Interpreting Policy Convergence Between the Left and the Right

Dissertation in Political Science. Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences Thesis No. 760

Author(s): Johan Wennström
Year: 2019Pages: 91Publisher: Linköping UniversityCity: Linköping
ISBN: 978-91-7685-129-6

Interpreting Policy Convergence Between the Left and the Right Johan Wennström

This dissertation is made up of four essays that address major problems in the policy areas of education and immigration in Sweden and an introductory essay that offers an overarching analysis of the results of the four individual studies. 

The first three essays analyze the significant decline in quality of elementary and secondary education since the late 1990s from three different angles: the decline in teachers’ working conditions and status (Essay I), the deficiencies in the regulatory framework of Sweden’s system of school competition between public and for-profit providers of education (Essay II), and the prescribed view of knowledge in Swedish schools (Essay III). The fourth essay examines the policy of refugee placement in recent years. It shows that peripheral and rural municipalities with declining populations and high unemployment have received greater numbers of refugees per capita than growing urban municipalities offering better employment opportunities. The introductory essay focuses on the common thread in the four essays, namely, policy convergence between the Left and the Right. In fact, the empirical evidence in the individual studies suggests that the Social Democrats and the Moderate Party have a propensity for policy convergence in the two areas analyzed, but that it is unintentional and hard to detect for the actors themselves. This observation runs counter to what is typically assumed in political science, namely, that the Left and the Right are polar opposites with widely divergent policy agendas.

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Wennström, Johan (2019), Interpreting Policy Convergence Between the Left and the Right. Doctoral Dissertation in Political Science. Linköping: Linköping University.

Johan Wennström


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