The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Political Resistance: Notes on the Political Roots of Egalitarianism in Scandinavia

  • Halvard Vike
Part of the Approaches to Social Inequality and Difference book series (ATSIAD)


This chapter looks at processes that have contributed to accommodating trust networks into public politics. In Scandinavia, this seems to have happened to a great extent, and the chapter explores some aspects of how this has occurred, and why, and examines some of its implications. In comparative terms, popular political mobilization in Scandinavia was quite successful in influencing the state, not only by forcing it to make concessions, but also by integrating forms of trust, horizontal loyalty, and certain values and interests that became important for developing policy—such as individual autonomy and universalism. Trust networks were not simply absorbed by the hierarchical—and partly clientelistic—logic of the state apparatus. The first section of the chapter discusses the nature of organized popular opposition to state power and its implications. In the second section, dealing with contemporary local politics, how oppositional interests form alliances that challenge routine politics of governance is shown.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Halvard Vike
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health, Social, and Welfare StudiesUniversity College of Southeast NorwayPorsgrunnNorway

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