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  • 1.
    Axelsson, Linn
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    Hedberg, Charlotta
    Emerging topologies of transnational employment: ‘Posting’ Thai workers in Sweden’s wild berry industry beyond regulatory reach2018In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 89, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper suggests a need to pay closer attention to the fact that employment is increasingly stretched across several regulatory regimes. This may help explain why governments, which rely on national legislative frameworks, struggle to protect the interests of transnationally mobile low-skilled workers. By adopting a topological approach to state regulation and authority, the paper demonstrates how powerful actors have reconfigured employment in Sweden’s wild berry industry in a spatial sense by engaging transnational subcontractors. It argues that transnational subcontracting inserts distance into employment relationships, thereby creating precarious migrant workers whose simultaneous absence and presence in several regulatory regimes places them partly beyond the regulatory reach of any one nation-state or nationally based trade union. The paper also argues that the Swedish government’s response to precarious working conditions in the wild berry industry can be understood as a series of attempts aimed at bringing transnational employment relationships within its regulatory reach. Drawing on topological spatial vocabulary, it shows how these attempts are less about the movement of state infrastructure into transnational space than about the stretching and folding of space itself, in an attempt to establish a powerful Swedish presence across distance. On the other hand, the paper concludes that transnational subcontracting opens up a space which enables wild berry actors to circumvent regulations and, as such, it remains very difficult for the Swedish government to reach into employment relationships in this industry.

  • 2.
    Axelsson, Linn
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    Malmberg, Bo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    Zhang, Qian
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    On waiting, work-time and imagined futures: Theorizing temporal precariousness among Chinese chefs in Sweden’s restaurant industry2017In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 78, p. 169-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores the precarious working conditions in the Chinese restaurant industry in Sweden – a country considered to have one of Europe’s most liberal labour immigration policies. Drawing upon a theoretical framework inspired by scholarship on precarious work and time geography, the paper argues that precarious work performed by migrant labour can be usefully understood through three interrelated temporal processes that, when they work together, produce and maintain precarious work-life situations. They are: (1) work-time arrangements: that is, actual working hours per day and over the annual cycle, the pace and intensity of work and the flexibility demanded of migrant workers in terms of when work is carried out, (2) the spatio-temporal ‘waiting zones’ indirectly produced by immigration policies that delay full access to labour markets and in which precarious work-time arrangements consequently arise, and (3) migrant workers’ imagined futures, which motivate them to accept precarious work-time arrangements during a transitory period. The paper thus also illuminates that the Chinese chefs in Sweden’s restaurant industry are not just passive victims of exploitative work-time arrangements. Rather, waiting – for a return to China or settlement in Sweden – may be part of migrants’ strategies to achieve certain life course trajectories. 

  • 3.
    Brydges, Taylor
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography. University of Bern, Switzerland.
    Hracs, Brian J.
    Consuming Canada: How fashion firms leverage the landscape to create and communicate brand identities, distinction and values2018In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 90, p. 108-118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the increasingly global and competitive fashion industry, firms are adopting a variety of strategies to generate value and brand loyalty. While some emphasise the quality of material elements such as inputs, local production and design, others focus on immaterial aspects such symbolic value and exclusivity. In recent years, place-branding has become an important way to create connections between people, places, and products. Yet, the processes behind this type of branding remain poorly understood. In particular, limited attention has been paid to the ways in which landscapes – in all their forms – are being incorporated into place-branding practices. Drawing on 87 interviews, participant observation and an innovative analysis of Instagram accounts, this paper examines how a range of Canadian fashion firms leverage the landscape to create and communicate brand identities, distinction and values. It demonstrates how firms of different sizes and scales construct, harness, or reimagine landscapes and/or popular stereotypes to connect with Canadian identities and consumers. It also highlights how landscape-centric branding can be combined with broader value creation strategies such as local production. In so doing, this paper brings together the economic geography literature on place branding and the cultural geography literature on landscape and identity, and makes a methodological contribution to nascent examinations of social media and visual data sources in geography.

  • 4.
    Graham, Marnie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Macquarie University, Australia.
    Everyday human (in)securities in protected urban nature - Collaborative conservation at Macassar/Wolfgat dunes nature reserves, Cape Town, South Africa2015In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 64, p. 25-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The diverse residents of the urban global South experience insecurities in everyday, immediate and subjective ways. Lemanski argues these insecurities relate not only to physical concerns like fear, crime, and violence but also to stressors like insecure tenure and financial situations, and threatened and contested lifestyles and cultures as cities rapidly change. This paper considers how diverse 'everyday human (in)securities' manifest through urban nature and shape collaborations around nature conservation. The focus is on protected coastal dunes in Cape Town and collaborative conservation participants, including municipal nature conservators and community representatives from the adjacent apartheid-era 'townships'. The diverse 'everyday human (in)securities' perceived and experienced by these participants manifest variously in physical threats to bodies and biodiversity, but also in relation to the insecure tenure and financial situations experienced by residents and conservators alike, alongside differing cultural values of nature. Through attention to diffuse power relations and everyday experiences, divergent perceptions of (in)security are shown to be frictional and sometimes paradoxical in nature. Yet identifying these (in)securities also holds potential for exploring hopeful and productive negotiations around what 'security' might mean, and how it might be realised through the collaborations bringing into dialogue contested spaces of urban nature in cities of the global South and North.

  • 5. Kenney-Lazar, Miles
    et al.
    Wong, Grace
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia.
    Baral, Himlal
    Russell, Aaron J. M.
    Greening rubber? Political ecologies of plantation sustainability in Laos and Myanmar2018In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 92, p. 96-105Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the past decade, the cultivation of rubber trees has expanded rapidly throughout the Mekong region to non-traditional rubber growing areas of Laos and Myanmar. Prompted by rising prices from 1990 to 2010 and government agro-industrialization policies, farmers and investors have rushed to plant the new boom crop. A latex price crash in 2011, however, has made it more challenging for small-scale producers to earn an income, leading to uneven social-ecological transformations and economic consequences. Several proposals have been made to address these challenges by transforming rubber into a more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable crop. In this paper, which emerged from one such project to investigate the potential for green rubber, we argue that the sustainability of rubber is a challenging and elusive prospect - particularly in resource frontier contexts like Laos and Myanmar. Concepts like sustainability or green production are vague and malleable. They can be imbued with a variety of contradictory meanings, which often do not address the most socially and environmentally problematic aspects of cash crop expansion. Sustainable rubber, if rigorously and specifically defined, would be exceedingly difficult to reach in both countries, due to the ways in which political-economic and governance factors interact with the biophysical and social characteristics of the crop. Instead, we recommend using sustainability as a political tool for highlighting the most harmful socio-environmental impacts of rubber and generating debate concerning the best ways to address these, thus limiting unsustainable practices.

  • 6.
    Larsen, Rasmus Kløcker,
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute.
    Jiwan, N.
    Rompas, A.
    Jenito, J.
    Osbeck, Maria
    Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute.
    Tarigan, A.
    Towards ‘hybrid accountability’ in EU biofuels policy?: Community grievances and competing water claims in the Central Kalimantan oil palm sector2014In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 54, p. 295-305Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The EU biofuels market is stimulating expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia. Little research has yet examined the impacts on water resources arising from this large-scale land use conversion to cultivation of biofuel feedstock or positioned contextual water resource governance in Indonesian locales in a wider political ecology of European climate politics. Through the concept of ‘hybrid accountability’, we examine primary evidence from an extensive action research process in Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesian Borneo, to assess whether the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive and existing certification schemes offer a way to improve the accountability of market actors and promote sustainable water resource management. We conclude that these initiatives have had no bearing on safeguarding local livelihoods and the water resources they depend on, with governance mechanisms largely failing to address people’s grievances. Rather, the EU’s policies on biofuels have supported a de-politicisation of what needs to be seen as ‘distributional water politics’. Furthermore, certification schemes such as the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil offer, at present, only cosmetic tools and are insufficient to address deep structural governance issues. We argue that further hybridisation of market-based certification and governmental regulation should be designed with the purpose of providing new transnational recourse mechanisms and remedies for affected communities

  • 7. McLean, Jessica
    et al.
    Graham, Marnie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Macquarie University, Australia.
    Suchet-Pearson, Sandie
    Simon, Helga
    Salt, Julia
    Parashar, Anupam
    Decolonising strategies and neoliberal dilemmas in a tertiary institution: Nurturing care-full approaches in a blended learning environment2019In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 101, p. 122-131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    New learning and teaching methods such as 'blended learning' are increasingly promoted within higher education institutions. Such methods-especially those which replace slow scholarship and/or people with digital technologies-run the risk of reinforcing neoliberal learning spaces and perpetuating processes of 'deep colonization' (Rose, 1996). We argue that these new learning and teaching methods must be grounded in critical pedagogies to avoid extending neoliberal agendas in the university context. Furthermore, we propose these methods require careful student and teacher reflection, coupled with conscientious attempts at decolonising existing educational institutions and pedagogies (Radcliffe, 2017). In this article we explore the intersections and disconnections between critical pedagogy, attempts at decolonising the classroom, and flexible learning approaches like blended learning. We draw on our collective experiences as both teachers and students who are continuously learning-learning-teachers and learning-students-within the context of a higher level subject entitled 'Rethinking Resource Management' which is taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. A blended learning approach is practiced by the learning-teachers of this course, in an effort to situate their responsibilities and shift their pedagogy towards decolonizing approaches. In this dialogue between learning-teachers and learning-students, we argue that while blended learning can provide opportunities to improve learning experiences and support decolonising pedagogies, constraints that arise from a neoliberal university context, such as the reframing of students as clients and the prioritisation of money-saving approaches, can moderate such promise. Further, decolonising education requires more than what can be delivered by blended learning approaches in isolation. They also fundamentally require a careful reconfiguration of responsibilities in a relational and multidirectional manner, of learning-teachers, learning-students and the broader learning-institution context. So while the learning-teachers' efforts at decolonising the classroom and better engaging with learning-students remain partial, they are deeply valued by many learning-students and are important tentative contributions towards nurturing more 'care-full' decolonising learning spaces. The article offers a critical discussion of the issues raised in a dialogue between learning teachers and learning-students of Rethinking Resource Management, and considers what we can contribute to broader debates in decolonising learning, the blended learning trend and structural changes in universities. We offer this instance of care-full teaching and learning as a case study that emphasises dialogue, in multiple modes, to renegotiate power relations, and to advocate caution in moves toward top-down entrenchment of digital teaching modes.

  • 8.
    Törrönen, Jukka
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD).
    Rolando, Sara
    Beccaria, Franca
    Masculinities and femininities of drinking in Finland, Italy and Sweden: Doing, modifying and unlinking gender in relation to different drinking places2017In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 82, p. 131-140Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article we analyze how Finnish, Italian and Swedish men and women are doing, modifying and unlinking gender in relation to different drinking places and situations. In the study, Finland and Sweden represent the Nordic intoxication-oriented drinking cultures, whereas Italy, in turn, represents the Mediterranean meal drinking cultures. The data were collected in a similar way in Finland, Italy and Sweden from 2007 to 2010, covering four different age groups. From each country at least eight male and eight female groups were selected, i.e. two male and two female groups from each age group, one representing higher and the other lower social status professions. All focus groups were asked to interpret a set of pictures representing different kinds of drinking places and situations, such as a couple's moderate wine drinking at a sidewalk table, heavy drinking among men in a bus, and playful drinking among women while dancing. In the analysis we emphasize the flexibility of doing gender and the possibility of challenging conventional gender performances. We assume that doing gender is a multi-dimensional process mediated by structures, hierarchies, identities, situations and agency. Our analysis presents a mosaic repertoire of masculinities and femininities that change shape depending on how the place is seen in terms of a drinking space or situation. The masculinities and femininities are not reducible to any single hierarchy of dominant and subordinate masculinities and femininities. Rather, the doing, modifying and unlinking of masculinities and femininities vary by geographical area, age and/or education, as well as by drinking situation.

  • 9. Wästfelt, Anders
    et al.
    Saltzman, Katarina
    Gräslund Berg, Elisabeth
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
    Dahlberg, Annika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology.
    Landscape care paradoxes: Swedish landscape care arrangements in a European context2012In: Geoforum, ISSN 0016-7185, E-ISSN 1872-9398, Vol. 43, no 6, p. 1171-1181Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Contemporary European agriculture has a number of additional aims beside of food production, such as safeguarding environmental services and conservation values. Substantial efforts at official levels are aimed towards sustainable development but also towards maintaining values ofwhat may be termed vanishing landscapes. Selected areas and landscape features are set aside for protection or restoration. Individual efforts of this type have a long history in Sweden, and the issue has recently received increased attention, primarily due to more ambitious government goals concerning biodiversity conservation and Sweden’s ratification of the European Landscape Convention. This has resulted in an increased scientific and official interest in vanishing values in the rural landscape, where parts of Eastern Europe, such as the Maramures district in Romania, have been used as model examples of land use regimes which in the past was common in Sweden. In this context, the dilemma of romanticizing peasants’ use of land is highlighted and discussed more than has hitherto been done. This paper sheds light on some paradoxes inherent in official policies in relation to land use practices concerning the management of rural landscapes in Sweden, and relates the Swedish situation to a contrasting example of landscape practice in Romania. We discuss the concept of landscape care in relation to the construction and perception of landscape values and valuable landscapes through the lenses of rural realities and official policies. When Swedish authorities engage in the promotion of landscape care, they tend to work with slices of land, specific predefined values and individual farmers, and they often disregard the need to treat the landscape as a socio-ecological complex dynamic in space and time. We discuss how environmental policy generally could be improved through the adoption of a more inclusive and flexible approach towards aiding the different aims inherent in multifunctional rural landscapes.

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