Referendum Practice in Sweden
This chapter discusses referendum practice in Sweden – a consensus democracy where between 1950 and 2017 five referendums were held. It does so on the basis of this study’s six independent variables. The chapter shows that Swedish referendum practice is closely embedded in the country’s consensus-oriented polity where minority-governments are the rule. Occasionally, referendums have proved to be a necessary instrument when the process of consensus-building failed. The long-dominant position of the Sweden’s Social Democratic Party (the SAP) – generally opposed to holding referendums – portrays an important reason why only five votes were held. The referendums held were either triggered at a time when the SAP was not in power, or when parties – including the SAP – were unable to pursue a policy outcome due to intra-coalition divisions.
KeywordsSweden Consensus democracy Social Democratic Party Conflict-mediation
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