Expanding the Solidaristic Welfare State

Peter A. Swenson

in Capitalists against Markets

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195142976
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872190 | DOI:
 Expanding the Solidaristic Welfare State

Show Summary Details


This chapter turns to the social democratic reforms of the 1940s and 1950s, rooted in cross‐class alliances that were ultimately to distinguish Sweden as the world's paragon social democratic welfare state. Looking first at its People's Pension and universal health insurance reforms, it shows how the Social Democratic government assisted organized employers in their efforts against welfare capitalism by relieving pressure on individual firms to use private social benefits to attract and retain labor under the labor scarcity associated with solidarism and strong expansionary macroeconomic pressures. It then looks at Sweden's renowned “active labor market policy” and its controversial pension legislation of 1959 to show how additional social democratic reforms directly served employers’ solidaristic interests in wage restraint, labor mobility, and the rationing of labor made scarce by collectively administered underpricing – all the while preserving capitalist domination of the investment process.

Keywords: active labor market policy; class power; cross‐class alliances; health insurance; investment; labor mobility; retirement pensions; social democracy; solidarism; Sweden

Chapter.  15956 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.