From Solidarism to Social Democracy

Peter A. Swenson

in Capitalists against Markets

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195142976
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872190 | DOI:
 From Solidarism to Social Democracy

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This chapter turns to an explanation of welfare state development in Sweden, where ironically, the major strides had to wait until the 1940s and 1950s, although Sweden's progressive political forces seemed stronger than America's in the 1930s. First it looks at why. Because of their solidaristic system of labor market governance, capitalists in Sweden would benefit from progressive reforms in times of acute labor scarcity (associated with postwar macroeconomic conditions) rather than the reverse as in the U.S. Then it analyzes how the Social Democratic government's very modest unemployment insurance and pension reforms of the 1930s served solidarism's need for low levels of militancy and heightened labor mobility, and thus helped forge the kind of cross‐class alliance that was to secure a long reign of peaceful relations between labor and capital under a leftist government.

Keywords: cross‐class alliances; employers; labor mobility; macroeconomic conditions; pensions; social democracy; solidarism; strikes; Sweden; unemployment insurance

Chapter.  10820 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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