Sweden: From Separation of Power to Parliamentary Supremacy—and Back Again?

Torbjörn Bergman

in Delegation and Accountability in Parliamentary Democracies

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780198297840
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602016 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Sweden: From Separation of Power to Parliamentary Supremacy—and Back Again?

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While far from perfect, for much of the post-war period the Swedish chain of democratic delegation and accountability has not been affected by serious agency problems. Fierce electoral competition between two clearly defined blocs and two alternative visions of society allowed voters to be reasonably sure that elections would impact on the direction of national politics. At the same time, the minority status of most cabinets allowed for moderation in policy decisions. Since the late 1980s, however, Swedish politicians have increasingly been faced with distrust, lower electoral turnout, and a loss of party members. It is possible that the growing discrepancy between de facto power relations and the ideal-typical Constitution contributes to a declining popular trust in politicians and political parties.

Keywords: advisory referendums; interpellation; minority government; negative parliamentarism; neo-corporatism; non-binding primaries; ombudsman; parliamentary scrutiny; transparency

Chapter.  12954 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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