Ongoing PhD projects

Wealth, War and Modernisation

PhD student Diego Castañeda Garza

The reconstruction of the wealth inequality levels in Mexico over the 19th century and early 20th. This thesis project aims to use wealth inequality as a microscope to observe the long-term processes of state formation and economic modernisation in Mexico since the independence war in 1810 up to the end of the Mexican Revolution in 1940. I constructed a dataset of wills to answer several questions, for example:  Who were the winners and losers of the modernisation process? and what is the relationship between inequality and warfare? This century and a half process of state formation, destruction and reconstruction can be characterised as continuous warfare at different scales punctuated by two periods of peace and construction of state capacity. Distributive forces are the drivers of these developments.

Malt, hops, yeast, water, and regulatory regimes: market structure, profitability, and firm survival in the Swedish beer industry, 1920–1990

PhD student Kasper Hage Stjern

The project concerns the Norwegian and Swedish brewery cartels in the period 1906-1956. The aim is to examine how the cartel leadership and individual cartel members could influence the process of cartelization as well as the brewery industries' relationship to rising state regulatory ambitions in general and in alcohol in particular. I utilize the cartel's own archives, brewery firm archives and state price and cartel agencies' archives in the project. 

Influence on Swedish bank regulation during the twentieth century

PhD student Cecilia Kahn

This dissertation takes a stakeholder perspective on the legislative and regulatory processes for bank regulation in Sweden during the twentieth century. A number of cases of regulatory development are considered with focus on vested interests, arguments, channels of influence and outcomes. Politicians, the supervisor, the Riksbank, the bankers, academia, media etcetera are included in the analysis. Through this, the development of regulations and the stakeholders’ respective positions of influence can be described for each case as well as how influence has changed over time. Furthermore, this provides an empirical basis for testing hypothesis of regulatory theory and the theory of regulatory capture. Printed material such as riksdagstryck and archival material are used. The rich source of previous research is also used as secondary sources. 

Institutional change and rural economic growth. Enclosures, land prices and population growth 1810-1880

PhD student Ellen Lindblom

This study is part of Marja Erikson's research project: "Institutional change and rural economic growth. Enclosures, land prices and population growth 1810-1880" where I focus on the 1827 land reform 'laga skifte' in east central Sweden. What motivated land owners to adapt the change and what did the institutional change actually look like in practice? Why did some villages adapt the change and others didn't and how did that affect the households? I try to map out property and access rights before and after 'laga skifte' and see how it changed. I look at tenant farmers' and crofters' households and the people who did not own the land they farmed.

The ”New old” Economic Policy Paradigm: Technocratic and Ideological Transformation of Swedish Fiscal and Monetary Policies 1960-1990

PhD student Elisabeth Lindberg

This dissertation discusses Swedish fiscal and monetary policies during a period of structural economic change, often termed as marketisation. Structural change is however a phenomenon interpreted and made comprehensible by human beings; in these cases, fiscal and monetary technocrats. Swedish marketisation has been characterised as a development of deregulation of financial markets, as well as a strive toward a marketised welfare state. This has been followed by fiscal policy aimed at constant austerity and technocratically managed monetary policy. Such a development has among other explanations usually been contributed to neoliberal ideas gaining a larger influence on public policy debate in the 1980s, the loss of union bargaining power, and the hypothesis of sclerosis where the rapid growth of the Post-war era came to an end with the oil crises during the 1970s. This dissertation focuses on Swedish fiscal and monetary technocrats shaping policies in different capacities, as well as from shifting ideological standpoints, during the first wave of marketisation and financialisation from 1960 to 1990. Material from different archival sources and previous research on the role of ideas in economic policy, marketisation and technocratic influence will be used as primary and secondary sources, respectively.

Clearing the Land – Enclosure and Agricultural Development in the Region of Mälardalen 1750-1900

PhD student Maja Lundqvist

The thesis aims to explore the agricultural development in the region of Mälardalen in the centre of Sweden. The purpose is to identify if there was a production and productivity increase that can be identified as an agricultural revolution. Furthermore, the study intends to examine whether the institutional changes brought on by the enclosure movement had any consequences for the development.

A struggle for production: workers and politics of rationalization in Sweden during the interwar er

PhD student Arvand Mirsafian

My research concerns how Swedish metal workers approached technological change during the interwar era. During this period, “the rationalisation movement” was formed by private enterprises and their political allies that sought to introduce new technologies that increased productivity levels in the Swedish industry. By studying metal workers and approaching rationalisation and industrial capitalism “from below,” I argue that the labor movement actively attempted to influence how new technology was implemented in production. I also argue that this was part of a historical fight to contest capital’s control over the labor process and that this conflict is essential for understanding the subsequent institutionalisation of the corporatist Swedish labor market model. 

Social mobility in an age of social movement

PhD student Jonas Söderqvist

My work is part of a research project looking into social mobility in Sweden during the period 1859–1950. By mapping mobility of individuals with low income background, attending adult education, I am investigating aspects of social mobility for a group with no access to colleges and universities. The Folk high schools (folkhögskolor) in Sweden where educational institutions in the rural areas of the country, offering theoretical training to young adults. First, their students were sons (and later, daughters) of home owning farmers. Later, they became popular among the temperance movement and the labour movement, whose leaders and intellectuals were provided ELLER offered further theoretical training. At the moment, I am investigating a group of students from the Brunnsvik folk high school, who were politically organised in the labour movement, and some of whom personally experienced social mobility during their life time. My work is part of the research project "En fråga om arv: Humankapital och förmögenhet som förutsättning för social mobilitet, Sverige 1880-1950" (A matter of inheritance: human capital and fortune as  prerequisites for social mobility, Sweden 1880-1950), funded by the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius foundations.

Collecting a community: History and Swedish-American identity, 1860-1920

PhD student Erik Thosteman

My dissertation work explores the Swedish-American migration between 1850-1920, and the emerging ethnic communities. Based on an analysis of Swedish-American historical associations, institutions, newspapers and other archival sources, I want to explore the role of history in the creation of Swedish-American identities. Concepts such as nationalism, collective identities, imagined communities and historical consciousness, will be of special importance for my work.

Last modified: 2022-11-25