Det legitima ägandet : Politiska konstruktioner av allmännyttans privatisering i Stockholms stad 1990–2015

Sammanfattning: During the last decades of the 20th century, a major change in welfare and housing policy was initiated in Sweden. This meant that a significant proportion of public rental housing was privatised through political decisions. This thesis is specifically concerned with how the privatization of public rental housing has been legitimized in the political debate, which is of particular importance given the symbolic value that public rental housing has had for the Swedish welfare policy. The privatisation of public housing has been particularly evident in Stockholm, which has therefore been the main focus of the thesis. The study has an in-depth empirical focus on the budget debate in the Stockholm City Council between the years 1990 and 2015. The material analysed in the thesis consists of the City Council's annual budget debate during the period 1990-2015, as well as other parts of the City Council debate. Additional material consists of campaign material, material from the public housing companies and bills and Swedish Government Official Reports (SOU) . The overall aim of the thesis is to contribute to knowledge about how the privatisation of public rental housing has been legitimised and to critically examine what this means for the way in which responsible politicians have portrayed housing and specifically its ownership. This is done by answering the following research questions: How has the privatization of public rental housing been legitimized in the city of Stockholm between 1990 and 2015? And: How have the applied legitimation strategies influenced the discursive framework of the new housing policy? Using Critical Discourse Theory, the empirical material is analysed with reference to a model of legitimation based on Theo van Leeuwen (2008). Based on van Leeuwen's model of legitimation analysis, the analysis of the policy debate reveals a predominance of moral and rational strategies to legitimize policy decisions. The usage has however varied according to the type of privatisation and when in time the legitimations took place. One of the conclusions of the thesis is how changes have been legitimised with reference to social aspects such as integration and improved conditions for inhabitants of disadvantaged areas, groups that have not primarily benefited from the privatisation practices that have taken place. The gap that emerges between those who have benefited from the policy and those who have not shows that this is a policy that has needed to be justified and thus required a legitimizing discourse. The thesis contributes to research focusing on how privatisations are shaped and understood through discursive orders and constructions.