Menu

Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Integration of the Swedish Local Elite: The Role of Professional and Private Networks

Author:
  • Christofer Edling
  • Gergei Farkas
  • Jens Rydgren
Publishing year: 2014
Language: English
Publication/Series: Scandinavian Political Studies
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

This article uses social network data to study the integration of local elites in four Swedish municipalities. Four research questions are asked. First: How integrated are the elites? While the results modify the picture that there are two rather distinct elites in Sweden – that is, a political elite dominated by the labour movement and an economic elite dominated by business and the large business organizations – it is interesting to note that integration between elite spheres is lowest for the relation between politicians and business representatives. To a considerable degree, integration between political and economic elites is indirect, mediated through the administrative elite. The second question is: Are the inner elite circles dominated by the political, economic or administrative elite? The study indicates that local elites in Sweden are strongly dominated by political elites, and also by administrative elites. This is reassuring, since it would indicate a democratic deficit if the structural power of decision making in municipalities resided predominantly in economic actors and administrators. The third question is: What is the role of friendship relations in creating elite integration? The study indicates that private relations among elites both reinforce professional networks and extend them in important ways. The final question is: Is elite integration contingent on political stability and/or the structure of local business? The results are surprisingly stable across the four municipalities, even though the largest distinction was found between elite core and periphery in the politically most stable municipality, which was also the one with the lowest economic diversity.

Keywords

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • sociology
  • sociologi

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1467-9477
Christofer Edling
E-mail: christofer [dot] edling [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se

Dean

Faculty of Social Sciences

+46 46 222 88 62

35

Professor

Centre for Economic Demography

10

Professor

Sociology

+46 46 222 88 62

333

31

Background

I earned my PhD from Stockholm University in 1999. Between 2002 and 2005 I was Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study at Uppsala University. I received my Docent-title in 2003, and was appointed Associate Professor at Stockholm University in 2004. From 2006 to 2008 I was Head of the Department of Sociology at Stockholm university. Before coming to Lund in 2012 I served as Full Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. I have been a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004/05) and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2013).

Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences