New Research Projects
Research on public investment, political mobility and national inspections of the welfare sector has been rewarded research grants from Forte and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.
The researchers at the Department of Government awarded research grants are:
- Pär Nyman and Axel Cronert for The politics of public investment (3 530 000 from Forte).
- Karl-Oskar Lindgren for Like Parents Like Child? Political Mobility in Sweden Over the Past 100 Years (3 695 000 SEK from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond).
- Linda Moberg and Karin Leijon (in collaboration with Mio Fredriksson at the Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences) for How does national inspections affect welfare professions? (4 046 000 SEK from Forte).
The politics of public investment
In the research project "The politics of public investment", Pär Nyman and Axel Cronert examine why much-needed public investments are sometimes not implemented. They explore two political explanations of under-investment. First, governments might prioritize immediate consumption over long-term investments if they expect the former to increase their chances of re-election. Second, any investment is afflicted with a certain degree of uncertainty, as whether the investment decision would be revoked after a cabinet change.
– Many of the challenges that we face today will require voluminous investments in education as well as infrastructure. Due to slow economic growth and low interest rates, increased public investment is also compelling from a purely economic perspective. Why then, is it the case that the level of investment has declined in most rich countries? That's what we want to find out, says Pär Nyman, who is leading the project.
Like Parents Like Child? Political Mobility in Sweden Over the Past 100 Years
The principle of equality of political opportunity lies at heart of democracy. Ideally, all citizens should have the same opportunity to engage in politics regardless of who their parents are. But to what extent is this the case? Whereas there is plenty of research on how social and economic positions are passed on from parents to children, much less is known about the transmission of political inequality between generations. For instance, to what extent are children to politically active parents more likely to vote or run for political office themselves? And if so, why is that the case and what can be done about it?
The aim of the proposed project is to answer vital questions such as these. One likely reason for the lack of research on this important topic is the shortage of adequate data. This project seeks to remedy this state of affairs by utilizing population-wide data from Swedish administrative registers that offer excellent opportunities for studying political participation at the mass level (electoral participation) as well as at the elite level (nomination for and involvement in political assemblies).
Find out more about the project on Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
How does national inspections affect welfare professions?
During the last decades, Sweden has re-organized its provision of welfare services. Inspired by ideas best known under the headline of New Public Management, policy makers have aimed to reduce costs and raise service quality by privatizing and market-orienting the service provision and introducing various forms of performance management. In the wake of New Public Management reforms, there has also been an increased focus on auditing, or controlling that providers of public services fulfill stipulated objectives and provide high quality services.
The increased focus on audit has led to a growing concern among researchers regarding the implications of auditing for welfare professionals. The aim with this project is to contribute to this literature by studying what inspection strategies that are used to supervise Swedish health care, education and eldercare, and if these strategies are compatible with professional discretion. As such, the project will be able to contribute with practical and policy relevant insights about how national inspections can be designed in order to meet public authorities need for control, but without undermining the professional discretion of the staff.
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