Youth unemployment in Sweden : from the perspectives of party as actor and party as outflow of society

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper

Abstract: The aim was to analyse how the political parties, relate to questions of young individuals in Sweden, particularly to the question of youth unemployment. The theoretical basis encompassed two perspectives explaining party politics - “the party as outflow of society” and “the party as actor”, derived from the structure-agency school. Units of analysis were the parliamentary parties and their youth organisations, and the material comprised the parliament’s special debate of youth unemployment in 2006, and text from the youth organisations' web sites. The method was qualitative with an interpretative approach. Conclusions were that young individuals in society have a limited impact on the appearance of political parties. No party has a stable responsiveness to questions of young individuals; only three out of the seven youth organisations had the current youth unemployment on the agenda (parties as outflow of society). All parties had suggestions on how to combat unemployment, but not all had suggestions directed towards youth in particular. The proposals were adjusted to other party policies to facilitate a power position through alliances (parties as actors). The Centre party brought forward the current youth unemployment the most and “the special youth agreements” might attract new voters, including young individuals, but could also deter traditional voters.

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