Den inre kretsen : Den svenska ekonomiska elitens inflytande över partipolitik och opinionsbildning 1940-1949
Sammanfattning: This dissertation examines the role of the business elite as a political actor in Swedenduring the 1940s. The issue has previously only been sparsely researched, mainly due tothe fact that sources on the subject have been difficult to find, rather than to a lack of political activism on the part of the business elite.The 1940s saw an increased political activity from the business elite in Sweden.This partly resulted from threats posed by a state which had been expanding its domain since the late thirties and partly from the fact that a social democratic regimehad cut off the business elite from its traditional access to government power.The business elite used the war period to build up opinion-moulding organizations and rationalize its support for non-socialist parties in order to prepare for apost-war confrontation with the social democrats. These activities were initiatedand coordinated by a group of big-business leaders who regarded themselves as representatives of the business community. They knew each other very well from theboards of the biggest companies and from the boards of the business interest organizations. They were prepared to sacrifice vast resources from the business community in order to strengthen anti-socialist political institutions and to preventincreased company-taxes, inheritance-taxes and taxation of capital.The dissertation demonstrates that it is crucial to take into account the social networks and informal relationships of the collectivity of the big-business leaders ofthe economic elite in order to explain their political behaviour. The political activities of the inner circle of the business elite were mainly decided upon and carriedout within the informal networks of the big-company leaders. The business elite isshown to have had close informal social contacts useful for political action and anidentity as morally superior and technologically able leaders responsible not onlyfor the well-being of their own companies but for the political development of theentire society.
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