For years, Sweden has been considered as a well being country, with a high quality of living, safe, environmentalist, peaceful and very democratic where citizens take part in the development of their society. Swedish society, however seems to be in mutation for some decades, due to globalization, markets liberlization, new technologies of information and communication and individualization. This mutation affects the whole society, but does this mutation affects the Swedish democracy? This topic is interesting, but very broad, and that is why I am going to approach it by a definition of democracy. After defining the concept of democracy, I will speak about Swedish society and the changes it has undergone in the recent years, and then, speak about the political crisis, linked to the democratic representation. Firstly, it is necessary to define the concept of democracy because speaking about it requires before all, to identifiy this notion. Democracy originares from Greek 'Demos Cratos' which means 'popular power'. Democracy can be understood as the rule of the majority. In a country, democracy can be seen as a popular self government, as said by Lincoln, 'the government of the people, by the people, and for the people'. But in concrete terms, the whole population cannot directly decide and govern, that is why we usually speak about relative democracy. Relative democracy is a representative one. But who are these representatives? Are they really competent? This is one vision of democracy. I will focus on the representative democracy in Sweden to know if it is in good health.
[...] To conclude, although democracy is not in as good shape as in the past, its health is far from being alarming. Although efforts have to be done on certain points, because it shows some signs of weakness, but on the whole democracy is healthy, especially when compared with other political models like french one, which has a lot to learn from Sweden! Bibliography - http://www.la-democratie.fr/d_parlementaire.htm - Dag Anckar, Abo Academy : A Definition of Democracy ' - Scandinavian Political Studies, Vol ; - Richard Kimber : On Democracy ' - Scandinavian Political Studies, VC~ 1.2 - No - University of Keele, UK ; - Hanna Fenichel Pitkin : Representation and Democracy : Uneasy Alliance ' - Scandinavian Political Studies, Vol No ; - Ludvig Beckman : The Competent Cabinet? [...]
[...] The Swedish corporatist system participated to the political decision- making process for public policy, in cooperation between the state and large interest organizations. But at the end of the 1970s, the corporatism was the target of debate in the public opinion because of its negative aspects in the decision-making process due to some drifts of interests and influence. And it follows a decorporatization of political decision making and public administration boards. This is a step forward on in terms of democracy, as with the social economy, only some unions were dominant. [...]
[...] Political crisis of representative democracy Because of the crisis of the political representation, the democracy can be criticized. Actually, there is a problem of competence in one hand, and a problem of representation in the other hand. According to the Swedish constitution, government rules the country” , so it need to be competent, and representative at the same time. According to L.Beckman, the more competent the Cabinet, the more one can be certain that the political system is defective in terms of representativeness because of the difficulties to mix competence and representativeness. [...]
[...] Centuries ago, the Swedish society was based on man-domination. Although the woman suffrage and universal and equal franchise for elections happened in 1921 ( and in 1944 in France women were not really well represented, but quickly the role and the recognition of women in the society increased since the 1960s and it became a public policy domain of Welfare State, called by Petersson, the second compromise which provided for example the right for women to perform a paid work. [...]
[...] Political actors are disconnected from the people's daily life although they have to manage it . But, the Swedish political system is much less exclusionary than in France for instance, which lack in popular representation because of its elitism. As an example, the Riksdag has more women in terms of equity, and members from the popular class than most parliaments in Europe. Nevertheless, the representative democracy seems to have some signs of an increasing gulf between voters and their representatives. [...]
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