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In 2017, the Swedish parliament committed to making the country fossil-free by 2045, prompting an exploration of experiences and perceptions of transition in three cities hosting carbon-intensive industries – steel, cement and petrochemicals, which currently top the list of Sweden’s industrial emitters. From 2019 to 2024, a Swedish–UK research team employed conventional qualitative methods to gather insights from various stakeholders, including industry, municipal actors, and residents, supplemented by arts-based research methods for co-creating data on affective-emotional life in transition towns. This article argues that arts-based research serves as a valuable tool for accounting for and understanding affective-emotional life in frontline transition towns. The arts-based research (ABR) challenges prevailing technocratic and rational frameworks, aligning with ecofeminist Val Plumwood’s call to address the ‘ecological crisis of reason’ that serves to inhibit achieving sustainable futures. The primary value of this article lies in its contribution to the development and refinement of ABR within the context of just transition studies that I argue can help add citizen perspectives and consideration of affective-emotional life to the just transition discourse.

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This article examines how international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activism is governed through state funding. Through archival material documenting the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency’s (SIDA’s) funding of two international LGBTI organizations – the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and the Swedish Federation of LGBTQI Rights – complemented with interviews, we analyse power relations and management practices, how these are reconciled with SIDA’s efforts to make LGBTI funding more partner oriented, and the consequences for recipients. Our main finding is that within the funding schemes, control is exercised in less direct, hierarchical and overt ways than seems to be implied in some critiques of donor influence and ‘neocolonialism’ in the Western promotion of LGBTI rights. Instead, government takes place in multifaceted and horizontal ways, involving a variety of actors, which makes the exercise of power less visible but nonetheless far-reaching. Through SIDA’s funding schemes, power relations are reproduced in specific ways, including the partial reshaping of activist organizations into bureaucratized and depoliticized state ‘partners’.

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This article explores the political economy of eldercare labour and the gendered politics of care work in China. Building on insights from research conducted in 2016–17 in Shanghai, we argue that gendered regimes of productive and reproductive labour, processes of class formation and economic reforms articulate with a regime of differential urban citizenship rights – urban and rural hukou – in shaping and influencing the lived experience of paid eldercare workers. As a framework for understanding ‘who cares’ in local eldercare labour markets in China, we follow recent work interweaving social reproduction theory (SRT) and intersectionality. In conversation with those debates, we experiment with mobilising intersectionality alongside SRT as we explore these eldercare workers’ paths into the sector, but argue that attention to the Chinese context and Chinese feminist contributions can also transform SRT and intersectional approaches through historically and materially grounded analyses of evolving relations of exploitation and oppression. This approach enriches the feminist political economy of paid eldercare through attention to who is channelled into this work in one of the world’s largest, and fastest-ageing, economies.

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The article explores methodological and ethical tensions arising from positionality and reflexivity while doing feminist research in a challenging parliamentary setting, specifically one that includes radical-right populist actors that use anti-gender rhetoric. Reflecting upon positionality is vital for qualitative researchers, especially those engaged in critical feminist research, where gendered power hierarchies between researchers and their environment demand daily manoeuvring and subsequent analytical concern. We explore how the gender of the researchers, gender equality as a research topic, our feminist positionalities, and intersectional aspects shaped the research process in the context of the European Parliament. The article contributes to the literature on feminist positionalities and reflexivity by discussing not only the ambiguities emerging from our empirical research choices, such as engaging with radical-right actors, but also the other ‘critical ingredients’ that feminism handles, such as identities, relationships, power and affects, reflecting how they are interwoven with relationships and interactions in the field.

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Drawing on a methodological approach that involved visual ethnography and combined content and narrative analysis, my research aims to analyse the role that emotions play in the territorial–ontological conflict between British Columbia provincial government, Coastal GasLink and the Wet’suwet’en. Using high-quality online audiovisual material produced by the Wet’suwet’en – allowing a critical perspective throughout the article on the politics of self-representation – I was able to get into the conflict with a phenomenological approach, employing my senses to analyse body movements, tone of voice and language. Theoretically, I articulate a framework made up of Ingold’s phenomenology, Blaser’s ontological conflicts and Escobar’s studies of culture. Then, I build on the spiderweb, a metaphor developed by Ingold, to expand the scope of González-Hidalgo’s emotional political ecologies. The results show that Coastal GasLink, taking culture ‘as a symbolic structure’, proposes as a central mitigation strategy, through their environmental impact assessment, what I call ‘an ontological interruption’ of the Yintakh. Besides, I demonstrate that the processes of political inter-subjectivation sought at the Unist’ot’en Healing Centre help understand the worry, frustration and stress of the Wet’suwet’en facing the world-creating practices of Coastal GasLink. On the other hand, the Healing Centre also reveals how the affections for the other-than-human and their spiderweb (Yintakh or relational world) inform Wet’suwet’en resistance. Lastly, I unveil how Coastal GasLink and the Ministry of Aboriginal Rights, through practices of inclusion and gender equality, seek to blur radical cultural differences, delegitimise the Wet’suwet’en precolonial governance system, and create affections for the Western-modern world.

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This research explores the influence of discourse power on policy change in the Mexican electricity sector, using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF). Drawing on Discourse Network Analysis, it examines the discursive dynamics and power relations between competing advocacy coalitions from 1994 to 2018. This 24-year period encompasses three significant reform proposals that aimed to liberalise Mexico’s electricity generation sector, representing major potential policy changes. Specifically, the study tests the second policy change hypothesis proposed by the ACF, which suggests that major policy change is unlikely as long as the advocacy coalition defending the status quo remains in power. To operationalise the notion of which coalition is in power, the study employs Discourse Network Analysis to examine the discursive power of each coalition. This allows an exploration of how the interplay between coalition discursive power and the extent of belief differences shape policy outcomes. The findings align with the ACF’s second hypothesis on policy change. They also suggest the potential for enhancing the ACF by incorporating a nuanced understanding of the multiple dimensions of power, with a particular emphasis on the discursive influence of advocacy coalitions.

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Previous studies have shown that America generally has a low level of support for redistribution, in large part due to racial prejudice, particularly toward the poor. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has increased public attention to low-income workers’ essential roles in society. Has this increased attention to low-income workers promote public support for redistribution? This article examines how priming about low-income workers’ (1) essential roles and (2) race, shaped individuals’ redistributive preferences. Our findings demonstrate that an emphasis on essential workers increased appreciation of their contribution to society and support for pandemic-related benefits for these workers. However, it did not increase support for redistribution or welfare programmes in general. In addition, while we found negative effects of a Latino cue, particularly among white respondents, this effect weakened when information about workers’ work ethics and other attributes was provided. Our findings have implications for understanding public support of redistribution and communicating government social welfare programmes.

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Despite the increasing importance of financial technology (fintech), there is a gap in research on the drivers of countries’ fintech policy stances. This article contributes to theoretical discussions in the public policy literature by outlining how policy learning and institutions may affect the evolution of national fintech policy stances. To test our theoretical framework, we analyse a comparative case study of the three Baltic states, which have experienced diverging fintech policy trajectories on a national level. We find that policy learning has played a crucial role in fintech policy evolution in the Baltic states. Various fintech-related scandals have revealed policy failures, leading policy makers to adopt a more cautious stance. The evolution of fintech policy stances also interacts with the institutional architecture of financial supervision: an integrated model is more conducive to a proactive stance than a fragmented model. In this way, our article addresses the theoretical and empirical research gap regarding the drivers of fintech policy by outlining how policy learning and institutions can affect its evolution.

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Policy preferences are a key element in understanding the policy process. In this article, we conceptualise policy preferences as latent constructs, which can be identified in an inductive way, based on actors’ choice of policy instruments and organisational structures. To inductively identify policy preferences, we take an approach based on principal component analysis, informed by theory on preference formation. Using water supply in Switzerland as a case study, we propose an approach based on policy preference spaces to identify preferences based on clusters of choices. Our results show the presence of three distinct policy preferences: 1) local management with regional support, 2) local autonomy, and 3) strong regional management with local financing autonomy. We investigate the factors affecting the formation of these policy preferences through a regression analysis. Our results indicate that preference formation is affected by actor types and, to a lesser degree, by goal priority. In this way, the article makes two distinct contributions to the field. The first is a methodological contribution, through its proposition for measuring and operationalising policy preferences; and the second is a theoretical contribution, in demonstrating how policy preferences are influenced by actor types and goal priority it highlights the context-dependent nature of policy preferences.

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