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The Big Crunch: A Mapping of the Swedish Party System from 1991 to 2010
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Political Science.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Previous research claims that there has been a narrowing of distance between the

Swedish political parties. Typically, such research into political distance has primarily

focused on studying voters rather than the political parties themselves. In this article, the

author conducts a longitudinal analysis of Comparative Manifesto Project data to

determine if, and to what extent, the political parties have converged ideologically on a

Left-Right continuum in the period 1991-2010. After first unraveling the concept of

political distance, the author moves on to explain why the ideological dispersion of

political parties is an important and consequential characteristic within party systems.

Furthermore, the author argues that the Left-Right ideological scale continues to be a

highly useful model with which to conceptualize and study this characteristic. The

author then discusses the methodological approach and explains why quantitative

manifesto data, often overlooked in favor of voter interview data, is deemed a valid and

reliable material for measuring the ideological positions of political parties. The

findings are that there indeed have been over all tendencies of ideological convergence

between the blocs and that, in terms of how political parties are dispersed on a Left-

Right ideological continuum, by 2010, the Swedish party system (the Sweden

Democrats excluded) had become much less polarized than it had been in 1991.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
left, right, Left-Right, ideological distance, Swedish party system, polarization, convergence, divergence, ideological continuum, ideological scale, political distance
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-22456OAI: diva2:943092
Available from: 2016-06-27 Created: 2016-06-27

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