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  • 1.
    Brooks, Clem
    et al.
    Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Why does class matter?: Policy attitudes, mechanisms, and the case of the Nordic countries2010In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, ISSN 0276-5624, E-ISSN 1878-5654, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 199-213Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In most democracies, classes tend to vary with respect to an array of attitudes and behaviours, and differences are large within a number of European polities. What mechanisms lie behind these differences? Do they relate primarily to individuals’ material interests, as assumed by traditional class theories, or instead, to socialization and self-selection factors? This paper seeks to extend theory and research through an analysis of mechanisms behind class differences in policy attitudes. Our focus is on the Nordic countries, where class differences are extensive and well-documented in past scholarship. We take advantage of high-quality European Social Survey data for Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Analyzing three policy arenas and the 9-category European Socio-economic Classification scheme (ESeC), we find evidence that class-related factors help to explain cleavages in attitudes. Comparisons with the more detailed, 103-category International Standard Classification of Occupation scheme (ISCO) suggest that these factors explain less “micro-class” occupational variation. Results shed new light on mechanisms behind class differences, and the empirical foundations of established class theories. These and other implications are discussed in the conclusion.

  • 2.
    Edlund, Jonas
    et al.
    Umeå universitet.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Cohort, class and attitudes to redistribution in two liberal welfare states: Britain and the United States, 1996-20062012In: Ageing Populations in Post-Industrial Democracies: Comparative Studies of Policies and Politics / [ed] Pieter Vanhuysse, Achim Goerres, London: Routledge, 2012, p. 206-224Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Garsten, Christina
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet.
    Rothstein, Bo
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Makt utan mandat: de policyprofessionella i svensk politik2015Book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Halleröd, Björn
    et al.
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Lindqvist, Rafael
    Uppsala universitet.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Välfärdsattityder, fattigdom och socialpolitisk organisering – om Staffan Marklunds intellektuella arv2012In: Socialförsäkringsforskning: En vänbok till Staffan Marklund / [ed] Kristina Alexandersson, Stockholm: Karolinska institutet , 2012, p. 57-65Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Kulin, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå universitet.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Class, values, and attitudes towards redistribution: a European comparison2013In: European Sociological Review, ISSN 0266-7215, E-ISSN 1468-2672, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 155-167Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Using data from the European Social Survey, we analyse the link between basic human values and attitudes towards redistribution, and how that link differs among classes and across countries. We assess whether and why the class-specific impact of self-transcendence and self-enhancement values on attitudes towards redistribution differs across a selection of European countries. The results show that the links between values and attitudes are generally stronger in more materially secure and privileged classes. However, the relative strength of the associations varies substantially across countries. Where inequality is smaller and poverty less prevalent, the link between values and attitudes becomes less class-specific. These findings provide support for our two main interpretations: (a) that welfare policies mitigate the class-specific risks that people are exposed to, which make values more salient and effective among workers; and (b) that the existence of visible and salient redistributive policies works to make clearer the cognitive link between abstract values and support for concrete policies.

  • 6.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    A bedrock of support? Trends in welfare state attitudes in Sweden, 1981–20102011In: Social Policy & Administration, ISSN 0144-5596, E-ISSN 1467-9515, Vol. 45, no 7, p. 806-825Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports findings about Swedes' attitudes towards the welfare state from 1981 to 2010, building on data from the Swedish Welfare State Surveys. Attitudes towards social spending, willingness to pay taxes, attitudes towards collective financing and public organization, suspicion about welfare abuse, and trust in the task performance of the welfare state are tracked. Overall, there is a large degree of stability in attitudes, and where change is registered, it tends to go in the direction of increasing support. More people state their willingness to pay higher taxes for welfare policy purposes; more people want collective financing of welfare policies; and fewer people perceive extensive welfare abuse in 2010 than was the case in previous surveys. Class patterns change so that the salaried and the self-employed become more similar to workers in their attitudes. Hence, the unprecedented election loss of the Swedish Social Democrats in 2010, and the rise of the Moderates (conservatives) as the dominant party cannot be explained by changing attitudes towards the welfare state. Nor can any corrosive effects from increased marketization of the Swedish welfare state on public support for welfare policies be detected.

  • 7.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet / Stockholms universitet / Institute for Futures Studies.
    Capitalist Diversity on Europe’s Periphery, by Dorothee Bohle and Béla Greskovits2013In: Perspectives on Politics, ISSN 1537-5927, E-ISSN 1541-0986, Vol. 11, p. 662-664Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Contested Welfare States: Welfare Attitudes in Europe and Beyond2012Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The welfare state is a trademark of the European social model. An extensive set of social and institutional actors provides protection against common risks, offering economic support in periods of hardship and ensuring access to care and services. Welfare policies define a set of social rights and address common vulnerabilities to protect citizens from market uncertainties. But over recent decades, European welfare states have undergone profound restructuring and recalibration.This book analyzes people's attitudes toward welfare policies across Europe, and offers a novel comparison with the United States. Occupied with normative orientations toward the redistribution of resources and public policies aimed at ameliorating adverse conditions, the book focuses on the interplay between individual welfare attitudes and behavior, institutional contexts, and structural variables. It provides essential input into the comparative study of welfare state attitudes and offers critical insights into the public legitimacy of welfare state reform.

  • 9.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Den mystiska forskningspolitiken2014In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 51, no 2, p. 191-192Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
    Forskningens mörker: om svarta känslor och konsten att vara lagom rädd2018Book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 11.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
    Forskningspolitik som kunskapshinder2016In: Det hotade universitetet / [ed] Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg, Li Bennich-Björkman, Jörgen Hermansson, Anna Jarstad, Christer Karlsson & Sten Widmalm, Stockholm: Dialogos Förlag, 2016, p. 143-153Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Government quality, egalitarianism, and attitudes to taxesand social spending: a European comparison2013In: European Political Science Review, ISSN 1755-7739, E-ISSN 1755-7747, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 363-380Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper analyses how perceptions of government quality – in terms of impartialityand efficiency – impact on attitudes to taxes and social spending. It builds on data fromthe European Social Survey 2008 from 29 European countries. The paper shows alarge degree of congruence between expert-based judgments and the general public’sperceptions of the quality of government. It also shows that the quality of governmenthas a clear, independent effect on attitudes to taxes and spending, so that people whoperceive institutions as efficient and fair want higher taxes and spending. But governmentquality also conditions the impact of egalitarianism on attitudes to taxes and spending: inhigh-quality-of-government egalitarianism has a clearly stronger impact on these attitudes.It is concluded that government quality is an important and so far neglected factor inexplaining attitudes to welfare policies.

  • 13.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Klass2010In: Ett delat samhälle: makt, intersektionalitet och social skiktning / [ed] Christofer Edling, Fredrik Liljeros, Malmö: Liber, 2010, 1:1, p. 31-49Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Institute for Futures Studies.
    Knowing the game: motivations and skills among partisan policy professionals2017In: Journal of Professions and Organization, ISSN 2051-8803, E-ISSN 2051-8811, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 55-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on “partisan policy professionals” (PPPs), i.e. people who are employed to affectpolitics and policy, and analyzes their particular motivations and skills. This article focuses on the occupationalpractices of PPPs: what are their main motivations and driving forces, and what are thekey skills they deploy in their work? The main motivation for PPPs is a desire to wield power and influencethe course of affairs, while their working-life satisfaction comes from getting their messageinto the media without becoming personally exposed. The key resource of PPPs is contextdependentpolitically useful knowledge, in three main forms: “Problem formulation” involves highlightingand framing social problems and their possible solutions. “Process expertise” consists of understandingthe “where, how, and why” of the political and policy-making processes. “Informationaccess” is the skill to be very fast in finding reliable and relevant information. These motivations andskills underpin a particular professionalism based in an “entrepreneurial ethos”, which differs fromboth the ethos of elected politicians, and that of civil servants, and which has some potentially problematicimplications for democratic governance.

  • 15.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Kreativitetens människa: om konsten att ställa sig i hörnet och vikten av att vårda sina fiender2015Book (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Kunskapens människa: Om kroppen, kollektivet och kunskapspolitiken2012 (ed. 1)Book (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Institutet för framtidsstudier.
    “Most MPs are Not All that Sharp.” Political Employees and Representative Democracy2017In: International Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 0190-0692, E-ISSN 1532-4265, Vol. 40, no 7, p. 548-558Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The article analyses the orientations of political employees in Sweden. It finds that their roles are diffuse: there is no agreement among political employees about whether they are politicians or not, and their mandate is fleeting and unclear. They hold the average politician’s intellectual abilities in low regard, and sometimes take on clearly paternalistic views toward elected representatives. They see little attraction in pursuing a career as elected politicians, because of intrusive media scrutiny and since they hold a view of elected politics as slow, boring, and shallow. The professional route to politics is seen as more fast and fun.

  • 18.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Institutet för framtidsstudier.
    Olle Wästberg & Daniel Lindvall, Folkstyret i rädslans tid. Stockholm: Fri Tanke, 2017.2017In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 54, no 4, p. 393-395Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Institutet för framtidsstudier.
    Out of the Golden Cage: PR and the career opportunities of policy professionals2016In: Politics and Policy, ISSN 1801-3422, E-ISSN 1747-1346, Vol. 44, no 1, p. 56-73Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on “policy professionals”—people employed to affect politics and policy making rather than elected to office, and their career motivations and considerations. What do they see as career opportunities and limitations? What resources do policy professionals offer on the job market? How are status and hierarchy on their particular labor market perceived? Special attention is paid to the possible transitions from current job into other positions and arenas. The study pinpoints the “golden cage” problem: the problem for organizations positioned outside party politics to properly evaluate the distinct skills of policy professionals. The key position of the public relations agencies in this regard is highlighted. The article closes with a discussion of some democratic implications of the arguments and findings, such as anticipatory adjustment of behavior in public office, the potential merging of political elites, and the supply driven growth of the policy professional stratum.

  • 20.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Policy feedback, generational replacement, and attitudes to state intervention: Eastern and Western Germany, 1990-20062010In: European Political Science Review, ISSN 1755-7739, E-ISSN 1755-7747, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 119-135Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper tests contested arguments within the institutionalist literature about the relation between institutional and attitudinal changes, using the reunified Germany as a case. Eastern Germany constitutes a case approaching a ‘natural experiment’ for the social sciences, being twice the receiver of externally imposed institutions. It, therefore, provides a unique opportunity to closely analyse institutional effects on attitudes, as in this particular case, the time order of institutional and attitudinal changes can actually be decided. Using data from the International Social Survey Program modules on ‘The Role of Government’ (1990, 1996, and 2006), attitudes towards government responsibilities are compared in Eastern and Western Germany, and to other countries. Results show a considerable convergence in attitudes between Eastern and Western Germany – attitudes in Western Germany are completely stable while attitudes in Eastern Germany become, overtime, more similar to those found in the West. Furthermore, comparisons of different birth cohorts show that while considerable attitude differences between Eastern and Western Germany are still found in 2006 among those who had their forming experiences before the fall of the wall, differences are virtually nil among those who were still children in 1989. In summary, the analysis provides strong support for the attitude-forming effects of institutions, and a clear vindication of institutional theories. It also points to generational replacement as a key mechanism in translating institutional change into attitudinal change.

  • 21.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Institutet för framtidsstudier.
    Politics as organised combat – New players and new rules of the game in Sweden2016In: New Political Economy, ISSN 1356-3467, E-ISSN 1469-9923, Vol. 21, no 6, p. 505-519Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 22.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet / Stockholms universitet / Institute for Futures Studies.
    Politics as organized combat: new players and new rules of the game in Sweden2015Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As Hacker and Pierson (2010) have observed, politics is primarily organization: “orga-nized combat.” To understand the outcomes of politics, we have to look at how it is orga-nized over time: by whom and with what resources? I take Sweden as an example of how politics as organized combat has changed quite dramatically in recent decades. Sweden is often cited as an opposite to the United States among the rich capitalist countries, but it has experienced many encompassing policy changes which have not received the at-tention they deserve. The paper specifies how Swedish organized politics has changed fundamentally, including the dismantling of corporatist arrangements, changes in the economic policy decision-making framework, increased income inequality, weakened political parties and changes in their social bases, the decline of blue-collar union strength, the growth of the policy professionals category, the increased impact of mul-tilevel politics, and the mediatization of politics. Today’s amorphous, invisible mode of elite-driven policy-making diverges greatly from the old corporatist structures and is accompanied by dramatically increasing inequality. Even in Sweden, the impact of money on politics has become stronger. The paper discusses what this implies for cur-rent politics and policy-making in Sweden.

  • 23.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet / Stockholms universitet / Institutet för framtidsstudier.
    Politik som organiserad kamp: nya spelare och nya spelregler i Sverige2014In: ARKIV. Tidskrift för samhällsanalys, ISSN 2000-6225, E-ISSN 2000-6217, no 3, p. 39-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Stefan Svallfors artikel utgår från Jacob Hacker och Paul Piersons iakttagelse, i deras Winner-take-all politics (2010), att politik först och främst är organisation, närmare bestämt ”organiserad kamp”. Perspektivet betyder att vi, för att förstå politikens utfall, måste studera hur den är organiserad i ett längre perspektiv – av vem och med vilka resurser? Svallfors visar att den svenska organiserade politiken har förändrats i grunden under de senaste årtiondena, en utveckling som inte har fått den uppmärksamhet den förtjänar. Det handlar bland annat om nedmonteringen av den korporativistiska ordningen, ett förändrat ramverk för ekonomiskt-politiskt beslutsfattande, en mer ojämlik inkomstfördelning, försvagade politiska partier och förändringar i partiernas sociala bas, ett minskat inflytande för fackföreningarna, framväxten av en ny grupp professionella politiska aktörer, ett större behov av att bedriva politiskt arbete på flera nivåer samt en starkare koppling mellan politik och medier. I artikeln diskuterar Svallfors hur denna utveckling har påverkat dagens politiska landskap och lett till en för Sverige ny form av elitdrivet ”politikskapande”.

  • 24.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Public attitudes2010In: The Oxford handbook of the welfare state / [ed] Francis G. Castles, Stephan Leibfried, Jane Lewis, Herbert Obinger, and Christopher Pierson, New York: Oxford University Press, 2010, 1, p. 241-251Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Recension av Jan-Magnus Enelo (2013) Klass, åsikt och partisympati. Det svenska konsumtionsfältet för politiska åsikter. Örebro Studies in Sociology2013In: Sociologisk forskning, ISSN 0038-0342, Vol. 50, no 3-4, p. 343-344Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 26.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet / Institute for Futures Studies.
    The withering of the Welfare State: Regression2013In: Journal of Social Policy, ISSN 0047-2794, E-ISSN 1469-7823, Vol. 42, p. 424-425Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Trygg, stöttande, tillitsfull?: Svenskarna och välfärdsstaten2013In: Vägar till välfärd / [ed] Hans Swärd, Per Gunnar Edebalk, Eskil Wadensjö, Stockholm: Liber, 2013, p. 323-333Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 28.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Trygg, stöttande, tillitsfull?: svenskarnas syn på socialförsäkringarna2011Report (Other academic)
  • 29.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Trygg, stöttande, tillitsfull?: Svenskarnas syn på socialförsäkringarna 1992-20102012In: Kön, klass och etnicitet - jämlikhetsfrågor i socialförsäkringen: Rapport från forskarseminariet i Umeå 18–19 januari 2012, Stockholm: Försäkringskassan , 2012, p. 59-74Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 30.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
    Uthållig kreativitet: tre faror, två demoner, tio budord2017In: På väg: En vänbok till Sven E Olsson Hort / [ed] Paavo Bergman & Gunnar Olofsson, Lund: Arkiv förlag & tidskrift, 2017, p. 217-228Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 31.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet.
    Welfare Attitudes in Context2012In: Contested Welfare States : Welfare Attitudes in Europe and Beyond / [ed] Stefan Svallfors, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012, p. 1-24Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 32.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Umeå universitet / Institute for Futures Studies.
    Welfare attitudes in Europe: Topline results from round 4 of the European social survey2012Report (Other academic)
  • 33.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Institutet för framtidsstudier.
    Who Loves the Swedish Welfare State?: Attitude trends 1980-20102016In: The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics / [ed] Pierre, Jon, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 1, p. 22-36Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 34.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    et al.
    Umeå universitet.
    Kulin, Joakim
    Umeå universitet.
    Schnabel, Annette
    Umeå universitet.
    Age, Class, and Attitudes Towards Government Responsibilities2012In: Contested Welfare States : Welfare Attitudes in Europe and Beyond / [ed] Stefan Svallfors, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012, p. 158-192Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 35.
    Svallfors, Stefan
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
    Tyllström, Anna
    Instututet för framtidsstudier.
    Resilient privatization: the puzzling case of for-profit welfare providers in Sweden2018In: Socio-Economic Review, ISSN 1475-1461, E-ISSN 1475-147XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we analyse the striking resilience of for-profit care and service provisionin what has often been seen as the archetypical social democratic welfare state:Sweden. We focus on the strategic discursive activities of private companies andtheir business organizations as they try to influence perceptions, organize actorsand facilitate communication to defend profit-making in the welfare sector in theface of increasing conflict and opposition. We argue that taking such organized actioninto account changes dominant perceptions about the characteristics of theSwedish political economy, and carries important lessons for analyses of changesin the organization of the welfare state in general.

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