Research Paper

The Constitutional Basis for Sweden’s Exceptional COVID-19 Policy

The Swedish policy response to COVID-19 is exceptional by international standards. This In Brief explains how this approach is determined by three articles in the Swedish Constitution. The first guarantees freedom of movement for Swedish citizens, ruling out nationwide lockdowns. The second establishes unique independence for public agencies, allowing them to design the policy response to the pandemic. The third grants exceptional powers to local government. In addition, the Swedish approach is fostered by strong trust in the government and in public authorities.

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September 2020

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