Feminist theory and critical policy analysis, focusing on the development of the welfare state and its on-going changes, with a specific focus on temporality and history as constitutive for identitarian claims.
In my dissertation I introduced leading feminist theories to the field of history, and also carried out a policy analysis that went beyond the more common discourse analysis. The methodological challenge concerned the Nietzschean concept of genealogy and how this could be applied on a policy analysis. Using the theoretical concepts of abjection and interpellation (Butler, 1993; 1997) I was able to not only criticize, but also to understand, the limits of liberal identity politics within late modernity.
The study of New Public Management in relation to welfare states has become a more pronounced focus over the years. My on-going research project, Being tolerant (financed by The Swedish Research Council), is a genealogical study of the concept tolerance as used in a Western tradition: its transition from defining the medieval church's relation to other religions and unwanted minorities to becoming a secularized political discourse, symbolizing a modern democracy. Today, tolerance is mainly used in political discourse, together with concepts such as "gender equality" and "diversity", and is considered a central democratic virtue. It positions the "good" and the "bad" citizen in relation to each other and is used to identify threats towards liberal democracies. This very specific and late modern use of the concept of tolerance serves a specific function in present-day liberal democracies, especially in relation to strategies of societal changes. Using the case-study of a Swedish governmental agency and the theoretical framework of Wendy Brown, this project focuses on the specific functions of tolerance as praxis in late modernity, especially in relation to the latest governmental use of relating intolerance to so called 'vulnerable populations' and the implementation of Early Warning Signals, issuing from the policy field of National Security.
My interest in the philosophy of history has led me to engage in the emerging field of so called queer temporalities, where my article "Lost and Found – The Queer Archive-of-Feelings and its Historical Propriety"(differences, 2013; see also Lychnos, 2013 for a shorter Swedish version), is an investigation into the epistemology of the archive as a place and idea within Western thinking and organisation of temporality. I do this in dialogue with French and American debates concerning the possibilities of new forms of archives (e.g., Halberstam, 2005 Cvetkovich, 2003; Didi-Huberman, 2000) and I provide a critical reading of these debates from a (queer) psychoanalytical point of view, following French philosopher Alain Badiou and American literary scholar Lee Edelman.
My aim is to generate a place for critical policy analysis and feminist theory on temporality within Nordic research – a perspective that exists internationally but that has never been part of a Nordic canon. I also put forward a critique of neoliberal identity politics by politicizing that which is usually taken most for granted: time itself.