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The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists




We study the political opinions of Swedish social scientists in seven disciplines. A survey was sent to 4,301 academics at 25 colleges and universities, which makes the coverage of the disciplines included more or less comprehensive. When it comes to party sympathies there are 1.3 academics on the right for each academic on the left—a sharp contrast to the situation in the United States, where Democrats greatly dominate the social sciences. The corresponding ratio for Swedish citizens in general is 1.1. The most left-leaning disciplines are sociology and gender studies, the most right-leaning ones are business administration, economics, and law, with political science and economic history somewhere in between. The differences between the disciplines are smaller in Sweden than in the more polarized U.S. We also asked 14 policy questions. The replies largely confirm the pattern of a left-right divide – but overall the desire to change the status quo is tepid.

Suggested Citation

  • Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Stern, Charlotta, 2007. "The Political Opinions of Swedish Social Scientists," Ratio Working Papers 112, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0112

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    Cited by:

    1. Berggren, Niclas & Jordahl, Henrik & Poutvaara, Panu, 2010. "The Right Look: Conservative Politicians Look Better and Their Voters Reward it," Ratio Working Papers 161, The Ratio Institute.
    2. repec:ejw:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:2:p:274-292 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Leiser, David & Benita, Rinat & Bourgeois-Gironde, Sacha, 2016. "Differing conceptions of the causes of the economic crisis: Effects of culture, economic training, and personal impact," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 154-163.
    4. Stern, Charlotta, 2016. "Does political ideology hinder insights on gender and labor markets?," Ratio Working Papers 275, The Ratio Institute.
    5. repec:eee:poleco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:180-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Amélie Goossens & Pierre-Guillaume Méon, 2015. "The Belief that Market Transactions Are Mutually Beneficial: A Comparison of the Views of Students in Economics and Other Disciplines," Post-Print CEB 2013/162215, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Potrafke, Niklas & Fischer, Mira & Ursprung, Heinrich, 2013. "Does the Field of Study Influence Students' Political Attitudes?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79934, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Mira Fischer & Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2016. "Support for free-market policies and reforms: Does the field of study influence students’ political attitudes?," ifo Working Paper Series 218, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item


    Academics; social scientists; policy views; political opinions; party sympathies;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics

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