1809 Statskuppen och regeringsformens tillkomst som tolkningsprocess
Sammanfattning: This dissertation analyses the coup d’état and the instrument of government of 1809 as an interpretative framing process. By close examination primarily of official sources it focuses on how political actors utilized the components of the existing political culture in order to legitimise their actions. The results show that the regime transition of 1809 was a contingent process. Actors competed to define concepts such as “citizen”, “patriotism” and “public opinion” in order to legitimise different political claims. This process served to strengthen the role played by the concept of public opinion as a source of authority in the language of politics.The dissertation also addresses how the regime transition of 1809 relates to the historical epoch known as the Age of Revolution. Experiences from the French Revolution in particular were crucial to the debate on the prospects for constitutional change in Sweden. The study shows that the constitutional committee took a reformist stance based on the concepts of civic virtue and enlightenment, thereby rejecting demands for an enhanced national representation. Instead they argued for gradual constitutional change and believed that the constitution should serve as an instrument to educate the public in the virtues of citizenship.Grounded in the so-called "cultural turn" taken by studies of politics in recent decades, the analysis has borrowed from studies of social movements the concepts of interpretative framing. In analyzing differences and oppositions between various interpretative frames, concepts from discourse analysis has been used, particularly those that emphasize discourse contingency. Extra-discursive conditions in the process of interpretation have been analyzed by means of the concept of possibility structures. This has chiefly involved taking into consideration the degree of repression and actors' differing access to what Bourdieu has termed "institutional authority".
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