Louise Skoog


School of Public Administration
Visiting address
Sprängkullsgatan 19
41123 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 712
40530 Göteborg

About Louise Skoog


  • Researcher in Public Administration
  • PhD Public Administration, 2019
  • Project coordinator of "Strengthening of Research and Advanced Education in Public Administration in West Sweden (KOLV)", 2016-2019
  • Research assistant at the School of Public Administration, University of Gothenburg 2011-2012
  • Pol. Master in Public Administration, University of Gothenburg 2011

Current research

Research projects

Project leader of "The challenge of localizing public services – equal access to public services and democratic governance in the whole of Sweden", funded by FORMAS (7 million SEK).

Access to high-quality public services throughout the country is a prerequisite for ensuring a vibrant business community and sustainable living conditions in Sweden's countryside. But today this vision is far from reality. Although rural citizens often pay higher taxes, their access to public services are inferior.

Hard political decisions need to be made in the coming years. The future for Sweden's rural areas depends on the capacity of local communities to democratically address the challenges that come with decisions on the location of public services. In order to create a sustainable society, decisions must be accepted or at least tolerated by the population. All around Sweden, initiatives are taken by local and regional political actors to defend public services and find innovative solutions. We must learn from both successes and setbacks. This project aims to increase knowledge about how political priorities and decision-making on the location of public services can be made in a legitimate way.

Researcher within the project "Competetive Democracy in Swedish Local Governments", funded by the Swedish Research Council (2,8 million SEK).

Local politics is often described as less conflictual and more pragmatic than national politics. But Swedish local government has over the last decades transformed into a veritable competitive democracy, where party politics is strident and parliamentary principles divide local politicians into winners (in power) and losers (in opposition). Simultaneously, another kind of competitive logic have come to dominate the local authorities as Sweden has been a forerunner in the introduction of New Public Management reforms. In local government, public and private service providers are encouraged to compete, and local authorities are increasingly transformed into publicly owned corporations.

For local politicians, the intensified political competition means that loyalty to parties and ruling coalitions have increased in importance and the old consensus ideals are long gone. But marketization push in the other direction: here the competition is not between parties but between service providers, and citizens do not decide winners by elections but by consumer choice.

Even if both political competition and marketization are prevalent in Swedish municipalities, they vary considerably in degree and form. This project focus on how these two competitive logics – and variations and combinations of them – affect the roles of local politicians and the formation of political conflicts.


In my thesis Political conflicts - dissent and antagonism among political parties in local government I studied political conflicts, more specifically the conflicts between the political parties. There are many indications that the political conflicts are not confined to the parliamentary arena, but furthermore that they are relevant for the relationship between politicians and public officials. How the administration is organized can also affect how actors perceive their roles and therefore how the political conflicts are expressed. The overall aim of the thesis was to increase the knowledge of how administrative reforms affects how political conflicts are expressed, and also what significance political conflicts have for the relationship between politicians and public officials.