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The Swedish Way - history, culture and governance in Sweden 7.5 credits

The Swedish Way - history, culture and governance in Sweden
First cycle, S0028N
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2021 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
First cycle
Grade scale
U G#
Political Science
Subject group (SCB)
Political Science

Entry requirements

In order to meet the general entry requirements for first cycle studies you must have successfully completed upper secondary education and documented skills in English language

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on final school grades or Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Course Aim
The goal of the course is to provide general knowledge about Swedish society through a political science lens: this includes basic understanding of the political system and politics in Sweden, the importance of social welfare, Sweden’s road to democracy, the legal system and constitution, and the country’s model of governance.

Completing the course, the students shall be able to: 
- describe significant aspects of the Swedish society; its history, culture, political and juridical system 
- carry out comparative analyses between Sweden and their home country, presenting these finding as part of a group
- write a written report, based on the comparative analysis, within given instructions and time frames

The first part of the course introduces the Swedish society and the political and juridical system, its historical development and present organization. The emphasis is on the distinguishing features of the Swedish system. What is characteristic for the Swedish way of living and the Swedish governance system? The second part of the course compares the Swedish way with other countries.

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.
The teaching consists of lectures that introduces the Swedish society and the political and juridical system, its historical development and present organization. The students perform two comparative studies. Both will be presented and discussed in class and one will be summarized in a written report. The course also has cultural components. For instance, there will be a food day, where different Swedish fika will be shared.

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.
The examination consists of a report, oral and written presentations. The first presentation requires an analysis of the Swedish welfare system. Each group presents one aspect of the welfare system, illuminating its important qualities and providing international comparisons. The second presentation ties into the written assignment. Each group presents one of the topics covered during the course (political system, elections and parliament, executive government, etc., except the welfare system) and draws comparisons to the home country of each participant. The analysis is summarized in a written report that is presented and discussed at a seminar.

The grades are Fail or Pass.

Students must register for the courses themselves or contact ETS educational administration, not later than three days after the quarter commences. Failure to do so can result in the place being lost. This rule also applies to students with a guaranteed place.

Transition terms
This course is egual to S0001N and IES017.

Carina Lundmark

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2021 Sp 1 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
Larsson, T., and H. Bäck (2008) Governing and Governance in Sweden. Lund: Studentlitteratur.
Lindbom, A. (2001) Dismantling the Social Democratic Welfare Model? Has the Swedish Welfare State Lost its Defining Characteristics? Scandinavian Political Studies 24 (3): 171-193.
Pierre, J. (2015) The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Rothstein, B., and D. Stolle (2003) Introduction: Social Capital in Scandinavia. Scandinavian Political Studies 26(1):1-26.
Information and reports from official websites.

Course offered by
Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0002ReportU G#4.50MandatoryA21
0003Seminar assignmentsU G#3.00MandatoryA21

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
by Department of Business Administration and Social Sciences 22 Feb 2009

Last revised
by Director of Undergraduate Studies Daniel Örtqvist, Department of Social Sciences, Technology and Arts 17 Feb 2021