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date: 30 March 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although Swedish local government shares a set of traits that are common to all other European local government systems, it stands out, in many respects, as unique. The particular combination of local responsibility for costly tax-financed national welfare policies, strong and mainly nationally organized political parties at local level, consistent decision-making collectivism, and a type of representative democracy that leaves little room for means of direct democracy make Sweden different. These features are intertwined, reflecting core values of the Scandinavian welfare model. Although many of them have been challenged during recent decades, popular support for the welfare system remains strong.

Keywords: local government, regional government, comparative local government, democracy models, Swedish exceptionalism, welfare model

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