Thomas Kaiserfeld: "Competition and Cooperation in North Stockholm circa 2010: Exemplifying lack of ideological polarization"

  • Date: –15:00
  • Location: Zoom-meeting:
  • Organiser: Department of History of Science and Ideas
  • Contact person: H. Otto Sibum
  • Seminarium

Office for History of Science Seminar

Thomas Kaiserfeld, Lunds universitet

The text presented here is work in progress planned as a contribution to an anthology in Swedish on polarization. The concept of polarization often deals with how opinions, habits, practices, experiences and emotions are sorted in categories that may in addition diverge. Left out are often what I call ideological polarization, which is the polarization of systems of ideas and perceptions. They may be political, but do not have to be. In this text, it is the lack of ideological polarization, and its consequences, regarding competition and cooperation as activities ideal for goal-oriented processes that is described and analyzed. The question is how notions about these two concepts have influenced five interlinked goal-oriented processes in northern Stockholm during the two first decades of the 21st century. The five processes, which all include possibilities for competition and cooperation, are: The creation of a new district in nothern Stockholm called Hagastaden; The construction of a new highly specialized emergency hospital called The New Karolinska Solna University Hospital; The introduction of a new organization for healthcare in the Stockholm Region called Value-Based Healthcare; A national policy effort to support a number of research foci, some of them in the life sciences, called Strategic Research Areas, and a medical scandal called ‘The Macchiarini Case’. All these five interlinked processes involved a lack of ideological polarization of ideas and perceptions regarding the use of competition and cooperation as activities ideal for goal-oriented processes. In conclusion, it is suggested that this lack of ideological polarization contributed to the rather negative outcomes of most of these processes.

For this talk the author will provide a draft manuscript that will be distributed on request. Contact the author: