Partierna, rösträtten och medborgarskapet. Riksdagsdebatten om utlandssvenskars och ickemedborgares rösträtt efter år 1921


  • Martin Ericsson


Political Parties, Enfranchisement, and Citizenship: Debates on Voting Rights for Expatriate Citizens and Resident Aliens in the Swedish Parliament after 1921.

The question of how voting rights should be designed in relation to national citizenship has gained attention in modern, academic debates. However, there are few empirical studies on the political agents actually involved in efforts to promote or oppose enfranchisement of expatriate citizens or resident aliens, or the arguments they have used. This essay therefore analyses debates on voting rights and citizenship in the Swedish parliament from 1921 (when Sweden adopted general suffrage) and until 2019. Initiatives promoting enfranchisement for expatriate citizens were taken by conservatives and liberals, and were opposed by socialists. Initiatives promoting enfranchisement for resident aliens were taken by socialist and green parties, and often opposed by conservatives and nationalists. The arguments used were sometimes very instrumental, and quite different from the theoretical arguments used in modern academic, normative discussions. For example, Sweden’s local enfranchisement of resident aliens in 1975 was seen as an effort to promote integration and prevent segregation.