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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Swedish politics can still be characterized as deliberative, rationalistic, open, and consensual but only if these four concepts are reinterpreted. Sweden has changed from a long-term “sounding-out” style of policy-making to a short-term and iterative trial-and-error method. Whereas commissions of inquiry in the 1960s were expected to carry out thoroughgoing investigations of policy alternatives and their possible consequences, since the 1980s they have been ordered to finish their assignments in less time and deliver shorter reports. Political decisions today are taken on a much less solid factual ground. The political process has moved from a consensus-seeking system based on selected access for a few major interests to a competitive and open-ended system.

Keywords: consensus, deliberation, legislation, planning, policy-making, neocorporatism, openness, rationalism

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