Department of Government

Swedish Politics

The Department of Government has traditionally been very strong in the research area that broadly could be labelled Swedish politics. Today, this area continues to attract considerable interest among both established and junior members of the faculty and doctoral students. Below, a number of substantial issue-areas are listed, together with information about the principal investigators in each field.

Constitutional development

The research project: “The Presidentialization of Parliamentarianism” studies the extent to which the Swedish parliamentary system has moved in a direction that resembles presidentialism. In the project, a major issue is to determine whether the prime minister in praxis have acquired an almost president-like position. Related to that is the question concerning if the collegial forms of decision-making in the government have been undermined by such a development (principal investigators Dr. Thomas Persson, Associate professor Hanna Bäck (Mannheim).

Integration, migration and citizenship

Research concerned with Swedish policies of integration and the preconditions for integration in Sweden is an expanding area in the Department. There are as of today several on-going projects, most of them with a more or less explicit comparative, European, perspective on political participation patterns, the role of associations for integration, citizenship issues (principal investigators Associate professor Anders Westholm, professor Bo Bengtsson, Dr. Nils Hertting, Dr. Gunnar Myrberg, professor Li Bennich-Björkman, Dr. Per Adman). 

Labour market

Since the beginning of 2000, the Department – in connection to the previous Institutet for Work-Life Research- has built-up considerable competence in the field of labour market research and related areas. One on-going project is concerned with the relations among major Swedish labour market actors. More substantially this study focuses on the labour market, first and foremost the Swedish labour market. This means that relations are described among the actors in this specific sector of society. What relations of power, trust, deliberation and belief sharing are prevalent under different labour market regimes? Further, how these formal and informal relations influence labour market outcomes with respect to efficiency, co-operation and equality are investigated (principal investigators Associate professor PerOla Öberg, Associate Professor Torsten Svensson, Dr.Sven Oskarsson). The on-going book project “EU, the right of association and the trade union rights” poses the seminal question whether the EU four freedoms are compatible with the rights of association and trade unions as they have been articulated in the Swedish labour market (principal investigator Associate professor Karl-Göran Algotsson).

Gender and politics

Gender, state and politics are the major foci of a number of on-going projects. The representation of women in political decision-making and the development of gender and family policies are areas well represented (principal investigator Associate professor Christina Bergqvist). An on-going doctoral project closely related to this area studies the Swedish policies on prostitution and the background to the world unique legislation on banning the bying of sex (doctoral student Josefina Eriksson). Political participation analyzed from a gender- and integration perspective also falls within this area (principal investigator Dr. Per Adman). 

Welfare state

The changing preconditions for welfare policies in Sweden and the challenges against “the Swedish model” has been the topic for research in the Department, both completed studies and on-going ones. Not least has areas such as health care and schools been investigated (principal investigators Dr. Paula Blomqvist, Associate professor Anders Lindbom). The on-going project “A kinder, more gentle, democracy” (supported by FAS) is preoccupied with the policies toward disabled persons in Swedish municipalities. This rich variation opens for possibilities of testing Lijphart’s thesis that consensus-democracy generates more beneficial policies for underprivileged groups. There are very weak support for that in the Swedish data (principal investigators Professor Leif Lewin, MD Barbro Lewin, Lina Westin and Associate professor Hanna Bäck).

Political participation and political values

The Swedish investigations on citizenship that investigates patterns of participation and values are based in the Department and has been inspiring similar studies on a cross-European level (principal investigator Anders Westholm).

The RJ-funded project “System critics in democracy” studies and compares protest movements and social movements in France and Sweden. A particular focus is on if and how processes of globalization affects the goals and targets of their demands. Results have so far been published in Comparative Politics and Mobilization (principal investigator Associate professor Fredrik Uggla).

In a newly launched doctoral project Sweden and the US are compared as to whether their dominating ideologies of individualism differ using survey-data. The question is further asked what kind of effects such differences have on democratic participation and democratic quality (Gina Gustavsson).