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Policyspridning som översättning : Den politiska översättningen av metadonbehandling och husläkare i Sverige

Policy Translation : The Political Translation of Methadone Maintenance Treatment and Family Doctors in Sweden


  • Björn Johnson

Summary, in English

This thesis discusses an alternative to the conventional policy diffusion approach, i.e. the social constructivist translation perspective. Within the translation perspective, policy diffusion is defined as a process where meaning is constructed by temporally and spatially disembedding policy ideas from their previous context and using them as models for policy change in a new context. This brings attention to the importance of a deepened problematization of the policy concept, the actor-dependent character of translation, and to the fact that translation processes are always tied to a local context. Translation should be seen as open, continuous processes that never take place independently of the societal distribution of power.

In the thesis a distinction is made between political and practical translation. Political translation processes takes place at field level in connection with authoritative decision-making, and are a question of how policy ideas are adapted to the given local political context. This discussion is followed by the creation of an analytical framework for the study of political translation. The framework combines concepts from Kingdon’s version of the garbage-can model with concepts from neo-institutional theories.

The functioning of the political translation framework is empirically illustrated by way of two case studies. The first study traces the Swedish methadone issue, from the introduction of the methadone maintenance treatment in 1966 to the end of 1980s when this form of treatment gained wider acceptance. The second study covers the Swedish family doctor issue, from the launch of the proposal by the Swedish Liberal Party in the election campaign of 1976 to the abolition of the Family Doctor Act in 1995.

Publishing year





Lund Political Studies



Document type



Björn Johnson, Arbetslivsinstitutet, 205 06 Malmö


  • Political Science


  • Policy Translation
  • Political Translation
  • Social Constructivism
  • Policy Diffusion
  • Garbage Can Model
  • Methadone Maintenance Treatment
  • Institutional Theory
  • Family Doctor System
  • Sweden
  • Political and administrative sciences
  • policydiffusion
  • social konstruktivism
  • konstruktionism
  • soptunnemodellen
  • nyinstitutionell teori
  • metadonbehandling
  • husläkare
  • Sverige
  • politisk översättning
  • Översättning
  • policyöversättning
  • Statsvetenskap
  • förvaltningskunskap




  • [unknown] [unknown]


  • ISSN: 0460-0037
  • ISBN: 91-88306-32-1

Defence date

5 June 2003

Defence time


Defence place

Department of Political Science, Lund


  • Roine Johansson (Senior Lecturer)