Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

The court as an emerging arena for struggles against and about racism – experiences and strategies of organizations working with law as a tool for social change

  • Maja Sager
  • Marta Kolankiewicz
Publishing year: 2017
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper: abstract

Abstract english

In this presentation, we explore courts as an emerging arena on which political and social contestations over racism take place in Sweden. The presentation is part of a larger project where we analyze cases in which political struggles against and about racism have moved into courts. The overall purpose is to understand what kind of space courts provide for protection from and debate about racism, and how different forms of activism involving anti-racism are mobilized.
Our point of departure in this presentation is a case study of organizations that use law as a tool in struggles for social justice. Based on a pilot study including an analysis of material produced by these organizations, a couple of interviews and an observation session, we will explore the organizations’ strategies and experiences of working with litigation. The aim will be to contextualize the project by exploring the ways in which the specific context of the Swedish welfare state provides frames for activism in court. We will be interested in looking at definitions of the rule of law (rättssäkerhet) and specifically the widespread understanding of the welfare state as a guardian of safety and social protection (trygghet).


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


2017 Racism Studies Conference: Racism and welfare
2017-10-11 - 2017-10-13
Uppsala, Sweden
E-mail: marta [dot] kolankiewicz [at] genus [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Department of Gender Studies

+46 46 222 96 08



Marta Kolankiewicz holds a PhD in sociology. Her main research focus is on different articulation of racism as well as on the role of law in struggles for justice.

Department of Gender Studies
Visiting address: Allhelgona Kyrkogata 14, House M, Lund
Postal address: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46 46-222 00 00 (operator)
Fax: 046-222 40 04

Faculty of Social Sciences