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Practices of a role model at the nexus of statecraft and market-­making: A study of the virtues and values at work in the organization of financial markets -­ the example of Sweden’s First National Pension Fund
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2010 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish national pension fund, Första AP-fonden, is a government authority and a fund company and thus situated in the nexus of statecraft and market-making. The fund’s claim to be “a role model among international pension fund managers” makes it an interesting site for a study of attempts to organize the financial market on an international level. This “study through” the practices and policies of Första AP-fonden provides insights of how the fund, by exploiting its dual role as fund company and state authority, acts on the financial market with an ambition of “doing good”. Through practices such as ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance-analysis), shareholder activism and its Ethical Council publishing a “black list” of companies that violate the fund’s codes of conduct the pension fund works to, through expectations, norms and sanctions, shape other market actors and thus the financial market. Ethnographic fieldwork has been conducted at Första AP-fonden, at annual meetings of stockholders here seen as an arena for fostering practices, and detailed insights into the creation of “the black list” this study aims at highlighting some of the practices used by Första AP-fonden – an actor with the dual role of being both a government authority with a politically framed social welfare mission to secure future pensions and which simultaneously, as all large pension funds are, is an important actor on the financial market.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
anthropology of finance, organizational anthropology, pension funds, responsible investing
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-94651OAI: diva2:654751
American Anthropological Association
Available from: 2013-10-08 Created: 2013-10-08 Last updated: 2013-10-24

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