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The Swedish Regional Reform and the Political Map: Party Interests at Stake

Paper i proceeding
Författare David Karlsson
Ylva Norén Bretzer
Publicerad i Paper presented at XVI Nordic Political Science Congress NOPSA conference Vasa, FINLAND, August 9 – 12, 2011.
Publiceringsår 2011
Publicerad vid Förvaltningshögskolan
Språk en
Länkar https://gup.ub.gu.se/file/81865
Ämnesord regions, regional reform, county councils, political geography, parties, gerrymandering, packing, cracking, Sweden 1
Ämneskategorier Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier), Studier av offentlig förvaltning


Abstract In this article we conduct contra factual experiment of thoughts, applying the tactics of gerrymandering into the regionalization process of Sweden. By applying the actual election data from 1998 up to 2010, we discuss the various outcomes of four regional models; i) the present system, ii) a realistic scenario of regional reform (a roadmap commissioned by SALAR), and two hypothetical but possible models based on what regional structure would mostly benefit iii) the left parties and iv) the right parties. The overall aim of the paper is to esti-mate the implications of a regional reform on the political geography of Sweden to provide instruments for fu-ture research on if, and how party interests affect the regional reform process. The analyses also give fuel to a number of relevant discussions on regional reform and its political out-comes. For example, our results highlight the possible lock-in effects in the present discussions concerning the Stockholm/Uppsala regions, Västra Götaland and Halland/or Värmland, and the region of Southwest Sweden. One suggestion is that if citizens are to have longterm confidence in the future regional structure, it should be arranged in such a way that both the left and right wings are satisfied – a double-packing strategy. Such a strategy would make it relatively harder for smaller local/regional parties to affect the political stability of a region. If political stability is pursued, we suggest that the solution of the Wise men is more functional than the present structure.

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