Artikel i tidskrift

A battle about gender equality: affect, expertise and resistance in the strategic state


Anna Elomäki , Johanna Kantola, Anu Koivunen, Hanna Ylöstalo


The article analyzes a case in which researchers aimed for setting gender equality on the agenda of the Finnish coalition government, led by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä. The case is analyzed as an example of, firstly, the changing conditions of equality policy and feminist resistance in the strategic state, a form of neoliberal governance. Secondly, the case is analyzed as an example of the chances of academic expertise to have an impact on political decision making. The data consists of the researchers’ claim for the gender impact assessment of the government programme as well as the making process of the claim; the news reportage about the claim; and politicians’ responses and the policy effects of the claim. The claim is interpreted as a new form of feminist resistance. Affective control is at the core of this resistance. The analysis makes visible how the strategic state is a difficult companion for gender equality, equality policy and feminist resistance.

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  • Typ:
    Artikel i tidskrift (refereegranskat)
  • Tidskrift:
    Sosiologia, Vol 53, Nr 4.
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Om författaren

Anu Koivunen

Professor of Cinema Studies, Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University 2012–; Associate professor, Department of Cinema Studies, Stockholm University, Sweden, 2008–2012; Acting Professor of Media Culture. Department of Literature and the... Läs vidare


Elomäki, A., Kantola, J., Koivunen, A. and Ylöstalo, H. (2016). A battle about gender equality: affect, expertise and resistance in the strategic state. Sosiologia, 53(4), pp. 377-395. Available at: [Accessed 7 Dec. 2022].