User choice and the changing notion of social citizenship in Swedish eldercare
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
This article aims to analyze how the policy makers who crafted the Swedish choice reform in eldercare reasoned with regard to the tension between user choice and citizens’ right to quality care. To answer this question, three dimensions are addressed in the paper: (i) what role did the choice reform assign to the users and how did the policy makers view their ability to make informed choices? (ii) How did the policy makers view the role of the public authorities and what tools were they given to ensure citizens’ equal access to good quality eldercare? (iii) Did the policies entail a new form of social citizenship for the elderly? The findings suggest that while Swedish policy makers introduced a system where eldercare users were encouraged to make free choices between providers, thereby allocating resources among these, the users also became more responsible to ensure service quality through their choices. In addition, the choice reform altered the regulatory role of local authorities who no longer had full control over the resource distribution and also become more restricted in their regulatory abilities. Furthermore, the paper argues that the Swedish choice reform entails a more libertarian notion of social citizenship, implying that users are to take on greater responsibility for their own well-being and protection against social risks.
Social citizenship, User choice, Eldercare, Sweden, Social rights
Political Science Public Administration Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319248OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-319248DiVA: diva2:1086377