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Only Paradoxes to Offer: The Gendered Politics of Knowledge and Expertise in Germany
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Gender Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8084-2045
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In recent decades, theorizing about societal and political transformations has been closely intertwined with claims about new modalities of knowledge production. A reflexive mode of knowledge has been identified hich assumes that science has lost its traditional status of relative autonomy and is thus becoming increasingly interwoven with other societal spheres. The shift of classical research universities towards a more application-oriented mode of scientific knowledge as well as the institutionalization of gender studies as an interdisciplinary field corresponds with this socially distributed system of knowledge production. 

These changes have profoundly reshaped political processes and public communication, yielding a novel style of governing through knowledge and resulting in both the scientification of politics and a heightened politicization of expertise. Contestation of the sharp distinction between academic and other forms of knowledge has created new possibilities for co-production and transgressive knowledge while also providing fuel for regressive politics. This seems to have taken many scholars by surprise, but a few, such as Donna Haraway and Ulrich Beck, foresaw it decades ago. 

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to advance feminist theorizing about the politics of knowledge through a critical examination as well a recasting of different approaches circulating in current feminist debates. Second, it explores Germany, a country that has experienced major transformations with regard to both its gender policy and political knowledge regimes. I argue that a broader understanding of societal changes, and of the modalities of knowledge production accompanying them, provides an analytical lens that allows us to move beyond the linear imaginary prevalent in much feminist scholarship on knowledge and expertise, capturing ambiguities with a more nuanced perspective. Launching the concept of feminist political epistemology, the paper investigates the paradoxical constellation of democratization of expertise and anti-gender right-wing mobilization that challenges the epistemic credibility not only of gender studies, but of academic knowledge itself. 

The paper explores Germany, a country that has experienced major transformations with regard to both its gender policy and political knowledge regimes; the German context provides vital insight into the contradictory dynamics involved in new modalities of governing and epistemic authority. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022.
Keywords [en]
Gender poltics, political epistemolgy, expert knoweldge
National Category
Political Science Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-49977OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-49977DiVA, id: diva2:1699605
Conference
European Conference on Politics and Gender, Ljubljana, July 6-8, 2022.
Part of project
Gender and Political Cultures of Knowledge in Germany, Poland, and Sweden, The Foundation for Baltic and East European StudiesAvailable from: 2022-09-28 Created: 2022-09-28 Last updated: 2022-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Kulawik, Teresa

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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