Project 1905 -Swedish-Norwegian relations for 200 years

The research by Bo Stråth within Project 1905 has dealt with the Union Sweden-Norway 1814-1905. The historical conditions of the union are investigated and the question is put why and how it finally collapsed confronted with claims for democracy from the 1880s and increasingly in the 1890s. The connection between democracy and legitimacy is addressed and related to the connection between nationalism and modernity. The institutional arrangements in the union to cope with claims for democracy are critically investigated. The analysis of the union is related to a broader comparative discussion of Sweden and Norway in the 19th century in terms of political culture in a wide sense including religious and business cultures, the issue of modernity, and mutual relations. The tension between nationalist languages and claims for democracy, in the framework of a lack of institutions at the union level to cope with that tension, is discussed in comparison to the European Union of today.

The results are published in 'Union och demokrati' (Union and Democraty), 2005.