Abstract. This article uses a discursive approach to analyze how gender equality has and is being constructed and given meaning in the context of Swedish regional policy. Drawing on Carole Bacchi's ‘What's the Problem? Approach’, we explore how arguments concerning the new forms of regional policy are assigning different categories of people different subject positions and, in particular, we focus on the kind of subject positions that are being given to women as a group in this context. The discourse being shaped in national policy is, however, interpreted in specific contexts. Accordingly, we compare the way this new discourse is being (re)interpreted and (re)constructed and the subject positions being ascribed to women in the regional development partnerships and growth strategies in two Swedish regions: Västerbotten and Jönköping. Finally, we draw attention to how both the form and the content of Swedish regional development policies create great difficulties for politicizing gender as a power dimension in society. We suggest that regional politics has become de‐politicized and argue for the need for it to be re‐politicized with gender included as a conflict dimension.
European Journal of Political Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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