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Regulating a Freedom Machine: Swedish Moped History, 1952–61
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3865-7609
(English)In: Technology and culture, ISSN 0040-165X, E-ISSN 1097-3729Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

Motorization was a superordinate societal goal in post-war Sweden. Through planning and regulation, politicians and technocrats within the state administration made common cause with industry and lobby groups to establish a road traffic system and to build a ‘car society.’ This article investigates a small sub-system, or niche, of this road traffic system, populated by smaller two-wheeled motorized vehicles, i.e. the bicycle with an auxiliary engine, soon popularly called a moped. The purpose of the article is to analyse legislators’ attempts to regulate moped technology and usage, and their ultimate failure to do so. It is difficult to bring about a specific usage of a consumer technology by imposing technical requirements. Users and producers are often able to avoid the intentions of regulators; they find ways to innovate and mould the technology for their own purposes. The article also highlights the importance of historical context. As society change, during the implementation of a regulation, some factors that originally motivated the rules fade away and become less important.

 

Keywords: freedom, moped, regulation, road traffic system, Sweden, welfare state

Keywords [en]
freedom, moped, regulation, road traffic system, Sweden, welfare state
National Category
History of Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-41356OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-41356DiVA, id: diva2:1263659
Available from: 2018-11-16 Created: 2018-11-16 Last updated: 2018-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Blomkvist, Pär

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