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  • Author or Editor: Malin Rönnblom x
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Gender-equality work in Sweden is increasingly carried out by private consultancy firms. In this article, we explore the rationalities that govern Swedish market-based gender-equality policy through an analysis of the subject positions that are made available to gender-equality consultants. The article is an adapted version of our published work in Swedish. We analyse what types of agency these positions enable and preclude, as well as how they shape the meaning of gender equality and the content of gender-equality work. While market logics constrain the space for critical analysis and cause gender equality to be subordinated to other goals, consultants nevertheless find ways to resist these tendencies in pursuit of transformative change.

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As an organisational form, the project poses a challenge today for the possibility of articulating feminist politics, understood as feminist visions and ambitions. With a focus on women’s organisations working in international development aid, we examine how the project format and its managerial attributes shape the possibility of articulating feminist politics. Mobilising assemblage thinking on a material consisting mainly of interviews with project workers in women’s organisations, we show that these organisations engage in assembly work to fit their activism with the project format, such as translating feminist ambitions into bureaucratic procedures and notions of temporality, activating repertoires of expertise, and adopting marketised approaches to development. We conclude that the project format depoliticises feminist politics, although it does not make the articulation of feminist ambitions impossible. Assemblage thinking is suggested as a suitable framework for feminist research when investigating how contemporary governing arrangements influence the articulation of feminist politics.

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