Between growth and security

Swedish social democracy from a strong society to a third way

By Jenny Andersson

Between growth and security

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-8477-9666-0
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: July 2013
  • BIC Category: Politics, Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies, Central / national / federal government policies, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Democracy, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Policy, Society & social sciences / Socialism & left-of-centre democratic ideologies
  • Series: Critical Labour Movement Studies


The notion of social policy as a productive investment and a prerequisite for economic growth became a core feature in the ideology of Swedish social democracy, and a central component of the universalism of the Swedish welfare state. However as the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) embarked on its Third Way in 1981, this outlook on social policy as a productive investment was replaced by the identification of social policy as a cost and a burden for growth.

This book discusses the components of this ideological turnaround from Swedish social democracy's post-war notion of a strong society, to its notion of a Third Way in the early 1980s. It is a novel and innovative contribution to the history of Swedish social democracy and recent developments in the Swedish welfare state, and it also sheds light on contemporary social policy debates. It will appeal to a wide readership from students of contemporary history and politics to policy makers and specialists.


1. Between growth and security
2. A productive investment: Social policy in the strong society
3. The costs of growth
4. Social policy for security
5. The cost of security
6. Can we afford security? social policy in the Third Way
7. Concluding remarks


Jenny Andersson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Economic History at Uppsala University, Sweden

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