The Politics of Compromise: A Study of Parties and Cabinet Government in Sweden

The Politics of Compromise: A Study of Parties and Cabinet Government in Sweden

The Politics of Compromise: A Study of Parties and Cabinet Government in Sweden

The Politics of Compromise: A Study of Parties and Cabinet Government in Sweden

Excerpt

This study is not intended as a complete survey of Swedish government and politics. The reader will find only a cursory account, for example, of major substantive problems of Swedish politics such as economic planning, labor relations, social welfare, and foreign policy. On many of these, specialized studies are available. It would have been tempting to deal at some length with party activities in the provinces or with campaign techniques. But an exhaustive account of these and other themes related to the central subject would clearly have exceeded the scope of the present work. A few topics, such as the monarch's role in foreign policy during the recent world war, have been omitted reluctantly because sufficient source material is not yet available to guide the observer through a maze of controversy. Thus, even within the narrower sphere of parties and cabinet government the treatment has of necessity been selective. It is hoped that the following chapters will afford some insight into the political processes by which Sweden has been able to arrive at her remarkable and well-known achievements in social and economic policy, in foreign and domestic affairs.

I should like to express my gratitude to teachers, colleagues, and friends who in many ways have contributed to this study. Professors Elis Håstad (Stockholm), Jörgen Westerståhl (Göteborg), Herbert Tingsten (Stockholm), Hugo Vallentin (Uppsala), and Eric C. Bellquist (Berkeley) helped me orient myself to the Swedish scene and provided specific advice and information. Mr. Yngve Fritzell, of the Central Bureau of Statistics (Stockholm), graciously came to my aid in supplying data on the latest election returns. Professors Willmoore Kendall, of Yale, who was the first to interest me in a study of Swedish parties, and V. O. Key, Jr., of Harvard, critically read earlier versions of this study. My friend and Princeton colleague Gabriel A. Almond gave valuable advice and criticism based on a reading of the final version. I alone am responsible for any shortcomings of this study.

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