Public Procurement as Marketisation: Impacts on Civil Servants and Public Administration in Sweden

Andreas Öjehag-Pettersson, Mikael Granberg


Swedish local government plays a central role in welfare production, providing some of the most crucial services to citizens. However, over the last decades there have been significant changes in how local governments are governed and how services are implemented. In many cases, these changes entail the promotion of rationalities and technologies associated with market-oriented principles and values as the primary means to providing welfare services. A central feature in this is public procurement. This phenomenon has been surprisingly absent from scholarly work that focuses on marketisation and the politics of public sector reform in Sweden. In this article, we present a case study based on interviews with actors involved in public procurement in Swedish local government. We provide insights into how public procurement sustains and expands the rationalities of marketisation. We conclude that the importance of public procurement has expanded, producing organisational changes and, perhaps most importantly, we are witnessing changes in the role of civil servants in Swedish public administration.


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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413