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Same law - same rights?: Analyzing why Sweden's disability legislation failed to create equal rights in mental health
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, ISSN 0160-2527, E-ISSN 1873-6386, Vol. 37, no 6, 609-618 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyzed the apparent paradox of disability rights in Sweden. Despite strong welfare state traditions and stated Government ambitions to create generous statutory entitlements for all disabled people using a single, comprehensive Disability Act, psychiatric disabilities were principally excluded from the Disability Act's rights and provisions. The study focused on Sweden's Mental Health Reform and Disability Reform using governance perspectives that traced and analyzed the policy-processes of both reforms. Theoretically guided analytical frameworks were developed to help understand the divergent reform outcomes. The first focused on legislative arguments of regulatory specificity and legal enforcement mechanisms to consider whether the Disability Act was formulated in a manner that was easier to apply to certain disabilities. The second analyzed ideological arguments and the influence of Government political beliefs that signaled specific reform ‘visions’ to implementers and thereby influenced policy implementation. The main findings are that both perspectives matter as the dual influences of legislative and ideological differences tended to exclude mental health service users from the Act's generous disability rights. The overall conclusion was that while legislation was an important regulatory mechanism, the Government's underlying ideological reform vision was also an essential governance instrument that signaled Government intentions to implementing agencies and thus influenced the creation of enduring disability rights.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Pergamon Press, 2014. Vol. 37, no 6, 609-618 p.
Keyword [en]
Sweden, mental health, disability legislation, policy analysis, policy framing, governance
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-236292DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2014.02.035ISI: 000345542000010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-236292DiVA: diva2:763775
Demokrati & individuella rättigheter inom den svenska välfärdsstaten.
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2015-01-05Bibliographically approved

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Maycraft Kall, Wendy Katherine
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