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Civis economicus?: Transformers of social policy in the nexus of statecraft and marketmaking. The Swedish welfare state revisited
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology.
2006 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This Ph.D-thesis examines what notions of a general human economic rationality might be embedded in the transformation of the Swedish pension system, and how such notions are produced and spread in society.

The starting point is that economic principals of market logic during the past couple of decades have spread, not only to other geographical spheres, but also to encompass more spheres and levels of society. Such logics, thus, has come to influence larger parts of more individuals daily lives. In an attempt to understand how such a diffusion process comes to be, this research focuses on Sweden’s new pension system. This policy is seen here as one example of a transformational process in society, with extended agency to market forces and in which two paramount ideas – general welfare and economic rationality – meet in combat.

The ethnographic fieldwork of this study is completed and was divided into three subfields, where each one represents key sites in the process of societal transformation, namely the production of policy, the distribution of policy and the reception of policy.

During the year plus long fieldwork semi-structured interviews with members, elected politicians and their chosen experts, of the parliamentary committee that invented the pension system were conducted – the producers. Participant observation and interviews were the choice methods at the headquarters of the two government authorities in charge of administrating the pension system – the distributors. And a collection of reactions and thoughts on the pension system were collected from “ordinary Swedes” during a road trip across the country – the receivers. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
anthropology of policy, pension system reform, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-94682OAI: diva2:654796
EASA, European Association of Social Anthropologists
Available from: 2013-10-08 Created: 2013-10-08 Last updated: 2013-10-24

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