Security, Equality, and the Clash of Ideas: Sweden's Evolving Anti-Trafficking Policy

Human Rights Review, June 2012, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 167-185

19 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2013

See all articles by Gregg Bucken-Knapp

Gregg Bucken-Knapp

University of Stirling

Johan Karlsson Schaffer

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies; University of Oslo - Faculty of Law

Karin Persson Strömbäck

University of Stirling

Date Written: June 30, 2012

Abstract

Seeking to explain the emergence of anti-trafficking initiatives, scholars have explored two sets of ideas — national security and gender equality — thought to shape policy. In this study, we examine whether such ideational influence accounts for Sweden's evolving anti-trafficking policy over the past decade. As powerful domestic ideas about gender inequality informed the adoption of an abolitionist prostitution policy in the 1990s, one would expect similar ideas to influence domestic responses to the related issue of cross-border trafficking.

However, our case study shows that the policy area of trafficking has largely followed a different ideational path. Gendered ideas, periodically nested in a human rights discourse, have been salient in the public debate on trafficking in human beings, especially during the campaign to boycott the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, they have exerted substantially less influence on Swedish legislative initiatives to combat trafficking, with security concerns still holding sway.

Keywords: Trafficking, Securitization, Gender Equality, Sweden, Ideas

Suggested Citation

Bucken-Knapp, Gregg and Karlsson Schaffer, Johan and Persson Strömbäck, Karin, Security, Equality, and the Clash of Ideas: Sweden's Evolving Anti-Trafficking Policy (June 30, 2012). Human Rights Review, June 2012, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 167-185 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2273539

Gregg Bucken-Knapp

University of Stirling ( email )

School of History & Politics
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

Johan Karlsson Schaffer (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130
Norway

Karin Persson Strömbäck

University of Stirling ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

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