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  • 1.
    Abdelzadeh, Ali
    et al.
    Örebro universitet.
    Lundberg, Erik
    Ersta Sköndal högskola, Institutionen för socialvetenskap.
    Solid or Flexible?: Social Trust from Early Adolescence to Young Adulthood2017In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 207-227Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The belief that people are generally fair and trustworthy has generated plenty of scholarly attention in recent decades, particularly in the Scandinavian countries, which are often known for high levels of social trust. This article draws attention to the current discussion in the literature on whether social trust is a stable cultural trait marked by persistence or is based on experiences and subject to change throughout life. Based on unique longitudinal data from five different cohorts of young people in Sweden, ranging in age from 13 to 28 years, this article provides an empirical contribution on how social trust develops over time. The results show that there is a greater degree of instability in social trust between 13 and 15 years of age than in other age groups, and that social trust appears to stabilize with age. Findings also indicate that there are substantial inter-individual differences in social trust among young people within the same age group, both in initial levels and in the rates of change over time. The article concludes that although social trust is relatively stable it tends to crystallize in early adulthood, highlighting the relevance of the impressionable-years hypothesis.

  • 2.
    Lundberg, Erik
    Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.
    Changing balance: the participation and role of voluntary organisations in the Swedish policy process2012In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 347-371Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on the changing level of participation of voluntary organisations in the policy process between 1964 and 2009 and its implication for the role played by voluntary organisations to the state. Drawing on data from the remiss procedure – one of the most understudied parts of the Swedish policy-making process – the results implicate a reduced role for voluntary organisations in formal arenas for policy making. While the number of participating voluntary organisations has remained stable, the relative share of participating organisations has declined and an increasing proportion of organisations have abstained from participating. In addition, the shares of conflict-oriented and member-benefit-oriented organisations have decreased while consensus-oriented and public-benefit-oriented organisations appear to have increased slightly. These findings are discussed in the context of changes in the coordination and implementation of public policies, implying that over time the role of voluntary organisations as arenas for deliberation and mediators of individual interests tend to have gradually lost ground in relation to the state while the share of organisations taking direct welfare responsibility has slightly increased. Although it may be premature to speak about a shifting role of voluntary organisations from input to output in the political system, the result suggest an emerging trend in that direction. Further research is needed to clarify whether this changing pattern of participation is evident in other arenas for policy making in Sweden or is an isolated feature explained from the outset of the remiss procedure.

  • 3.
    Lundberg, Erik
    et al.
    Ersta Sköndal University College, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hysing, Erik
    Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.
    The Value of Participation: Exploring the Role of Public Consultations from the Vantage Point of Interest Groups2016In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, E-ISSN 1467-9477, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Consulting interest groups is commonplace in the preparation of policies by democratic governments. It is often assumed that interest groups participate in consultations primarily for the purpose of influencing policy. This article goes beyond this simplified claim and empirically explores the role of consultations from the vantage point of interest groups. Drawing on the Swedish formalized referral process known as the 'remiss procedure' the article shows that interest groups not only participate in consultations in order to effectively change the policy proposal under consideration, but they also use the output of the process in other venues for policy influence, such as direct political contacts and opinion making, and to establish themselves, or maintain their status as legitimate actors in the eyes of the government. In addition, the remiss procedure appears to be intertwined with the groups' own 'internal life', promoting the development and anchorage of policy positions within the organizations. These insights are important for further understanding the promises, as well as the perils, of public consultation.

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