Equality Struggles: Women’s Movements, Neoliberal Markets and State Political Agendas in Scandinavia, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Equality Struggles

Women’s Movements, Neoliberal Markets and State Political Agendas in Scandinavia, 1st Edition

By Mia Liinason


210 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138644984
pub: 2017-07-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315628424
pub: 2017-07-31
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In recent times where European welfare states are undergoing serious economic and social crises and being increasingly exposed to criticism, there has been a noticeable revival of feminist interest in the issues of equality.

Focusing on a signature aspect of Scandinavian welfare states, Equality Struggles explores how gender equality and women’s rights are transforming the relationship between Scandinavian states and social actors. Indeed, drawing on in-depth analyses from fieldwork in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, this book examines the largest and most established women’s organizations and develops a multi-layered understanding of the entanglements between women’s movements, neoliberal markets and state political agendas in Scandinavia, as they give rise to feminist fractions and new feminist coalitions.

Contributing to novel understandings of "equality struggles" within women’s organisations, this title will appeal to postgraduate students and scholars interested in fields such as Scandinavian Studies, Gender Studies, Political Science and International Relations and Social Theory.


Equality Struggles, Women´s Movements, Neoliberal Markets and State Political Agendas in Scandinavia challenges mainstream scholarship on women´s struggles in three Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The author explores the intricate ways through which discourses on gender equality as a "national value" inscribe themselves within and through these organizations and their agendas, in a time of neoliberal policies.

The book success admirably in grasping the ambivalent (but intimate) relationship between state institutions and women´s organizations convincingly showing how, where and why these organizations despite inclusive agendas for women´s rights act upon specific class, race and sexual privileges.

Mia Liinason´s refreshing critical scholarship is a very timely contribution to feminist debate. The book is theoretically innovative and politically relevant, written through a reflective, stringent but powerful feminist voice committed to gendered justice.

Prof. Diana Mulinari, Dep. of Gender Studies, Lund University, Sweden

In her thought-provoking book, Mia Liinason creates an original story of women's organizations' struggles for equality in three Scandinavian welfare states: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. A thorough historical and comparative analysis is the basis of a complex narrative, which highlights how governance shapes these struggles and analyses how certain groups were excluded. Liinason's book can be an important source of inspiration for those who continue struggles for equality today.

Johanna Esseveld, Professor Emerita in Sociology, Lund University, Sweden

In Equality Struggles, Mia Liinason presents a carefully crafted discursive analysis of the claims to women’s rights that serve both to foster and limit equality in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. With a deep appreciation of the way that power is practiced through the everyday, Liianson reveals the practical opportunities pursued by mainstream women’s organizations that illuminate both their contingent agency and the source for their rigidity. The case studies on sex work and anti-discrimination law in particular will be of keen interest to feminist scholars concerned with governance, neo-liberalism and gender politics. The book provides fresh insight to the entanglements of power and opportunity and the necessity for intersectionality that is relevant beyond the Scandinavian context.

Jennifer Suchland, Associate Professor, Ohio State University, USA

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Equality Struggles in Neoliberal Welfare States

Chapter 2 Tactics: Equality Splits

Chapter 3 Funding Technologies

Chapter 4 Markets, Nations, Norms: Women’s Sexual Rights

Chapter 5 Claims-making: Negotiation and Normalization

Chapter 6 Feminist Agendas: Contestation and Coalition

Chapter 7 Agency and Resistance

About the Author

Mia Liinason is Associate Professor in Gender Studies at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Society

The social sciences continue to be transformed and enriched by analysis which takes gender, and the ways in which gender and society interact, to be of vital, defining importance. This series is new and broadly based, and will publish high-level contributions from across the disciplines.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General