2014). ...
... People and place in the rural Swedish north Regional policy in Sweden has since the 1960s focused on industrial production and infrastructure, areas commonly associated with maledominated labour markets. In the late 1980s this male centred discourse in regional policy was challenged, but the measurements and projects on "women's issues" were mostly added on to the 'ordinary regional politics' (Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). Hudson and Rönnblom describe women's subject position in regional policy during this time as twofold, it was an opportunity to be heard, but simultaneously it constructed women as a homogeneous group in need of support in order to be part of the 'real' growth and development policies. ...
... In the current regional policy, the aim is to promote everyone's opportunity to live, work and develop and run businesses throughout the entire country (Government Offices of Sweden, 2016). Through the priority of inclusive growth, it could have been expected that the previously dominated focus on industrial production and infrastructure within regional policies is challenged and other labour market sectors encouraged in the implementation process (Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). However, despite the strongly pronounced and lofty ambition to prioritise inclusive growth, the segregating pattern of the projects that are supposed ...
... The subject positions of women, youth or migrants are often constructed as "the other", as deviant and in need of support, reproducing the regular rural citizen as male, white and middle-aged (Rönnblom, 2005). It constructs "these other" groups as inadequate that need to be changed in order to be part of the 'real' growth and development policies (Ahl, 2011;Bacchi, 1999;Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). The subject positions of 'migrants' are also problematic, as they recreate the understanding of 'white rurality', the rural north as up until recently ethnically homogeneous. ...
Article
The rural Swedish north is under reconstruction. The challenges of living and working in the region are dealt with through the regional growth policy area. In this article, the applications that received funds from the EU's regional structural funding programme directed towards the Swedish north are studied. Distributions of such funds are, of course, evaluated and audited by all established rules and regulation. Evaluations that every year conclude that labour market sectors that traditionally employ women get less funding than sectors that employ men and that no significant change in this pattern has been seen over the years. How can this be understood? The funded projects applications are thematically structured using topic modelling, and after that, analysed using deconstructive policy analysis to understand how different subject positions are discursively constructed in the implementation of the regional growth policy. Concluding that, despite the high ambition, the policy that is supposed to enable opportunities for everyone to live and earn a living throughout the entire country, risks instead of being part of recreating established norms and traditional labour market patterns in the Swedish rural north.
... The EU has played an important role through its structural fund policy. During the period 1995-2007, critical assessments and evaluations have exposed the partnership processes as a male-dominated project run by public officials (Hedlund, 2008;Horelli and Roininen, 1999;Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007;Lindsten et al., 2001;Rydstedt, 2006;Westberg, 2008). Local authorities and county councils nowdays play a more prominent role while different stakeholders are excluded (Hedlund, 2008). ...
... The EU's 'soft steering' and the OMC method investigated by Dasi (2007) and Zirra and Buchkremer (2007) aim to incorporate a gender perspective into national and regional policy (Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). Referring to Prins's analysis of how to avoid governance failure, it is apparent that a genderinclusive, authoritative, top-down form of steering does exist in regulating procedures of the OMC process. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we highlight and discuss a Swedish equality paradox in two different spheres: entrepreneurship and politics. We focus on the EU Structural Funds and women entrepreneurs' access to resources through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Combining human geography and political science, we draw upon network and partnership theory posing questions concerning the room for manoeuvre for women entrepreneurs to gain access to relevant networks, to create new networks in order to establish relations with EU related partnerships, and to gain access to the process of allocating EU structural fund financial resources.
... This scholarship has contributed to the development of a discursive politics approach to explore processes of contestation and attribution of meanings to gender equality, during which the concept can be 'stretched' to incorporate new meanings (for instance when gender equality is conceived as intersecting with other inequalities), 'shrunk' (into non-discrimination in a strictly legal sense), or 'bent' to other goals than that of gender equality (such as economic growth) to fit into existing policy frames (Lombardo, Meier and Verloo 2009). While discursive processes can open up opportunities for actors to challenge particular constructions of gender equality, they can also contain negative consequences, as Hudson and Rönnblom (2007) argue in their analysis of Swedish regional development policies by showing that the power dimension of gender, that is the conflict element of it, is depoliticized, thus hindering opportunities for challenging existing gender hierarchical relations. Further developments in discursive politics analyses (Ferree 2009ab; Ferree el al 2002) have shown that different meanings of gender+ equality policies are rooted in different historical understandings of inequality, and have developed frameworks to understand why policies are framed the way they are (Verloo and Walby 2010). ...
... Given these premises, the challenge feminists face is how to get back to the political project of gender mainstreaming and bring the power dimension back on the policymaking agenda (Mukhopadhyay 2004;Hudson and Rönnblom 2007). Alliances and forums have been suggested as possible ways to deal with the challenge. ...
... The material represents the period 1991e2013, which was chosen because it reflects a gradual transition from traditional social democratic welfare politics to more neo-liberal politics with an extensive deregulation of state enterprises (Hudson and R€ onnblom, 2007). The old national regional policy, which focused on support areas, was gradually replaced by an ambitious policy of regional growth (Tillv€ axtanalys, 2012). ...
... Falkheimer, 2004), discourses of growth usually use cities to symbolize the necessity for and possibilities with growth. In accordance with the general shift towards growth also in regional policies in the 1990s (Hudson and R€ onnblom, 2007), the studied non-governmental bills recurrently took growth as the natural goal for granted when debating Norrland. ...
Article
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A recurring question in regional and national politics in Sweden is how Norrland – a sparsely populated and partly declining region in the north of the country – will be able to survive in the long run. The answer to this question varies between different political parties. With Swedish parliamentary material (non-government bills) as the point of departure this paper examines how the region of Norrland is used and created in political rhetoric. Four discourses were identified that all tried to fixate Norrland in different ways. The paper argues that pro-Norrland arguments may be counterproductive on a discursive level due to how they are organised. By identifying two dominant logics that traversed the different discourses and affected the processes of meaning making, we describe how pro-Norrland arguments that differ ideologically and/or employ different discourses reproduced a common view of Norrland as an inherently rural, remote and problematic area.
... This has also affected the role of public sector relocations and the geographical organisation of state institutions (Brandt, 2010;Trondal, 2011). Although the Swedish Government now pays more attention to promoting regional growth (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007), relocations are still in its repertoire of policy measures. With this background of politics in mind, we believe that the shifts and nuances of public discourse are interesting because of how they are articulated using values and emotions in spatial contexts. ...
... There is reason to believe that Fraser (2009, p. 72) is right in saying that 'the recent resurgence of free-market thinking has put proponents of egalitarian redistribution on the defensive' , although these are the most theorised claims for social justice that also form a strong discourse in the relocation debate. The presence of a counter-discourse that destabilised the compensation discourse certainly indicates that the change in regional politics in favour of an increased emphasis on decentralised and neo-liberal policy (eriksson, 2010b; Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007) supports another kind of relation to the state. The challenge of the counter-discourse also sheds light on how the presence of a neoliberal ideology partly came to structure the emotional space in which counter-discourses ascribed defensiveness to the claims for compensation, and, simultaneously, to the areas from which these claims were made. ...
Article
Previous research has pointed to the fact that ideological images of geographies are bound up with the ongoing struggle for economic and social resources, and that moral values and emotions are central in rendering such images intelligible and accepted. To explore this further, we critically engage with the ways in which moral values and emotions contribute to the (re)production of centres and peripheries in the Swedish news press reports of public-sector job relocations. We deploy the discourse theoretical notion of ideological fantasy to critically explain the forces that make particular moral and emotional judgements comprehensible. We identify two discourses in the news press material – one about competence and one about compensation – built up by morally and emotionally charged articulations. We argue that ideological fantasies worked as driving forces both in this moral and emotional news debate and also in the ongoing constitution of geographies.
... This scholarship has contributed to the development of a discursive politics approach to explore processes of contestation and attribution of meanings to gender equality, during which the concept can be 'stretched' to incorporate new meanings (for instance when gender equality is conceived as intersecting with other inequalities), 'shrunk' (into non-discrimination in a strictly legal sense), or 'bent' to other goals than that of gender equality (such as economic growth) to fit into existing policy frames (Lombardo, Meier and Verloo 2009). While discursive processes can open up opportunities for actors to challenge particular constructions of gender equality, they can also contain negative consequences, as Hudson and Rönnblom (2007) argue in their analysis of Swedish regional development policies by showing that the power dimension of gender, that is the conflict element of it, is depoliticized, thus hindering opportunities for challenging existing gender hierarchical relations. Further developments in discursive politics analyses (Ferree 2009ab; Ferree el al 2002) have shown that different meanings of gender+ equality policies are rooted in different historical understandings of inequality, and have developed frameworks to understand why policies are framed the way they are (Verloo and Walby 2010). ...
... Given these premises, the challenge feminists face is how to get back to the political project of gender mainstreaming and bring the power dimension back on the policymaking agenda (Mukhopadhyay 2004;Hudson and Rönnblom 2007). Alliances and forums have been suggested as possible ways to deal with the challenge. ...
... These conceptualisations of gender equality as beneficial for everyone risk masking power structures and the political dimension of gender equality and reproducing the political subjects and categories of "men" and "women" (cf. Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). We argue that these particular constitutions inhibit transformative change in organisations by closing off discursive space through the reproduction of specific subject positions and realities (cf. ...
Article
Purpose In Sweden, gender mainstreaming policies have a long political history. As part of the national gender equality strategy of the Swedish forest industry, the ten largest forestry companies committed themselves to gender mainstream their policies. Limiting the impact of policies and the agency of change, the purpose of this paper is to focus on the varied and conflicting meanings and constitution of the concepts, the problem and, in extent, the organisational realities of gender mainstreaming. Design/methodology/approach In both, implementation and practice, gender mainstreaming posse challenges on various levels and by analysing these documents as practical texts from the WPR-approach. This paper explores constructions of gender and gender equality and their implications on the practice and the political of gender mainstreaming in a male-dominated primary industry. Findings The results show that the organisations themselves were not constituted as the subject of the policy but instead some of the individuals (women). The subject position of women represented in company policy was one of lacking skills and competences and in the need of help. Not only men and the masculine norms but organisational processes and structures were also generally invisible in the material. Power and conflict were mainly absent from the understanding of gender equality. Instead, consenting ideas of gender equality were the focus. Such conceptualisations of gender equality are beneficial for all risk concealing power structures and thereby limit the political space for change. Originality/value By highlighting the scale of policy and the significance of organisational contexts, the results indicate how gender and gender equality are constitutive through the governing technologies of neoliberal and market-oriented ideologies in policy – emphasising the further limiting of space for structural change and politicalization within the male-dominated organisations of Swedish forest industry.
... Even though the governance of local and regional development has not been fully examined in terms of values and legitimacy, democratic aspects of local and regional development have not been neglected. Regarding the content of development policies, questions of equality have been examined in terms of both gender equality (Hudson and R€ onnblom, 2007) and economic equality versus maximizing growth (Scott and Storper, 2003) in local and regional development governance. Pike et al. (2007Pike et al. ( , 2017 note that development policies are being depoliticized and reduced to technical questions; in return, they call for a normative discussion, asking 'What kind of local and regional development and for whom?' (Pike et al., 2007). ...
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This article takes the standpoint that, due to high levels of uncertainty, local economic development work suffers from both input- and output-based legitimacy. Nevertheless, local governments are active development agents and try to come up with economic development initiatives. In order to better understand the legitimate basis for uncertain economic development work, this article offers an unconventional analysis of economic development projects. Drawing on scholars of organization theory, legitimacy is defined as congruence in values between the studied projects and the stakeholders in the surrounding environment. The article examines what kinds of values pervade local governments’ economic development projects. The empirical material is based on thick interview and observation data derived from a study of eight local development projects in Sweden. The results show that values of professionalization and deliberation pervade the analysed projects. Taking the two sets of values together, the results indicate that local government administration seeks to legitimize its economic development work as being based on professional directed processes of public deliberation. Both these sets of values challenge the local representative democratic system of government as the prime source of the legitimacy of local governments’ interventions.
... Space is an integral constituent of economic, social, ecological, political and cultural relations and processes, and their geographies condition and shape in profound ways how such processes develop (Harvey 1982; Markusen 1987). As specific spatial scales, the 'local' and the 'regional' are particular socially constructed spatial scales not simply containers in which such processes are played out (Hudson 2007; Swyngedouw 1997 At a time when the spatially 'unbounded' and relational character of localities and regions continues to be debated (Allen and Cochrane 2007; Allen et al. 1998; Jones and Macleod 2007; Lagendijk 2007; Massey 2004), it is important not to lose sight of the territorially embedded nature of their development and agency. While flows of ideas, people and resources remain integral to territorial development processes (Hirschman 1958), the expression of localities and regions in which different kinds of development may or may not be taking place in specific time periods is often as territorially bounded units with particular administrative, political, social and cultural forms and identities, albeit those boundaries are continually being reworked and constructed anew at different spatial scales. ...
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Pike A., Rodríguez-Pose A. and Tomaney J. (2007) What kind of local and regional development and for whom?, Regional Studies 41, 1253–1269. This paper asks the question, what kind of local and regional development and for whom? It examines what is meant by local and regional development, its historical context, its geographies in space, territory, place and scale and its different varieties, principles and values. The socially uneven and geographically differentiated distribution of who and where benefits and loses from particular forms of local and regional development is analysed. A holistic, progressive and sustainable version of local and regional development is outlined with reflections upon its limits and political renewal. Locally and regionally determined development models should not be developed independently of more foundational principles and values such as democracy, equity, internationalism and justice. Specific local and regional articulations are normative questions and subject to social determination and political choices in particular national and international contexts. Local Regional Development Pike A., Rodríguez-Pose A. et Tomaney J. (2007) Quelle sorte d'aménagement du territoire et pour qui?, Regional Studies 41, 1253–1269. Cet article pose la question suivante: quelle sorte d'aménagement du territoire et pour qui? Il cherche à examiner ce que l'on veut dire par aménagement du territoire, son historique, ses orientations quant à l'espace, au territoire, à l'endroit et à l'échelle, et ses différentes formes, principes et valeurs. On examine la distribution socialement irrégulière et géographiquement distincte des gens et des emplacements qui profitent ou perdent des formes particulières d'aménagement du territoire. On esquisse ici une version de l'aménagement du territoire à la fois holistique, progressive et durable, tout en réfléchissant sur ses limites et sur le regain politique. Des modèles de développement, déterminés sur les plans local ou régional, ne devraient pas être développés indépendamment des principes et des valeurs de base, tels la démocratie, l'équité, l'internationalisme et la justice. Des articulations locales et régionales spécifiques sont des questions normatives et dépendent de la détermination sociale et des choix politiques dans des contextes nationaux et internationaux particuliers. Local Régional Développement Pike A., Rodríguez-Pose A. und Tomaney J. (2007) Welche Art von lokaler und regionaler Entwicklung und für wen? Regional Studies 41, 1253–1269. In diesem Beitrag wird die Frage gestellt: welche Art von lokaler und regionaler Entwicklung und für wen? Untersucht werden der Begriff der lokalen und regionalen Entwicklung sowie ihr historischer Kontext, ihre Geografien in Raum, Gebiet, Ort und Maßstab sowie ihre verschiedenen Varietäten, Prinzipien und Werte. Analysiert wird die gesellschaftlich ungleichmäßige und geografisch differenzierte Verteilung hinsichtlich der Frage, wer von bestimmten Formen der lokalen und regionalen Entwicklung wo profitiert oder verliert. Es wird eine ganzheitliche, progressive und nachhaltige Version der lokalen und regionalen Entwicklung beschrieben, und es werden Überlegungen hinsichtlich ihrer Grenzen und politischen Erneuerung angestellt. Lokal und regional bestimmte Entwicklungsmodelle sollten nicht unabhängig von grundlegenderen Prinzipien und Werten wie Demokratie, Gleichheit, Internationalismus und Gerechtigkeit entwickelt werden. Spezifische lokale und regionale Äußerungen sind normative Fragen und unterliegen einer gesellschaftlichen Determination sowie einer politischen Auswahl in bestimmten nationalen und internationalen Kontexten. Lokal Regional Entwicklung Pike A., Rodríguez-Pose A. y Tomaney J. (2007) ¿Qué tipo de desarrollo regional y local es necesario y para quién?, Regional Studies 41, 1253–1269. En este ensayo planteamos la cuestión de qué tipo de desarrollo regional y local es necesario y para quién. Analizamos qué significa exactamente desarrollo local y regional, su contexto histórico, sus geografías en el espacio, territorio, lugar y escala y sus diferentes variaciones, principios y valores. Estudiamos también la distribución socialmente desigual y geográficamente diferenciada de quién se beneficia y quién sale perjudicado de los diferentes tipos de desarrollo local y regional y dónde ocurre. Describimos una versión holística, progresiva y sostenible del desarrollo local y regional con reflexiones sobre sus límites y renovación política. Los modelos de desarrollo determinados a nivel local y regional no deberían crearse sin tener en cuenta principios y valores fundamentales tales como democracia, derechos, internacionalismo y justicia. Las articulaciones específicas a nivel local y regional son cuestiones normativas y están sujetas a determinaciones sociales y opciones políticas en contextos nacionales e internacionales. Local Regional Desarrollo
... The regional reforms have been implemented incrementally since the end of the 1990s and the overall conclusion in regional research in Sweden is that the policy goal concerning democracy has not been accomplished (Johansson, 2005;Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007;Johansson and Rydstedt, 2010;Johansson et al., 2015). On the contrary, the well-founded intentions to strengthened liberal democratic values have so far resulted in tendencies that could be described as a version of democratic backsliding. ...
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The aim of this article is to examine trends of democratic backsliding associated with the long standing reform work on regional institutions and policies in Sweden. To this end, democratic backsliding is conceptualized in a different manner compared to conventional understandings. By doing so, the article highlights a missing aspect in the research on democratic backsliding that concerns how well-intended reforms designed to strengthen democratic institutions can also harbor non-democratic consequences. In Sweden, a new political arena was created when the former county councils were transformed into so-called called regions in 2019. As part of this, the regions have been assigned responsibility for both health care and regional development planning. The overall research problem to be analyzed in this article focuses on the relations between the policy objectives for democracy and regionalist ideas of economic growth that both were central concerns in the reform processes. The results highlight how the governing rationalities in the regional reform processes have changed during the period between 1990 and 2020. The original conception of creating a mini-version of a liberal and representative democracy have turned into a form of democratic backsliding privileging economic goals. The economic rationalities that permeate the political sphere today close the space for articulated different interests and opinions-a dimension that we argue is crucial for any democratic society. We draw two main conclusions: First that the neoliberal aspect of governing is missing in the analysis of democracy at the regional level, resulting in a descriptive discussion of democracy that tend to ignore the effects of the particularly strong emphasis on economic growth. Secondly, that there is a lack of a discussion on democracy that takes the regional level into account, i.e., that the sub-national level should be regarded and thus discussed as a distinctive level of democracy.
... EU"s"soft steering" and the OMC method investigated by Farinós (2007) and Zirra & Buchkremer (2007) aims to integrate a gender perspective in the national and regional policy (Hudson & Rönnblom 2007). Referring to Prins" (2003) analysis of how to avoid governance failure it is obvious that a gender inclusive authoritative top-down steering does exist in the EU and national regulating procedures of the OMC process. ...
Article
The present Swedish regionalization process creates a lack of institutionalisation called the “regional mess” (Stegmann McCallion 2008:587). According to a state investigation, Sweden has a “fragmented growth- and development policy as well as a weak and unclear regional organisation of society” (SOU 2007:10:18). Old and new structures are intertwined and the question emerges if this situation may create a space for women regarding regional development (Hedfeldt & Hedlund 2009). A multi-level governance perspective (Hedlund & Montin 2009) shows how agents on different levels from EU to local municipalities seem to share the same policy regarding gender and regional development: an increase in women entrepreneurs. The formal alliance between women from different spheres seems to be weak regarding the EU structural fund partnerships (Hedfeldt & Hedlund 2009). If there are more developed networks on local and regional level remains to be investigated. Are there informal gendered networks on different levels which may create a path to gate-keepers or gate-openers for women to gain access to economic resources aimed for innovation, entrepreneurship and regional development? The aim of this paper is to study what kind of gendered networking exists in four different regions regarding the policy objective to increase the share of women in entrepreneurship. Our ambition is to apply a multiscientific approach where network theory from both human geography and political science are combined (Hanson 2000; Bang & Esmark 2009). Our data indicate that women entrepreneurs participate in structural funds projects and are involved through networking. On what terms do they participate? And when are they excluded? We study the networking between local and regional elected officials, business representatives, entrepreneurs, public servants and CGO’ s, HNGO’s and NGO´s regarding different project for funding to support or strengthen women as entrepreneurs. The methods used are document studies, a survey to members in structural fund partnerships and interviews.
... Viena vertus, šios analizės rezultatai leidžia stebėti vietinį kontekstą, kuriame interpretuojamos nacionaliniu lygiu nustatytos teisinės normos ir politika. Kita vertus, diskurso praktikos reprezentuoja institucinius mechanizmus, kuriuose lyčių lygybės politikos aspektas retai įtraukiamas ar svarstomas (Hudson, Rönnblom, 2007). ...
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Šiame straipsnyje pristatomi 2017–2018 metais atlikto tyrimo rezultatai apie lyčių lygybės politiką savivaldoje, analizuojant 10 savivaldybių strateginius planus ir kokybinių interviu duomenis su savivaldybių merais, administracijų, švietimo ir socialinių paslaugų vadovais ir lyčių lygybės koordinatoriais. Nacionaliniu lygiu Moterų ir vyrų lygių galimybių įstatymas (2013) ir Darbo kodeksas (2016) įpareigoja savivaldybes ir joms pavaldžias institucijas integruoti lyčių lygybės politikos priemones. Tačiau vietos kontekstuose teisinės-politinės nuostatos gali būti įvairiai interpretuojamos (Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007). Straipsnyje, taikant politikos diskursų metodologinę prieigą, tiriami lyčių lygybės politikos diskursai: kaip vietos politikoje (ne)integruojamas lyties aspektas, tenkinant gyventojų poreikius, kokios sampratos fiksuojamos (fixing) ir kaip jos susiaurinamos (shrinking), pritempiamos (stretching) arba nukreipiamos (bending) į kitas politikos sritis. Analizuojant savivaldos atstovų pasisakymus ir interpretacijas, atskleidžiami vietos kontekstų kultūriniai filtrai. Pastarieji leidžia stebėti, kokie aspektai skatina arba trukdo lyčių lygybės politikos priemonių integravimui (Lombardo, Meier, Verloo, 2010). Tyrimo rezultatai rodo, kad savivaldos lygmeniu lyčių lygybės politikos tikslų svarbumas yra pripažįstamas. Tačiau dažniausiai lyčių lygybės politika susiaurinama iki nediskriminavimo principų teisinio reglamentavimo rėmuose. Vietos politikos uždaviniai ir jų įgyvendinimo rodikliai matuojami lyčiai neutraliomis sąvokomis. Kai lyties aspektas „dingsta“ vietos kontekste, siekiama paaiškinti, kad lyčių lygybė netiesiogiai integruojama į savivaldos politiką, nukreipiama arba pritempiama prie kitų socialinių problemų sprendimo sričių. Analizuojant interviu su savivaldybių atstovais medžiagą pastebėta, kad kultūrinės nuostatos apie moterų ir vyrų skirtumus palaiko tradicines lyčių normas ir stereotipines nuostatas ir tai trukdo lyčių lygybės politikos įgyvendinimui.
... Another series of studies offer us analytical tools for understanding the quality of gender equality by deepening the analysis of the content and meaning of gender equality policies (Bacchi, 1999;Ferree et al., 2002;Hudson and Rönnblom, 2007;Kantola, 2006;Outshoorn, 2005;True, 2009;Verloo, 2005Verloo, , 2007. This scholarship has placed the emphasis on policy outcome, rather than on policy processes, and implementation, as a relevant criterion to assess the quality of gender policies. ...
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Can the quality of gender+ equality policies be defined in ways that apply across different policy contexts and different policy moments? In light of different scholarly debates and empirical material from gender violence policy debates especially in Southern and Central Eastern Europe, this article discusses dilemmas around defining the quality of gender+ equality policies. It proposes a two-dimensional model. The first dimension links quality to procedural aspects: empowerment of women’s rights advocates at different stages of the policy process, and transformation with reference to prevailing contextual legacies. The second dimension is more substantive, and includes genderedness, intersectionality and the structurally transformative focus of policies. The article illustrates how within the framework set by these criteria, the quality of gender equality policies is constructed through policy debates in ways that are dependent on the different discursive, institutional and structural factors specific to various policy contexts.
... Within national borders, young women have dominated in-migration from peripheral regions in the Nordic countries (Rauhut et al. 2008). This has raised concern about a growing demographic gender imbalance in regional development discourses while gender inequalities in power and material resources remain unaddressed in national regional policies (Forsberg 2001;Lotherington 2005;Hudson & Rönnblom 2007;Júlíusdóttir & Gunnarsdóttir 2009). With increased inequality (King 2002;Castles & Miller 2009), the global impact of neoliberalism has become evident in the gendered transnational relations of labour and international migration (Sassen 2000;Pessar &Mahler 2003;Vertovec 2006). ...
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Despite the image of gender equality in Iceland, a highly gender-segregated labour market persists, which to a limited extent has been challenged by employment-related migration and ethnification in part of the labour market in recent years. The article, which is based on the various studies by the authors, maps the contours of migrations from the early 1990s. An intersectional approach is applied in an analysis of how gender intersects with ethnicity and class to generate the existing gendered labour market. Iceland is an interesting case for studying gender and contemporary employment-related mobility on the Atlantic rim because it has only recently become an immigration country and has experienced rising emigration of Icelanders in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008. International and internal migration is identified in the country as shaped by socio-economic restructuring at different geographical scales and labour markets characterized by gender and ethnic segregation and hierarchies. Immigrant women have taken over low-strata jobs, following the increased social and spatial mobility of Icelandic women. Meanwhile, fluctuations in the construction industry have primarily affected international migration by men.
... The Dorotea uprising must be understood in relation to a general trend of urbanization, and, in particular, to the emphasis on the ability to create local and regional growth that has guided Swedish regional politics since the 1990s (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007;Tillväxtanalys, 2012). Both processes have contributed to economic difficulties in many Swedish rural regions and resulted in considerable cutbacks. ...
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How do politicians make sense of situations in which they may find themselves caught up in between opposing loyalties, for example, party loyalty on the one hand and loyalty to neighbours and friends or ideological convictions on the other? Based on interviews about a rural occupation in protest of a political decision in a small community in Northern Sweden, this paper explores the approaches of local politicians to the protest and to the people involved in it. The results show how discourses of geographic space and party-political loyalty structured the negotiated responsibility for the situation, affected the politicians’ descriptions of the occupation as such, and made support for the protest become more or less difficult.
... Within national borders, young women have dominated in-migration from peripheral regions in the Nordic countries (Rauhut et al. 2008). This has raised concern about a growing demographic gender imbalance in regional development discourses while gender inequalities in power and material resources remain unaddressed in national regional policies (Forsberg 2001;Lotherington 2005;Hudson & Rönnblom 2007;Júlíusdóttir & Gunnarsdóttir 2009). With increased inequality (King 2002;Castles & Miller 2009), the global impact of neoliberalism has become evident in the gendered transnational relations of labour and international migration (Sassen 2000;Pessar &Mahler 2003;Vertovec 2006). ...
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... Other studies have been made of other organised interests and their influence (or lack of influence?) on regional policy (e.g. Hudson 2005, Hudson andRönnblom, 2007). ...
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Umeå lisa.hornstrom@pol.umu.se Work in progress. Please do not quote.
... 2000, Friberg m.fl. 2004, Hudson & Rönnblom 2007. Är stadsregionen politiskt skiktad, t.ex. ...
... Although scholars have highlighted that gender equality is not as thoroughly embedded across all social policy as representations of the Swedish state might lead us to believe(Hudson and Rönnblom 2007;Towns 2002), the discursive breadth of gender equality is relevant to gender norms and normative gender roles in Sweden. UsingKremer's (2007) concept of 'national ideals of care', Bergqvist and Saxonberg argue that Sweden exemplifies a national ideal of care based 73 Which can be viewed at https://www.filmarkivet.se/movies/forsakringskassan/ ...
Thesis
Fathers’ use of parental leave is a crucial policy issue in relation to gender equality and at the root of gendered caring norms and unequal divisions of labour throughout the life course. Using comparative mixed methods and a framework that conceptualises parenting as gendered and performative (Butler, 1999), this research contributes knowledge of the influence on fathers’ parental leave decisions of three dimensions of norms: policy, discourse and cultural norms; workplace cultures; and peer and family group norms. I compare the effect of social norms on the decisions made by fathers working for the same multinational firm in three countries: the UK, Sweden and Portugal. I argue that a Butlerian understanding can help answer the question frequently posed in the literature: why, when we know couples have egalitarian intentions prior to the birth of a first child, do couples slip back into conservative gender roles once the child has arrived (Fox, 2019; Grunow and Veltkamp, 2016; Miller, 2011)? I provide a comparative backdrop to the three focus countries, to contextualise the path dependencies underpinning the enabling parental leave policy and culture in Sweden and the contradictory and ambiguous parental leave policies and cultures in the UK and Portugal. I use data from the 2017 wave of the European Values Study to demonstrate the differences in attitudes towards gender roles between the three countries. I find that overall, Sweden holds the most egalitarian values, followed by the UK, and then Portugal, where the data reflects ‘normative ambiguity’ (Wall, 2015). I then theorise the extent to which each of the three domains of norms shaped fathers’ use of leave in the three countries, through analysis of qualitative data collected in 45 interviews with fathers. I argue that the widespread normative support for gender equality embedded in Swedish culture, alongside the enabling policy framework first introduced in 1974, contributed to the existence of a robust ‘citation’ (Butler, 1993) for fathers’ use of parental leave entitlements, which cannot fully exist in Portugal and the UK under the current discursive and material conditions. My argument, via a Butlerian critique of regulation that posits parental leave policy frameworks as both regulated by and regulating gender, thus contributes to the body of work foregrounding the centrality of non-transferable leave entitlements to fathers’ use of leave. At work, despite conducting interviews with fathers at the same firm in each country, organisational culture was highly divergent between the nations. Bringing organisational culture studies together with Butler’s performative ontology of gender, I thus theorise organisational culture as gender regulation and conceptualise the ‘performative breadwinner’, articulating the inability of many of the fathers to cease reproducing the masculine ‘ideal worker’ norm. The micro-level insights documented demonstrate how fathers’ everyday experiences are shaped by cultural backdrop, peer behaviour and forms of social constraint that form the choice architecture that shapes individual decisions. The research offers an original, granular account of the iterative process through which ‘father-friendly’ leave entitlements, combined with discursive changes, contribute to wider uptake of leave entitlements, and how shifts in norms over time are made possible – or not – through citationality.
... Även enskilda medborgare, företag verksamma i kommunen och ideella föreningar deltar ofta i formandet av lokal utvecklingspolitik. Det är också ofta alla de som tillsammans förverkligar de idéer som präglar politikområdet, och då är det viktigt att ta till vara olika gruppers intressen (Hudson & rönnblom 2007). ...
... Relocations have also been conducted in the name of reducing uneven occupational patterns in order to reduce social inequalities in the national context (Andersson et al., 2008: 17;Statskontoret 1989). In Sweden, meanwhile, regional political incentives have become entangled with other social projects, such as the campaigns for gender equality (Hudson & Rönnblom, 2007) and the problems due to an ageing population in rural areas (Lundgren, 2011). ...
... Within national borders, young women have dominated in-migration from peripheral regions in the Nordic countries (Rauhut et al. 2008). This has raised concern about a growing demographic gender imbalance in regional development discourses while gender inequalities in power and material resources remain unaddressed in national regional policies (Forsberg 2001;Lotherington 2005;Hudson & Rönnblom 2007;Júlíusdóttir & Gunnarsdóttir 2009). With increased inequality (King 2002;Castles & Miller 2009), the global impact of neoliberalism has become evident in the gendered transnational relations of labour and international migration (Sassen 2000;Pessar &Mahler 2003;Vertovec 2006). ...
... Även enskilda medborgare, företag verksamma i kommunen och ideella föreningar deltar ofta i formandet av lokal utvecklingspolitik. Det är också ofta alla de som tillsammans förverkligar de idéer som präglar politikområdet, och då är det viktigt att ta till vara olika gruppers intressen (Hudson & rönnblom 2007). ...
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Gender perspective on regional development and innovation in the food industry in Skåne Working with applied research on gender, innovation and the food process industry in Skåne, we can conclude that gender is a necessary category in develop both industry and enhance regional development (Pettersson 2002, Scholten 2003, Sundin et al 2008). This conclusion has become evident (Lindberg et al 2008, Nyberg 2009, Pettersson 2007) as working consultants and researchers together (Norbäck et al 2006, Swärdh and Stridh2006), using workshops, strategic focus discussions and interviews in development work in the innovation hub The Skåne Food Innovation Network. Skåne is divided into regions where research and industry is concentrated to the south-west, with some exceptions. There are semi-rural areas, where businesses are small and often of self-employment character. These businesses attract women, working in sectors as food, tourism and health. One important issue for them to solve is how to reach the market and how to develop their businesses further. There are long-established structural power systems which need to be handled (Berglund et al 2007, Forsberg 1997) both by the individual entrepreneur but also by the facilitator organisations, like the innovation hub. Our project is one by several national projects, funded by Vinnovas TIGER programme, aiming at applying gender perspectives to innovative clusters for enhanced development. Three projects work in this context with issues of regional development. Ours is conducted together with The Skåne Food Innovation Network. In this paper we will draw attention to and discuss regional development and innovation policy out of a gender perspective, giving examples from our ongoing research project; Skåne food innovation system with a gender perspective. It has become clear that gender awareness might be a key for innovative renewal of the food industry; for promotion of the development of the food industry cluster further and at the same time strengthening regional development by acknowledge women’s entrepreneurship. Keywords: Gender equality, innovation, food industry, regional development, learning
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Gender mainstreaming has over the last ten years become the dominant strategy of integrating gender issues in public policy. This article presents regional policy as a broad and increasingly important policy field to study, and analyses gender mainstreaming in this policy field in the Norwegian and the Swedish contexts. How do problem representations surrounding “gender equality” and “gender mainstreaming” produce meanings of gender as well as construct possibilities for change? The article shows that, despite some differences between the two countries, gender mainstreaming in regional policy can to a large extent be read as meaning “women”. Women are in this context given a narrow subject position and are constructed as lacking what it takes to produce sustainable regional growth. The concluding discussion highlights the relations between the implementation of gender mainstreaming and neo‐liberal political trends.
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Norrbottens innovationsstrategi för perioden 2013-2020 syftar till att syftar till att skapa ett innovationsklimat med bästa möjliga förutsättningar för innovation i Norrbotten. Strategin ska bidra till att det blir möjligt för fler människor, organisationer och branscher att utvecklas och bidra till nya eller bättre lösningar som svarar mot behov och efterfrågan. De satsningar som görs med utgångspunkt i strategin ska bidra till en positiv utveckling avseende de horisontella kriterierna jämställdhet, integration och mångfald, miljö samt unga. Mot bakgrund av detta presenteras i denna rapport en analys för att öka lärandet om det horisontella kriteriet jämställdhet i det regionala innovationsarbetet, med målet att identifiera och analysera könsmönster och jämställdhetspotentialer i innovationsstrategin.
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I denna rapport presenteras en genusvetenskaplig analys inför framtagandet av Norrbottens regionala utvecklingsstrategi. Analysen är utförd inom ramen för Luleå tekniska universitets uppdrag som kunskapsstöd till Region Norrbottens handlingsplan för jämställd regional tillväxt 2016-2018. Syftet med kunskapsstödet är att tillvarata tidigare kunskaper och erfarenheter för att öka handlingsplanens möjligheter att uppnå hållbar förändring av regionens könsmönster utifrån ett intersektionellt perspektiv. Den analys som presenteras här är avsedd som ett underlag för reflektion bland dem som är involverade i framtagandet av Norrbottens regionala utvecklingsstrategi. Med avstamp i tidigare forskning om könsmönster och jämställdhetsinsatser i organisationer och samhälle urskiljs centrala pusselbitar för att möjliggöra en jämställd förändring.
Article
Gender stereotypes in the practice of urbanism Traditionally, « inclusive » resource planning and development projects aimed at « vulnerable groups » as decorations rather than actors. In the 1990s, European feminist researchers and urbanists developed new methods to compensate for this. Evaluation of new approaches to planning, based on the « integrated approach to equality », shows, however, a limited coverage of gender that calls for some explanation. This contribution examines, among urban development professions, stereotypes linked to gender and the hypotheses that can reinforce gendered roles. It discusses four types of strategies within integrated policies of gender equality. They stress the impact of gendered codes in practice, for example on density, mixed use of streets, but also services, security and accessibility. On the other hand, the article highlights how potential approaches sensitive to gender can serve as innovative forces for urban research or relations between social and spatial dynamics.
Article
Purpose This study aims to deepen the understanding of inequality regimes in male-dominated industries, specifically in Swedish forestry and mining, by exploring how conceptions of gender, class and place are articulated and intertwined when doing gender equality in these organizations. Design/methodology/approach The article draws on empirical material from four research and development projects inspired by a feminist action research methodology. Findings This paper shows how gender equality works in these male-dominated organizations simultaneously constructing gender, class and place. When men are at the focal point of gender equality, our empirical findings suggest that blue-collar workers in rural areas are described as “being the problem” for gender inequality in these organizations. Addressing specific groups such as women or blue-collar workers in rural areas is not enough to challenge the inequality regimes that exist in these organizations, since a unilateral focus on certain groups leads to skewed problem formulations. Originality/value Research on gender equality work and its relation to intersectionality in male-dominated industries is limited, and by focusing on men and masculinities, this paper contributes to knowledge concerning gender equality in male-dominated industrial organizations.
Article
This paper presents a study on regional development and innovation systems. The theoretical points of departure are gender theory and two perspectives from human geography and sociology: the theory of network governance for regional development and the theory of homosocial networks. The regional policy of the EU today is characterized by a strongly emphasized governance model: i.e., an orientation towards networks and cluster initiatives. The 2004–2007 regional development programme in Värmland, a Swedish county, is a template for this policy. Its basic principles included partnership engagements, networking, EU-specific linguistic usage and superstar rhetoric. However, this seemingly innovative regional policy has roots in traditional industrial society (ironworks and paper mills). The network-planning model allows informal social structures to re-enter the arena of regional planning. Gender equality in regional government policy was challenged by the presence of a homosocial shadow (seamy-side) structure, such as secret networks and clubs on the outside of the official organizations. Networks were also important in the reproduction of traditional power structures, male dominance and hegemony. One conclusion we reach is that networking can be used mutually as a progressive force and as a conservative tool among actors in the innovation of policy.
Thesis
Full-text available
I min avhandling vill jag utvidga den kunskapsutvecklande arenan kring samverkansnätverk för innovation genom att gestalta några av de aktörer och verksamhetsområden som har marginaliserats. Genom att problematisera de normer som råder för kategorisering och värdering av innovationssystem och kluster analyserar jag hur kön ”görs” i innovationsforskning och innovationspolitik. Därmed kan min avhandling ses som en interaktiv och genusvetenskaplig utmaning av denna politik och forskning. Det som utmärker min avhandling är att den har utvecklats med en interaktiv forskningsansats där gemensam kunskapsutveckling mellan forskare och aktörer utanför akademin eftersträvas. I och med att min avhandlingsprocess har sin upprinnelse i några av de insatser som har gjorts för att främja kvinnors företagande och innovation i Sverige har den präglats av problembilder som anses vara relevanta även utanför akademin.
Article
This paper explores the place of gender in relation to labour and transition in regional development. A ‘gendered lens’ is applied to planning documents relating to the region of Gippsland, Australia. While previous research highlights the importance of accounting for gender in regional development, gendered analyses outside Europe are scarce. We argue that an apparent gender neutrality in planning documents in effect privileges masculinised elements of the economy. It means that current approaches to regional development, at best, reproduce the gendered status quo and, at worst, further re-entrench gender inequality in the region, with consequences for regional labour policy. Our findings have flow on effects for gender relations, and specifically for women, and economic policy in regions undergoing transition in Gippsland. We conclude that any regional policy that does not account for gendered realities and the lived experiences of women, ultimately fails the region.
Article
Full-text available
Regional development partnerships were introduced in Sweden in 1998 as part of a new regional policy. Here it is argued that these partnerships can provide support for the concept of governance in which the state continues to play an important role in steering the direction of policy. On the surface, as a decentralized organizational form, emphasizing inclusion of a broad range of regional stakeholders in the production of regional growth agreements/programmes, the partnerships would seem to fit a strategy of 'letting other regimes rule' on the part of the state. However, the central role played by the Swedish county administrative boards (the extended arm of the state in the region), suggests that the partnerships could also be a way for central government to retain control over the direction of regional development. In this way, they become an example of the state's ability to adjust to a changing environment rather than its 'hollowing out'.
Book
From the theory of "deliberative democracy" to the politics of the "third way," the present Zeitgeist is characterised by an attempt to negate the inherently conflictual nature of democratic politics. Political thought and practice are stifled by a misconceived search fro consensus and the promotion of a bland social unanimity which, as Chantal Mouffe shows, far from being the sign of progress, constitute a serious threat for democratic institutions. Indeed, in many countries this 'consensus of the centre' is providing a platform for the growth of populist right-wing parties which, by presenting themselves as the only 'anti-establishment' forces, are trying to occupy the terrain of contestation deserted by the left. Taking issue with the work of John Rawls and Jurgen Habermas on one side, and with the tenets of the third way as practised by Tony Blair and theorised by Anthony Giddens on the other, Mouffe brings to the fore the paradoxical nature of modern liberal democracy. Against those who affirm that, with the demise of the left/right divide, antagonism has been eliminated from contemporary post-industrial societies and that an all-inclusive politics has become possible, she argues that the category of the 'adversary' plays a central role in the very dynamics of modern democracy. Drawing on the work of Wittgenstein and Derrida, and engaging with the provocative theses of Carl Schmitt, she proposes a new understanding of democracy in terms of 'agonistic pluralism' which acknowledges the ineradicability of antagonism and the impossibility of a final resolution of conflicts.
The Democratic Regional Partnership? Paper pre-sented at the HSS Conference Forskningssamverkan och nya former av kunskapsbild-ning, Nordisk vetenskaplig konferens på Högskolan i Halmstad Ex ante bedömning av Västerbottens förslag till regionalt tillväxtprogram
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Hudson, C. & Rönnblom, M. (2001). The Democratic Regional Partnership? Paper pre-sented at the HSS Conference Forskningssamverkan och nya former av kunskapsbild-ning, Nordisk vetenskaplig konferens på Högskolan i Halmstad, 9–11 May. ITPS (2003). Ex ante bedömning av Västerbottens förslag till regionalt tillväxtprogram, 2004– 2007 [
Lokala kvinnoprojekt -resurs eller utmaning? [Local women's projects: Resource or challenge?
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Power, discourses and city trajectories
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Rönnblom, M. (2002). Ett eget rum? Kvinnors organisering möter etablerad politik [A room of one's own? Women's organizing meets established politics] (Statsvetenskapliga insti-tutions skriftserie, 2002:3). Statsvetenskapliga instituionen, Umeå universitet. Tillväxt GGVV (1999). Tillväxtavtal för Gnosjö, Gislaved, Värnamo och Vaggeryd. Gnosjö: IUC i Gnosjöregion AB. Tillväxtavtal Utveckling i Västerbotten (2002). Tillväxtavtal Utveckling i Västerbotten, Avtalsåret 2002. Västerbottens: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottens län. regional development policies and the constructions
Regionalt tillväxtprogram
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Partnerskapet GGVV 2003. Regionalt tillväxtprogram (2005). Regionalt tillväxtprogram, 2004–2007.
Politics and policy making in education
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Women, policy and politics. London: Sage. Ball, S.J. (1990). Politics and policy making in education. London: Routledge.
Regionala partnerskap – ett hot mot eller ett förverkligande av demokrati? [Regional partnerships: A threat to or a realization of democracy?
  • C Hudson
Hudson, C. (2001). Regionala partnerskap – ett hot mot eller ett förverkligande av demokrati? [Regional partnerships: A threat to or a realization of democracy?] (CERUM Working Paper 36:2001). Umeå: Umeå University.
Ex-anteutvärdering av utkasten till regionala tillväxtavtal [Ex ante evaluation of preliminary versions of the regional growth agreements]
NORDREGIO (1999). Ex-anteutvärdering av utkasten till regionala tillväxtavtal [Ex ante evaluation of preliminary versions of the regional growth agreements]. Stockholm: NORDREGIO.
Ex ante bedömning av Västerbottens förslag till regionalt tillväxtprogram
ITPS (2003). Ex ante bedömning av Västerbottens förslag till regionalt tillväxtprogram, 2004-2007 [Ex-ante assessment of Västerbotten's proposed regional growth programme, 2004-2007]. Östersund: Institutet för tillväxtpolitiska studier.
Tillväxtavtal för Gnosjö
  • Ggvv Tillväxt
Tillväxt GGVV (1999). Tillväxtavtal för Gnosjö, Gislaved, Värnamo och Vaggeryd. Gnosjö: IUC i Gnosjöregion AB.
Ett eget rum? Kvinnors organisering möter etablerad politik [A room of one's own? Women's organizing meets established politics
  • M Rönnblom
Rönnblom, M. (2002). Ett eget rum? Kvinnors organisering möter etablerad politik [A room of one's own? Women's organizing meets established politics] (Statsvetenskapliga institutions skriftserie, 2002:3). Statsvetenskapliga instituionen, Umeå universitet.
Utveckling och delaktighet -agenda för Näringsdepartements tillväxtpolitik [Development and participation: Agenda for the Department of Industry's growth policy
  • M Court
Court, M. (2002). Gendered Leadership and the Co-principalship. Paper presented at the Commonwealth Council of Education Administration and Management Annual Conference, Umeå, Sweden, 22-25 September. Ds 1999:32 (1999). Utveckling och delaktighet -agenda för Näringsdepartements tillväxtpolitik [Development and participation: Agenda for the Department of Industry's growth policy]. Stockholm: Näringsdepartement.
Regionalt tillväxtprogram för Gislaveds
  • Regionalt Tillväxtprogram
Regionalt tillväxtprogram (2003). Regionalt tillväxtprogram för Gislaveds,Gnosjö, Värnamo och Vaggeryds kommuner, 2004–2007. Partnerskapet GGVV 2003.
Gendered Leadership and the Co-principalship . Paper presented at the Commonwealth Council of Education Administration and Management Annual Conference
  • M Court
Court, M. (2002). Gendered Leadership and the Co-principalship. Paper presented at the Commonwealth Council of Education Administration and Management Annual Conference, Umeå, Sweden, 22–25 September.
Regionalt tillväxtprogram Västerbottenslän: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottenslän
  • Regionalt Tillväxtprogram
Regionalt tillväxtprogram (2005). Regionalt tillväxtprogram, 2004–2007. Västerbottenslän: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottenslän.
Women, policy and politics
  • C Bacchi
Bacchi, C. (1999). Women, policy and politics. London: Sage.
Rapport om tillväxtavtalen Andra året [Report on the second year of the regional growth agreements]
Ds 2002:34 (2002). Rapport om tillväxtavtalen. Andra året [Report on the second year of the regional growth agreements]. Stockholm: Regeringskansliet, Näringsdepartementet.
Ex-ante evaluering ur jämställdhetsperspektiv av Sveriges tillväxtavtal [Ex-ante evaluation of Sweden's growth agreements from a gender equality perspective
  • L Horelli
  • J Roininen
Horelli, L. & Roininen, J. (1999). Ex-ante evaluering ur jämställdhetsperspektiv av Sveriges tillväxtavtal [Ex-ante evaluation of Sweden's growth agreements from a gender equality perspective]. Arbetsrapport tillväxtavtal, Tekniska Högskolan i Helsingfors.
The Swedish government's national action plan for gender equality (N4009)
  • Industry Ministry
Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications (2004). The Swedish government's national action plan for gender equality (N4009). Stockholm: Näringsdepartementet.
Resurscentrum för Kvinnor. För ökat kvinnoperspektiv i regional utveckling [Resource centres for women: For an increased gender perspective in regional development
  • Nutek
NUTEK (1998). Resurscentrum för Kvinnor. För ökat kvinnoperspektiv i regional utveckling [Resource centres for women: For an increased gender perspective in regional development]. Stockholm: NUTEK.
Kluster som regionalpolitiskt redskap i ett könsperspektiv [Clusters as a regional policy measure in a gender perspective
  • K Pettersson
  • Y Saarinen
Pettersson, K. & Saarinen, Y. (2004). Kluster som regionalpolitiskt redskap i ett könsperspektiv [Clusters as a regional policy measure in a gender perspective]. Vilhelmina: Emma Resurscentrum. Proposition 1993/94:140 (1993). Bygder och regioner i samverkan [Settlements and regions in cooperation]. Stockholm: Riksdagens tryckeri. Proposition 1997/98:62 (1997). Regional tillväxt -för arbete och välfärd [Regional growth: For work and welfare]. Stockholm: Riksdagens tryckeri. Proposition 2001/2:4 (2001). En politik för tillväxt och livskraft i hela landet [A policy for growth and vitality in the whole country]. Stockholm: Riksdagens tryckeri.
På jakt efter jämställda kluster i Västerbotten [On the hunt for gender equal clusters in Västerbotten]
  • M Kristoffersson
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Kristoffersson, M. & Lindberg, M. (2003). På jakt efter jämställda kluster i Västerbotten [On the hunt for gender equal clusters in Västerbotten]. Vilhelmina: Emma Resurscentrum. Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications (2002). Government Resolution 2002-11-14 (Bilaga 1 till regeringsbeslut 2002-11-14 nr 11 12 Riktlinjer för arbete med tillväxtprogram). Stockholm: Näringsdepartementet.
Tillväxtavtal Utveckling i Västerbotten, Avtalsåret 2002. Västerbottens: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottens län
  • Tillväxtavtal Utveckling
  • Västerbotten
Tillväxtavtal Utveckling i Västerbotten (2002). Tillväxtavtal Utveckling i Västerbotten, Avtalsåret 2002. Västerbottens: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottens län.
Regionalt tillväxtprogram för Gislaveds,Gnosjö, Värnamo och Vaggeryds kommuner
Regionalt tillväxtprogram (2003). Regionalt tillväxtprogram för Gislaveds,Gnosjö, Värnamo och Vaggeryds kommuner, 2004-2007. Partnerskapet GGVV 2003. Regionalt tillväxtprogram (2005). Regionalt tillväxtprogram, 2004-2007. Västerbottenslän: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottenslän.
Textens mening och makt
  • G Bergström
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Bergström, G. & Boréus, K. (2000). Textens mening och makt. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Rapport om tillväxtavtalen Tillväxt i hela Sverige
Ds 2000:7 (2000). Rapport om tillväxtavtalen Tillväxt i hela Sverige [Report on the regional growth agreements: Growth in the whole of Sweden]. Stockholm: Regeringskansliet, Näringsdepartementet. Ds 2002:34 (2002). Rapport om tillväxtavtalen. Andra året [Report on the second year of the regional growth agreements]. Stockholm: Regeringskansliet, Näringsdepartementet.
Regionala partnerskap -ett hot mot eller ett förverkligande av demokrati?
  • C Hudson
Hudson, C. (2001). Regionala partnerskap -ett hot mot eller ett förverkligande av demokrati? [Regional partnerships: A threat to or a realization of democracy?] (CERUM Working Paper 36:2001). Umeå: Umeå University.
The Democratic Regional Partnership? Paper presented at the HSS Conference Forskningssamverkan och nya former av kunskapsbildning, Nordisk vetenskaplig konferens pa Hogskolan i Halmstad
  • C Hudson
  • M Ronnblom
Hudson, C. & Rönnblom, M. (2001). The Democratic Regional Partnership? Paper presented at the HSS Conference Forskningssamverkan och nya former av kunskapsbildning, Nordisk vetenskaplig konferens på Högskolan i Halmstad, 9-11 May.
Government Resolution 2002-11-14 (Bilaga 1 till regeringsbeslut 2002-11-14 nr 11 12 Riktlinjer för arbete med tillväxtprogram)
  • M Kristoffersson
  • M Lindberg
Kristoffersson, M. & Lindberg, M. (2003). På jakt efter jämställda kluster i Västerbotten [On the hunt for gender equal clusters in Västerbotten]. Vilhelmina: Emma Resurscentrum. Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications (2002). Government Resolution 2002-11-14 (Bilaga 1 till regeringsbeslut 2002-11-14 nr 11 12 Riktlinjer för arbete med tillväxtprogram). Stockholm: Näringsdepartementet. Ministry of Industry, Employment and Communications (2004). The Swedish government's national action plan for gender equality (N4009). Stockholm: Näringsdepartementet.
Ex-anteutvärdering av utkasten till regionala tillväxtavtal
  • Nordregio
NORDREGIO (1999). Ex-anteutvärdering av utkasten till regionala tillväxtavtal [Ex ante evaluation of preliminary versions of the regional growth agreements]. Stockholm: NORDREGIO.
Strong regions: For national growth in a global economy
  • Nutek
NUTEK (2002). Strong regions: For national growth in a global economy (Info nr 015-2002). Stockholm: NUTEK.
Västerbottens: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottens län
  • Tillväxtavtal Utveckling I Västerbotten
Tillväxtavtal Utveckling i Västerbotten (2002). Tillväxtavtal Utveckling i Västerbotten, Avtalsåret 2002. Västerbottens: Länstyrelsen i Västerbottens län.
En fråga om ledarskap och former för förnyelse och tillväxt [Left out in partnership: A question of leadership and forms of renewal and growth
  • L Westerberg
Westerberg, L. (2000). Utanför i-partnerskap. En fråga om ledarskap och former för förnyelse och tillväxt [Left out in partnership: A question of leadership and forms of renewal and growth]. Stockholm: NUTEK.
Ett eget rum? Kvinnors organisering moter etablerad politik A room of one's own? Women's organizing meets established politics (Statsvetenskapliga institutions skriftserie
  • M Ronnblom