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  • 1.
    Andersson, Staffan
    et al.
    Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
    Bergman, Torbjörn
    Södertörns högskola.
    Controlling Corruption in the Public Sector2009In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 32, no 1, p. 45-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Much of the literature on political corruption is based on indices such as the ones presented by Transparency International, but the reliability and validity of these indices are questionable. The main alternative approach – qualitative case studies – often lacks a theoretical framework allowing for systematic empirical analysis. To remedy this shortcoming, this article places qualitative case studies in the framework of principal-agent theory. The cases comprise two Swedish county councils (regional governments), both of which reorganised their administrations in similar ways in the 1990s. One experienced corruption scandals, but the other did not. In comparing them, the article links the propensity for corruption to institutional design – in particular, the mechanisms of delegation and control.

  • 2.
    Loxbo, Karl
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
    The Impact of the Radical Right: Lessons from the Local Level in Sweden, 2002-20062010In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 295-315Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article is to further develop the argument that the interaction between radicalright-wing challengers and mainstream parties is bound to shape not only the trajectory of the latter, but also the future prospects of the former. Drawing on recent developments in Sweden, following the Sweden Democrats’ (SD) appearance in local politics in 2002 and 2006, the article demonstrates that the SD has had an impact on the coalition practices of Swedish mainstream parties, responsible for the emergence of minority governments rather than grand coalitions. This trend suggests that the mere presence of a radical right party, although small and isolated, polarises the party system. The article supports the notion that the interaction between unequal competitors matters to the trajectory of the party system, and further concludes that the current responses of Swedish mainstream parties appear to improve, rather than to curb, the fortunes of the SD in subsequent elections. Finally, the article presents evidence indicating that the presence of the SD in local councils causes increased levels of political conflict.The results imply that the impact of the radical right is more immediate than suggested by previous research.The fact that the typically stable Swedish party system has been put under strain as a result of a seemingly minor challenge suggests that the radical right is a political force with which to be reckoned.

  • 3.
    Loxbo, Karl
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Voters' Perceptions of Policy Convergence and the Short-term Opportunites of Anti-immigrant parties: Examples from Sweden2014In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 239-262Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In contrast to previous studies on the political opportunity structures of anti-immigrant parties, this article argues that voters’ perceptions of policy convergence between mainstream alternatives affect their short-term propensity of supporting such partisan challengers. Drawing on leading research in the field, two hypotheses about voters’ perceptions of policy convergence, in two policy areas (economic-redistribution and immigration), are presented. The main findings in the article suggest that policy convergence between mainstream parties has a more immediate impact on the electorate than commonly recognised. Building on unique data from Sweden, the article shows that perceived convergence between Swedish mainstream parties in the field of immigration policy increases potential support for the anti-immigrant party, the Sweden Democrats (SD). Yet the results are the opposite when it comes to perceptions of convergence in the field of economic-distributive policies. In contrast to widespread assumptions, the article thus finds that policy convergence between mainstream parties only appears to create short-term opportunities for anti-immigrant parties if it takes place on their own policy turf. These results indicate, in other words, that the potential electorate of the SD – which is a wider group than hard-core xenophobes – is largely driven by preferences about immigration policy, rather than the short-term urge to protest against mainstream parties. The article, therefore, concludes that the cordon sanitaire to isolate the SD in Sweden – which is underpinned by de facto convergence between mainstream parties on immigration policy – could improve, an is unlikely to curb, the short-term electoral opportunities of this party. 

  • 4.
    Strömblad, Per
    et al.
    Institute for Future Studies, PO Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden.
    Bengtsson, Bo
    Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University, PO Box 785, SE-80129 Gävle, Sweden.
    Empowering Members of Ethnic Organisations. Tracing the Political Integration Potential of Immigrant Associations in Stockholm2009In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 296-314Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The voluminous participation literature notwithstanding, knowledge is still scarce on how voluntary associations more precisely provide their members with politically significant human and social capital. This article focuses on the capacities of immigrant organisations to promote the political integration of ethnic minority members. Analysing a unique dataset, based on face-to-face interviews with representatives of 106 organisations of four different immigrant groups in Greater Stockholm, the study empirically investigates what the authors refer to as an association's ‘political integration potential’ (PIP) – the possibility of a given ethnic association to promote the inclusion of its members in the political community of the host society. As elements of PIP, the article examines associational-level political activity as well as support and mobilisation of individual members, and analyses how the former may be induced by the latter. Furthermore, the article tries to explain why some types of organisations do better than others in these respects. It finds that size and diversification of associations have an important impact on PIP, thus explaining observed differences between associations of the ethnic categories included in this study.

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