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The Sweden Democrats in Political Space: Estimating policy positions using election manifesto content analysis
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4717-6842
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the Swedish general elections of 2010, the party the Sweden Democrats for the first time entered the parliament. In an election otherwise characterised by competition between two explicit political blocs, the Sweden Democrats profiled itself as a party free from ideological blinders, ready to represent the will of the people. Commonly referred to as a populist party, there is considerable disagreement about where in the Swedish political space the party actually belongs. At the same time, there exist within political science a multitude of methodological approaches aimed at answering such questions. By combining election manifesto content analysis and survey-based approaches, the study of this paper presents cross-validated estimates of where in Swedish political space the Sweden Democrats belong. The study also evaluates strengths and weaknesses of the different approaches to the estimation of policy positions in the specific context of the Sweden Democrats. The party is found to be economically centrist but highly authoritarian, making it an outlier along both a "traditional" and a Swedish left-right continuum. Some methodological difficulties that may be particularly important to consider when analyzing parties such as the Sweden Democrats, e.g. bias, dimensional salience and linguistic volatility, are suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 60 p.
Keyword [en]
Sweden Democrats; party policy; left-right; content analysis; wordfish
Keyword [sv]
Sverigedemokraterna; partipolicy; vänster-höger; innehållsanalys; wordfish
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-19043OAI: diva2:625421
Subject / course
Political Science
2011-06-10, Södertörns högskola, Huddinge, 16:46
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-06-25 Created: 2013-06-04 Last updated: 2016-07-06Bibliographically approved

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Backlund, Anders
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