Liberal högersväng? : En jämförande analys av folkpartiet liberalerna och Det Radikale Venstres ideologiska positionering
Sammanfattning: The aim of this paper is to empirically examine the ideological trends and positioning of the Swedish liberal party with the Danish social liberal party. This paper also aims to analyze the reasons behind the trends. By examine the development in these two Nordic liberal sisterparties, this paper contributes to our understanding of why and how party change is initiated. The paper commences with an intuitive notion that the Swedish party has in fact, made a lurch towards the right, during the past ten to fifteen years while the Danish party has retained their social-liberal position in the centre of the Danish political spectrum. The questions then asked are: can this hypothesis be verified empirically? If so, how can this phenomenon of divergence, be explained? The method used in this thesis is process-tracing and the empirical material does to a large extent rely on interviews with central agents as they are specified in the theory of each party. The starting point of the paper is theory on party change, which identifies the important agents, goals and determinants of party policy.. It rely on rational choice assumption, pays regard to institutional boundaries and is placed somewhere in the category of new institutionalism. This thesis argues that it is empirically unquestionable that the Swedish party de facto has made a lurch to the right during the last decade, while the Danish party has shown significant stability in their ideological position. The thesis further argues that the development in the Swedish party can be explained through a shift of primary goals, from policy-seeking toward vote-maximising, while the Danish party’s primary goals have since the beginning of the nineties until now, remained primarily policy-seeking. This explains why their ideological trend has kept a stable course. The paper concludes by stating that the divergent development within the two parties is explainable on the basis of the institutional organisation within each party, together with the different political environments they are occupied in.
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