The Politics of Purpose
Comparative Politics, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 253-272, 2006
Posted: 11 Feb 2009
Date Written: February 9, 2009
This article develops three models of economic policymaking - the politics of bargaining, the politics of expertise and the politics of purpose - and uses these models to explain why Swedish governments made low inflation the primary objective of macroeconomic policy ten to fifteen years later than the governments of most other advanced democracies. The argument is that major economic policy shifts are caused by the disintegration of established norms regarding the purpose of political authority. Neither structural economic change nor the introduction of new economic ideas made Swedish governments give up the defense of full employment; this only happened after the set of norms that constituted Sweden's political culture changed in the late 1980s.
Keywords: Macroeconomic policy, Sweden, norms, ideas
JEL Classification: D79
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation