The Same Policy, But Different Ideas: The Ideational Underpinnings of the Norwegian and Swedish Bans on the Purchase of Sexual Services
38 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2013 Last revised: 23 Apr 2014
Date Written: April 23, 2014
Drawing upon the broad ideational approach, this article examines why Sweden and Norway prohibited the purchase of sexual services. Despite similar policies, pro-ban actors in these neighboring countries opted for different ideas when mobilizing support. Swedish policy entrepreneurs successfully grafted the proposed ban onto salient gender equality ideas, and concerns over the abusive pasts suffered by prostitutes. By contrast, Norwegian pro-ban actors achieved political support by stressing the ability of the ban to combat trafficking, a claim made following the arrival of Nigerian street prostitutes on Norwegian city streets. Actors may desire similar prostitution policies cross-nationally, but stress ideas salient in their specific domestic setting when pursuing reform.
Keywords: prostitution policy, ideas, grafting, Norway, Sweden, trafficking
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