Erik Bodensten

Erik Bodensten

Affiliated with the university, PhD

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Personal profile


I am a research fellow at the Department of History, Lund University. My research is mainly devoted to the history of early modern Europe, and deals with topics in the intersection between politics and culture. I have a particular interest in Swedish eighteenth-century political discourse, media and politics. Another major research interest is the history of knowledge, and in particular, how knowledge circulate in wider society. I also have a general interest in international relations and peace and conflict studies, including the topic of peace in eighteenth-century Sweden. In 2016-2018, I was the reviews editor for the historical journal Scandia. Tidskrift för historisk forskning. I have taught early modern history at the Department of History, Lund University, and Peace and Conflict Studies at the Department of Political Science, also at Lund University.

Since 2018, I am involved in two different research projects. The first project, “Crop Failure Disasters: Public Knowledge in Circulation and Transformation, Sweden 1695–1870”, financed by the Swedish Research Council, sets out to explore crop failure disasters as an important political, environmental and knowledge phenomenon during the transformative shift from pre-modernity to modernity. Based on a variety of different sources, this project aims to show how the multifaceted and growing field of knowledge concerning crop failure disasters changed and how different forms of knowledge regarding the phenomenon circulated in the Swedish media system.

My second current project, “Public Diplomacy and Foreign Information and Influence Campaigns during Sweden´s Age of Liberty”, primarily financed by the Torsten Söderberg Foundation, combines diplomatic history and media history, and deals with the general question of how European states sought to influence one another politically, during the early modern period. More specifically, it focuses on how foreign state actors attempted to influence political opinion and decision-making processes in Sweden, in 1719–72, by means of various information and influence campaigns.

Previously, I conducted a research project along with Svante Norrhem, financed by the Crafoord Foundation, in which I analyzed knowledge circulation and the European states system respectively, in relation to early modern subsidies. The results are presented in two book chapters, “Political Knowledge in Public Circulation: The Case of Subsidies in Eighteenth-Century Sweden” (2018), and, “The Problems with Receiving Subsidies: Sweden and the Lesser Powers in the Long Eighteenth Century” (forthcoming).

In my earlier research, I have studied parliamentary politics, party politics and political culture in eighteenth-century Sweden, from the standpoint of Lutheran and republican views on virtue and citizenship. These questions constitute the focus of my doctoral thesis, Politikens drivfjäder: Frihetstidens partiberättelser och den moralpolitiska logiken [The Mainspring of Politics: Party Narratives and the Logic of Moral Politics in the Age of Liberty] (2016).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger

UKÄ subject classification

  • History


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