Politikens handlingsutrymme och konkurrensens lagar. Nyliberala föreställningar om stat och marknad i tre konkurrensregelverk
With the introduction of market reforms in the public sector, a set of rules becomes applicable to keep governments from distorting competition. This study discusses the impact of three such competition rules on Swedish government – EU rules on State aid and public procurement, as well as the Swedish rules on anti-competitive sales activities. Together they set the conditions for how governments can act towards the market in its role as legislator as well as market participant. I argue that the competition rules reflect a neoliberal belief that politics should be moulded according to the principle of free competition. Neoliberalism is in turn understood as relying on a conflicting understanding of competition as needing both state protection and protection from the state. This allows for a kind of regulation that limits the room for political agency by deciding what government interventions can be accepted according to the needs of the market.