Citizens and codetermination

Almost all Swedish municipalities engage in some form of civil dialogue. Through dialogue with politicians and officials in local government offered citizens the opportunity to have a voice in how their own city, or parts of the resort, will be developed. Reasons for civil dialogue are several. With the help of citizen hope politicians get into social aspects of the residential environment. There are those who live in the area that best understands the needs. Civil dialogue is also an attempt to reduce the distance between elected officials and citizens. Fewer and fewer Swedes engage in politics. Through the years, also the distance between citizens and politicians has increased. When Sweden had more and fewer municipalities was significantly greater chance that the local inhabitants had more contact with their elected representatives. The idea of civil dialogue is also linked to the idea that each municipality needs to be marketed and sold to persons likely to move to the resort, to entrepreneurs who want to have to set up themselves or tourists who want to find new places to visit. By making the citizens active in community planning are therefore gaining the municipality several advantages. Hopefully the citizens more satisfied with their city and thus better ambassadors, moreover, it is the local resident who knows the local strengths and weaknesses and point them to politicians and officials.

This project aims to study how public dialogue works in practice by following one of Sweden's municipalities (Enkoping) work with so-called local spot analyzes. The project also aims understood the historical background of citizen participation in municipal planning. When did politicians actively invite and inform residents about urban planning? How has public dialogue are developed over time? How do citizens and officials citizen dialogues? What role should the citizen in these dialogues? Are the politicians' customers? Do they have a responsibility through their participation?

Participants at Uppsala University (UCBH):

Karin Ågren

Selection of publications:


Handelsbanken Research Foundation

Contact persons:

Karin Ågren, Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen, Box 513, 751 20 Uppsala, Phone: +46 18 471 73 12


Seminars will take place in Ekonomikum, room K425, 1315-1500

29 August

Margrit Müller, Universität Zürich. "The impact of multinationalization on the firms, their home economy and the host countries. The case of Switzerland during the 20th century"

12 September

Amanda Scardamaglia, Swinburne Law School, Melbourne. Presentation of research project on  "Colonial trademarks".