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  • 1.
    Andersson, Staffan
    et al.
    Växjö University, Sweden.
    Aylott, Nicholas
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES). Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Centre for the Study of Political Organization.
    Eriksson, Johan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science.
    Democracy and technocracy in Sweden's Experience of the COVID-19 Pandemic2022In: Frontiers in Political Science, E-ISSN 2673-3145, Vol. 4, p. 1-13, article id 832518Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sweden’s management of the coronavirus pandemic, beginning in early 2020, hasbeen much discussed because it deviated from other countries’ equivalents. Set inthe context of scholarly debate about the balance between politicians and experts inpolitical decision-making, we argue that a necessary condition for this case of Swedishexceptionalism was the manner of policy-making adopted by the Swedish authorities. Inthis article, we describe this policy-making procedure, which involved a radical form ofdelegation by elected politicians to appointed experts, and seek to explain how it cameabout. We focus on the 1st year of the pandemic, and use media reports and other publicdocuments, including parts of a public inquiry, as our empirical material.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Democracy and Technocracy Covid-19
  • 2.
    Aylott, Nicholas
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.
    Bolin, Niklas
    Mid Sweden University, Sweden.
    Editorial: Party leader selection in Europe: concepts, processes and outcomes2023In: Frontiers in Political Science, E-ISSN 2673-3145, Vol. 5, article id 1279488Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Aylott, Nicholas
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science.
    Bolin, Niklas
    Mid Sweden University, Sweden.
    Shifting perceptions of intra-party democracy: Leader selection in the Swedish Liberal Party2023In: Frontiers in Political Science, E-ISSN 2673-3145, Vol. 5, article id 1070269Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish Liberal Party chose a new leader in 2019. It was, in some ways, typical of leader selection in Sweden. It featured an elaborate, institutionalised and yet only semi-public form of “precursory delegation,” in which aspiring leaders are filtered by a “steering agent” on behalf of the party’s main power centres. In other ways, though, the process was unusually conflictual and produced an unexpected result, which had considerable consequences for the party and for Swedish politics. Moreover, the selection involved the breakdown of a long-established procedure for leader selection in the party. We seek to explain this deviant case. We emphasise an unexpected cascade of decisions by regional party branches to hold membership ballots on the leadership candidates. This event, we argue, was critical for the outcome. We also suggest a causal mechanism, a shifting perception of procedural legitimacy, that facilitated the outcome—a mechanism that could be useful in understanding leader selection and moments of party change more generally. 

  • 4.
    Turunen, Jaakko
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Social Work.
    Werther, Steffen
    Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Institute of Contemporary History.
    Al-Saqaf, Walid
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
    Performing control in the Swedish Twitter sphere or: How a 1920s' Russian linguist helps us understand dynamics of digital authority2022In: Frontiers in Political Science, E-ISSN 2673-3145, Vol. 4, article id 946985Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social media has created new public spheres that provide alternative sources of social and political authority. Such “digital authority” has conventionally been interpreted in metric terms, without qualitative distinctions. Based on Twitter data from four different Swedish state agencies during the first 15 months of the COVID-19 crisis, this paper looks at the different kinds of modes of interaction Twitter enables and their impact on state agencies digital authority. Theoretically this paper applies Valentin Voloshinov's classical theory on reported speech, developed in the 1920s, to the concept of digital authority in the Twitter-sphere of the 2020s. Besides these theoretical contributions to media and communication studies, the main findings are that retweets are generally used to affirm and spread information thus strengthening the digital authority of the origin of the tweet whilst replies and quote-tweets are used to undermine the credibility of the sender and the content of the original tweet, often by resorting to irony. As the COVID-19 crisis prolongs, we observe increasing share of critical commentary and diminishing overall attention to government actors in Sweden. The roles of different state agencies are mirrored by the type of interaction they generate. This article also shows the usefulness of qualitative study of social media interaction in order to reveal the dynamics of digital authority construed in social media.

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