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Does the government selection process promote or hinder pluralism?: exploring the characteristics of voluntary organizations invited to public consultations
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0627-1245
2013 (English)In: Journal of Civil Society, ISSN 1744-8689, E-ISSN 1744-8697, Vol. 9, no 1, 58-77 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To what extent does the government selection process practised in public consultations promote or hinder pluralism in the policy-making process? This article addresses this question by exploring and analysing the characteristics of voluntary organizations invited to public consultations. Evidence is drawn from the formerly corporatist Scandinavian country of Sweden and the policy-making process referred to as the ‘remiss procedure’. The article shows that the government selection process encourages a multitude of organizations to participate. Consistent with recent studies on Scandinavian corporatism, this study provides weak support of corporatist practices in the Swedish policy process. However, and without challenging the seemingly pluralistic nature of the remiss procedure, voluntary organizations with ‘insider status’ in the policy process are more frequently invited to formal decision-making arenas such as the remiss procedure. It is argued that the policy network literature and the theory of political opportunity structures may further the understanding of the government selection process practised in public consultations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis: Taylor & Francis Group , 2013. Vol. 9, no 1, 58-77 p.
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-26228DOI: 10.1080/17448689.2013.771086OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-26228DiVA: diva2:1141263
Available from: 2017-09-14 Created: 2017-09-14 Last updated: 2017-09-14
In thesis
1. A pluralist state?: civil society organizations’ access to the Swedish policy process 1964-2009
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A pluralist state?: civil society organizations’ access to the Swedish policy process 1964-2009
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Including civil society organizations in the policy process is a distinctive trait of democratic governance. But, while being highly valuable from a democratic point of view, not all civil society organizations are represented in the policy process. This dissertation draws attention to the role of the government in shaping the representation of civil society organizations in the Swedish government consultation referred to as the ‘remiss procedure’. The overall aim is to increase empirical and theoretical understanding of civil society organizations’ access to the national Swedish policy process. Drawing on various empirical data sources, it analyzes how access has changed during the second half of the 20th century, the factors influencing access, and the significance of the access provided by the government.

The results are based on four empirical studies, and show that the government has encouraged an increasing number and more diverse types of civil society organizations to be represented in the remiss procedure. In addition, organizations with plenty of resources, such as labor and business organizations, are not overrepresented. However, access is slightly skewed in favor of civil society organizations with an insider position within other access points at national government level, which is consistent with a privileged pluralistic pattern of interest representation. In addition, civil society organizations seem to be invited into an arena for political influence of less relevance. Theoretically, the dissertation moves beyond the neo-corporatist perspective that dominated Swedish research during the second half of the 20th century by drawing attention to five different theoretical lenses: pluralism, neo-corporatism, political opportunity structures, policy network theory, and resource exchange theory. It concludes that a variety of theories are needed for access to be understood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2014. 90 p.
Keyword
access, interest representation, civil society, neo-corporatism, pluralism, political opportunity structures, policy network, resource exchange, consultations, governmental commissions, remiss procedure, Sweden
National Category
Globalization Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-26226 (URN)978-91-7529-046-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-11-07, Hörsal P2, Prismahuset, Fakultetsgatan 1, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-14 Created: 2017-09-14 Last updated: 2017-09-14Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17448689.2013.771086

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf