The Shadow of the Swedish Right

Issue Date January 2023
Volume 34
Issue 1
Page Numbers 36–49
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In the recent election to the Swedish Parliament, the Sweden Democrats, a right-wing populist and nationalist party, gained 20.5 percent of the vote, making it for the first time the second-largest party in the country. The election resulted in a narrow win for the right-wing bloc that is now in government. In international rankings of factors such as “happiness,” social trust, population health, quality of democracy, gender equality, economic prosperity, etc., Sweden is a very successful society. This article attempts to answer the question of why, given these rankings, such a large part of the electorate voted for an antiestablishment, populist, right-wing, and illiberal party.

About the Author

Bo Rothstein is August Röhss Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg. He is the author of Controlling Corruption: The Social Contract Approach (2021).

View all work by Bo Rothstein