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Exit, voice, and collective action in Swedish consumer policy

Abwanderung, Widerspruch und kollektives Handeln in der schwedischen Verbraucherpolitik

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Abstract

The development of consumer influence in Sweden is characterized by successive phases of initiation (1940–1953), expansion (1954–1971), consolidation (1972–1977), retrenchment (1978–1984), and decentralization (since 1985). For the study of consumer policy, the concepts of exit and voice, collective action, countervailing power, and integrated participation are used.

It is shown that consumer policy neither belongs exclusively to the public domain, nor is simply left to the whims of the market. Its success depends in part on the participation of non-governmental organizations. However, the state's presence is essential for the survival of “organized consumer interests” as a countervailing power.

Zusammenfassung

Der Beitrag kennzeichnet die Entwicklung des Verbrauchereinflusses in Schweden durch mehrere Phasen. Danach liegt die Anfangsphase in den Jahren 1940 bis 1953; in die anschließenden Jahre bis 1971 fällt die Phase der Expansion; die Phase der Konsolidierung fällt in die Jahre 1972 bis 1977, die des Abbaues in die anschließenden Jahre bis 1984, und die Zeit seit 1985 wird als Dezentralisationsphase bezeichnet.

Bei der Analyse der schwedischen Verbraucherpolitik werden die theoretischen Konzepte (a) von Abwanderung und Widerspruch, (b) des kollektiven Handelns, (c) der Gegenmachtbildung und (d) der integrierten Mitwirkung verwendet.

Es wird gezeigt, daß die Verbraucherpolitik weder ausschließlich dem öffentlichen Bereich zugehört, noch den Launen des Marktes unterliegen kann. Ihr Erfolg setzt zumindest teilweise die Mitwirkung von nichtstaatlichen Organisationen voraus. Allerdings ist staatliche Unterstützung notwendig für das Überleben des “organisierten Verbraucherinteresses” als Gegenmacht.

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Abbreviations

ARN:

Allmänna reklamationsnämnden — the Public Merchandise Complaints Board

HFI:

Hemmens forskningsinstitut — the Institute of Home Research

HSB:

Hyresgästernas Sparkasse- och Byggnadsföreningars Riksförbund — the National Association of Tenants' Savings and Building Societies

ICA:

Inköpscentralernas Aktiebolag

KI:

Konsumentinstitutet — the Institute for Consumer Information

KF:

Kooperativa Förbundet — the Cooperative Union and Wholesale Society

KoV:

Konsumentverket — the National Board for Consumer Policies

KPK:

Konsumentpolitiska kommittén — the Committee on Consumer Policy

KR:

Konsumentrådet — the National Council for Consumer Goods Research and Consumer Information

LO:

Landsorganisationen i Sverige — the Swedish Trade Union Confederation

LRF:

Lantbrukarnas riksförbund — the Federation of Swedish Farmers

MD:

Marknadsdomstolen — the Market Court

M SEK:

Million Swedish crowns

NO:

Näringsfrihetsombudsmannen — the Competition Ombudsman

NR:

Näringsfrihetsrådet — the Competition Council

OECD:

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

OK:

Oljekonsumenternas Förbund — the Swedish Oil Consumers' Union

PRO:

Pensionärernas Riksorganisation — the Swedish Pensioners' National Organization

SACO/SR:

Centralorganisationen — the Swedish Confederation of Professional Associations, SACO/SR

SAF:

Svenska arbetsgivareföreningen — the Swedish Employers' Confederation

SEK:

Swedish crowns

SHIO:

Sveriges Hantverks- och Industriorganisation — the Swedish Federation of Crafts and Small and Medium-Sized Industries

SI:

Sveriges Industriförbund — the Federation of Swedish Industries

SJN:

Statens jordbruksnämnd — the National Agricultural Marketing Board

SLV:

Statens livsmedelsverk — the National Food Administration

SPK:

Statens pris- och kartellnämnd — the National Price and Cartel Office

TCO:

Tjänstemännens Centralorganisation — the Central Organization of Salaried Employees

VDN:

Varudeklarationsnämnden — the Institute for Informative Labelling

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Additional information

Victor A. Pestoff is a Research Associate in the Department of Business Administration, University of Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the International Conference on the Nonprofit Sector and the Welfare State — Development of a Research Agenda, Bad Honnef FRG, June 10–12, 1987, and at the 14th Nordic Sociology Congress, Tampere, FinIand, August 21–23, 1987.

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Pestoff, V.A. Exit, voice, and collective action in Swedish consumer policy. J Consum Policy 11, 1–27 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00411518

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Keywords

  • Economic Policy
  • Collective Action
  • Public Domain
  • Successive Phasis
  • Consumer Policy