Most political parties compromise on political questions concerning freedom of the individual and government power. This is shown in a new dissertation in political science where Torgny Klasson has investigated debates in the Swedish Parliament on four different government bills linked to information technology.
In the dissertation, the parliamentary parties' acting within the area of information technology during roughly 30 years is investigated trough analyses of debates on four different government bills between 1980 and 2009: one new secrecy law 1980, The Personal Data Act 1998–1999, Lagen om hemlig rumsavlyssning 2006–2007, and the FRA Law (2007–2009).
The debates in the Swedish Parliament are linked to information technology in society and have been analysed based on what adjustments the parliamentary parties have been willing to implement concerning the freedom of the individual. The dissertation is linked to the continuously ongoing debate concerning the individual freedom of citizens and their rights and protection of personal integrity from government power and the interests of society in general. In other words, the study deals with how the political parties are affected on this issue in a society characterised by a rapid development of technology and the digitalisation of information.
Torgny Klasson has developed a set of concepts where the parties are categorised on a scale where the extreme values are labelled freedom of the individual and government power. The results show that most parties tend to compromise between freedom of the individual and government power, that is to say, they take a so-called "hybrid position". The exception is Miljöpartiet and Vänsterpartiet which most of the time position themselves close to freedom of the individual. The study argues that parties in office more often position themselves close the value government power, while parties in opposition more often position themselves closer to the value freedom of the individual. In addition, the results show that most parties have pointed out the value of government power to a larger extent in the selected debates in the Swedish Parliament after September 11, 2011 than they did previous to this critical point. Torgny Klasson has been teaching Swedish politics and public administration at Linnaeus University since 1986.
Torgny Klasson (2017). Informationsteknik och avvägningar mellan individens frihet och statsmakt – En analys av svenska riksdagsdebatter, Linnaeus University Dissertation No 286/2017. ISBN: 978-91-88357-73-1.
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