Project Launch "Following Swedish Aid: Translation and Transformation of Sweden’s Gender Equality and Sexual Rights Discourses in the Development Cooperation with Eastern Europe (FoSAid)”

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Mattias Vesterlund
  • Föreläsning

Sweden is among the leading countries when it comes to providing development aid for promotion of gender equality and sexual rights in non-Western contexts. Informed by theory of translation and actor-centered theory to democratization, FoSAid (funded by the Swedish Research Council 2024-2026) will focus on how the choices and strategies of key actors in democracy assistance – donors, implementers, aid-recipients and their beneficiaries, as well as the interaction between them, impacts the features and functions of Swedish promotion of gender equality and sexual rights discourses in Armenia and Georgia. Two researchers with a background in political sciences and gender studies will use qualitative textual and ethnographic methods to follow how Swedish financial support allocated for gender equality and sexual rights development project facilitates the travel of Swedish idealized narratives across national, regional, and geopolitical borders and how these narratives get reinterpreted, contested and adapted in the process. FoSAid’s micro-level focus on the agency of actors involved in development cooperation will provide new knowledge about achievements and failures in promotion of gender equality and sexual rights in Eastern Europe.

Sofie Bedford is Docent in Political Science and Researcher at Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES), Uppsala University. She is also an associated researcher at Research Center for the History of Transformation (RECET), University of Vienna. Much of her recent work focused on processes of authoritarian consolidation. She paid particular attention to the role opposition, political-, civic-, and religious- activism in authoritarian contexts, such as Azerbaijan and Belarus in particular.

Olga Sasunkevich is Senior Lecturer/Docent in Gender Studies at the University of Gothenburg and a scientific coordinator of the Research School “The Future of Democracy: Cultural Analyses of Illiberal Populism in Times of Crises.” Her research interests spin around questions of gender, sexuality, migration and ethnicity in Eastern Europe. Her latest research project was about feminist and LGBTI+ activism in Russia in the transnational perspective.