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Sociology Seminar: Daniel Ritter


Date: Wednesday 30 March 2022

Time: 13.00 – 14.00

Location: Zoom/B800

Topic: "Humanitarian Superpower? International Ideals and Society in Sweden." Presentation by Daniel Ritter, Department of Sociology at Stockholm University.

Topic: "Humanitarian Superpower? International Ideals and Society in Sweden."



Sweden has a long history of attempting to project its values into (and onto) the world (Nilsson 1991; de Bengy Puyvallée & Bjørkdahl 2021). While there are other countries that similarly seek influence on the global stage, Sweden arguably displays a particularly incessant and explicit desire to do so. The self-assigned title of “humanitarian superpower”  and the politically omnipresent idea of “Sweden’s image” are perhaps the two most obvious examples of Sweden’s preoccupation with its international reputation. Although this preoccupation is fascinating in its own right, this project turns its gaze inwards. By employing the notion of “policy feedback loops” (Pierson 1993; Hall 1993; Skocpol 1992) it seeks to understand the domestic political consequences of Sweden’s international endeavors and aspirations.

Thus, rather than assuming that the human rights focused idealism associated with humanitarian superpowerdom is limited to the international arena, I will explore how (if at all) those ideals have shaped Swedish society over the past three decades by examining their discursive influence on various domestic political debates and issues.    

In this seminar Daniel Ritter will discuss the project’s central puzzles, some tentative arguments, and ideas about how it might be conducted empirically. He will approach it as something akin to a start-up seminar and would appreciate any and all feedback about the research objectives, empirics, and theory development.


How to register

Contact Vanessa Barker,