Nytt kapitel om prostitutionspolitik i Sverige och Finland

Sakta mala den akademiska publiceringsprocessens kvarnar. Efter tre år publiceras nu antologin Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), redigerad av Carisa R. Showden och Samantha Majic. Tillsammans med Gregg Bucken-Knapp (Göteborgs universitet) och Pia Levin (Uppsala universitet) bidrar jag med ett kapitel som jämför reformer av prostitutionspolitiken i Sverige och Finland.

Vårt kapitel Comrades, Push The Red Button! Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services in Sweden but Not in Finland undersöker varför Finland år 2006 valde att inte följa Sverige i att fullt ut förbjuda köp av sexuella tjänster.

Här ett utdrag ur inledningen:

Alongside the Swedish experience, Finland’s 2006 revision of its prostitution policies stands out as particularly intriguing. On the face of it, the Finnish reform represented an expanded use of criminalization as a policy tool, with the ban on purchasing sex from trafficked individuals joining existing legislation prohibiting buying or selling sexual services in public places. Yet what makes the Finnish case analytically tantalizing is that Finnish legislators rejected the Swedish prostitution model. Such an outcome was far from a given, particularly given strong support for CPSS among Finnish policymakers in the early 2000s.

Against this backdrop, this chapter examines the paths leading to divergent prostitution policy reform in Sweden and Finland in the 1990s and 2000s. Why did Sweden wind up with a CPSS ban but not Finland? Drawing from literature in comparative politics that examines “ideational turns,” our argument is as follows: In the case of Sweden, feminist actors across the political spectrum who supported the ban successfully deployed gender equality ideas as well as causal stories (Stone 1989) characterizing female prostitutes as having abusive life histories in a number of crucial settings, including party congresses, parliamentary debates, official documents, and statements to the press. Pro-ban actors benefited from the degree to which gender equality ideas were more broadly embedded in Swedish political institutions by the early and mid-1990s, the result of long-term efforts by Swedish feminists. No such pervasive discourse involving gender equality ideas existed in Finnish society or its political institutions. While some feminists there pushed for CPSS from the 1990s onward, they were confronted with interest groups, epistemic actors, and policymakers who successfully mobilized ideas concerning the rights of individuals to make decisions regarding their own body and sphere of economic activity without state interference. Of equal importance, the Finnish reform process took place against the backdrop of specific concerns that trafficking in human beings for sexual purposes to Finland was growing rapidly and required a firm policy response. As such, the legislative outcome became centered on the need to ensure Finnish compliance with the 2000 United Nations (UN) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (also known as the Palermo Protocol).

We draw on multimethod qualitative research to document the differing ideational terrains underpinning the Swedish and Finnish reform processes. Our analysis relies on official documents in the form of parliamentary debate minutes, committee reports, and legislative proposals, as well as minutes from party congress debates, NGO and academic reports, and media statements by key actors. By constructing a narrative based on relevant documents and statements, we demonstrate that gender equality ideas played an unequivocal role in the emergence of the Swedish ban, whereas Finnish policy reflected a sharply more competitive ideational climate with different underlying conditions.

Den som vill läsa hela kapitlet kan köpa eller låna boken — eller sända mig ett mejl. Kapitlet resulterar ur projektet Prostitution policy reform and the causal role of ideas: A comparative study of policy-making in the Nordic countries (2008-12), finansierat av Vetenskapsrådet.

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