A kinder, gentler democracy?

SND-ID: SND 0915

Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Leif Lewin - Uppsala University, Department of Government


The project is a joint venture between the Faculties of Social sciences and Medicine at Uppsala University. We try to explain the variation between Swedish municipalities regarding their care for persons with disabilities and we search for the explanation in a much esteemed political science theory on so called consensus democracy. The theory states that if the relation between political parties is characterized by cooperation instead of conflict, it leads to a ”kinder, gentler form of democracy” for vulnerable groups, for instance persons with disabilities (Lijphart). The Political science department is the main seat of the project. It has long experience of the theory and also a large data base on consensus democracy at the municipal level. A great part of the research will be conducted at the Centre for disability research where there is intimate knowledge of such material that will constitute the dependent variable. The study is a total investigation, supplemented with qualitative case studies. The study involves testing of hypotheses. It also allows testing of counter hypotheses such as t

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Research principal, contributors, and funding

Research principal

Uppsala University

Responsible department/unit

Department of Government


Lina Westin - Uppsala University, Department of Government

Hanna Bäck - Lund University, Department of Political Science

Barbro Lewin - Uppsala University, Department of Government


  • Funding agency: Swedish Research Council for Heath, Workning Life and Walfare
  • Funding agency's reference number: 2003-0008
Protection and ethical review

Data contains personal data


Method and time period

Unit of analysis


Swedish municipalities

Time Method

Sampling procedure

Total universe/Complete enumeration

Time period(s) investigated

2004-01-01 – 2006-12-31

Geographic coverage

Geographic spread

Geographic location: Sweden

Lowest geographic unit


Highest geographic unit



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Barbro Lewin: “Disability care and the real enthusiasts”, University of Tartu May 28, 200

Barbro Lewin. “Från behov till stöd. Lokal variation i LSS-tillämpningen”, Ett liv som andras. Socialtjänstforum – ett möte mellan forskning och socialtjänst. En konferens i Göteborg 25-26 april 2006

Leif Lewin, Barbro Lewin, Lina Westin och Hanna Bäck: ”Vänsterstyrda kommuner ger mer stöd till handikappade”, Dagens Nyheter 20 februari 2007;

Barbro Lewin: Bemötandeboken. En handbok för personal i funktionshinderverksamhet. Bokförlaget Kommunlitteratur, Höganäs

Leif Lewin, Barbrio Lewin, Hanna Bäck och Lina Westin: ”A Kinder, Gentler Democracy? The Consensus Model and Swedish Disability Politics”, Scandinavian Political Studies Vol 31 No 3 2008
Swepub | Institutional Repository
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9477.2008.00207.x

Lewin, B. & Westin, L. (2005). In pursuit of a measure of generosity in Swedish disability care. In Anders Gustavsson, Johans Sandvin, Rannveig Traustadóttir and Jan Tössebro (eds.) Resistance, Reflection and Change. Nordic Disability Research. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
ISBN: 91-44-03787-2

Lewin, B. (2009). Skam, likgiltighet och eldsjälar. Tre studier om LSS-reformen och det kommunala självstyret. Kommunal ekonomi och politik. 13 (2):7-26
Handle: 2077/22155
ISSN: 1402-8705

Barbro Lewin, Lina Westin and Leif Lewin: “ Needs and Ambitions in Swedish Disability Care”, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research Vol 10 No 4 2008
Swepub | Institutional Repository

Leif Lewin: “Blir vi snällare av att samarbeta?” Upsala Nya Tidning 26 januari 2008

Leif Lewin: ”Consensus Politics and Kinder, Gentler Democracy”, University of Tartu May 28, 2008

Lewin, Leif (2007). En mänskligare demokrati?. Socialförsäkring för alla : Rapport från forskarseminarium i Umeå 24–25 januari 2007. s. 75-85. Försäkringskassan Analyserar 2007:4
Swepub | Institutional Repository

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Needs and ambitions

Associated documentation


Contains variables used for the article:
Lewin, B. Westion, L. and Lewin, L. (2008) "Needs and Ambitions in Swedish Disability Care", Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 10:4, 237-58. DOI:10.1080/15017410802410068

Version 1.1


Metadata added

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Leif Lewin. Uppsala University (2015). Needs and ambitions. Swedish National Data Service. Version 1.1. https://doi.org/10.5878/002616

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Data format / data structure


Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Leif Lewin - Uppsala University, Department of Government

Data collection

  • Time period(s) for data collection: 2004–2006
  • Source of the data: Registers/Records/Accounts: Administrative



Number of individuals/objects


Published: 2015-01-26
Last updated: 2020-05-05