Kjell Östberg is Professor and Research Director at the Swedish Institute of Contemporary History at Södertörn University. His research interests have primarily focused on issues of democratization and bureaucratization in twentieth-century Sweden, with special attention to folk movements and social movements, including the women’s movement and the new social movements emerging as a result of the radicalization during the 1960’ies. Special attention has been given to the Social Democracy, from the rise of the movement more than one hundred years ago till today’s professionalized and well integrated party of power. Östberg has also written the first academic biography of Social democratic leader Olof Palme and was the main author of the concluding volume of Norstedt’s History of Sweden.

”Parties and political culture”

The backbone of both the Swedish and Finnish party system has up to the present day been notably stable. A character-traits has been the role of parties with strong roots in social movements, especially labor- and rural movements. The project will examine the effects of the recent decades change in the condition for political work for tedes parties – including globalizaion, Europeanization, changed relations between politics and market as well as the professionalization and medialization of politics.

Part of the study will be implemented in the form of an oral history project.

Contact information

Professor Kjell Östberg
Samtidshistoriska institutet
Södertörns högskola
141 89 Huddinge

tel. +46 722 393822


1990 Byråkrati and reformism (Bureacracy and Reformism), Arkiv förlag

1996 Kommunerna och den svenska modellen (Local Politics and the Swedish Model), Symposion förlag

1997 Efter rösträtten. Kvinnors utrymme efter det demokratiska genombrottet (After Suffrage: Women’s Space after the Break-Through of Demcoracy), Symposion förlag

2002 När allting var in rörelse, 60-talsradikaliseringen och de sociala rörelserna (When Everything Was in Movement: The Radicalization of the 1960s and the Social Movements), Prisma förlag

2004, co-editor with Yvonne Svanström, Än män då, (And What About Men), Atlas förlag

2007, co-editor with Harriet Jones and Nico Randeraad, Contemporary history on trial: Europe since 1989 and the role of the expert historian, Manchester University Press

2008 I takt med tiden. Olof Palme 1927-1969, (A Man for his TIme. Olof Palme 1926-1989). Leopard förlag

2009 När vinden vände. Olof Palme 1969-1986, Leopard förlag

2013 Sverige historia 1965-2012, (The History of Sweden 1965-2012), Norstedts förlag