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Reforming the science-policy boundary: the Myrdals and the Swedish tradition of Governmental Commissions
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2008 (English)In: Academics as public intellectuals / [ed] Sven Eliaeson and Ragnvald Kalleberg, Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008, 173-195 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Per Wisselgren's chapter on academics as public intellectuals, is concerned with the role of extra-academic social research and the relationship between social science and social policy in the Swedish interwar period. It focuses on the intersection between, on the one hand, the long domestic tradition of governmental commissions and, on the other, Gunnar and Alva Myrdal’s trajectories as public intellectuals. Special attention is paid to the so-called Population Commission (1935-38), which was one of the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal’s earliest and most important works but also one of the largest and most influential commissions in the history of Swedish social policy. By analyzing the Population Commission in terms of a historically situated “trading zone” or “boundary organization”, i.e. a place where different knowledge cultures have met and spheres of action for social expertise have been negotiated and stabilized, Wisselgren argues that the Myrdals both conceptualized and re-formulated the science-policy boundary in a new way on the discursive level and practically and institutionally widened the sphere of action for social researchers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. 173-195 p.
Keyword [en]
boundary-work, trading zone, boundary organization, Gunnar Myrdal, governmental commissions, Sweden, extra-academic social research, public intellectual
National Category
History of Ideas History Sociology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-9637ISBN: 9781847184764OAI: diva2:149308
Available from: 2008-05-05 Created: 2008-05-05 Last updated: 2014-10-23Bibliographically approved

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