The cost of security

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:
The cost of security

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This chapter considers changes in the discourse surrounding social policy in the 1970s. Beneath the grandeur of the Swedish Social Democratic party's (SAP) discussion of individual welfare and security as the guiding stars of the Labour movement's 1970s policies and the expansion of social rights that this meant in a wide range of areas, it is possible to see a gradually emerging language around welfare reform that was distinct from the SAP's historic articulations. This language focused on the separation between productive and non-productive elements in the economy. Where 1930s discourse emphasised the links between the activities for the reproduction of labour taking place in the public sector and production in industry, 1970s economic discourse gave a clear priority to the latter. The public sector was consumption, not production, and in a world of shrinking resources, production had to come first. This same dichotomy was applied to the social sphere. Where the functional socialism of the 1930s set in place a worldview that stressed the interdependencies between work and need over the life cycle, the social democratic ideology 1970s of the spoke of the productive and the unproductive as two fundamentally different groups in society, where one was a burden on the other. The notion of ‘cost’ came to incorporate a significant opening in this process of rearticulation. The formulation of ‘cost’ in the late 1960s as the social cost for growth and production, was replaced in the course of the 1970s by a notion of ‘cost’ that identified the costs of social policy as costs that must be paid for with more production and growth.

Keywords: Swedish Social Democratic party; SAP; welfare reform; security; social policy; social rights; cost

Chapter.  8294 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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