Making Mischief With Swedish Models Reflections On Contemporary Swedish Politics
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Authors: Miles, L.
This commentary is based upon, and was first delivered as, the Inaugural Professorial Lecture of Lee Miles in association with his inauguration as Professor of Political Science at Karlstad University, Sweden on 17 th September 2009. The commentary attempts to discuss four aspects. First, he argues that there is today a serious disparity between the practical realities of contemporary Swedish politics and the continued discussions among the country's political elites, as well as between scholars, on the resonance of Sweden as a 'model society' with a distinctive 'Swedish model'. Second, he then explores three themes that explain the path dependency of the traditional social-democratic inspired paradigm of a Swedish model, and its increasingly changing nature, with a particular emphasis on the long term trends affecting Sweden since the 1990s. Third, Lee Miles argues that the period since the victory of the non-socialist Alliance bloc in 2006 may represent the beginning of a critical juncture in Swedish politics and new attempts to re-engineer not just the political ground but also the political narratives underpinning any (future) Swedish model. Fourth, and in this context, Lee Miles envisages that the 2010 General Election has the potential to become another important watershed in Swedish contemporary politics.