Sweden: Between Participation Ideal and Professionalism

Magnus Hagevi

in The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199260362
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601873 | DOI:
 Sweden: Between Participation Ideal and Professionalism

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The participation ideal has affected Swedish politics in many ways and at first seems to contradict the notion of a professional political class. Yet, this has never been true for the national level and is less and less true for the local and regional level, the latter two often being a training ground for higher positions but also a career stage in their own right. It is unclear if a political class has already been established in Sweden – professional politicians may have made their careers quite safe, there is a social distinction (but take note of e.g. the high share of female politicians), and it is possible to live off politics (but not at a very high- level). However, a common class interest is hard to detect, and recent developments in public distrust of politicians and a resulting pressure for new political personnel could be a further hindrance towards the unrestrained development of a political class.

Keywords: cartel parties; distrust; participation ideal; political class; regional party organizations; Sweden

Chapter.  9738 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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