Obstacles and opportunities for equal participation of citizens with intellectual disabilities: evidence from a world-leading accessibility initiative

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities establishes political rights for individuals with disabilities and requires states to guarantee the opportunity to enjoy them on an equal basis with others. However, individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) remains on the sidelines in politics.

In Sweden, one of the first countries to extend the right to vote to include all adult citizens, the turnout among those with ID is significantly lower than for other groups. This indicates that individuals with ID, more than others, faces limitations to political participation. Combining empirical and normative inquiry, this research project aims at mapping such limitations, assess strategies to overcome them and to facilitate political participation, and normatively evaluate what limitations ought to be removed in order not to violate the core democratic principle of inclusion.

The empirical data will be generated by studying a uniquely ambitious project – Mitt val – developed by three civil society organizations to facilitate effective political participation of individuals with ID. An analysis of the project enables us to study both experienced limitations and the possibility of overcoming these limitations based on a large number of individuals with ID. Taking the normative and empirical inquiries together, we reassess the connection between ability and democratic inclusion, with implications for the question of voting rights for individuals with ID and beyond.    

Principal Investigator: Jonas Hultin Rosenberg (Department of Government)

Period: 1 January 2022–31 December 2024

Funding: SEK 4 886 000 from the Swedish Research Council

Jonas Hultin Rosenberg

Researcher at Department of Government, Faculty


Visiting researcher at Centre for Multidisciplinary Research on Religion and Society (CRS)

Research team

Jonas Hultin Rosenberg, Department of Government, Uppsala University

Johan Wejryd, Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University

Pär Zetterberg, Department of Government, Uppsala University

Erik Amnå, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. Örebro University

Stefan Johansson, Begripsam

Last modified: 2023-02-07