Ongoing PhD projects

Informal financial markets in 19th century Sweden. Estimates based on micro-data.

PhD student Jaser Abbas

The project is run by Professor Håkan Lindgren, and includes among others PhD student Jaser Abbas, Department of Economic History, Uppsala University. The latter is studying the informal financial market in Scania with focus on the development of socio-economic and geographical structures and the effects of economic crises on credit relations. Preliminary title of the thesis is Credit in times of crisis: Informal credits in Malmöhus County, 1850–1910.

Antibiotics research: How, why and to what effect the conditions of antibiotics research changed 1980-2010

PhD student Carl Björvang

During a period of increased awareness of need for new antibiotics, the research in the field underwent significant changes. This project assesses the extent of these changes. It also looks at the underlying causes of the changes to understand why they came about. Finally it aims to study the effects they had on individual researchers and their ability to conduct productive research within the field.

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.

Labour and machine: a study on industrial technology, ideology and the Swedish labour movement 1920–1960

PhD student Arvand Mirsafian

My dissertation concerns the Swedish labour movement’s attitude toward technological changes within industries during the period 1920–1960. By studying how the labour movement’s political organisations and unions have attempted to influence the technological development, the dissertation asks about the relation between labour, technology and knowledge and how it has changed during the 20th century.
The relation between labour and technology is complex and touches on both material and emotional aspects of the worker’s social condition. Technology has throughout modern history been viewed by labour as both an opportunity and as a threat. By using the concept of ideology, I study how the movement’s knowledge about its social reality has influenced the way it has worked to shape the development in industrial technology to its advantage.
The study is influenced by literature on the sociology of knowledge that highlights the importance of knowledge in shaping people’s understanding of their social reality. Concepts familiar to the sociology of knowledge are utilised in the investigation regarding how the labuor movement’s production of knowledge has created ideological images of industrial technology, and how the movement in turn has fought for its material interests through these images.  

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. Project manager is Associate Professor Kristina Lilja.