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Photo of Ekatherina Zhukova.

Ekatherina Zhukova


Photo of Ekatherina Zhukova.

Spreading a Norm-based Policy? Sweden's Feminist Foreign Policy in International Media


  • Malena Rosén Sundström
  • Ekatherina Zhukova
  • Ole Elgström

Summary, in English

Since 2014, Sweden has pursued the world's first Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP). However, the effectiveness of its policy promotion depends on how Sweden's efforts to spread this norm-based policy are perceived and evaluated by other states. We argue that a policy promotion effort has to be perceived as legitimate, coherent and salient by target populations in order to be effective. We investigate the extent to which it is the case in national newspapers of 17 countries, representing world and regional powers. We demonstrate that most coverage of the FFP is rather modest, notably in non-Western countries. Further, we argue that the coverage of Sweden's FFP in foreign media is influenced by three challenges: (1) an absence of a universal definition of FFP; (2) a clash between ideals of FFP and Swedish “traditional” security and commercial interests; (3) an uneasy relationship between the concept of feminism and media in many countries.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





Contemporary Politics

Document type

Journal article




  • Political Science
  • Gender Studies




  • ISSN: 1469-3631