A new narrative about sustainability or a sustainable narrative? Legitimation practices in consolidated government accounts before and after Agenda 2030.

Main Article Content

Article Sidebar

Published Apr 30, 2021
Henrik Rahm Åsa Thelander


The aim of this paper is to deepen the knowledge about legitimation practices in a political-economic text, namely, the consolidated government accounts. In particular the study is focused on how contested and conflicting rationalities and values are negotiated and legitimized in consolidated accounts before and after Agenda 2030 was signed. A discourse legitimation approach is used (van Leeuwen 2007, 2008) to study Swedish consolidated government accounts. The report is considered exemplary and the goals are ambitious. Since the introduction of Agenda 2030, the ultimate goals of SOEs have been rephrased and the value configurations developed. The text becomes more political and other values than economic values gain status. This shift is legitimized by references to international commitments, that should act as role models, implying that they are morally good companies contributing to a better world. The Swedish government is constructed as the responsible parent who ensures progress. Hence, the global goals and Agenda 2030 are legitimized but they in turn legitimize state ownership and the government as an active owner of companies.

How to Cite

Rahm, Henrik, and Åsa Thelander. 2021. “A New Narrative about Sustainability or a Sustainable Narrative? : Legitimation Practices in Consolidated Government Accounts before and After Agenda 2030”. Fachsprache 43 (1-2):2-21. https://doi.org/10.24989/fs.v43i1-2.1861.
Abstract 180 | pdf Downloads 8

Article Details


legitimation, political-economic text, values, Agenda 2030, consolidated government accounts, state-owned enterprises