The Changing Geography of Sweden: Patterns, Processes and Policies

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 2KU006

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Social and Economic Geography G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 11 February 2020
Responsible department
Department of Human Geography

Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student shall be able to:

  • show familiarity with the general characteristics of Sweden's geography, in terms of population, economy, settlement, land use,and climate
  • show familiarity with the historical background and geographical processes underlying the Swedish welfare state and economy and its recent transformation
  • demonstrate, orally and in writing, a critical understanding of the political and economic processes shaping Sweden's contemporary geography


During much of the 20th century, Sweden had a reputation for being one of the most advanced and egalitarian social welfare states. Based on the idea of the folkhem (the "people's home") social justice was enshrined as a core value of the political-economic system. This had an impact not least on urban and regional development policies, as well as the shaping of the landscape. By the 21st century, however, many of the policies upon which the folkhem was constructed have been significantly transformed or even dismantled. This course focuses on the reasons behind these changes, and their implication for the social, economic and political geography of Sweden. What are the contemporary challenges to, and possibilities for, achieving common welfare goals within a national space increasingly divided, for example, along lines of class, ethnicity, and age, as well as between the urban and the rural? How are these changes and challenges manifested in people's everyday landscapes?


Instruction is in the form of lectures and seminars.


The course is assessed by way of a written exam and active participation in seminars. If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

No reading list found.