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The Political Class in Advanced DemocraciesA Comparative Handbook$
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Jens Borchert and Jürgen Zeiss

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199260362.001.0001

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Sweden: Between Participation Ideal and Professionalism

Sweden: Between Participation Ideal and Professionalism

(p.352) 19 Sweden: Between Participation Ideal and Professionalism
The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Magnus Hagevi

Oxford University Press

The participation ideal has affected Swedish politics in many ways and at first seems to contradict the notion of a professional political class. Yet, this has never been true for the national level and is less and less true for the local and regional level, the latter two often being a training ground for higher positions but also a career stage in their own right. It is unclear if a political class has already been established in Sweden – professional politicians may have made their careers quite safe, there is a social distinction (but take note of e.g. the high share of female politicians), and it is possible to live off politics (but not at a very high- level). However, a common class interest is hard to detect, and recent developments in public distrust of politicians and a resulting pressure for new political personnel could be a further hindrance towards the unrestrained development of a political class.

Keywords:   cartel parties, distrust, participation ideal, political class, regional party organizations, Sweden

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