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Understanding large-scale institutional change: Social conflicts and the politics of Swedish municipal amalgamations, 1952–1974
Linköping University.
Linköping University.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8224-9915
2015 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 40, no 2, 195-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A remarkable reform in modern Swedish political history was the transformation of the local government structure between 1952 and 1974. In a mere 22 years, the number of municipalities was reduced from 2,498 to 277. This study aims to answer how such large-scale reforms could come about politically, particularly since much of the literature on institutions and political reform asserts that carrying out large-scale political change should be a difficult task. Two opposing stories of institutional change are presented: evolutionary accounts, which see the amalgamations as rational adaptations to changing circumstances, are contrasted with a social conflict perspective, which explains amalgamations in terms of their distributional consequences. By investigating the processes leading up to this vast restructuring of Swedish local political geography, we demonstrate that an understanding of these reforms as rational adaptations to changing circumstances, made on the basis of consensus among leading political actors, is not accurate. The reforms were not as uncontroversial and non-conflictual as they often have been portrayed. Our results weaken the evolutionary approach to institutional change, whilst supporting the social conflict perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2015. Vol. 40, no 2, 195-214 p.
Keyword [en]
Municipal amalgamations
National Category
History
Research subject
Humanities, History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-42180DOI: 10.1080/03468755.2015.1016551ISI: 000352887900003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-42180DiVA: diva2:802168
Available from: 2015-04-10 Created: 2015-04-10 Last updated: 2016-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Wångmar, Erik
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf