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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

A party system refers to the political parties that operate in a given polity and to their patterns of interaction. The Swedish system was long associated with several features: it had five parties; they were aligned in two informal blocs; and one party, the Social Democrats, has provided much the biggest, dominating governments. These patterns, summarized as “moderate pluralism,” were also stable. Since the 1980s, much has changed. There are now more parties in Parliament. By 2010 the bloc structure looked remarkably institutionalized. But a more “polarized pluralism,” seen briefly in the 1970s and 1990s, might now be in prospect.

Keywords: party system, Social Democratic dominance, moderate pluralism, polarized pluralism, five-party model, class cleavage, pre-electoral coalitions

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