Sweden: A Modern Democracy on Ancient Foundations

Sweden: A Modern Democracy on Ancient Foundations

Sweden: A Modern Democracy on Ancient Foundations

Sweden: A Modern Democracy on Ancient Foundations

Excerpt

In connection with the celebration of the tercentenary of the first Swedish settlement in America the author was invited by several universities in the United States to lecture, in April and May, 1938, on the following topics: Constitutional Government in Sweden Three Hundred Years Ago and Today, Public Administration and Civil Service in Sweden, and Government and Citizen in Sweden. The present publication is based on these lectures, which have, however, been amplified and rearranged.

Many people have come to regard Sweden as a well organized and happy democracy and to take interest in its social, economic, and political conditions. This interest has perhaps centered in the social and economic developments there. In my lectures, however, I confined myself, as I do in this book, to the legal and constitutional foundations of Swedish life. Such references as I have made to social and economic conditions, of which I make no claim to expert knowledge, are only incidental.

I may, however, be allowed to emphasize that those aspects of Swedish life which I treat, though very little understood in foreign countries, should be taken into account by anyone who aspires to know the Sweden of today. To gain an idea of its life one must not neglect its political institutions, for they have influenced its social and economic conditions in a decisive way; and to explain the political institutions of today it was necessary to pay some attention to their historical growth during the centuries. Just as in England so in Sweden political and consti-

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