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Den svenska förvaltningsmodellen: Parlamentarisk debatt om förvaltningens roll i styrelseskicket
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2003 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Swedish Model of Administration : Parliamentary Debate on the Proper Role of Administrative Agencies (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the thesis is to describe and critically examine the parliamentary debate on the role of administrative agencies in Sweden during the period 1975–2000. What views on delegation, administrative discretion and steering tools are advocated by the Swedish political parties? Which is the proper role of administrative agencies in a democracy? The author suggests that agencies might be perceived as obedient tools or as counter powers. The categories can be related to a list of legitimate demands on agencies, such as the demands of the people, the politicians and the law. The Swedish model of administration, formally prescribing “autonomous agencies”, gives an theoretically interesting edge to the fundamental problem of combining political sovereignty with administrative discretion.

The Swedish political parties perceive administrative autonomy to be a practical solution to a practical problem, rather than a question of power distribution. The overall conclusion must be that Swedish parties want agencies to obey rather than to obstruct. But the manifest idea of obedience is somewhat blurred when we consider the parties’ views on control mechanisms more generally. Since the hierarchy of different steering tools is not outlined in any detail, the risk of confusion is evident. Further, despite the fact that rhetoric of non-reform has dominated the Swedish parliament over time, the Swedish model of administration may not be as stable as it would appear. Rather than initiating bold reforms, the parties may opt for incremental change by adjusting the interpretation of the model, including some of its core principles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2003. , 379 p.
Skrifter utgivna av Statsvetenskapliga föreningen i Uppsala, ISSN 0346-7538 ; 155
Keyword [en]
Political science, public administration, constitutional debate, The Swedish Model of Administration, discretion, delegation, corporativism
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3497ISBN: 91-554-5640-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3497DiVA: diva2:163035
Public defence
2003-06-11, Brusewitzsalen, Badhuset, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2003-05-15 Created: 2003-05-15 Last updated: 2012-10-11Bibliographically approved

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Wockelberg, Helena
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