Transformation of the Swedish
Welfare System: Fact or Fiction?
Globalisation, Institutions & Welfare State
Change in a Social Democratic Regime

By Ali Hajighasemi
December 2004
Almqvist & Wiksell
ISBN: 9189315472
305 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$97.50 Paper Original

What has happened to the once famous Swedish model? Since the economic crisis in the 1990s, prophecies of the imminent demise of the universal welfare state have been common. Cutbacks in social benefits and mass unemployment seem to confirm these prophesies. The author - a citizen of Sweden, with a Ph.D. from Durham University, UK and a native of Iran - thinks differently. In this study he explores the role of social movements, demographic, economic and socio-cultural conditions, institutional change and "globalization" in the transformation of the Swedish welfare state.

Several programs were indeed recalibrated, and a policy of cost containment came to dominate social policy-making, independent of whether the government was center-left or center-right. Although the favorable conditions in the decades after WWII no longer obtain, the downsizing of the welfare programs has basically followed an egalitarian and universal logic. There are cracks in the wall, but the Nordic welfare states have thus far survived and have shown themselves more resilient than most other social organizations in crisis. Social scientists and politicians alike will find this book highly relevant for their work.

Sodertorn Academic Studies, No. 22

Return to Coronet Books main page