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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This handbook examines Swedish politics as well as institutional changes, political decision-making, foreign affairs, and political behavior. It discusses political change and political mobilization in relation to society’s transition into a postindustrial economy, along with the impact of the growing international embeddedness, de jure or de facto, on policy objectives such as non-alliance and neutrality. This introduction first provides an overview of two parallel trajectories that reshaped and modernized Sweden since the 1880s: industrialization and urbanization as well as the consolidation of a capitalist economy; and democratization and the mobilization of social class. It then considers the degree of Swedish exceptionalism in areas such as welfare state politics, constitutional design, the party system, electoral behavior, public administration, subnational government, international relations, Sweden’s membership in the European Union, and the political economy of Swedish governance. It also speculates about what caused the decline in Swedish exceptionalism and concludes by outlining the book’s organization and themes.

Keywords: Swedish politics, foreign affairs, political behavior, Sweden, democratization, Swedish exceptionalism, welfare state politics, public administration, international relations, political economy

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