Societal change can happen when a group of people have decided to come together to change something. But how does this evolve in practice? What makes people go from words to action? And what do people’s collective actions through social movements, cooperatives, trade unions and other civil society organizations say about perceived socio-spatial injustices and ongoing social, political, and economic change? These questions I address in my research which spans feminist, political and economic geography and rural and urban spaces.
Contentious countrysides: social movements reworking and resisting public healthcare restructuring in rural Sweden
In my doctoral thesis I study the changes the Swedish public healthcare has gone through since the 1990’s through two cases of social movements and cooperatives organizing to protest marketization and privatization of the healthcare system, at the same time as they were working to create alternative ways of organizing healthcare through citizen cooperatives where other values than those of the market guided the operations. One case followed a workers cooperative primary care center that opened in the early 1990’s and later transformed into a citizen cooperative owned by the local community. The other case concerned the cutbacks and closures of several wards at a local hospital from 2015 onwards, where protests and demonstrations turned into an occupation of the hospital entrance and later the opening of a citizen cooperative primary care center, owned by the community. In these two cases different strategies developed through different periods and in different places that shed light on the ongoing restructuring of the public healthcare system and its consequences of socio-spatial injustice in rural areas.
Sustainability means inclusivity: engaging citizens in early stage smart city development
In my current research I study how municipal planners and engineers imagine the users and uses of smart city technology and how this in turn shape the development of this technology. At the same time we study how citizens can be included earlier in the development of smart technologies and smart cities.