Det villkorade tillståndet Centralförbundet för Socialt Arbete och liberal politisk rationalitet 1901–1921
Sammanfattning: This is a dissertation about Swedish liberalism as a political rationality and, more specifically, the conditions that made the transition from an exclusionary society to an inclusive one possible at the beginning of the 20th century. I have made a case study of National Association of Social Work (Centralförbundet för Socialt Arbete, CSA), an association that played a significant role in the institutionalization of social politics in Sweden. The objectives are threefold. Firstly, to analyze CSA as a liberal political rationality. Secondly, to analyze its political ontology. Thirdly, to examine its motives for defending an including society.One of the main arguments in this dissertation is that the political rationality of CSA is characterized by a form of government that works in and through society, as well as through freedom. By using the concept of ”the state of suspension” I try to capture and analyze the ontological ambiguity of the individual in liberal thought; an ambiguity expressed in biopolitical categorizations of the population according to perceived capacities for rational thought. The inclusion of the excluded part, which I describe through the notion of “the social”, was possible due to a new political ontology, which considered the individual as being a product of social circumstances, and as someone possible to shape and govern in and through society. I argue that the political struggle of the excluded not only served to revise the political ontology of CSA, but also provided the rationale for the efforts to create an including society with universal suffrage. CSA did not regard citizenship as a right, but as a political technology and as a solution. Furthermore, I argue that citizenship shouldn’t be seen as a prerequisite for the politization of the excluded. On the contrary, this part of the population was already, at least partially, politicized and they became political subjects through their participation in the struggle for political rights.
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