Essays on Elite Networks in Sweden: Power, social integration, and informal contacts among political elites
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The aim of this dissertation is to present work on a number of salient characteristics of elite relations in Sweden, studied from a social network analytic perspective. Elite integration, the distribution of elite power, and the significance of elites’ informal relations represent the three main themes explored in the original studies that comprise the thesis. Studies 1-3 concern elite relations at the local, i.e. municipal level of political decision-making, while research on parliamentary political elites is reported in Study 4. Studies 1-3 draw upon original complete network data collected through personal interviews with 248 local elites (politicians, corporate leaders, civil servants, etc.) active in four mid-sized Swedish municipalities. The question of local elite integration is investigated in Study 1, while the question of women elites’ potential access to structural power is studied in Study 2. These studies conclude that local elites are well integrated around structural cores of politicians and civil servants, and that women elites are on average not structurally disadvantaged due to their sex. Research concerning the role local elites’ involvement in associations like Rotary clubs is reported in Study 3. The results suggest that membership in such semi-exclusive voluntary settings may have an optimizing impact upon the elites’ personal networks, as far as their individual level social capital is concerned. In the final study (Study 4) focus is shifted to national political elites when a social network analytic perspective is utilized to study social cohesion within multiparty opposition coalitions recently formed in the Swedish Riksdag. The study concludes that the right wing-liberal Alliance coalition formed prior to the 2006 general elections was socially better integrated and more cohesive than the socialist-environmentalist coalition formed during the subsequent parliamentary cycle.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2012. , 59 p.
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 52
Sweden, elites, social networks, social capital
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75877ISBN: 978-91-86071-91-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-75877DiVA: diva2:524502
2012-06-01, hörsal 3, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Gulbrandsen, Trygve, Professor
Rydgren, Jens, ProfessorEdling, Christofer, Professor
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Submitted. Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 4: Submitted.2012-05-102012-05-022015-06-16Bibliographically approved
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