Kommunala ideal och politisk verklighet. En jämförande fallstudie av frisinnad politisk organisering i Filipstad och Skövde, ca 1880-1920
Sammanfattning: Most studies of emerging Swedish parties and politics have mainly focused on the Swedish Social Democrats and their struggle for democracy and political power, most as a prelude to the so called ”Swedish Model”. Competing parties have received attention from historians on the national level, but their local origin remains to large extent an open field.The aim of this study is to investigate how local political factors shaped the emerging liberal party organizations in two small Swedish towns. By a case-oriented comparison two towns are contrasted, Skövde in Skaraborg county and Filipstad in Värmland.This thesis suggests that the distinction between national politics and municipal government, based on the interests of economic elites, was transformed during the period 1880-1920. During this period local elections and local government became increasingly sites for political struggle between different parties, with new agendas.With a framework that considered parties in light of their functions rather than organizational types and theoretical concepts borrowed from the sociology of social movements, the thesis main results suggest that political mobilization and liberal party-formation was depending on the local political traditions.The theoretical framework made it possible to pinpoint both similarities and differences between the cases. The results of the study indicate that the historical tradition is central to parties to emerge and flourish. This suggests that it is more meaningful to focus attention on local and regional processes to understand the historical development than has previously been done.
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