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  • 1.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Before the Breakdown of the Saltsjöbaden Spirit of Labour Market Cooperation: The Swedish Employers’ Confederation and workplace democracy in the 1960s2019In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 44, no 5, p. 591-616Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The 1976 Swedish landmark law on workplace democracy, Medbestämmandelagen (MBL), has traditionally been regarded as a victory of social democracy over recalcitrant employers. In contrast, this article shows how, in fact, before the law, the Swedish Employers’ Confederation (SAF) was the main driver behind Swedish research on work life reform, and the main promoter of employer-union dialogue on the matter. Crucially, in the 1960s, SAF endorsed the internationally pioneering thinking of economist Eric Rhenman, who argued that conflict within the firm between managers and unions was unavoidable, healthy, and could be good for business if framed in a productive manner. Today, this line of management thinking is termed the Scandinavian Cooperative Advantage. However, in the early 1970s, Swedish social democracy radicalized abruptly. The SAF board initially interpreted the new radicalism as a masquerade to appease activists. SAF assumed that, behind the scenes, the Swedish spirit of consensus-oriented labour market dialogue would prevail, as it had since the 1938 Saltsjöbaden agreement. And assuredly, the actual effects of the MBL law proved to be considerably less radical than advertised, and broadly compatible with Rhenman’s thinking. Still, social democracy’s new ideological rhetoric helped prompt SAF’s late 1970s shift from cooperation to conflict.

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  • 2.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    "Björnsson, Anders; Patrik Engellau; Inger Enkvist; Magnus Henrekson; Jonas Nycander och Gösta Wallin, 2015. Universitetsreform! Så kan vi rädda och lyfta den högre utbildningen. Stockholm: Samhällsförlaget"2015In: Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-0747, Vol. 117, no 4, p. 657-662Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Kan man mäta om en universitetsutbildning är bra? Och leder försöken att mäta dem till att utbildningarna blir bättre? Enligt en trendrapport från EUA, the European University Association, så toppar dessa frågor om kvalitetssäkring av undervisningen just nu universitetens agendor.

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  • 3.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Book review: Jonsson, Oscar, 2023. Hotet från Ryssland. Stockholm: Mondial.2023In: Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-0747, Vol. 125, no 3, p. 833-839Article, book review (Refereed)
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  • 4.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Book review: Putin's Kleptocracy - Who Owns Russia? by Karen Dawisha (2014)2015In: Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-0747, Vol. 117, no 2, p. 319-322Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A good decade and a half after the opening of the Berlin wall, the university textbooks on International relations have almost forgotten about the Soviet Union and the European East-West divide – and suddenly, inexplicably, the security situation in Europe is as unstable and dangerous as ever. Russia under Putin is making it clear that the country is not content with the post-Cold War order, and is willing and ready to use deception, bullying and force to have it changed.

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  • 5.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Cold war isomorphism: communist regimes and the West European model of worker participation2016In: European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, ISSN 2325-4823, Vol. 3, no 2-3, p. 201-242Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In studies of cultural globalisation, the influence of communist regimes on Western Europe has remained under-theorised and little explored. Addressing this gap in research, this article puts forward the glocalisation grid of world-polity theory as a means for conceptualising and investigating how East European communist regimes helped shape the evolution of West European welfare states during the Cold War. The article re-traces the 1960s struggle over expert discourse within the International Labour Organization (ILO) in which communist regimes, including Yugoslavia and Poland, struggled to win the bureaucratic legitimacy of the ILO for their domestic policies. In focus are vertical, horizontal and temporal dimensions of glocalisation and the ensuing perceived or superficial similarity – so-called isomorphism – of legislation on worker participation in decision-making at the workplace. The article maps the timing of reforms across Europe, showing how East European reforms preceded and were co-constitutive to a pan-European process of policy isomorphism.

  • 6.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS). Harvard University Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
    Communist state administrative structures2021In: Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2021, p. 1-31, article id doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.1411Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents some core structural–organizational principles of communist state administration and gives empirical examples of how they were — and are — expressed in practice. The administrative structures and institutional traditions of communist regimes constitute a family or type, where affnities to the original Soviet model are strong.

    The administrative doctrines of unity of power, socialist legality, cadre management, and the so-called nomenclature model of administrative control were developed by the former Soviet Union, where the nomenclature system was instituted in 1922. With Soviet military and ideological expansion, the Soviet model then spread across the globe.

    At its high point in the late 1980s, almost 30 Marxist-Leninist regimes existed on four of Earth’s five continents: Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central America. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, almost all of the states formerly occupied or mentored by it transitioned from communism. In the 21st century, five countries still count as largely communist in their administrative structure: China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, and North Korea.

  • 7.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    EU:s sociala modell formades av kommunistregimerna2018Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    En av grundpelarna i den europeiska sociala modellen är den sociala dialogen mellan arbetsgivare och arbetstagare. Den innefattar arbetstagarnas rätt att bli rådfrågade när arbetsgivaren fattar viktiga beslut. Men när och hur växte egentligen denna rätt till medbestämmande fram? Min forskningsstudie, som jag beskriver här, visar hur 1970-talets medbestämmandetrend i Västeuropa drevs på av FN:s underorgan ILO, snarare än av EU. Och inom den Internationella arbetsorganisationen ILO var de europeiska kommunistregimerna drivande i frågan.

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  • 8.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Global nyinstitutionalism2022In: Perspektiv på offentlig förvaltning: Teori i praktiken / [ed] Linda Alamaa; Stina Melander; Ylva Stubbergaard, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2022, 1, p. 57-77Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Detta kapitel beskriver två besläktade nyinstitutionella inriktningar: den normativa nyinstitutionalismen (March & Olsen 1984) och den globala nyinstitutionalismen (Meyer m.fl. 1997). Båda är varianter av sociologisk nyinstitutionalism och utgår från att individer och organisationer formas (socialiseras) av sin omgivning: individer av den organisation de arbetar inom, och organisationer av andra organisationer, som de jämför sig med.

  • 9.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    How authoritarian states can use international travelers to promote their interests: Lessons from East Germany2019Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Authoritarian regimes typically place restrictions on the ability of citizens to travel abroad. Astrid Hedin maps the bureaucratic procedures of the former East Germany, showing how travel controls were organised to screen travellers, shape political narratives, and harvest information on western counterparts. These travel controls remain part of the institutional heritage and bureaucratic traditions of authoritarian post-communist states today.

    Recently, the Swedish Security Service, SÄPO, urged public agencies and industry to be more vigilant in contacts with individuals from Russia and China. According to SÄPO, both countries “use methods and laws that allow them to demand from all their citizens and companies that they assist the state with information”.

    The key phrase here, of course, is ‘all’ as in ‘all their citizens’. This piece of advice goes against the grain of popular understanding of authoritarian regimes, which tends to assume that ordinary contacts with individual professionals are relatively free and unaffected by an authoritarian regime. What, then, can historical research tell us about post-communist states’ historical travel controls?

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  • 10.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    How communist regimes directed global dialogue2019Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent archival revelations on communist regime travel controls challenge how we understand everyday global dialogue. What would global dialogue have looked like, if all citizens under communist regimes had been allowed to interact with foreigners, and to speak freely? How would the work of international organizations and transnational professional associations have been different, if the borders of communist regimes had been open for travel?

    In a new article for Cooperation and Conflict I provide the most detailed English language mapping of the administrative structure for a communist regime travel cadre system to date. It is based on the historical example of East Germany (GDR). Since the administrative system of the GDR was built on the Soviet template, it is likely that other communist regimes, past and present, had or continue to have similar systems of travel controls.

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  • 11.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    How the Cold War helped spur West European welfare state reform2018Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    During the Cold War, dialogue with European communist regimes within IOs helped shape global norms. The result was East-West policy isomorphism – where Eastern and Western Europe adopted superficially similar social policy reforms. Blogpost at the Geneva Global Governance Centre, at: https://theglobal.blog/2018/11/02/how-the-cold-war-helped-spur-west-european-welfare-state-reform/

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  • 12.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Illiberal deliberation: Communist regime travel controls as state capacity in everyday world politics2019In: Cooperation and Conflict, ISSN 0010-8367, E-ISSN 1460-3691, Vol. 54, no 2, p. 211-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Much social theory takes for granted that transnational people-to-people dialogue is inherently liberal in process and content - a haven of everyday authenticity that shelters ideas of human rights and democratic reform. In contrast, this contribution shows how communist regimes built and institutionalised an encompassing administrative state capacity to control and shape micro-level professional contacts with the West. This extensive but secret system of coercion, which was brought to light only with the opening of former communist regime archives, set a markedly illiberal framework for everyday East-West deliberations during the Cold War. Effectively, the travel cadre system may not only have delayed the demise of Soviet bloc communism, by isolating the population from Western influences. It was also intended to serve as a vehicle for the discursive influence of Soviet type regimes on the West. The article provides one of the first and most detailed English language maps of the administrative routines of a communist regime travel cadre system, based on the East German example. Furthermore, drawing on social mechanisms methodology, the article sets up a micro-level 'how it could work' scheme over how travel cadre systems can be understood as a state capacity, unique to totalitarian regimes, to help sway political discourse in open societies.

  • 13.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Lagging Impact: New Research on Communism Needs to Reach Textbooks2021Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Communist regimes are very secretive concerning how their states are organized. This goes for the historical Soviet Union as well as contemporary China. In effect, until the fall of East European communism in 1989-91, researchers faced great problems figuring out the facts. How was communism organized? Few people knew, and those who knew wouldn’t tell. 

    Today, three decades’ worth of archives-based research is slowly accumulating into a new map of the communist state. However, this development is happening within native-language historical research. Meanwhile, the political science agenda remains largely unreformed.  

    At a time when students need to better understand China, Russia, and the quagmires of post-communist reforms, much new knowledge about historical communist regimes sits unused, says Astrid Hedin.

    In effect, political science curricula need an upgrade. Textbooks on comparative politics tend to fall back on one of three outmoded lines of analysis, all of which are misleading. They reduce differences between communist regimes and liberal democracies to single aspects, such as the organization of the economy. They fail to teach students about the distinctive administrative doctrines and practices of Soviet-type states. And they compare post-communist countries not with their own history, but with an envisioned future as liberal democracies. In effect, scholarly inquiry gets stuck in a loop of ‘traveling problems’ and ‘conceptual stretching’ (Sartori 1970, 1991). 

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  • 14.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Re-assessing the Soviet Impact on Western Welfare States2022In: EuropeNow, no 49Article, review/survey (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The idea that Western Europe has the Soviet threat to thank for our social policies is a long-standing presumption amongst leftist historians and remains a strategic narrative in the foreign policy of post-Soviet Russia today (cf. Gorenburg 2019).  

    Until a decade ago, mainstream research on the history of the European social model hesitated to address this hypothesis (Obinger & Schmidt 2011). Rather than refute it, most research ignored it. Still, the narrative that the historic Soviet Union was an engine behind global welfare state development lived on – and may be experiencing a revival (cf. Rasmussen and Bergli 2019).

    Why then, have scholars waited to address this possibility? Perhaps they worry that dignifying the claim with scientific attention would support Soviet-era propaganda and undermine the legitimacy of the democratic welfare state. 

    This piece is based on the reverse premise: Instead of ignoring it, we should follow the call of British historian E.H. Carr and study the historical Soviet impact on the West. Propaganda is most effective when it is based on a kernel of truth. To counter it, we should examine that kernel and de-construct the narratives surrounding it. In effect, leftist narratives of how the Soviet impact happened should be analyzed as part of history itself.

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  • 15.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Replik på Jonas Nycanders genmäle: Kommunikation – inte kontroll – är motorn2016In: Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-0747, Vol. 118, no 2, p. 300-301Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Reply to Jonas Nycander's remark: Communication - not control - is the engine for quality development of higher education. Text available at: http://journals.lub.lu.se/index.php/st/article/view/16247

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  • 16.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    The Origins and Myths of the Swedish Model of Workplace Democracy2015In: Contemporary European History, ISSN 0960-7773, E-ISSN 1469-2171, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 59-82Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1976 Sweden adopted a law on workplace democracy, presented by the Social Democratic government as the ‘reform of the century’. What can the reform tell us about the history of the Swedish Model and how it was revised during the early 1970s under the prime minister, Olof Palme? This article compares four grand narratives of the development of welfare states, viewing dominant narratives of the Swedish Model as influential myths in their own right. The article argues that despite its global reputation as a hallmark of ‘democratic socialism’, the Swedish workplace democracy reform was a broad cross-class compromise, in the wake of a pan-European wave of similarly labelled reforms. Furthermore, the reform served to protect workplaces against Communist activism. The argument builds on the internal meeting protocols of the board and executive committee of the Swedish Social Democratic Party.

  • 17.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö högskola, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Upp till kamp emot oss själva: recension av Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics2016In: Axess, ISSN 1651-0941, no 3Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Länge har det varit skralt med tillgången på texter för engelskspråkiga universitetskurser om svensk politik, men nu finns en 707-sidig The Oxford Handbook of Swedish Politics med 50 kapitel författade av ungefär lika många svenska statsvetare. Målet är att visa upp forskningsfronten om svensk politik, och hjälpa en internationell publik att förstå det svenska fallet.

  • 18.
    Hedin, Astrid
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Global Political Studies (GPS).
    Östtyska ”influencers” på uppdrag i väst2019Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Under många decennier var medborgarna under Europas kommunistiska regimer instängda bakom järnridån och förhindrade att resa fritt till väst. När Berlinmuren byggdes 1961 blev gränsen helt ogenomtränglig. Mellan dubbla murar med taggtråd låg ett minerat ingenmansland under strålkastarljus, övervakat av beväpnade soldater i vakttorn. Den byråkratiska pendangen till Berlinmuren var det så kallade resekadersystemet, som styrde utresorna till väst. Kommunistregimerna valde ut vem som fick ha kontakt med väst, och genom att träna de resande i att tala väl om systemet utvecklades västvärldens bild av kommunismen åtskilt från verkligheten.

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