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Ulla Ekström von Essen, is an Assistant Professor in History of Ideas. Researcher and lecturer at the Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge at Södertörns högskola, Stockholm.
One of my main subjects is the Swedish 20:th century political history and the deveolpment of the social democratic welfare state after WW II, especially at the local level where I have studied the politization of the municipal government(ality). My dissertation "Folkhemmets kommun: socialdemokratiska idéer om lokalsamhället 1939-1952" (Stockholm: Atlas 2003) investigates the ideas and the ideological conditions behind the emergence and development of the social democratic "ideal" municipality and the implementing of a new social policy at the local level in Sweden.
Another subject of my research is eugenics, race biology, xenophobia, nazism and right wing populism.
At the moment I am heading a research project on interaction between human and horse, "Horse Cultures in Transition. Interaction and Ethics betweeen Human and Horse in Poland and Sweden". By intersection of history of ideas ant the theory of practical knowledge I analyze and put light on how different horse views are in debate, negotiation and conflict due to the growth of a diversity of different horse cultures that can be determined today, when the number of horses increases and horses play a more and more important role in people´s ideas of being in the world together with a non-human animal. Here I am specially interested in how theoretical ideas on riding and handling horses are related to praxis and practical traditions, and also how the mutual dependency between theory and practice is discussed in the academization of horsemanship.