Trängsel i välfärdsstaten: Expertis, politik och rumslig planering i 1960- och 1970-talets Sverige

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Sal IV, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Nordström, Katarina
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Historiska institutionen
  • Kontaktperson: Nordström, Katarina
  • Disputation


This dissertation is concerned with knowledge production and governance of land-use. Its main focus is the development of the National Land-use Plan (fysisk riksplanering) in Sweden between 1965 and 1979. The overall aim is to analyse and make visible different components of co-production between expertise and politics in the formulation of Swedish land use policy in the 1960s and the 1970s.

The original purpose of the National Land-use Plan was to provide the government with tools to address recurring land-use conflicts. However, in the approximately fifteen years during which the plan was being developed its framing changed drastically. In the early stages of the project the plan was thought of as a tool for maximizing rational land-use. Since Sweden’s physical space was limited, it was thought to be crucial to attend to the interest of the whole nation and to protect valuable areas from short-sighted municipal or commercial interests. The plan was also intended as a way to centrally manage the anticipated increase in competition for land in a future congested Sweden. Fifteen years later it was instead framed as a tool that would ensure that different interests were represented when decisions on land-use were being made. It was also supposed to encourage and facilitate participatory planning and allow citizens and municipalities to exert greater influence over their local environment.

The dissertation is an account of this shift and an analysis of its underlying causes. It shows that the changes happened as a result of a complex series of technocratic ideas and practices that were sometimes in conflict with one another. They were also profoundly shaped by contemporary political debates. The story of the land-use plan reflects the diffusion of new forms of international resource knowledge and changed values within the scientific community. But also shows these being played out in unique and distinctly national ways. Competing technocratic projects on regional development and powerful political arguments that had formed around regional self-determination were especially important for the co-production of the Swedish land-use policy.