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The polarization within the municipalities is stronger than it is between them

The polarization within the municipalities is stronger than it is between them

Seeing the emergence of anti-establishment parties in rural areas against the elite of the big cities, researchers at the Center for Municipal Strategic Studies in Sweden wanted to know if they could find similar patterns.

-Someone says that what we brought was amazing Of the report Author, political scientist Richard Arwal.

Definition of “Rural” is tricky. Therefore, the researchers decided to allow the authority development analysis to include only 60 municipalities that are described as “remote” and “very remote” – half of the population is at least 45 minutes away from urban areas with more than 50,000 cities.

The inhabitants of these rural municipalities turned out to be very small compared to the inhabitants of 29 municipalities belonging to the category of “big city”: the trust in other fellow human beings is the same in both groups and there is equal trust in the central institutions such as primary school, health care and police.

There are researchers He used the answers of SOM surveys at the University of Gothenburg, where the question of how satisfied citizens are with the way democracy operates over the years is also being asked.

Since the 1990s, city dwellers have been happier than in less populated areas – so here’s a difference. The gap between groups ’satisfaction widened slightly in the 2019 survey, but as seen in recent decades, the increased difference between city and country cannot be seen.

– There is no denying that a party that acts stubbornly and strategically to incite rural hostility to the big cities may mobilize voters. On the other hand, Richard Arwall says such news could motivate voters in big cities, where potential votes are high.

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Read more: SD is thriving in sparsely populated Sweden

There are citizens SOM polls had to answer what confidence they have in Swedish politicians. Overall, optimism has waned somewhat in recent years (but it is still higher than it was in the late 1990s). In the 2019 census, 37 per cent in metropolitan areas had a lot or more confidence in politicians, compared to 28 per cent in rural areas. So there is a difference here too.

– But the difference is actually a little smaller now than it was ten years ago, says Richard Arvall.

The only area where researchers can see signs of increased polarization between the city and the country is the view of the print media: Over the past two years, confidence in metropolitan areas has increased and in rural municipalities it has fallen.

– But it is wise to wait for further inquiries before making distant decisions.

Not all media can be pulled over a single comb: reliance on radio and television is generally high, and there are no clear differences between large cities and sparsely populated areas.

That’s how it is Out of left-right scale? There are no significant differences between city and country. On the contrary, the small differences that existed have diminished in recent years.

So the researchers’ results are clear:

– In countries such as the United Kingdom, France and the United States, growing discontent in the countryside has contributed to the growth of anti-establishment parties, but we have not seen such clear growth in Sweden.

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What could it be?

– It is difficult to say, but our welfare system with a large economic redistribution between municipalities may have played a role.

So the researchers found There is no support for the fact that the growth of the Sweden Democrats is mainly due to the city-country polarization. But something else was discovered: in municipalities, there is a polarity between those who live in urban areas and those who live in other parts of the municipality.

Read more: So, SD is the largest in the suburbs of Eskilstuna

Statistics With the help of Sweden’s Citizens’ Survey – which was voluntarily selected by individual municipalities to participate – were able to analyze responses from 113,000 individuals in 241 municipalities during the 2015-2019 period. One might conclude that people living outside of central cities have “somewhat limited” experience of whether politicians listen to their opinions or work for the good of the municipality. They also feel that they are less likely to influence the outcome.

– We suspected there was a great deal of discontent outside the central cities, but the pattern was clearer than we thought.

Most municipalities try to support all parts of the municipality, but this dissatisfaction. Why?
– We know that “local centralization” has occurred in many places, schools, nursing homes, libraries and health centers have disappeared in the perimeter of municipalities. It belongs.

Report “Center Against Perimeter?” The first in the research project is “A Polarized Community?”. In the future, researchers will delve deeper into the explanations behind the development of ST, among other things.

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Completed in 2019 A study by Dagens Samhelley showed that SDs received strong support in the most populous constituencies of most municipalities.