Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Mourning Becomes Electra. Gender discrimination and human rights

Ämne: Samtidshistoria
Projektledare: Ylva Waldemarson
Startår: 2010
Projekttyp: Projekt

Mourning Becomes Electra. Gender discrimination and human rights – altered relations among international organs, states, collectives and individuals from a Nordic and Eastern European perspective 1980-2009

The project’s overarching objective is to study how gender discrimination has become the subject of political decisions and measures at the intersection between cross-national organs, states, collectives and individuals during the period 1980-2008. We will examine the introduction of the gender discrimination ombudsman, as well as how ideas and institutions have spread to parts of Eastern Europe. We are interested in the way in which human rights have been made a matter of global and social concern. The detailed studies that are part of the project concern three levels: 1) the cross-national level – Nordiska Rådet [The Nordic Council, 2) the national level – Sweden, Lithuania and Northwestern Russia and 3) the collective/individual level – mourning Electra. By analysing equal opportunity’s political and institutional implementation, we intend to elucidate the political and social tensions in social transformation from a historical perspective. Using comparison, we will be able to answer questions about the features of greater international development and of development that is nation-specific.

Questions for the project: why and how is an equal opportunity ombudsman established? Who are the core players in this process? What are the different points of view surrounding how an ombudsman should function and act? What does an individual-based policy mean for institutions when the individual is given a distinct gender affiliation? What policy is at the core of the ombudsman’s work and how does it change? How are complainants justified, formulated and changed, based on such concepts as acknowledgement, discrimination, identity and human rights? By bringing together an institutional perspective on gender and acknowledgement, the prerequisites for an analysis of the state’s /federation’s actions in relation to the collective/individual are created.

The project is contributing to the issue of human rights and democratisation from a gender and player perspective. By focusing on an institution’s proliferation and implementation, our project can demonstrate both transnational and national political and social tensions. With our choice of countries, we can study how an established ombudsman institution operates in a democratic society with established institutions and organisations, one in which the complainants are familiar with the work and routines of the ombudsman (Sweden). By investigating how ombudsmen are created, based on international (NR) and national pressures, and how they act in states with less well-developed traditions but with a form of popular pressure regarding democracy, transparency, security and justice (Lithuania and Northwest Russia), we can increase our knowledge of democratic processes in Eastern Europe.