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Så gott som demokrati: Om demokratifrågan i EU-debatten
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
1997 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation investigates how the question of democracy was discussed in the Swedish debate onparticipation in Western European integration and membership in the European Union. It also examinessome implications following from the discursive construction of democracy in relation to Europeanintegration. By investigating the use of the concept of democracy, the ambition is to trace changes inconceptions of democracy over time.

A point of conceptual departure is that recent collective experiences are reflected in the language-usebut also that struggle over defining political concepts is a key part of political struggle. Conceptualchange may be politically innovative, in the sense that new things become possible to conceive of andto realize. Conceptual change may thus open up the possibility for changes in political practice.

The study covers the years 1988-1994. The empirical base consists of two types of written material: first, official documents: parliamentary records, government bills and public investigative reports; and second, editorials and debate articles in three Swedish daily papers: Arbetet, Dagens Nyheter andSvenska Dagbladet.

The study finds a certain shift in the dominant Swedish discourse on democracy, whereby themeaning of some concepts have changed and whereby some concepts have become more central to theunderstanding of democracy than others. Most notably, efficiency plays a central role in the investigated discourse on democracy. The emphasis shifts from the procedures of democratic participation and control to substantial political outcomes. A shift away from a procedurial conception of democracy is identified, and also a tendency in the debate to confuse democratic gains and gains in efficiency and practical politics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1997. , 356 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology, democracy, efficiency, EU, discourse, struggle of definition, conceptual change, political concepts, social representations
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-759ISBN: 91-972690-8-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-759DiVA: diva2:169729
Public defence
1997-12-05, universitetets lärosal IX, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 1997-11-14 Created: 1997-11-14Bibliographically approved

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