Erik Bodensten

Researcher, PhD, PhD

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • History


I received a Ph.D. in history from Lund University, were I am currently a research fellow, primarily focusing on the early modern period (approx. 1500–1800), political history and various cultural historical perspectives. 2016-2018, I was the junior editor for the historical journal Scandia. Tidskrift för historisk forskning. I have taught early modern political history at the Department of History, Lund University, and Peace and Conflict Studies at the Department of Political Science, also at Lund University.

My main research areas include:

The relationship between on the one hand pre-modern politics and on the other pre-modern experiences and expectations of man as a moral and political creature, as well as the many ways in which the discursive struggle for virtue and citizenship structured pre-modern European politics. These questions constituted 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), where I in particular stressed the importance of Lutheran and republican experiences in Sweden during the Age of Liberty (1719–72).

Parliamentary politics, party politics and political culture during the Age of Liberty represents another important research interest. In particular, I am interested in the emerging democratization of Swedish society and politics at this period and the particular role of party politics in this process, including how the party political conflicts helped politicize new political issues, involve new groups in the political decision-making process, and transform various political methods and strategies in the Swedish diet. These questions represented another important focal point in Politikens drivfjäder, and I have continued this line of research.

International politics and international relations in early modern Europe, in particular the relationship between minor powers and great powers. During the academic year of 2016–17, and together with Svante Norrhem (Lund University) and Erik Thomson (University of Manitoba), I worked on a research project concerning the Franco-Swedish alliance and subsidy relationship during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, which was financed by the Crafoord Foundation. The project resulted in the article “The Problems with Receiving Subsidies: Sweden and the Lesser Powers in the Long Eighteenth Century” in the anthology Economies of Allegiance: Subsidies, Diplomacy and State Formation in Europe, 1494–1789 (forthcoming in 2019). During 2018–19, I am involved in the project “Offentlig diplomati och utländska informations- och påverkanskampanjer i frihetstidens Sverige” [Public Diplomacy and Foreign Information and Influence Campaigns in Sweden during the Age of Liberty]. The question of how European states sought to influence one another politically remains in focus. In this project, however, the focus is on public politics and how foreign actors, by means of different information and influence campaigns, attempted to influence political opinion and decision-making processes in Sweden at the time. The project is financed by Torsten Söderbergs Foundation, in addition to Åke Wibergs Foundation, Tornspiran Foundation and Karl Staaf’s Memorial Fund.

Knowledge historical and media historical questions, with a particular focus on societal knowledge circulation, handwritten political literature and political opinion, knowledge and public sphere in Sweden during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Among other things, I have written the chapter “Political Knowledge in Public Circulation: The Case of Subsidies in Eighteenth-Century Sweden” in the anthology Circulation of Knowledge: Explorations in the History of Knowledge (2018). During the period of 2018–22, I am involved in the project “Missväxtkatastrofer: Samhällelig kunskap i cirkulation och förändring, Sverige 1695–1870” [Crop Failure Disasters: Public Knowledge in Circulation and Transformation, Sweden 1695–1870]. The focus here is on the recurring crop failure disasters affecting society in past centuries and more specifically the various forms of knowledge regarding this natural and societal phenomenon circulating in Sweden, during the transition from the pre-modern to the modern period. In terms of theory and methodology, this project aims to further develop the new research field of knowledge history, and it is linked to the knowledge historical seminar at the Department of History, Lund University, chaired by Johan Östling. This project is financed by the Swedish Research Council, in addition to Birgit och Gad Rausings Foundation for Research in the Humanities and the Gyllenstierna Krapperup Foundation.

Recent research outputs

Erik Bodensten, Kajsa Brilkman, David Larsson Heidenblad & Hanne Sanders, 2018 Feb, Nordens historiker: En vänbok till Harald Gustafsson. Historiska institutionen, Lunds Universitet, p. 9-13 (Studia historica Lundensia; vol. 28).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Erik Bodensten (ed.), Kajsa Brilkman (ed.), David Larsson Heidenblad (ed.) & Hanne Sanders (ed.), 2018 Feb, Lund: Historiska institutionen, Lunds Universitet. 313 p. (Studia historica lundensia; vol. 28)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology (editor)

Erik Bodensten, 2018 Feb, Nordens historiker: En vänbok till Harald Gustafsson. Historiska institutionen, Lunds Universitet, p. 61-75 (Studia historica Lundensia; vol. 28).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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