The Europeanization of Swedish Alcohol Policy
Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation is to study the Europeanization of Swedish alcohol policy from 1995-2006. It analyses the development of Swedish and European alcohol policy and answers the following research questions: How has alcohol policy developed on the national and the EU level during this period? What are the Swedish alcohol policy initiatives on the EU level? What does the interplay between Swedish and European policy processes look like? Of interest for this dissertation is also how the Swedish view on alcohol policy has been received on EU level.The dissertation comprises four related articles and an introductory chapter. In the articles official documents and interviews are analyzed in the context of the literature on Europeanization, using the concepts framing, narrative and new modes of governance. Article I explores the history of negotiations between Sweden and the EU on the traveller’s allowances question. Article II and III analyse how Swedish authorities, first through research and later through formal policy-making during the Swedish Presidency, tried to reframe alcohol on the EU-level. Finally, the fourth article is a comparative analysis of the Nordic retail monopolies, analyzing how the monopolies have developed and reacted to national and international pressures on their activities.The dissertation shows that Swedish authorities have influenced the EU level by putting alcohol on the agenda, and offered pressure and economic support to make sure that alcohol as a public health question has become and been kept as a prioritized question. This development is, however, nested inside the changing scope and emphasis of the EU. The emergence of a European alcohol policy as a public health-oriented process has been made possible through a new focus on the EU level, with increased cooperation between member states and a trend toward harmonization of policy and frames when it comes to alcohol.
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