Sweden as a Norm Entrepreneur: The Case of the Feminist Foreign Policy
Since 2014, the Swedish Government has pursued a Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP). The purpose of this project is to carry out a first structured analytical assessment of the FFP, based on an examination of external perceptions of the FFP and Sweden as a norm entrepreneur in this regard. External perceptions are important to study because they indicate (a) the level of resistance or openness to norm diffusion to be expected; (b) key characteristics as well as potential weaknesses of the Swedish FFP; and (c) effectiveness in pursuing this policy. To assess Sweden’s FFP through external perceptions, we will combine theories of norm promotion to international relations (IR) with feminist IR theory. This theoretical advancement constitutes a novel and nuanced way of addressing Sweden as a norm entrepreneur. We aim to analyze developed and developing countries’ perceptions of the FFP in general, but with specific attention to the six focus areas outlined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We will study the perceptions of public officials in a selection of states, and of major newspapers in these states. The project uses mixed-methods, by media analyses (year 1) and interviews with public officials (year 2 and 3). The interdisciplinary character of the project constitutes a novel way of analysing how norm exports are perceived by norm takers in the international system. Our theoretical and empirical work will also aid decision-makers evaluating the policy.