Gender and Political Cultures of Knowledge in Germany, Poland, and Sweden


The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies

The shift towards a so-called knowledge society has generated a rapidly growing scholarly interest in how knowledge is produced in different societal domains and how varied forms of knowledge, ranging from scientific, popular to tacit, encounter one another under conditions that are characterized by a kind of paradox. On the one hand, scientific knowledge is increasingly important for societal development and integration and, on the other hand, as a site of objectivity, certainty and impartiality scholarly knowledge has come under siege. It is assumed that science has lost its traditional status of relative autonomy and thus become increasingly interwoven with other societal spheres. A new reflexive and transgressive mode of knowledge production is identified, and not least represented by feminist and gender studies.

The aim of the project is to explore the interaction between gender, knowledge and politics in Poland, Sweden and Germany under this conditions of societal and political change. The research will focus on two policy areas: gender equality and biomedicine. The analysis will explore the changes in the legal and institutional framework since 2000 and the transformation from women and gender towards intersectionality and diversity.

  • In what ways has scientific expertise contributed to the shape of these political fields?
  • What roles does gender research play in political knowledge production?
  • Which mechanisms can explain the similarities and differences between political knowledge cultures in the three countries?

These are the overarching research questions the project seeks to answer. The study relates to two research fields: feminist policy analysis and studies of scientific expertise in political decision-making processes. By combining these two perspectives, this research will provide an innovative contribution to the analysis of gender politics and to research into politics and knowledge production in general. Political knowledge cultures are conceived as cross-border configurations that influence the generation, dissemination and evaluation of politically relevant and legitimate knowledge. The aim is to analyse how different types of knowledge are negotiated and translated in communicative processes. The project is expected to identify the conditions of gender-aware knowledge production in politics and to provide results that can improve future decision-making processes. The study has an interdisciplinary design and combines approaches from gender studies, sociology of knowledge and political science. The project will apply a feminist discursive institutionalist approach.

Korolczuk, Elzbieta, 0000-0002-8263-5530, Södertörn University

Freidenvall, Lenita, 0000-0001-9511-6724, Stockholm University

Research area / geographic area

Culture and Education Gender Studies Social sciences Baltic

Contract ID


Project time

2015 — 2019


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