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Taming feminism?: The place of gender equality in the "Progressive Sweden" brand
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Law, Economics, Statistics and Politics.
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, ISSN 1751-8040, E-ISSN 1751-8059, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

As prior work on nation branding in Japan, Canada and Iceland has shown, gender can be an important component in nation branding. This article looks at the evolution of the idea of gender equality as a “Swedish” trait, from the initial incorporation of gender equality in Swedish state identity in the 1990s to contemporary nation branding. Based on standard discourse analysis of branding documents, branding websites and social media presence administered by the public diplomacy agency, the Swedish Institute, we show that gender equality remains a central pillar in the “Progressive Sweden” brand. In contrast with other national brands, “Progressive Sweden” is devoid of the more androcentric narratives and sexually objectifying representations of women. However, the “Progressive Sweden” narrative sports its own peculiarities, as it presents a liberal dreamscape that slides between utopian ideals and generalizations about “Sweden” as a unified actor whose population shares behaviors and goals. Discord and political struggle are written out of this narrative. Despite its rhetorical centrality in Swedish foreign policy, feminism thus disappears from view in the “Progressive Sweden” brand. The article ends with some considerations for the future of Swedish nation branding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. , 2018. p. 1-9
Keywords [en]
Nation branding, Sweden, Gender equality, Feminism, Feminist foreign policy
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
SOCIAL SCIENCE, Political science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-12060DOI: 10.1057/s41254-017-0091-5Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85040734469OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-12060DiVA, id: diva2:1181072
Note

First Online: 17 January 2018

Available from: 2018-02-07 Created: 2018-02-07 Last updated: 2018-02-07Bibliographically approved

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Jezierska, Katarzyna

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