When the Anti-Establishment Becomes the Establishment: The Relationship Between Public Administrations, and Municipal Governments Led by the Sweden Democrats
Sammanfattning: The Sweden Democrats is the prominent populist right-wing and anti-establishment party in Swedish politics. Since the election of 2018, the party have held the chair of the executive committee in five municipalities. The thesis’ purpose is to examine the relationship between these municipal governments and the respective public administrations. Peters and Pierre’s (2019) three options for populist governments are applied to the material, as the thesis hold theory testing and developing ambitions. The data is gathered through interviews with leading party representatives and a survey distributed to public administrators in each municipality. The findings suggest that the first three municipal governments to form chose different options, with varying outcomes. The two that formed later chose the same option, resulting in beneficial relationships. This suggests that while the national party organization was unprepared for the first local governments, it successively developed a coherent strategy based on their experiences. The theory is suggested to be broadened to its modification in this thesis – to encompass all of the public administration, to widen the applicability of the third option, and to include a fourth option where the political leadership backtracks on controversial policies to facilitate a favorable relationship with a strong public administration.
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