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  • 1.
    Bjarnegård, Elin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Zetterberg, Pär
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Gender and Violence against Political Candidates: Lessons from Sri Lanka2022In: Politics & Gender, ISSN 1743-923X, E-ISSN 1743-9248, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 33-61Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A nascent body of literature has highlighted the violence (broadly defined) that women sometimes face as they enter politics. Some interpretations depict this violence as primarily gender motivated: women politicians are targeted because they are women. Another interpretation is that violence in some contexts is an everyday political practice targeting men and women alike. However, because we lack large-scale, systematic comparisons of men's and women's exposure to election violence, we know little about the extent to which—and how—candidate sex shapes this form of violence. We address this research gap by using original survey data on 197 men and women political candidates in the 2018 Sri Lankan local elections. Sri Lanka is a suitable case for analysis because it is a postconflict country in which political violence has been endemic and the number of women candidates has increased rapidly due to gender quota adoption. Overall, we find large similarities in men's and women's exposure to violence, suggesting that violence sometimes is part of a larger political practice. However, we find that women are exposed to forms of intimidation of a sexual nature more often than men. This finding demonstrates the need for gender-sensitive analyses of election violence.

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  • 2.
    Erikson, Josefina
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Josefsson, Cecilia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Three Dimensions of Gendered Online Abuse: Analyzing Swedish MPs'€™ Experiences of Social Media2023In: Perspectives on Politics, ISSN 1537-5927, E-ISSN 1541-0986, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 896-912Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Women’s political representation has increased rapidly in the past few decades, but significant barriers continue to circumscribe women’s political participation in a myriad of ways. Previous research has indicated that online abuse constitutes one such obstacle. Yet, only a small number of studies have systematically examined and compared the experiences of online abuse of men and women politicians. We argue that it is not enough to merely state that online abuse is gendered if we wish to understand and tackle such abuse: it is essential to know how it is gendered. In this article we conceptualize gendered online abuse in terms of three dimensions—frequency, character, and consequences—so that we can provide a more comprehensive empirical understanding of its prevalence. Using original survey data and interviews with a large number of Swedish MPs, we demonstrate the merit of unpacking the concept of such abuse in respect to different analytical dimensions. We find all three dimensions to be gendered in the Swedish context but in different and sometimes unexpected ways. Although women do not experience a higher frequency of online abuse than men, the character of the abuse is gendered insofar as women MPs are subjected to more sexualized and gendered harassment. We also find that men exposed to high levels of online abuse seem slightly more inclined to leave politics, whereas women report that they feel that their personal agency is circumscribed to a greater extent.

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  • 3.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Betalar kvinnor ett högre pris för makten?: Hot och våld mot svenska politiker2022Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Hot och våld mot politiker är ett allvarligt och växande problem, och mycket tyder på att kvinnliga politiker är särskilt utsatta. I denna rapport undersöks tre aspekter av fysiskt och psykiskt våld mot svenska politiker ur ett könsperspektiv: utsätts män och kvinnor olika mycket, utsätts de för olika typer av våld och påverkas de på olika sätt av våldet? Analysen baseras på enkäter och intervjuer med kommunpolitiker och riksdagsledamöter. Resultaten visar att framför allt mäktiga och synliga kvinnliga politiker utsätts för mer våld än manliga kollegor. Kvinnor utsätts dessutom oftare för en grövre form av trakasserier som inte riktar sig mot deras politiska aktivitet utan mot deras kön. Manliga politiker förefaller något mer benägna att överväga att lämna sina uppdrag som en följd av våldet, medan det får fler kvinnor att tystna i offentliga debatter.

  • 4.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Do Women Pay a Higher Price for Power?: Gender Bias in Political Violence in Sweden2021In: Journal of Politics, ISSN 0022-3816, E-ISSN 1468-2508, Vol. 83, no 2, p. 515-531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Violence and intimidation against politicians is gaining attention in research on obstacles to political gender equality, but we still do not know whether women experience more violence as politicians than men. This article provides the first comprehensive empirical analysis of physical and psychological gender-based violence against officeholders across the political hierarchy. Based on three waves of survey data on 8,000 local-level politicians in Sweden, I find that the most pronounced gender gap in violence exists among politicians high in the political hierarchy. Female mayors experience far more violence than any other politician. Further, there are indications that women receive a higher penalty than men for media visibility and for supporting minorities. This suggests that perpetrators of political violence are biased toward targeting women, particularly more powerful and visible women. The findings have important implications for understanding the personal price paid for holding positions of political power and how it differs by gender.

  • 5.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Explaining Citizen Hostility against Women Political Leaders: A Survey Experiment in the United States and Sweden2024In: Politics & Gender, ISSN 1743-923X, E-ISSN 1743-9248, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 1-28Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We know that women politicians are harassed by constituents to a greater extent than men, but we know less about why this difference exists. This study tests potential drivers of hostility against women politicans using an original survey experiment with 7,500 respondents in the United States and Sweden. First, I test whether constituents hold more lenient attitudes toward hostility directed at women than men, which would make hostility in messages targeting women representatives more likely. Second, I test whether constituents prefer to direct their complaints to women, which would increase the risk of hostility by generating a higher number of angry contacts. Results from both countries show a preference for directing complaints to women representatives over men, but no evidence of more leniency toward hostility directed at women.

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  • 6.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Politicians Under Threat: Gender Aspects of Violence against Political Representatives2023Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis investigates violence against politicians and its gender dimensions. Violence targeting elected representatives in the course of their work has received scant research attention, despite the central function of elected officials in representative democracy. Moreover, attacks on representatives of marginalized groups, such as women, carry symbolic meanings and can increase political alienation and distrust in the political system among women as a group. For these reasons, studying violence against politicians as specific actors, and how this violence may be gendered, is imperative.

    The thesis’ first essay fills a significant research gap by providing the first large-scale empirical analysis of gender differences in exposure to violence among politicians in general and across the political hierarchy. It demonstrates that Swedish female politicians experience slightly more violence than male, and significantly more violence than male counterparts at powerful and visible positions. The second essay shifts the perspective from the experiences of politicians themselves, to the perpetrator side, and investigates constituents’ attitudes to contacting and harassing women and men politicians in the US and Sweden. The essay suggests that gendered stereotypes of women politicians and norms on gendered leadership styles is an important driver of women’s higher exposure to political harassment from constituents. Citizens prefer to contact women representatives over men when they are angry about a political decision and want to change it, which increases the likelihood of hostility directed at women representatives. The third essay systematically theorizes representational costs of violence against politicians, and investigates how Swedish women and men politicians’ representation is disrupted by violence. This essay shows that violence has subtle but wide-ranging gendered representational costs. It enforces masculine coded candidate ideals of toughness, makes women representatives decrease their visibility, and silences debates and individuals that challenge hegemonic male substantive dominance.

    All in all, the thesis shows that violence against politicians amplifies women’s political marginalization, and disrupts representation at large and women’s representation in particular.

    List of papers
    1. Do Women Pay a Higher Price for Power?: Gender Bias in Political Violence in Sweden
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Do Women Pay a Higher Price for Power?: Gender Bias in Political Violence in Sweden
    2021 (English)In: Journal of Politics, ISSN 0022-3816, E-ISSN 1468-2508, Vol. 83, no 2, p. 515-531Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Violence and intimidation against politicians is gaining attention in research on obstacles to political gender equality, but we still do not know whether women experience more violence as politicians than men. This article provides the first comprehensive empirical analysis of physical and psychological gender-based violence against officeholders across the political hierarchy. Based on three waves of survey data on 8,000 local-level politicians in Sweden, I find that the most pronounced gender gap in violence exists among politicians high in the political hierarchy. Female mayors experience far more violence than any other politician. Further, there are indications that women receive a higher penalty than men for media visibility and for supporting minorities. This suggests that perpetrators of political violence are biased toward targeting women, particularly more powerful and visible women. The findings have important implications for understanding the personal price paid for holding positions of political power and how it differs by gender.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    University of Chicago PressUniversity of Chicago Press, 2021
    Keywords
    political violence, gender and politics, women's representation, local government, violence against politicians, gender equality
    National Category
    Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Gender Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-445458 (URN)10.1086/709838 (DOI)000626183000001 ()
    Available from: 2021-06-14 Created: 2021-06-14 Last updated: 2024-01-15Bibliographically approved
    2. Explaining Citizen Hostility against Women Political Leaders: A Survey Experiment in the United States and Sweden
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Explaining Citizen Hostility against Women Political Leaders: A Survey Experiment in the United States and Sweden
    2024 (English)In: Politics & Gender, ISSN 1743-923X, E-ISSN 1743-9248, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 1-28Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    We know that women politicians are harassed by constituents to a greater extent than men, but we know less about why this difference exists. This study tests potential drivers of hostility against women politicans using an original survey experiment with 7,500 respondents in the United States and Sweden. First, I test whether constituents hold more lenient attitudes toward hostility directed at women than men, which would make hostility in messages targeting women representatives more likely. Second, I test whether constituents prefer to direct their complaints to women, which would increase the risk of hostility by generating a higher number of angry contacts. Results from both countries show a preference for directing complaints to women representatives over men, but no evidence of more leniency toward hostility directed at women.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Cambridge University Press, 2024
    Keywords
    Violence against women in politics, gendered political violence
    National Category
    Political Science
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-500995 (URN)10.1017/S1743923X23000144 (DOI)000980319300001 ()
    Funder
    Swedish Research Council, 2018-00703
    Available from: 2023-05-01 Created: 2023-05-01 Last updated: 2024-07-04Bibliographically approved
    3. The Gendered Representational Costs of Violence against Politicians
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Gendered Representational Costs of Violence against Politicians
    2023 (English)In: Perspectives on Politics, ISSN 1537-5927, E-ISSN 1541-0986, Vol. 22, no 1, p. 81-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Women face more harassment and intimidation as politicians than men, but little is known about how this affects representation. I develop a theoretical framework for studying the gendered costs of political violence for descriptive, substantive, and symbolic representation. Testing the framework using interview and survey data on Swedish women and men politicians, I uncover the costs of violence against politicians in all three dimensions empirically. Violence makes women more frequently than men consider leaving politics and enforces male-coded characteristics for political candidates, affecting prospects for gender-diverse descriptive representation. Substantive representation is harmed by violence silencing feminist debates and obstructing women politicians’ policy debate activities. Women’s symbolic representation is threatened by violence coercing women to decrease their visibility.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Cambridge University Press, 2023
    National Category
    Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-504236 (URN)10.1017/S1537592723001913 (DOI)001102029900001 ()
    Available from: 2023-06-12 Created: 2023-06-12 Last updated: 2024-05-21Bibliographically approved
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  • 7.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    The Gendered Representational Costs of Violence against Politicians2023In: Perspectives on Politics, ISSN 1537-5927, E-ISSN 1541-0986, Vol. 22, no 1, p. 81-96Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Women face more harassment and intimidation as politicians than men, but little is known about how this affects representation. I develop a theoretical framework for studying the gendered costs of political violence for descriptive, substantive, and symbolic representation. Testing the framework using interview and survey data on Swedish women and men politicians, I uncover the costs of violence against politicians in all three dimensions empirically. Violence makes women more frequently than men consider leaving politics and enforces male-coded characteristics for political candidates, affecting prospects for gender-diverse descriptive representation. Substantive representation is harmed by violence silencing feminist debates and obstructing women politicians’ policy debate activities. Women’s symbolic representation is threatened by violence coercing women to decrease their visibility.

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    fulltext
  • 8.
    Nylund, Mia-Lie
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Håkansson, Sandra
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Bjarnegård, Elin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    The Transformative Potential of Feminist Foreign Policy: The Case of Sweden2023In: Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, ISSN 1554-477X, E-ISSN 1554-4788, Vol. 44, no 3, p. 257-273Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden describes its feminist foreign policy (FFP) as strategically illuminating structures of gender inequality by incorporating a feminist perspective in all areas of foreign policy, analytically and practically. This study scrutinizes the transformative potential of Sweden’s FFP discourse. Feminist scholarship argues for recognizing interrelations between gender and postcolonial structures; stressing gender hierarchies as contextual and contingent on various power structures. Using critical discourse analysis, we analyze documents, statements and speeches produced within the Swedish FFP in relation to postcolonial feminist theory. We find that a large part of the Swedish FFP discourse reproduces essentialist discourse informed by colonial legacies, but with a new feminist label. There are, however, signs of an emerging reformed discourse that strives to transform postcolonial power structures, taking intersectionality into account. This emerging discourse contributes to an understanding of how a feminist foreign policy could be articulated and practiced to become truly transformative.

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