Forskarskola i politisk idéhistoria

The departments of the history of ideas at Uppsala University, Stockholm University, Södertörn University and Gothenburg University proudly announce the new doctoral school History of Political Thought, funded by the universities and the Swedish National Research Council (VR) for the doctoral cycle 2023–2027. The doctoral school will train a new generation of doctoral students in historical analysis of the political. We live in times of manifold and overlapping crises, which all have a political expression, for example crisis in the relationship between the different timescales of political systems and nature; crisis in democratic commitments, representation, and legitimation; crisis of material wealth, economic order and ideas of progress and affluence; crisis in the production and uses of historical knowledge. These crises manifest themselves contradictorily as both depoliticization and hyperpoliticization. They challenge prevailing ethos and norms for the liberal democracies of the post-1989 West, but also more fundamental categories such as political representation, the people, progress, and modernity.

Historians of political thought take an active role in trying to understand and historicize these movements. The doctoral school will equip graduate students with adequate perspectives and frames of interpretation of interlapping crises, and prepare them for careers in academia as well as in for instance public administration, journalism, or organizational leadership. The school provides the doctoral students with a solid training in theoretical and methodological tools from the field of historical study of political life, such as conceptual history, different types of contextualization, historicization and deconstruction of political diagnosis and prescription, analysis of temporal and spatial scales, historical analysis of utopian and apocalyptic genres, etc. Taken together, these perspectives provide a the doctoral students with a scientific grounding and understanding of the changing nature of the political today, and prepares them for conducting independent historical analysis in academic research or elsewhere.

The school will run in an internationalized and global environment, with its seat in the four university departments in Sweden. The working language is English. Doctoral candidates are expected to follow the school’s course cycle, and adhere to the local requirements of each department. Courses are open for doctoral students outside of the doctoral school, in limited capacity. Interested students are adviced to contact the relevant teacher.

Initiatior of the doctoral school: Professor Jenny Andersson (Uppsala University).Coordinator of the school: Dr Julia Nordblad (Uppsala University). Coordinating team: Dr Victoria Fareld (Stockholm University), Dr Hjalmar Falk (Gothenburg University), Professor Leif Runefelt (Södertörn University), and Professor Anders Burman (Södertörn University).

Gothenburg University

Johan Hjelte is a PhD student at Gothenburg University. My research is on the East German communist party’s handling of German colonial heritage and the ways that this heritage affected the German Democratic Republic’s cultural policies towards Asian and African countries. Before starting at Gothenburg University, I spent four years as a teaching assistant at Maastricht University where I taught History and Political Science to undergraduate students at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

My previous education includes a degree in Pedagogy at Luleå Technical University, an MA in Global History at the Free University of Berlin, and a BA at University College Maastricht.

Alice Hymna Ramnehill
In my dissertation, I examine political subjectivity in the socio-political magazine Pockettidningen R. The magazine was founded in 1970 by journalist Hans Nestius and was run by R-associations, such as RSMH (National Association for Social and Mental Health) and KRUM (National Association for the Humanization of Correctional Services). I will examine the years of publication 1970-1992 and focus on how the polyphony of journalistic idiom conveyed a political content that brought together multiple social movements. The questions of the thesis focus both on how the "welfare society" was problematized and diagnosed in "Pockettidningen R", but also on how visions of the future were articulated in the time that preceded the Psychiatric Reform and the marketization of Swedish health care.

Stockholm University

Frederik-Emil Friis Jakobsen
Ph.D. fellow in History of Ideas, cand.mag. in Philosophy from the University of Copenhagen, and MA in Philosophy from the European Graduate School. Former guest lecturer at Alberta University of the Arts. My dissertation, tentatively titled “The Art of Politics”, centers on the concept of common sense or sensus communis, its prominence as a political concept in Hannah Arendt's work and in contemporary political theory and philosophy, not least through Arendt’s undeniable influence there, and finally whether the concept reveals anything about the relationship between politics and aesthetics.

Johan Jönsson
Johan Jönson's research project—in its current conceptualization—aims to advance the theoretical discussions of biopolitics and its mutations, by way of discussing death-related practices in 20th and 21th century Sweden. That is, instead of regurgitating prominent thinkers of biopolitics or its offsprings in an exegetical manner, the focus of the project is rather to take their approach further by way of a historical material. Thus, the past is used genealogically to, ultimately, intervene in the present. Previous areas of focus for me have been the changing of death-declaring practices—i.e. excluding previously living and rights-bearing bodies from the realm of rights through death—in relation to desirable transplantations from said body, where as of now I’m delving into death-help and euthanasia: on the one hand, to historize a contemporary, heated debate—potentially revealing a set of presuppositions, paving way for different perspectives—, on the other hand to discern biopolitical governance and its subjectivations of optimization with regards to its seemingly opposite end: the (desired) death of the biopolitical subject.

Central areas of interests among others, apart from the ones outlined above, are critical theory, health, suicide, control, economic rationality.”

Uppsala University

Carlos Horniak is a PhD student at the Department of History of Science and Ideas at Uppsala University. My main specialisation is the history of economic thought, but I am particularly interested in its connection with the history of political thought. My focus is on the 19th century, and during my Master's, I worked on Léon Walras’ rent theory of the 1860s and 70s. Currently, I am researching how landed property was broadly debated and discussed between British, American, and French political economists from the 1830s to the 1860s, taking into special consideration the implications different theories of land rent had on perspectives on landed property itself.

Laura Royer is a PhD student at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University. She is interested in global history and relations in science. Her thesis focuses on the relations between African scholarly institutions and their global counterparts in the post-colonial period (1960-2000). She examines how conflicts and collaborations in the context of these interactions have shaped global representations, practices, and politics of science.

Maya Ström is a PhD student at the Department of History of Science and Ideas, Uppsala University. While I have previously worked on topics of sexuality and how related discourses developed over the last decades of the 20th century in Sweden, I now concentrate on the intersection of environmental and political history with Scotland as a case study. Specifically, my research deals with how debates on land reform in Scotland - a particular point of heated contention ever since the late 19th century - have developed in relation to environmental activism between 1970 and 2005. As such I expect my research to contribute to an understanding of how matters of private or public landowning intersect with matters of nature. I hope that this will offer not only an historiography of the specifically Scottish environmental scene, but also to the changes in a larger global discourse on the environment - as the Scottish environmental activist saw themselves as part of this.

Senta Terner
I am interested in the history of the environment and emotions as well as the history of the futures and globality. My thesis focuses on the global environmental youth movement since the late 20th century. I examine how these actors form a network and tried to have a political impact. Special focus will be on the role and use of their emotions.

Södertörn University

Jim Hagström is a PhD student at Södertörn university and part of the national research school in the History of Political Thought. He has a background in Economic history and Global political economy and is currently studying the market as a political category with a focus on the Swedish electricity market. In his PhD project, he traces different market (re)formulations of the Swedish electricity market from the 1930s to the 1990s. Of particular focus is to understand how the relationship between citizens as consumers and the state has been shaped on the marketplace since the 1930s.

Moa Spegel is a PhD student in History of Ideas at Södertörn University. My project centers around the political thought of the American political theorist Judith Shklar. Leaving behind the notion of a coherent theory to be found in her writings, I approach her thinking practice and examine what thinking politically was for her.