Political Competition in Sweden 1976-2014

A Comparative Analysis at the Local Level

In: Comparative Sociology
John Högström Associate Professor in Political Science, Department of Social Sciences, Mid Sweden University Östersund Sweden

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The main purpose of this study is to examine political competition on the local level in Sweden and to empirically test two theories of political competition, namely whether the size of the unit affects the variation in political competition and whether socioeconomic standards affect the variation in political competition. The findings support the suggested causal mechanism between socioeconomic standards and competition. Accordingly, units with higher socioeconomic standards have a higher level of political competition. Some empirical findings also support the suggested causal mechanism between the size of the units and the political competition. The findings show that population size is a robust determinant of competition and that a larger population size affects competition positively. The findings show also that area size is a relatively robust determinant of competition and that area size has a negative effect on competition. However the negative effect is contrary to the expectations.

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