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Gender policy models, prostitution and the politics of knowledge.

The CEU Campus
Thursday, September 14, 2017, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The Department of Gender Studies

2016-2017 Public Lecture Series


Both New Zealand and Sweden claim innovative policy approaches to prostitution: decriminalization in New Zealand and criminalization of clients but not sex workers in Sweden. This lecture will unpack the contrasting knowledge and expertise which informed the development of these different policies. The lecture will offer an analysis of how these policies align with broader shifts in policy models of appropriate gendered and sexual conduct in the OECD, with a particular focus on why the Swedish model has gained such political traction in Europe. The effects of these contrasting policies on gender norms and on sex workers themselves will be discussed.


Carol Harrington is a senior lecturer in the School of Social and Cultural Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She lectured in the CEU Political Science Department from 1998-2007. Her research concerns politics and policy on violence against women, sexual violence and sex work. She teaches courses on sociology of violence, sexuality and comparative welfare regimes. In addition to her book, Politicization of Sexual Violence from Abolitionism to Peacekeeping (Ashgate 2010) she has published articles on sexual violence discourse, on anti-sex trafficking policy in Bosnia and Kosovo, on gender expertise within peacekeeping operations and on sex work knowledge politics in Timor Leste, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand.