The state

Pluralizing State Feminisms: Domestic Ideologies, Transnational Affinities. Revise and Resubmit, Social Politics.

Transnational feminist disagreements and affinities can be usefully characterized by the relationships among state feminisms, plural, and the state forms in which they are embedded. This argument build upon feminist uses of The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, which shows that states vary systematically in their relationships to gender, family, global markets and civil societies. When we think in terms of at least three worlds of state feminisms, systemic patterns become visible among the kinds of feminist ideologies that resonate more successfully with some policy regimes over others come into view. I suggest that in strong welfare states, the close relationship between state and women’s movements has resulted in a singular dominant feminist ideology, one easily misrecognized as a singular state feminism. In states without strong welfare states, feminisms have either entered the state weakly or not at all, resulting in a plurality of feminist ideologies. This article thus synthesizes insights on transnational women’s organizing, a European-inflected consideration of the relationship between women’s movements and states, and the plurality of feminisms that emerged in Anglo-American feminisms in response to critiques by Third World and Feminists of color. This framework of welfare state feminisms is explored through the lens of contemporary disagreements about prostitution policy to illustrate the relationships among domestic feminist ideology(ies), state policy, dissenting feminisms, and transnational feminist organizing beyond the postindustrial West.

Stampnitzky, Lisa and Greggor Mattson. “Sociologies of Security and Insecurity.” Forthcoming in Security: Dialogue across Disciplines, Philippe Bourbeau, ed. Cambridge University Press.

The study of security within sociology is bifurcated, with a small but robust tradition studying political security alongside other disciplines, while the disciplinary core has focused on social, economic, or interpersonal insecurity. This chapter compares these two sociological conceptualizations of (in)security, including their main concepts, questions, theories and research methods. We then evaluate this work for its promise to provide insights about political security. We suggest that scholars should distinguish between political security as an explicit object of discourse and practice, and security as a broader category of cultural understandings of safety and disorder. We conclude that one of sociology’s unique contributions are the tools to study the relationships among these different kinds of (in)security, connections that are lost when research focuses solely on external threats to the nation at the expense of internal, domestic processes.


Nation-State Science: Lappology and Sweden’s Ethnoracial Purity. 2014. Comparative Studies in Society and History 56(2).

This paper introduces the concept of “nation-state science” to describe the scientific work of ethnoracial classification that made possible the ideal of the homogenous nation-state. Swedish scientists implicitly defined their nation for Continental Europeans when they explicitly created knowledge about the “Lapps” (today’s Sámi/Saami). Nation was coupled to state through such ethnoracial categories, the content of which were redefined as Sweden’s geopolitical power rose and fell. These shifts sparked methodological innovations to redefine the Lapp, making it a durable category whose content was plastic enough to survive paradigm shifts in political and scientific thought. Idiosyncratic Swedish concerns thus became universalized through the scientific diffusion of empirical knowledge about Lapps and generalizable anthropometric techniques to distinguish among populations. What Sweden lost during the nineteenth century in terms of geopolitical power, it gained in terms of biopower: the knowledge and control of internal populations made possible by its widely adopted anthropometric innovations. Nation-state science helps unpack the interrelationships between state-building, nation-making, and scientific labor.