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Midseminar: Sanna Hardell

Time Wednesday 15 June, 2022 at 10:15 - 12:00
Place Rum för lärande and via Zoom

You are warmly invited to the midseminar with Sanna Hardell, doctoral student at Department of Sociology.

Politics and privatizations: Exploring the correspondence between local politicians’ orientations and welfare service privatization in Sweden

This thesis aims to contribute to knowledge about local politics and privatization by exploring local politicians’ orientations and how such orientations correspond to the development of welfare service privatizations in Sweden. The different studies included in this thesis focuses on different aspects of such orientations in terms of preferences, perceptions and attitudes regarding privatization, and how these are related to the growth and geographical spread of privatization across Swedish municipalities.

To explore such orientations, I use a unique dataset covering the orientations among local politicians represented in Sweden’s 290 municipalities. I use latent class analysis to explore whether there are qualitatively different perceptonal patterns represented among local politicians. To explore how the orientations correspond to the actual outcome in terms of welfare service privatization I use multilevel analysis.

The findings indicate that local politicians’ orientations are far from uniform and related to their ideological conviction and the degree of privatization in their municipality. Local politicians’ overall satisfaction with service quality slightly decreases when privatization increases. However, political ideology moderates this relationship and act as a lens though which local politicians interpret service quality. Similarly, local politicians’ perceptions about the underlying drivers of privatization vary depending on their ideological standpoint and the extent to which they have privatized.

This thesis brings a deeper understanding of how and why local politics matters for welfare service privatization beyond assumptions about party homogeneity and ideological coherence. The empirical analyses reveal that privatization cannot be understood only as an outcome of power relations in the municipal governments, but rather that local politicians’ orientations, their ideological convictions and degree of privatization are quite intricately interrelated.

Join Zoom Meeting
The event is hybrid (room for learning and zoom). The seminar will be held in Swedish. Employees at the department will get the link by e-mail. If you want to participate and are not employed - send an e-mail to



Event type: Seminar