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Corporations, Celebrities and the Construction of the Entrepreneurial Refugee Woman
Annika Bergman Rosamond
Catia Gregoratti

In this article we seek to extend recent debates on how the promotion of self-reliance through vocational training and entrepreneurship has become the new neoliberal mantra among refugee-supporting agencies, policymakers and humanitarian actors. More specifically, we do so in the context of corporate and celebrity-endorsed humanitarian partnerships and initiatives that single out refugee women and girls. Informed by postcolonial feminist scholarship and guided by Carol Bacchi’s ‘what is the problem represented to be’ (WPR) approach we compare IKEA’s partnership with the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) in Jordan and Angelina Jolie’s support for the RefuSHE project in Kenya. While differences between the two problem representations exist, both initiatives seek to empower refugee women by activating latent entrepreneurial abilities. These, we conclude, reinforce a saviour/saved humanitarian logic while also obscuring the gender division of responsibilities and precarious nature of artisanal labour.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Annika Bergman Rosamond
Christine Agius

Within the space of roughly two decades, Sweden has changed from a neutral country to one that is currently engaged in a range of activities and practices that are far removed from the definition of neutrality. Its engagement with NATO, contribution of forces to Kosovo, Afghanistan and Libya, and its role as a leading framework nation in the emergent EU Battle Groups suggest at first glance the shifting demands of global security practices. The rationale of the move away from traditional state-centric security, however, obscures a more complex picture. In this chapter, we investigate specific aspects of these changes in relation to Swedish security policy, specifically robust forms of military intervention. We argue that rather than reflecting global security practices, deeper endogenous processes are at work. Significantly, such engagements are part of disembedding norms around neutrality and revising public and elite memory of Sweden as a neutral state. By focusing on identity and memory, we posit that Sweden’s current military engagements are concerned with rewriting identity and with a view to making new memories (or a ‘memory bank’) of wartime experiences. This has played a crucial part in not only justifying and naturalizing specific practices and actions, but also reconstituting identity in the process.

in The politics of identity