Johns Hopkins University Press

A growing number of states, including Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and the United Kingdom, have adopted gender- and feminist-informed approaches to their foreign and security policies. Sweden’s feminist foreign policy was launched in 2014 and rests on the idea that gender equality is central to security and foreign policy. This article conducts an analysis of the incremental development of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy. It underlines three pillars that have informed Swedish foreign policy: rights, representation, and resources. The article assesses how these three pillars have been transformed into distinct policy and practice. It makes the following three conclusions. First, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is distinguished by its working method pertaining to norm change whereby gendered practices and structures in global politics are challenged. Second, from the outset Sweden’s feminist foreign policy has pursued a head-wind agenda, which reflects a readiness to confront contestation in global politics. Third, as a way of tackling resistance and promoting pro-norm equality diffusion a fourth “R” has been advanced, which stands for reality checks and research.


In 2014, the newly formed Swedish coalition government unprecedently declared a radical policy change by launching a distinctively feminist foreign policy. Sweden’s feminist foreign policy rests on the broad idea that gender equality is central to international peace and security.1 By addressing global [End Page 37] gender inequalities, discrimination, and violence, Sweden is seeking to contribute to a more peaceful and secure world order. Furthermore, its commitment to the advancement of global gender equality and mainstreaming is closely linked to its support for UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS), adopted in 2000. The WPS policy agenda focuses on women’s representation in peace-making and peacekeeping processes as well as their inclusion as soldiers in national armed forces and international missions. It also centers on the promotion of women’s global human rights and entitlements to gender-just protection in times of war and peace.

Sweden’s adoption of a feminist foreign policy is an attempt to push the gender-security nexus to the very center of global politics.2 In 2015, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström tweeted that “without representation, rights and resources for women we will never have peace and security. Women’s rights are human rights.” 3 Her position is grounded in a desire to “become a little braver in foreign policy. I think feminism is a good term. It is about standing against the systematic and global subordination of women.”4 In this article, we analyze how feminist foreign policy is both an expression of ethical conduct and pragmatism, which at times may trigger policy contradictions and tensions. An illustration of such tension is Sweden’s promotion of feminism as a platform for foreign policy conduct, while continuing its arms exports to states where those weapons might be used to harm women and girls.5 At the same time, it is important to note that Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is developing incrementally, by focusing on international agenda-setting within the United Nations and by practicing normative entrepreneurship in the field of WPS. Undoubtedly, Foreign Minister Wallström’s leadership is particularly noteworthy. She is viewed as the central initiator and advocate of Sweden’s adoption and formulation of afeminist foreign policy.6

This article analyzes Sweden’s feminist foreign policy within debates on gender-based and ethical obligation in global politics. Moreover, it provides an assessment of the incremental development of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy. As part of that endeavor, we highlight three key pillars, which constitute the edifice of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy: rights, representation, and resources. The article assesses how and in what ways these three “Rs have been translated from theory to practice, and how these processes have evolved over time. The empirical analysis is based on an assessment of key policy documents, speeches, and interviews with leading politicians and diplomats as well as scholarship on ethics and foreign policy, feminist theory, and the WPS agenda. The article proceeds as follows. The first part elaborates on how the ethical normative framework of the WPS agenda has spurred several countries in general and Sweden in particular to reframe their foreign policies by putting gender equality at the center of international peace and security. The second part analyzes more specifically how Sweden’s feminist foreign policy has transformed from theory into practice. The third part concludes by making three remarks about feminist foreign policy with regard to its methods, reality-check, and readiness for contestation in global politics. [End Page 38]

Gender and Ethics in Foreign Policy

States that are committed to the idea of feminist-informed foreign policy have derived ethical impetus from the global WPS agenda. While Sweden has adopted an explicitly feminist platform for its contemporary foreign policy conduct, Australia, Canada, and Norway have settled for gender mainstreaming of their foreign policies.7,8 Common to these states is their reorientation from traditional elite-oriented foreign policy practices toward more inclusive foreign policies, which are guided by broad ethical principles associated with human security and an expressed willingness to confront embedded patriarchal power relations and practices in global politics.

Yet the practice of feminist foreign policy is mediated through a variety of pragmatic policy options and compromises, some of which are at times inconsistent with the ethical and feminist ideals of gender justice in global politics. For instance, gender-sensitive foreign policies are not solely guided by the ethical contents of the WPS agenda, but are also expressions of distinct national interests that sometimes contradict ethical global obligation. As noted above, Sweden’s track record as a leading exporter of arms is often used to illustrate the inconsistences embedded in its feminist foreign policy conduct.9 Hence, states that are committed to the conduct of feminist foreign policy and the normative ideas of the WPS agenda tend to balance between traditional power politics and ethically-informed foreign policy practices.10 This is why the promotion of pro-gender equality policies frequently is framed as “smart soft diplomacy.”11 Hence, the tensions between normative and interest-driven contents of feminist foreign policy reflect how pragmatism in foreign policy is exercised by political elites. Moreover, studying and identifying such linkages shows how pragmatism at times obstructs the ethical aspirations of feminist foreign policy.

The assumption that foreign policy is more than an exercise in national interests and security gains is a contested one. Undoubtedly, changing embedded patriarchal structures and gender biases in global politics is a long-term ethical goal that is likely to encounter national and global resistance. However, since the end of the Cold War, international relations scholarship has been more attentive to the role of ethical reasoning and obligation in the pursuit and analysis of foreign policy.12 This signals a “shift from the openly declared pursuit of national interests in foreign policy to the growing emphasis on ethical or moral duties to protect the rights and interests of others, often in areas where Western states have little economic or geo-strategic interest.”13 Yet states that profess to be “good citizens not only have to place order before the pursuit of narrow commercial and political advantage, they are also required to forsake these…when they [End Page 39] conflict with human rights.”14 Andrew Linklater has carefully constructed an ethical yardstick against which states’ fulfilment of the criteria of good international citizenship can be assessed. These include respect for human rights, humanitarian international law and courts, the laws of war, and the rights of non-sovereign communities and minorities.15 But Linklater’s definition of good international citizenship does not include promoting gender justice as a key part of being a “good state.”16 Moreover, ethically inspired foreign policy tends to focus on what states do beyond borders. Yet, as David Chandler notes, the conduct of ethical foreign policy often signals a wish to divert attention away from policy failures domestically.17

Ethical foreign policy, then, rests on a commitment to the transformative change of global politics through the pursuit of good international citizenship, and as such being sensitive to the needs and wants of broader groups in global society.18 Meanwhile, ethical foreign policy, in theory and practice, has rarely embraced feminist commitments to women’s empowerment and gender justice. Our research to date seeks to fill this gap by analyzing the advancement of feminist foreign policy in Sweden and beyond.19

Feminist scholarship places gender equality, discrimination, and violence at the center of ethically-oriented foreign policy analyses. At the same time, the contents, framings, and implications of the WPS agenda have been subject to substantive critique among feminist scholars.20 For example, Laura Shepherd identifies a strong tendency in the WPS agenda to attach victimhood to women and girls and the status of protector or rescuer to men, and in so doing sustain deeply embedded binaries in global gender politics.21 Others have pointed to the narrow and often Western conceptualization of social and political dynamics within UNSCR 1325, and the extent to which such limited reasoning is globally applicable.22 Feminist scholars are also inclined to view the study of foreign policy as possessing too narrow a view of politics, which tends to privilege the state as the main unit of analysis at the expense of other actors including civil society.23 Hence, they underline that the key sites for transformation are civil society and transnational networks. In this regard, feminist international relations theory and security studies have been at the forefront of the study of non-state actors, transnational forces, and individuals by paying attention to the possibility of ethical transformation of global injustices.24 Feminist scholars such as Paraschar, Tickner, and True investigate the extent to which states and state-centered institutional frameworks are able to promote feminist ethical principles in world politics.25 In this context, Kantola and Squires note that statist institutions often are the sites of patriarchal and oppressive power structures.26 Key here is Jacqui True’s contention that feminist theory “has yet to be translated into guidelines for ethical conduct by state and non-state actors in international relations.”27

Henceforth, a critical investigation into the transformative potential of feminist foreign policy needs to be attentive to the linkages between political elites and civil grassroots movements. This in turn provides a normative framework for challenging widely held assumptions about the prevalent differences between the interests of ordinary people and those espoused by political elites. In this regard, research on state feminism is informative and shows how gender [End Page 40] equality can be achieved by states in close collaboration with social movements and civil society.28 Thus, the pursuit of a feminist and ethically-oriented foreign policy entails confronting gender-based dilemmas on a global scale as well as listening to the voices of the subaltern.29 However, to put such foreign policy ambition into practice requires reflexivity about one’s own privileged position within global society. Here, the seminal work of Cynthia Enloe is central—in particular, her insistence on the importance of listening to the stories of women who have been subjected to violence and conflict.30 In sum, a feminist ethical approach to the study of foreign policy needs to take into account the stories and lived experiences of women and other marginalized groups and be conducted across multiple tracks of dialogue.

Feminist Foreign Policy 3.0: From Idea to Practice

Sweden’s shift toward a feminist foreign policy is both unprecedented and pathbreaking. At the same time, it is firmly located, as noted above, within Sweden’s pronounced support for UNSCR 1325 and its commitment to the global governance of gender mainstreaming.31 It also draws on Sweden’s self-identity as a “gender cosmopolitan” state that is committed to gender equality and protection at home and abroad.32 So while Sweden’s feminist foreign policy signals a significant policy shift, it also builds on a longstanding and firmly embedded self-narrative of a democratic and peaceful state defined by gender justice and a wish to protect women, girls, and other marginalized groups beyond borders. This self-narrative is rooted in the country’s state identity as a “moral superpower,” an identity that is intimately linked to its longstanding social democratic legacy and sense of dual welfare commitment to citizens and non-citizens alike.33,34 Since 2014, Sweden’s quest for global gender equality has been channeled through its feminist foreign policy with particular emphasis on women’s representation, rights, and resources. These three “Rs” ethically and normatively guide the development of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy and practice.


The Swedish Foreign Service shall promote women’s participation and influence in decision-making processes at all levels and in all areas, and shall seek dialogue with women representatives at all levels, including in civil society.35 [End Page 41]

Representation emphasizes women’s participation and influence in all forms of decision-making in relation to peace processes. Representation is also a central feature of UNSCR 1325, which focuses on the importance of women’s participation in the prevention, management, and resolution of global conflicts. Since the adoption of UNSCR 1325, several states now advocate gender-just inclusion and more diverse representation, particularly in peace- and decision-making processes.36 Representation and inclusion are also recurrent features in feminist political theory and activism, which date back to the early suffrage movements and women’s struggle for involvement as political actors in the public sphere.37 However, within the domains of foreign policy and diplomacy, women remain underrepresented.38 Because women negotiators and mediators only make up 9 percent and 2.5 percent of all individuals involved in negotiations, respectively,women’s representation in peace processes has become a central theme of Swedish feminist foreign policy advocacy.39, 40 To this end, Sweden has “taken action to increase women’s representation and participation in the discussion, negotiation, drafting, interpretation, and implementation of resolutions and key documents on disarmament and non-proliferation.”41 Peace mediation has been singled out as a “weapon of inclusion” since chief mediators are considered central actors in securing women’s participation and empowerment in peace-making.42

To this effect, a Swedish mediation network was initiated in 2015, composed of “15 senior women with extensive expertise and experience relevant to conflict mediation, peacebuilding, and negotiations.”43 Their work addresses the systemic underrepresentation of women in peace-making processes, and, in so doing ensuring that women mediators are more visible and more widely employed in international assignments and peace negotiations. These networks also conduct mentoring and information sharing of experiences and ideas. Since the launch of the network Sweden has coordinated its activities with other Nordic countries and sought to branch out and pursue ethical and gender-just dialogues with women’s networks in the Global South.44 Moreover, the Swedish mediation network is politically and ethically committed to women’s meaningful participation in peace processes and seeks to embed this within international law, human rights, and the rule of law more broadly. It builds on the assumption that women’s participation in peace processes will increase the chances of peace agreements being reached and sustained over time.45 As such, feminist-informed foreign policy discourse and conduct that embrace gender-just inclusion can help to reframe peace diplomacy and its practices in a more inclusive and dialogical fashion. This entails confronting stereotypical constructions of masculinity and femininity in relation to key sites of power as well as deconstructing the gender binaries present in states’ international conduct. Moreover, it requires attentiveness to intersectional relations in foreign policy practice where class, ethnicity, and sexuality interact with gender. In the aforementioned handbook on Swedish feminist foreign policy from 2018, there is emphasis on the broader intersectional dynamics, such as gender, social class, religion, sexuality, and age, which frequently underpin conflict, war, and peacebuilding. In addition, the handbook reflects a growing recognition of the [End Page 42] need to change ingrained gendered power structures and to combat “destructive masculine norms.”46 Part of this move is to recognize that men should be partners in the quest for global gender equality and against gendered subordination and violence. Given that, Sweden, together with UN Women, has initiated a global solidarity campaign for gender equality under the hashtag #HeforShe.47


The Swedish Foreign Service shall promote all women’s and girls’ full enjoyment of human rights, including by combating all forms of violence and discrimination that restrict their freedom of action.48

Sweden’s feminist foreign policy conceptualizes women’s rights as human rights, particularly in regard to the protection of women exposed to sexual and gender-based violence and other forms of gender subordination. With the adoption of a feminist foreign policy, Sweden’s self-identity has increasingly come to rest on a dual obligation to the protection of women within and beyond national borders from gender violence, discrimination, and inequality. The move toward the politics of protection and rights as part of its feminist foreign policy can, at least in part, be linked to Foreign Minister Wallström’s personal ethics and dedication to gender justice across borders. Under her leadership, Sweden has adopted an activist stance on the promotion of women’s human rights and the eradication of sexual violence in conflict, which in addition has drawn on her experience as the first UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict. This has provided legitimacy to Sweden’s efforts to promote and politicize gender-just protection and peace globally at the UN and within the UN Security Council. 49 By maintaining a high profile within UN agencies, most recently within the Security Council as a non-permanent member, Sweden has sought to promote its feminist message of protecting women and girls from the harmful effects of gender-based violence as a weapon of war and as an expression of power in intimate relations.50, 51 In addition, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) has located such commitments within the global combat of extremism by reaffirming its support for the prevention of “gender-related and sexual violence of terrorist groups by pushing these issues in international anti-terrorism forums and by supporting actors, including civil society organizations, that are working to address violent extremism, radicalization, recruitment and destructive masculinities.”52


The Swedish Foreign Service is firm in its commitment to the insurance that resources are allocated to promote gender equality and equal opportunities for all women and girls to enjoy human rights. The Swedish Foreign Service shall also promote targeted measures for different target groups.53

The third normative pillar of feminist foreign policy is that of resources. This pillar rests on the assumption that without economic resources, the rights and representation of women and girls cannot be realized. The Swedish position is that foreign policy should rest on a gender-sensitive and equitable redistribution of global income and natural resources, both of which specifically contribute to the economic empowerment and political and social emancipation of women and girls.54 This normative position is in line with global calls for women’s economic empowerment and participation in economic and social life.55 Similarly, Foreign Minister Wallström has reiterated this normative position on numerous occasions by highlighting the significance of reflecting on the gendered consequences of resource management, in particular in regard to women’s economic empowerment and development.56

Sweden has been active in a number of policy areas, for instance in ensuring that sufficient resources are allocated to gender equality in the development banks, climate funds, and the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA). Sweden is also actively supporting the World Bank’s “Women, Business, and the Law” report, which collects important statistics about discriminatory legislation, and pushed the WTO to adopt a declaration on gender equality and trade in 2017. A number of critical questions guide the implementation of these policy initiatives: “Do women get the same resources men do?;” “How do we budget?; and” “What and whose interests are served by the way we allocate our resources?”57

At the core of feminist foreign policy is Sweden’s support for women’s inclusion in the labor market as a strategy for economic empowerment and as a way of ensuring economic growth broadly speaking.58 The policy is framed as being “socially smart” because it advocates “[investing] in women’s economic empowerment.”59 To this end, Sweden has sought to use its foreign policy to enhance girls’ education and women’s employment since those factors are viewed as key to gender equality in the area of development and trade policy. Part of this logic is expressed by Sweden’s support for female entrepreneurship and the idea that with the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills, women can empower themselves and get “power over their own lives.”60 However, this position on women’s empowerment is not without critics. For instance, Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Sarah Miraglia contend that economic empowerment as an emancipatory strategy is often associated with neoliberalism.61 Such an ideological framing emphasizes individualism and free market capitalism, but tends to ignore other structural social and political inequalities, such as systematic legal discrimination, gender-based violence, and denial of human rights, that women and men experience worldwide.62 [End Page 44]


While the launching of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy has centered around the idea of three pillars of rights, representation, and resources, the policy has evolved and expanded incrementally through a mixture of elite-led and bottom-up practices. The feminist foreign policy agenda has been strongly driven by the leadership of Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who has acted as a norm entrepreneur in global affairs. At the same time, the internal working procedures at the MFA, under the guidance of Ann Bernes, the official Swedish ambassador of feminist foreign policy, have emphasized ownership and bottom-up initiatives. Thus, the MFA has encouraged its diplomatic staff to come forth to suggest and promote new feminist foreign policy practices.63

By way of conclusion, we make three remarks. First, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy is defined by its working method pertaining to norm change whereby the Swedish government has sought to challenge the gendered practices and structures that have long prevailed in global politics. According to ambassador Ann Bernes, “the ‘feminist foreign policy’ concept is an unbeatable method.”64 It places emphasis on consistent leadership, inclusive ownership, guidance (regarding responsibility, integration, and gender equality analysis), support, and training.65

Second, from the outset Sweden’s feminist foreign policy has shown a readiness to confront contestation and resistance. As clearly stated in the handbook cited above, feminist foreign policy “is sometimes met with resistance that manifests itself in different ways, including through suppression techniques such as ridiculing and making invisible.”66 This is why some parts of feminist foreign policy practices, particularly in the area of sexual rights and reproduction, are framed by the Swedish government as readiness to pursue a “head-wind agenda” where the support for defenders of women’s rights is perceived as a pressing and prioritized objective.

Third, as a way of tackling resistance and promoting pro-equality norm diffusion a fourth “R” has recently been advanced. This “R” stands for reality checks and research. It is argued that the feminist foreign policy and practice should be evidence-based and formulated on facts and statistics about girls’ and women’ everyday lives. As such, it means critically investigating whether feminist foreign policy is making a difference on the ground and as such improving the lives and rights of those at the receiving end of such policy. A central tool for norm change and mobilization is communication. Sweden has been at the forefront in a range of digital international advocacy campaigns in recent years such as #MoreWomenMorePeace, #SheTrades, #SheDecides, and #GenderEqualWorld.

In sum, Sweden’s pursuit of a feminist foreign policy is guided by an ethical commitment to promote gender equality globally, and a method to generate concrete results in practice. As such, feminist foreign policy is couched within ethical global considerations as well as pragmatism. The practice of foreign policy is mediated through a variety of alternatives and compromises across a broad range of political positions.67 Thus, ethical foreign policy conduct does [End Page 45] not entail obliterating national interests, but involves mediating those within consideration of the needs of distant others, with women and other marginalized groups frequently being the targets of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy conduct.

Karin Aggestam

Karin Aggestam is Professor of Political Science at Lund University and holds the Samuel Pufendorf Endowed Chair. She is also honorary professor at University of Queensland. Her main research interests include peace diplomacy, conflict analysis, gender, negotiation, foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some of her recent books include Gendering Diplomacy and International Negotiation (with A. Towns, 2018) and Rethinking Peacebuilding: The Quest for Just Peace in the Middle East and the Western Balkans (with A. Björkdahl, 2014).

Annika Bergman Rosamond

Annika Bergman Rosamond is Associate Professor in International Relations at the Department of Political Science, Lund University. She is also the Director of the MA in Global Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences. She is the current chair of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section of ISA. She has published widely on feminist foreign policy, gender cosmopolitanism, and celebrity humanitarianism in a range of journals and books. She is also the editor of War, Ethics and Justice: New Perspectives on a Post-9/11 World (with M. Phythian, 2012).


1. Karin Aggestam and Annika Bergman Rosamond, “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy in the Making: Ethics, Politics and Gender,” Ethics and International Affairs 20, no. 3 (2016): 323–34.

2. Karin Aggestam and Annika Bergman Rosamond, “Re-politicising the Gender-Security Nexus: Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy,” European Review of International Studies 4, no. 3 (2018): 30–48.

3. Margot Wallström, tweet by the Swedish Foreign Minister, October 15, 2015,

4. Jenny Nordberg, “Who’s Afraid of a Feminist Foreign Policy?” The New Yorker, April 15, 2015

5. Aggestam and Bergman Rosamond, “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy”

6. Interview conducted with Foreign Minister Margot Wallström at the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Autumn 2018.

7. It should be noted that Canada recently made a feminist turn in the field of development assistance. See “Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy,” Global Affairs Canada, 2017,

8. Sara Davies and Jacqui True, ‘“Norm Entrepreneurship in International Politics: William Hague and the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict,” Foreign Policy Analysis 13, no. 3 (2017):701–21; Toruun Tryggestad “State feminism going global: Norway on the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission” Cooperation and Conflict 49 no. 2 (2014): 464–82; Daryl Copeland “Innovation, adaptation and foreign policy in the age of globalization: is Global Affairs Canada fit for purpose?,” Canadian Foreign Policy Journal 24, no. 3 (June 2018): 372–7.

9. Karin Aggestam and Annika Bergman Rosamond, “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy”; Fiona Robinson, “Feminist foreign policy as ethical foreign policy? A care ethics perspective,” Journal of International Political Theory, (2019).

10. Karin Aggestam, Annika Bergman Rosamond, and Annica Kronsell, “Theorising Feminist Foreign Policy,” International Relations 33, no. 1 (2019): 23–39.

11. Margot Wallström, State of the Government Policy in Parliamentary Debate non-Foreign Affairs, February 24 2016,

12. Lisbeth Aggestam, “Introduction: ethical power Europe,” International Affairs 84, no. 1 (2008): 1–11; Tim Dunne and Nicholas Wheeler, “Blair’s Britain: A Force for Good in the World?,” in eds. Karen E. Smith and Margot Light, Ethics and Foreign Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001); Dan Bulley, Ethics as Foreign Policy: Britain, The EU and the Other (London: Routledge, 2009); Jonathan Gilmore, “Looking Downward: Ethics, Foreign Policy and the Domestic Politics of Protection,” International Politics 56, no. 2 (April 2019): 175–93.

13. David Chandler, “Rethoric without Responsibility: The Attraction of Ethical Foreign Policy,” British Journal of Politics and International Relations 5, no. 3 (2003): 295–316.

14. Dunne and Wheeler, Blair’s Britain.

15. Andrew Linklater, “The Good International Citizen and the Transformation of International Society,” in The English School of International Relations: A Contemporary Reassessment, ed. Andrew Linklater and Hidemi Suganami (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

16. Peter Lawler, “The Good State: In Praise of ‘Classical’ Internationalism,” Review of International Studies 31, no. 3 (2005): 441.

17. David Chandler, “Rethoric without Responsibility.”

18. Lene Hansen, Security as Practice: Discourse Analysis and the Bosnian War (London: Routledge, 2006); Dan Bulley, Ethics as Foreign Policy.

19. Annika Bergman Rosamond, “Protection beyond borders: Gender Cosmopolitanism and Co-constitutive Obligation,” Global Society 27, no. 1 (2013): 319–36; Karin Aggestam and Annika Bergman Rosamond, “Swedish Feminist Foreign Policy”; Aggestam, Bergman Rosamond, and Kronsell, “Theorising Feminist.”

20. Laura Shepherd, “Sex, Security and Superhero(in)es: From 1325 to 1820 and Beyond,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 12, no. 4 (2011): 504–21; Nicola Pratt and Sophie Richter-Devroe, “Critically Examining UNSCR 1325 on Women, Peace and Security,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13, no. 4 (December 2011): 489–503.

21. Laura Shepherd “Sex, Security and Superhero(in)es.”

22. Claire Duncanson, Gender and Peacebuilding (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016).

23. Basu Soumita, “The Global South Writes 1325 (too),” International Political Science Review 37, no. 3 (2016): 362–74.

24. Ann Tickner, A Feminist Voyage Through International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014); Fiona Robinson, “Discourses of Motherhood and the Ethics of Care: Maternal Thinking as Feminist Politics,” Journal of International Political Theory 10, no. 1 (2014): 94–108.

25. Swati Parashar, J. Ann Tickner, and Jacqui True, Revisiting Gendered States (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

26. Johanna Kantola and Judith Squires, “From State Feminism to Market Feminism,” International Political Science Review 13, no. 3 (2012): 382–400; Parashar, Tickner, and True, Revisiting Gendered States.

27. Jacqui True, “Feminism and Gender Studies In International Relations Theory,” Oxford Research Encyclopedias, 2010.

28. Dorothy Stetson and Amy Mazur, eds,. Comparative State Feminism (New York: Sage, 1995)

29. Fiona Robinson, “Stop Talking and Listen: Discourse Ethics and Feminist Care Ethics in International Political Theory,” Millenium: Journal of International Studies 39, no. 3 (2011): 845–60;Aggestam, Bergman Rosamond, and Kronsell, “Theorising Feminist.”

30. Cynthia Enloe, The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging the Persistence of Patriarchy (Oxford: Myriad, 2017); Cynthia Enloe, Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making feminist Sense of the Iraq War (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010).

31. Aggestam and Bergman Rosamond, “Re-politicisiing the Gender Nexus”

32. Bergman Rosamond, “Protection beyond borders.”

33. Ann Sofie Dahl, Den Moraliska Stormakten: en studie av socialdemokratins internationella aktivism (Timbro, 1991).

34. Ibid.

35. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Handbook: Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Policy (2018), 13.

36. Sarah E Davies and Jacqui True, The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019).

37. Karen Garner, Shaping a Global Women’s Agenda: Women’s NGOs, and Global Governance (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2010).

38. Karin Aggestam and Ann Towns, “The gender turn in diplomacy: a new research agenda,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 21, no. 1 (2019): 9–28.

39. UN Women, Facts and Figures: Leadership and Political Representation, 2015,

40. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Swedish foreign service action plan for feminist foreign policy 2015–2018, including focus areas for 2018 (Stockholm: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 2017).

41. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Swedish foreign service action plan, 8.

42. Margot Wallström, Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, 2016; Margot Wallström and Timo Soini, “Mediation: the real wapon for peace,” Huffington Post, January 29, 2016.

44. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, The Swedish Women Mediation Network (Stockholm, 2018).

45. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Handbook, 8.

46. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Swedish foreign action plan (2017), 22.

47. Ibid., 27.

48. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Handbook, 13.

49. Interview with Wallström, 2018; Aggestam and Bergman Rosamond, “Re-politicising the Gender Nexus.”

50. Ann-Marie Ekengren, Fredrik D. Hjorthen, and Ulrika Möller, “A Non-Permanent Seat in the United Nations Swecurity Council: Why bother?,” Paper presented at the annual Swedish Political Science Assocation Conference, Malmö, October 2018.

51. Regeringskansliet, Exempel på vad Sveriges feministiska utrikespolitik har bidragit till (Regeringskansliet: Stockholm, December 18, 2018).

52. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Swedish foreign service action plan, 6.

53. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Handbook, 13.

54. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Handbook; Swedish Minsitry for Foreign Affairs, Swedish foreign service action plan.

56. Margot Wallström, Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström at Seminar on Feminist Foreign Policy, Stockholm, March 8, 2019,

57. Ibid.

58. Margot Wallström, Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström at the Stockholm Forum on Gender Equality, April 16, 2018,

59. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Handbook, 27.

60. Ibid., 85.

61. Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Sarah Miraglia, Gendering justice, building alternative futures Municipal Service Project, 2010.

62. Catia Gregoratti, Adrienne Robertsm and Sofie Tornhill, “Corporations, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Feminism co-opted?,” in Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation, eds. Christian May and Andreas Nölke (Cheltenham: Edward Eldgar, 2018).

63. Interview with ambassador Ann Bernes, MFA, Stockholm, 2015.

64. Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Handbook, 42.

65. Ibid., 46.

66. Ibid., 105.

67. Aggestam, Bergman Rosamond, Kronsell, “Theorising Feminist,” 24.

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