The Evolution of the Swedish Model
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Sweden provides an excellent case to study the effects of globalization on advanced welfare states for several reasons. Indeed, this case study provides a particularly interesting example of how a specific country has coped, adapted to and internalized the pressures imposed by global competition in recent years (Chapter 1, this volume) precisely because it is the country that many analysts have predicted would be forced to succumb to the supposedly unrelenting global pressures for lower taxes and cut backs to the welfare state. As is well known, Sweden is the most heavily taxed country in the world. Its ‘universalist’ welfare state is one of the most generous and egalitarian in the modern world (Rothstein, 1998). In addition, this country has long had one of the world’s most open economies (Cameron, 1984; Katzenstein, 1985). In short, if globalization were going to force a ‘race to the bottom’ anywhere, certainly Sweden would be its first target.
KeywordsWelfare State Public Spending Union Wage Social Democratic Party Wage Demand
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- Childs, Marquis (1974) Sweden: The Middle Way. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Svallfors, Stefan and Peter Taylor-Gooby (1999) The End of the Welfare State?: Responses to State Retrenchment, [Routledge/Esa Studies in European Society 3] London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- <http://www.sweden.se> Sweden SE, the official gateway website for Sweden
- <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/sw.html> World Fact Book: Sweden
- <http://www.const.sns.se/swedishpolitics> SNS, Swedish Politics: Links and Resources
- <http://www.scb.se/templates/tableorchart114967.asp> Statistical Yearbook of Sweden. Lots of good data about Sweden in numbers