I was born in 1954 and brought up in the northern suburbs of Stockholm. After an exam in journalism and a couple of years in that profession I started to read history at the University of Stockholm. My dissertation was published in 1994 (“A House for the Elite. The Upper House, the State and Modernization in Sweden 1867-1886”). Studies on the civil servants in Sweden during the 19th Century followed, as well as a Swedish-Norwegian project on the dissolution of the Union in 1905. This interest for Norway has been upheld, for example by studying the Norwegian Constitution of 1814. For some years I led a project at Södertörn University on the history of the Swedish Conservative party. In that way also ideologies and politics in the 20th and 21th centuries became subjects in my work. Recently I have finished a study of local politics in Stockholm after WW II. The Nordic perspective will of course be continued in this new Finnish-Swedish project, as well as my interest for writing popular history.

Within “Driving Forces of Democracy”, my intention is to analyze the concept of history in Svenska folkpartiet (Swedish people´s party) and Finlands svenska socialdemokrater (Finland´s Swedish Social-democrats) from 1917 to present times. The concept of history contains how interpretations of historical events influence the political practice as well as how more abstract phenomena like development, modernity and progress are integrated in ideological contexts. The focus of the study is the political activity, but one should not forget that especially Sfp is surrounded by an important Finno-Swedish cultural sphere.

The study will increase our understanding of how different parts of the Finno-Swedish sphere use the political culture in relation to Sweden as well as to the Finnish language group. Also the attitude to the Russian neighbor, geo-political changes (for instance the relations between Russia and Germany) and economic waves (the emigration of Swedish-speaking people to Sweden) are important factors for the way these organizations participate in the development of democracy in Finland.

Publications

Elitens svängrum. Första kammaren, staten och moderniseringen 1867–1886, 1994.

“Scandinavian Liberalism — Prophets instead of Profits”, in Öystein Sörensen & Bo Stråth (ed.), The Cultural Construction of Norden, 1997.

Mellan arv och utopi. Moderata vägval under hundra år, 1904–2004, 2004.

”Den politiska kulturen”, i Jacob Christensson (red.), Det moderna genombrottet. Signums svenska kulturhistoria, del VII, 2008.

Hundra år av svensk politik, 2009.

Norden runt i tvåhundra år. Jämförande studier om liberalism, konservatism och historiska myter, 2010.

”Politikens tjänstemän. Stadens glömda makthavare”, i Torbjörn Nilsson (red.), Stockholm blir välfärdsstad. Kommunalpolitik i huvudstaden efter 1945, 2011

Statsministern (tillsammans med fotograf Henrik Montgomery), 2011.

”1809 och de moderna svenska byråkraterna”, i Bård Frydenlund & Odd Arvid Storsveen (red.), Veivalg for Norden, 2013

”Nyliberalismens spöke och Moderaternas politik”, i Anders Ivarsson Westerberg, Ylva Waldemarson & Kjell Östberg (red.), Det långa 1990-talet. När Sverige förändrades, 2014.

Staden mellan vågorna. Stockholmspolitik i brytningstider 1945–2014, 2014.