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The Swedish Model, Early Modern Edition: Cooperation and constitutionalism in the Swedish Parliament
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1844-0269
2015 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I endeavour to explain the fact that the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, emerged the realm’s most powerful institution in the 18th century – an accomplishment only equalled by the British Parliament. I trace the roots to the success to the Riksdag of the 17th century and argue that during this century a political culture of cooperation became strongly entrenched in the assembly; furthermore I make the claim that constitutionalist ideas took roots even outside the Nobility, among the three Commoner estates (the estates of Clergy, Burghers and Peasants). It is at the same time true that the Commoners as well as the Nobility often expressed strong support for the rulers’ bids for more power. The estates were thus surprisingly flexible both with respect to with whom they cooperated, and in ideological outlook. This explains why Sweden was characterized by strong state, strong national representation, and strong rule of law. I argue that the Clergy and the Burghers played a crucial political role in the Riksdag that thwarted both royal and noble bids for supremacy. Furthermore, I compare the Swedish development with Britain’s during the same period.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-118863OAI: diva2:841374
Making Constitutions, Building Parliaments: constructing representative institutions, 1000-2000. 66th annual conference of The international commission for the History of Parliamentary and Representative institutions, London 30th June – 4th July 2015
Available from: 2015-07-13 Created: 2015-07-13 Last updated: 2016-05-24Bibliographically approved

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Scherp, Joakim
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