‘For a living countryside’: political rhetoric about Swedish rural areas

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Series Title
Series Details Vol.25, No.1, January 2018, p72-84
Publication Date January 2018
ISSN 0969-7764
Content Type


The expression ‘a living countryside’ is often used to characterize the goal of Swedish rural politics. In this article the use of the expression in 170 non-government bills related to Swedish rural politics is analysed using discourse theory.

On a general level, the expression was found to be empty of meaning and open for use by different and often opposing political parties proposing different and sometimes antagonistic measures. However, there were aspects of it that flirted with positively charged notions of Swedish national identity. It was also clear that the discursive struggle for a living countryside was also part of a party-political struggle.

Further, the fantasy of a living countryside performed an ideological function in that it under-communicated how rural areas are generally and structurally subordinated to urban centres in ways that reach far beyond easily performed measures and political party quarrels.

Source Link http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0969776416679216
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