Karin Gavelin

Ur avhandlingens abstract

For the better part of a century, a distinguishing feature of the Swedish democratic model has been the close relationship between organised interests and public decision makers. Yet the first decade of the twenty-first century saw a number of attempts to reform Swedish civil society’s role in decision making, purportedly to make involvement activities more inclusive, reciprocal, flexible and consequential. The aim of this thesis is to describe and understand the motivations behind and the meaning of these reform attempts. Using an interpretive research design and drawing on constructivist institutionalist perspectives on organisational change, the study asks questions about what has driven the attempted reform, how affected actors have interpreted its meaning and consequences, and how its framing and outcomes have been affected by the fact that it was devised and implemented both in traditional organisations and in networks consisting of local and national actors from civil society and the public sector. The thesis constitutes a contribution to the constructivist institutionalist literature concerned with the micro-foundations of organisational behaviour and to the governance research literature, to which it contributes empirical insights about how governance reforms have been interpreted and rationalised in Sweden.