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Welfare service privatization and opinions about service quality: The role of political ideology among local politicians and the public
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3349-5778
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2019 (English)In: Social Policy & Administration, ISSN 0144-5596, E-ISSN 1467-9515Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In this article, we join the discussion about the potential consequences of welfare service privatization by examining the relationship between the privatization of welfare service delivery and public opinion about service quality in Sweden. Due to the politically polarized debate about welfare service privatization in Sweden, we also examine the extent to which individuals' ideological orientations influence this relationship in both local politicians and ordinary citizens. For local politicians, the results show that a higher municipal degree of privatization is generally associated with slightly lower levels of satisfaction overall with welfare services, although no such relationship exists for the public. Most importantly, however, the results indicate that political ideology constitutes an important moderator in the relationship between privatization and opinions about service quality. Local politicians and, to some extent, ordinary citizens who place themselves to the left on the ideological left–right scale tend to be less satisfied with services as the municipal degree of welfare service privatization increases. For local politicians who position themselves far to the right on the scale, the relationship between welfare service privatization and satisfaction is positive. These findings suggest that there is no clear-cut relationship between privatization and individuals' opinions about services; rather, this relationship depends on the ideological predispositions of local politicians and ordinary citizens.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
local politicians; political ideology; welfare service privatization; Sweden; welfare service delivery; welfare service
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-160070DOI: 10.1111/spol.12509OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-160070DiVA, id: diva2:1323612
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2012-1733Available from: 2019-06-12 Created: 2019-06-12 Last updated: 2019-06-18

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Johansson Sevä, IngemarÖun, Ida

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CiteExportLink to record
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