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Den svenska högerns anpassning till demokratin
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the motives for the Swedish Conservative Party's adaption to democracy from 1917 to 1934. The question is: Why did the principally anti-democraticConservative Party choose to accept and to stay loyal to the new Swedish democracy?

In all newly democratised countries there is a potential danger of an anti-democratic reaction from the group that controlled the power in the old system. By examining the fivemost important events during the last stage of the transition to democracy and the yearsafter the full extension of the suffrage, this thesis tries to explain which motives were themost important for the Conservatives' adaption to democracy. Three explanations are tested: The first stresses the importance of constitutional guarantees. The second tests the ideaof "backward legitimacy", which emphasises the importance of the legality of the process and the preservation of the monarchy. The third explanation points out the fact that a political culture of co-operation between the political parties in Sweden was present even before the democratisation started; and thus that the Conservatives had a positive attitude towards settling conflicts in agreement.

The results of the thesis clearly show that it was the positive attitude towards co-operation with the opposition that made the Conservatives accept democracy. The party tried to get as many constitutional guarantees as possible in the constitutional reform of 1918 but did hardly get any at all. The proportional system of representation, though introduced already in 1907, was an effective guarantee, but was not enough for the Conservatives neither to accept the full extension of the suffrage nor to stay loyal to the system in the long run. Similarly it can be argued that the legality of the process and the preservation of the monarchy had an impact, but there is no evidence indicating that these were the most important factors.

The five cases are: the wave of demonstrations in the spring of 1917, the inauguration of parliamentarism in the fall of 1917, the constitutional reform of 1918, the defence issue in 1923-25 and the split between the mother party and the youth organisation in 1934.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 325 p.
Skrifter utgivna av Statsvetenskapliga föreningen i Uppsala, ISSN 0346-7538 ; 136
Keyword [en]
Political science, transition to democracy, democratisation, conservatism, elite consensus, backward legitimacy, constitutional guarantees, Sweden, political history
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-432ISBN: 91-554-4663-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-432DiVA: diva2:164839
Public defence
2000-04-28, Brusewitzsalen, Gamla torget 6, Uppsala, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2000-04-07 Created: 2000-04-07 Last updated: 2010-01-13Bibliographically approved

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