Translation of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Swedish Politics

  • Jenny-Ann Brodin Danell
Part of the Health, Technology and Society book series (HTE)


In this chapter, the political understanding—or translation—of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is analysed within the context of the Swedish parliament. This is achieved with help from an actor network approach, using motions written by parliamentary politicians during the time period 1980–2015. The main findings suggest that there are two types of translations. The first is focused on public health issues in which CAM is presented as a potential contribution to problems such as long-term sick leaves. The second is focused on more specific CAM issues, such as legal constraints and lack of knowledge, which might delimit the use and practice of CAM. In general, the debate is in favour of CAM and is dominated by liberal and conservative parties. It is also dominated by ideals of freedom of choice and free markets, although ideals of social justice also are recurrent. Another finding is that the political understanding of CAM follows scientific and medical norms.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny-Ann Brodin Danell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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