Can we afford security? Social policy in the third way

Jenny Andersson

in Between Growth and Security

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780719074394
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701270 | DOI:
Can we afford security? Social policy in the third way

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The articulation of a third way in the early 1980s seemed to mark almost a complete turnaround in the outlook on social policy from the point of view of Swedish social democracy. Once understood as a productive investment into growth, it was now spoken of in terms of a cost, that needed to be cut. Through the party's rereading of its main ideologue Wigforss, saving became an instrument for social reform, the fundamental means of safeguarding security in a time of economic trouble. To this extent, since the late 1960s, the third way became a culmination of the gradual slippages in the grass roots of party rhetoric. In third way ideology, growth decisively displaced security as the dominant element of party discourse, as the overarching ideological goal of the third way was the re-creation of economic efficiency. In this new ideology, security lost its strategic role for growth, and the party's social theory became a question of the adaptation of social objectives to growth. Freedom of choice, as a new element for individual security and emancipation, was a concept whose meaning came from the economic.

Keywords: social democracy; social policy; saving; social reform; growth; security

Chapter.  11693 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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