Swedish anti-Racism and the Global Civil Sphere

Carly Schall, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

How does the international civil sphere influence national civil spheres? Where does the line between “national” and “international” lie when discussing primarily digital spaces and involving participants with transnational lives? Drawing on civil sphere perspectives on social movements (Alexander, 2006a; Ostertag, 2019), theoretical work on the diffusion of movement ideas (e.g. Givan, Roberts & Soule 2010), work on the transnationality of civil society (e.g. Alexander, 2006b) and work on digital civil spheres (Norquist, 2022; Fuchs, 2015), this paper seeks to understand the diffusion of ideas and discursive movement strategies from international contexts to a particular national and movement context – Swedish anti-racist activism. This work recognizes that social media becomes a key locus of struggles over notions of “civility” that demonstrates some independence both from traditional communicative spaces and from traditional nationally-bounded civil spheres. How have Swedish anti-racist digital spaces formed? How do they co-exist with and learn from other parts of the national and international civil sphere? What determines when and how they have broader impacts on racial inequality? Drawing primarily on an analysis of social media activism and traditional media reporting, I trace the process of selection, adoption, translation and deployment of new ideas about race and racially inequality into a national context.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 139. Building the Racial Nation