In 1998, Sweden was the first country in the world to criminalise the purchase of sexual services, but not the sale of sex. The law represented a new prostitution regime that problematised power relations in prostitution as inherently gendered and hierarchical and made the male buyers of sexual services responsible for the act of prostitution. The Swedish case is critically important to the study of gendered institutional change and has been of empirical interest and global debate.
Using the feminist institutionalism approach to the analysis, this study offers new insights to the Swedish case and provides a new analytical framework for micro-level analysis of institutional change that addresses the struggle for meaning, institutionalization of new gendered ideas, and the (strategic) actions of feminist actors.
1. Introduction: Prostitution, Feminism, and New Institutionalism / 2. Understanding the Swedish Gender Equality Model - Possibilities and Limits / 3. Frame Analysis as a New Approach for Studying Feminist Institutional Change / 4. Tracing Ideational Changes Concerning Prostitution / 5. Proponents, Resistance, and Strategies / 6. Conclusion: When an Individual Idea Becomes an Institution
Josefina Erikson is a researcher and university teacher in the department of Government, Uppsala University where she defended her PhD thesis in 2011. She has since worked with educational policymaking, both in a governmental inquiry, and in a number of research projects.
Her research interests also include gender and politics and in particular feminist institutionalism, she is currently exploring the inner life of the Swedish parliament through a multimethod approach.
Asking how Sweden came to be the first country in the world to criminalize the purchase of sexual services, this book employs ‘dynamic frame analysis’ to provide a deep exploration of parliamentary dynamics – offering a convincing alternative account highlighting the gradual changes in gendered institutions, culminating in the institutionalization of a radically new gender regime to understand and tackle prostitution.