The political significance of work

A common statement in the public debate is that unemployment and other types of economic vulnerability not only constitute a major social problem but also constitute a threat to democracy. While some fear that high unemployment and widening economic gaps will lead to increased political passivity and alienation, others worry that the same factors will promote populist and anti-democratic currents in society.

However, there are considerable knowledge gaps considering how people's labour market status affects political commitment and political attitudes. The purpose of this project is therefore to contribute to increased knowledge about these issues by using Swedish register data to investigate whether, and if so how, people's position on the labor market relates to their political participation and political attitudes.

– We hope that the results of this research project will help to raise awareness of the importance work has in order to create politically committed citizens, essential for a vital and functioning democracy," says Karl-Oskar Lindgren, who heads the project.


Principal Investigator: Karl-Oskar Lindgren (Department of Government) 

Period: 1 January 2018–31 December 2021

Funding: SEK 5 000 000 from the Swedish Research Council

Research Team