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Social democracy and the labour communes: Organizational choices 1889-1932

PhD project Historically, the Swedish social democracy has been unique for its close cooperation with local associations; so-called grass roots. The grass roots have been made up of trade unions, women's clubs etc. These have in many cases been connected to the party through the “workers' communes”, the local organization of social democracy. In this project, the emergence of the workers' communes is examined while attempting to answer why the party chose this form of organization.

Unlike many of the party's ideological stances, that had clear international influences (for example the early party programs), the party organization seems to have been unique to Sweden. A guiding question for the project is therefore “what made the Social Democrats in Sweden choose to build a local organization without a clear international equivalent?". The project therefore studies congressional minutes, official investigations, statutes, party press and more to try to understand how the workers' communes emerged, how they functioned and what function they had for the party at large.

Head of project

Isak Törnqvist
Doctoral student

Project overview

Project period:

2022-08-28 2026-08-28

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Research area

Latest update: 2022-12-20