Racist dreams and municipal budgets: women representing a culturally racist party in local politics
Summary, in English
The welfare and migration regime of Sweden are undergoing substantial changes, as neo-liberal restructuring is rapidly increasing inequalities, and multicultural policies are in retreat as neo-assimilationist policies are growing. In 2014, the Sweden Democrats, a party conceptualised as culturally racist, was re-elected with 13% of the votes, with a presence in almost all municipalities. While scholarship on this and similar parties has expanded, the role that gender and gender equality has for the culturally racist articulation of their agenda remains unexplored. The experience of women organised in the Sweden Democrats is the focus of this article, the experience of these women engaged in local politics, working to include the Sweden Democrats' culturally racist agenda at the municipality level. The article draws upon in-depths interviews with women activists of the Sweden Democrats. Central to the article is an analysis of forms of inclusion and normalisation of the Sweden Democrats' worldviews but also of the forms of resistance towards their presence at the municipality level. Unlike mainstream research, which downplays the cultural racism of extreme right-wing parties, and rarely employ a gendered analysis, we see (cultural) racism and anti-feminism as central for their agenda.