Abstract and Keywords
This introduction to the section on the party system in Sweden starts with the premise that political parties are essential for the upholding of legitimacy in parliamentary democracies. Four chapters make up the section. The first focuses on the changing Swedish party system, where Social Democrats historically have held an exceptionally strong position, which has weakened during recent years. The second analyzes the parties’ internal organizational structure, suggesting that although Swedish parties have become more professionalized, and the ‘mass party’ has faded away, this does not imply they have become internally less democratic. The third chapter focuses on representation, arguing that Swedish parties today face a more complex environment than before, with more diversity among representatives. The concluding chapter suggests that some features of Swedish cabinets stand out in a comparative perspective, with many single-party minority governments, where the Social Democrats have ruled with the help of ‘support party coalitions’.
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