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Civil society is widely recognised for the critical and diverse set of roles it plays in societal development. Its role and conditions has however changed over time as the community, decision-making processes and technology has transformed. Sweden has a long tradition of state support for free and independent organisations with a democracy deeply rooted in popular movements and in a strong tradition of involvement and organisation. Many of the obvious elements of welfare in Sweden today have once started through an initiative of civil society. This article traces the history of Swedish civil society – and explores why it still matters.
Length: 3 pages
Date of publication: August 2017