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People in a park during the Almedalen Week, a democratic meeting place for everyone.
Photo: Johan Wingborg

Swedish Politics in a Comparative Perspective

Bachelor’s level
7,5 credits (ECTS)


In various speeches during his tenure, President Trump referred to Sweden, which he found to be a ‘sad’ case. Whether he actually knew much about Swedish politics is not entirely clear – but after having taken this course you will!


We will focus primarily on two broad topics where international research has pinpointed Sweden to be a particularly interesting case:

1. The Swedish welfare state (including gender aspects) – is Sweden still the welfare state par excellence compared to other similar countries - and was it ever?

2. The rise of the Populist Radical Right movement in Sweden – is Sweden still a deviant case in terms of the type of the Radical Right party present in the Swedish parliament and in terms of how it has been treated by the other parties?

Apart from the two major topics you will get a thorough introduction to the Swedish model of democracy in a comparative perspective. We will highlight Sweden’s party system – no longer so dominated by the Social Democratic Party it once was - its electoral system and administrative divisions.

The teaching is based on research articles and books and will be in the form of lectures and seminars with assignments including a group oral presentation and individual short papers. These, and the final course essay, a 3,300 word individually written academic paper will hone your skills regarding the comparative method, academic writing and oral presentations. In terms of knowledge and analytical approach you will develop your capacity regarding the Swedish political system at an in-depth academic level.

Prerequisites and selection


A minimum of 60 credits in  Social sciences or equivalent. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.


The Department of Political Science is located in Campus Haga, which lies right in the centre of the city of Gothenburg.

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