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Emil Edenborg

About me

I am Ph.D. of political science and an associate professor of gender studies, and since 2021 employed as a teacher and researcher. I am interested in queer perspectives on global politics in the widest sense. In my research I have examined LGBTQ politics and its relation to nationalism, how ideas of gender and sexuality are connected to geopolitical boundary-making, and the relation between visibility and inclusion/exclusion. At the moment my research concerns foreign and development policy from a queer perspective.



I teach at e.g. the introductory level in gender studies, as responsible for the course Stat, politik och organisation. Previously I have been teaching political science, international relations, European studies, diversity studies and gender studies at Malmö University and Stockholm University.



My Ph.D. dissertation, which I defended at the Department of Political Science at Lund University in 2016, examined narratives on national belonging, gender and sexuality in contemporary Russian media, eg. in relation to the 2013 ban on “homosexual propaganda”. Theoretically I discussed questions of visibility, invisibility and belonging. During my Ph.D. studies I was a visiting doctoral student at Moscow State University and University of California, Berkeley. The dissertation was published as a book entitled Politics of visibility and belonging: from Russia’s ”homosexual propaganda” laws to the Ukraine war (Routledge, 2017).  

After finishing my Ph.D. I was a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) at Södertörn University. My research project, Gender and the everyday bordering of Europe, examined how geopolitical discourses of borders and belonging are underwritten and legitimated by ideas of gender.

Next, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. My project, The geopolitics of ”traditional values”, studies how resistance to the rights of LGBTQ people and sexual and reproductive rights are legitimated geopolitically, in terms of protecting “traditional values” from harmful foreign influence, to strengthen national sovereignty or increase a state’s international influence.      

Currently, my research examines foreign and development policies from a queer perspective. I focus on how Sweden and other states through foreign and development policies seek to support, empower and increase the security of LGBTQ people in countries where the state, religious groups and transnational networks are actively engaging in queer/homo/transphobia. An important part of the research is to identify and study the contradictory aspects of such support. This concerns not least the complex question about public visibility, which on the one hand is a goal for many LGBTQ activists and a necessary condition for establishing contacts and receive international support, but on the other hand can be connected to increased risks and vulnerability. This research is conducted in part within the my position as an associate senior lecturer, and in part within a project funded by the Swedish Research Council, Navigating visibility in contexts of state-sanctioned homophobia: development actors and LGBTQ rights defenders in Uganda and Russia, in collaboration with researchers at Uppsala and Malmö University.


Publications (selection)

Edenborg, E. (2022). "Putin’s Anti-Gay War on Ukraine". Boston Review. 

Hedling, E., Edenborg, E., & Strand, S. (2022) "Embodying military muscles and a remasculinized West: Influencer marketing, fantasy and 'the Face of NATO'". Global Studies Quarterly.

Edenborg, E. (2022). "Rysslands konservativa vändning och den globala anti-genusrörelsen". Nordisk Østforum.

Edenborg, E. (2022). "Time, queerness and global politics". lambda nordica 26(4-1), 183-187.

Edenborg, E. (2021). "Disinformation and gendered boundarymaking: Nordic media audiences making sense of 'Swedish decline'". Cooperation and Conflict, online first.

Edenborg, E. - Kehl, K. (2021). "På rätt sida av historien? Hbtq-rättigheter som global politik". I Edenborg, E. - Tornhill, C. - Åse, C. (red). Feministiska perspektiv på global politik. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Edenborg, E. - Tornhill, C. - Åse, C. (red) (2021). Feministiska perspektiv på global politik. Lund: Studentlitteratur.

Edenborg, E. (2021). “Anti-Gender Politics as Discourse Coalitions: Russia’s Domestic and International Promotion of ‘Traditional Values’”. Problems of Post-Communism, online first.

Edenborg, E. (2021). “’Traditional Values’ and the Narrative of Gay Rights as Modernity: Sexual Politics beyond Polarization”. Sexualities, online first.

Edenborg, E. (2021). ”Queer theories of peace and security” in Confortini, C, Feron, E., Parashar, S. & Väyrynen, T. (eds.). The Routledge handbook of Feminist Peace Research. London: Routledge.

Brock, M. & Edenborg, E. (2020). ”’You cannot oppress those who do not exist’. Gay persecution in Chechnya and the politics of in/visibility”. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 26(4): 673-700.

Edenborg, E. (2020). “Visibility in Global Queer Politics”. In Bosia, M.J., McEvoy, S., & Rahman, M. (eds). Oxford Handbook of Global LGBT and Sexual Diversity Politics, Oxford University Press.

Edenborg, E. (2020). ”Russia’s spectacle of ’traditional values’: Rethinking the politics of visibility”. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 22(1), 106-126.

Edenborg, E. (2020). “Endangered Swedish values: Immigration, gender equality and ‘migrants’ sexual violence’. In Hellström, A., Norocel, O. C., & Bak Jorgensen, M. (eds). Hope and Nostalgia at the Intersection between Culture and Welfare, Springer.

Edenborg, E. (2020). “Russian LGBT Politics and Rights”. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford University Press.

Agius, C. & Edenborg, E. (2019). Gendered Bordering Practices in Swedish and Russian Foreign and Security Policy. Political Geography, 71, 56-66.

Edenborg, E. (2018). ”Saving Women and Bordering Europe: Narratives of ’Migrants’ Sexual Violence’ and Geopolitical Imaginaries in Russia and Sweden.” Geopolitics, 1-22.

Altermark, N. & Edenborg, E. (2018). ”Visualizing the included subject: photography, progress narratives and intellectual disability.” Subjectivity, 11(4), 287-302.

Edenborg, E. (2018). ”Homophobia as Geopolitics: ’Traditional Values’ and the Negotiation of Russia’s Place in the World”. J. Mulholland – N. Montagna – E. Sanders-McDonagh (Eds.) Gendering Nationalism: Intersections of Nation, Gender and Sexuality. London: Palgrave.

Edenborg, E. (2017). Politics of Visibility and Belonging: From Russia´s “Homosexual Propaganda” Laws to the Ukraine War. London: Routledge.

Edenborg, E. (2017). ”Creativity, Geopolitics and Ontological Security: Satire on Russia and the War in Ukraine”. Postcolonial Studies, 20(3): 294-316.

Persson, E. (2015). ”Banning ’Homosexual Propaganda’. Belonging and Visibility in Contemporary Russian Media”. Sexuality & Culture, 19(2):256-274; re-published in Harding, R. (2016): Law and sexuality: Critical concepts in law. London: Routledge.

Research projects