Herbert Tingsten

Herbert Tingsten

Herbert Lars Gustaf Tingsten (17 March 1896 – 26 December 1973) was a Swedish political scientist, writer and newspaper publisher. He was a professor of political science at Stockholm University from 1935 to 1946, and executive editor of the newspaper Dagens Nyheter from 1946 to 1959.

Herbert Tingsten was born in Järfälla, Stockholm County, the son of city servant Karl Tingsten and his wife Elin Bergenstjerna. He finished his doctoral thesis in 1923 while working as secretary in the Swedish parliament's Committee on the Constitution. As a political scientist his main fields included constitutional history, constitutional law and the history of ideas.

Tingsten changed his political views several times during his life. In his early youth he was a conservative and later a radical left-wing liberal. During the 1920s he joined the Swedish Social Democratic Party and was on the left-wing faction of the party. In 1941 he wrote Den svenska socialdemokratiens idéutveckling ("The Ideological Development of the Swedish Social Democrats"), where he criticized the party for not fulfilling the marxist goals of nationalizations of the private industry. However, after reading Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom in 1944, Tingsten became a convinced believer in a free market economy and in 1945 he left the Social Democratic Party. He was one of the original participators of the Mont Pelerin Society, founded in 1947.

Tingsten was an early opponent of Nazism, which he warned against during the early 1930s, as well as of the threat of Communism. During his time as executive editor of Dagens Nyheter, Tingsten argued for Swedish membership in NATO. He also supported Israel.

In a number of books and publications, Tingsten anticipated some of the major issues in the political developments of the 20th century, such as the rise of fascism, apartheid in South Africa, the transition of socialism into social democracy as well as the need for democratic vitality in Western societies. Tingsten had a deep erudition in both Anglo-Saxon and Continental European science and literature. He created the concept of political behaviour in his 1936 book, pioneering the analysis of election statistics.

Published works

Note: The following list includes original editions only, not later published or translated editions.


    External links

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