Contemporary politics is full of contradictions. Debate and commitment are paired with aggression and a sense of marginalisation. New forms of political action, organisations and actors are created and exist in parallel with older, established forms. Thinktanks, research institutes, new social movements, social media activists, policy intellectuals, extra-parliamentary radical right-wing and left-wing groups – along with political parties, older folk movements, the Riksdag and government, for example, they create a political landscape that is very different to that described in the official Demokratiutredningen report in the early 2000s.
How are we to understand this changed landscape? How do contemporary political actors create power? What consequences do these changes have for the forms and function of democracy?
At the Centre for the Studies of Political Organization (CPO), we study the organisation of politics with a focus on the actors, forms and issues of contemporary politics. The purpose of the centre is to initiate and conduct research into how politics is formulated, communicated and structured.
Our studies cover a broad spectrum of phenomena linked to the organisation of politics, everything from spontaneous grassroots movements on specific issues, to the organisation of parties and the power of central government. They deal with how ideas and opinions are converted to political practice.
For journalists, experts, parties, movements, public authorities and the interested general public, the centre functions as a source of knowledge about contemporary political organisation. The centre also functions as a forum for intellectual exchange between researchers at Södertörn and parties with an interest in this area. This provides feedback for ongoing research, upcoming publications and project applications, as well as for the inception of innovative ideas in the research field.