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Frihetens makt och makten över friheten

Risberg, Olof LU (2013) HISS33 20131
History
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to study how the state governs the population in Sweden 1809-1870. The period from the “revolutionary” government of 1810 to the 1870's is a period of change in Sweden, when old feudal institutions are put under great pressure from economic and social change. The state changes, its relation to the local society changes, and new methods of power and politics are formed. The ambition of this essay is to present perspectives on this development. The method takes the form of a journey from an abstract level of theories and models to the concrete empiricism and then back to a more general abstract level. After a theoretical presentation, the study turns to the empirical part, mainly contemporary law,... (More)
Abstract

The purpose of this essay is to study how the state governs the population in Sweden 1809-1870. The period from the “revolutionary” government of 1810 to the 1870's is a period of change in Sweden, when old feudal institutions are put under great pressure from economic and social change. The state changes, its relation to the local society changes, and new methods of power and politics are formed. The ambition of this essay is to present perspectives on this development. The method takes the form of a journey from an abstract level of theories and models to the concrete empiricism and then back to a more general abstract level. After a theoretical presentation, the study turns to the empirical part, mainly contemporary law, before returning to the abstract level to discuss the result.

Antonio Gramsci and Michel Foucault are the two great theorists of this essay. They have both studied power, and different ways to exercise it. Gramsci and Foucault agree that there are alternatives to the hard, dominating power often exercised by the state. There are also a “softer” power, which act through ideology and the control of information. Gramsci calls this power the hegemonic or “leading” power. This method of power is connected to the civil society.

An important political process during the studied period is the expansion of social politics, in particular the care of the poor and the public schooling (folkskolan). Through these processes we are able to study the relationship between the state and the communes, the relationship between the public and private spheres, and in the long run, the relation between the state and the population. From the study of the laws, several methods of power are identified. An important way for the state to use its power is the “rule of freedom”. The state creates a political area of freedom, where the commune, population or association can act according to its own free will. However, the borders of this freedom is always guarded by the state, and there is no freedom without power. During it's period of change, the state tries to push political activities from it's own responsibility (and budget) into other spheres of society. Communes and associations are excellent examples. These spheres are not governed directly by the state, but through “the rule of freedom” and the hegemony. Government through direct restrictions is replaced by a system of control and information.

Ultimately, this thesis is an attempt to write a synthesis of Gramsci and Foucault. Several of Foucault's perspectives are integrated with Gramsci's theories. I think this synthesis can help us to understand society and history. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Risberg, Olof LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
En studie i makt i Sverige under perioden 1809-1870
course
HISS33 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Sverige, 1800-talet, Foucault, Gramsci, makt
language
Swedish
id
3812833
date added to LUP
2013-11-20 08:27:34
date last changed
2013-11-20 08:27:34
@misc{3812833,
  abstract     = {Abstract 

The purpose of this essay is to study how the state governs the population in Sweden 1809-1870. The period from the “revolutionary” government of 1810 to the 1870's is a period of change in Sweden, when old feudal institutions are put under great pressure from economic and social change. The state changes, its relation to the local society changes, and new methods of power and politics are formed. The ambition of this essay is to present perspectives on this development. The method takes the form of a journey from an abstract level of theories and models to the concrete empiricism and then back to a more general abstract level. After a theoretical presentation, the study turns to the empirical part, mainly contemporary law, before returning to the abstract level to discuss the result. 

Antonio Gramsci and Michel Foucault are the two great theorists of this essay. They have both studied power, and different ways to exercise it. Gramsci and Foucault agree that there are alternatives to the hard, dominating power often exercised by the state. There are also a “softer” power, which act through ideology and the control of information. Gramsci calls this power the hegemonic or “leading” power. This method of power is connected to the civil society. 

An important political process during the studied period is the expansion of social politics, in particular the care of the poor and the public schooling (folkskolan). Through these processes we are able to study the relationship between the state and the communes, the relationship between the public and private spheres, and in the long run, the relation between the state and the population. From the study of the laws, several methods of power are identified. An important way for the state to use its power is the “rule of freedom”. The state creates a political area of freedom, where the commune, population or association can act according to its own free will. However, the borders of this freedom is always guarded by the state, and there is no freedom without power. During it's period of change, the state tries to push political activities from it's own responsibility (and budget) into other spheres of society. Communes and associations are excellent examples. These spheres are not governed directly by the state, but through “the rule of freedom” and the hegemony. Government through direct restrictions is replaced by a system of control and information.

Ultimately, this thesis is an attempt to write a synthesis of Gramsci and Foucault. Several of Foucault's perspectives are integrated with Gramsci's theories. I think this synthesis can help us to understand society and history.},
  author       = {Risberg, Olof},
  keyword      = {Sverige,1800-talet,Foucault,Gramsci,makt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Frihetens makt och makten över friheten},
  year         = {2013},
}