The Politics of Purpose

Comparative Politics, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 253-272, 2006

Posted: 11 Feb 2009

See all articles by Johannes Lindvall

Johannes Lindvall

Lund University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: February 9, 2009

Abstract

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

Lindvall, Johannes, The Politics of Purpose (February 9, 2009). Comparative Politics, Vol. 38, No. 3, pp. 253-272, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1340164

Johannes Lindvall (Contact Author)

Lund University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 52
Lund
Sweden

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