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date: 24 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses four features which together form the backbone of what is called the Swedish administrative model. These four features are the “dualism” (i.e. the relatively high degree of autonomy that Swedish state agencies enjoy in relation to the government), openness, decentralization, and corporatism. Each feature’s historical and constitutional foundation is discussed, as well as various tensions surrounding them. It is argued that the oldest features (the dualism and the openness) are still highly institutionalized while the younger ones (decentralization and corporatism) have weakened in recent decades. However, it is also argued that administrative practices linked to the dualism and the openness have changed quite rapidly in recent decades, giving these features the appearance of façades. In other words, government “talk” remains intact while actual government changes.

Keywords: continuity, dualism, autonomy, openness, managerialism, decentralization, delegation, stakeholder influence

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