Born in the US but partially raised in Sweden, Carl holds degrees from UCL and Edinburgh University.
His research is interested in the contemporary worldview and praxis of the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP); a party habitually described as undergoing a prolonged period of crisis due to, amongst other factors, its embrace of neoliberalism. Seeking to move beyond this, his project argues that ‘the people’ as a concept for social democracy is of pivotal importance, but that this significance is – due in part to neoliberalism’s perceived explanatory power – overlooked in contemporary analyses. Employing both ethnographic and archival methods, his project therefore seeks to provide an account of how different actors within the SAP, discursively understand, conceptualize, and relate to, ‘the people’ to confront the contemporary cleavages both within the party and Sweden’s broader socio-political landscape – particularly in relation to debates on immigration and integration spawned by the 2015 refugee ‘crisis’.
His ongoing fieldwork (September 2017 – September 2018) is based in Norrköping, a large Swedish municipality long observed to be a microcosm of the social democratically inflected strong state, that has in recent decades experienced economic, demographic and political changes that pose a range of challenges for the SAP.
Provisional PhD Title: ‘Automatic for ‘The People’? Swedish Social Democracy’s struggle to articulate ‘folkism’ amid internal and external cleavages’