This is the history of how two countries on the northern edge of Europe built societies in the twentieth century that became objects of inspiration and envy around the world. Francis Sejersted, one of Scandinavia's leading historians, tells how Norway and Sweden achieved a rare feat by realizing grand visions of societies that combine stability, prosperity, and social welfare. It is a history that holds many valuable lessons today, at a time of renewed interest in the Scandinavian model. The book tells the story of social democracy from the separation of Norway and Sweden in 1905 through the end of the century, tracing its development from revolutionary beginnings through postwar triumph, as it became a hegemonic social order that left its stamp on every sector of society, the economy, welfare, culture, education, and family. The book also tells how in the 1980s, partly in reaction to the strong state, a freedom and rights revolution led to a partial erosion of social democracy. Yet despite the fracturing of consensus and the many economic and social challenges facing Norway and Sweden today, the achievement of their welfare states remains largely intact.
Francis Sejersted, one of Scandinavia's leading historians, is former chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee (the Peace Prize Committee) and current chairman of the Norwegian Freedom of Expression Foundation. The author of many books, he is a senior researcher at the Institute for Social Research in Oslo and a former professor at the University of Oslo.
Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 The Many Faces of Modernization--The Scandinavian Solution--Three Phases--National Characteristics--Overview of the Book PART I: 1905-1940: Growth and Social Integration CHAPTER 1: Dreaming the Land of the Future 15 Norsk Hydro--Science and Modernization--Industrialization, a Natural Process for Sweden--Norway Follows Hesitantly--Emigration and Industrialization--The Norrland Debate--The Norwegian Concession Laws--Electricity, the Basisfor Technological Modernization--War and Structural Problems--Thrust forSocialization--Consolidation of Two Different Structures--Rationalization--Technocracy--Dreaming the Land of the Future CHAPTER 2: National Integration and Democracy 50 The Question of Political Democracy in the Period around 1905--Mobilizing the Public--Training for Democracy--Toward an Integrated School System in Norway--Contrasting the Two Countries--Karl Staaff and the Question of Suffrage in Sweden--Arvid Lindman and the Question of Universal Suffrage--The Difficult Road to Parliamentarianism--Gunnar Knudsen and State Capitalism--Currents of Antiparliamentarianism--The Farmers and Modernization--Farmers on the Offensive: Norway--Farmers on the Offensive: Sweden--Crisis Settlement in Both Countries--Women and Civil and Political Rights--The Integration of Minorities: The Sami--The Integration of Minorities: Refugees from Germany--National Integration and Democracy CHAPTER 3: Assistance for Self-Help 99 The Conceptual Basis for Social Policy--A Great Preventive Project--Health Insurance--National Pension Plans--Unemployment Insurance--Population Crisis?--The Politics of Sterilization--Assistance for Self-Help CHAPTER 4: Revolution or Reform 122 The Last Great Popular Movement--Working-Class Culture--Marxist Rhetoric and Reformist Practice--An Indistinct Policy--From One's Own Home to the People's Home: The Labor Movement and the Land Question--Hjalmar Branting--The Big Strike of 1909--The Party Is Split--Martin Tranmael--Worker Scandinavianism--How Radical?--"A Peculiar Legalization Activity"--The Level of Conflict Escalates--The Solidarity Game Is Established--Per Albin Hansson and the "People's Home"--Johan Nygaardsvold and the People's Party--The Expansionism of the Crisis Policy as Ideology--Revolution or Reform CHAPTER 5: Distance and Proximity 173 Distance--Proximity--World War I--An Expanded Home Market?--A Nordic Defense Alliance? PART II: 1940-1970: The Golden Age of Social Democracy CHAPTER 6: Cooperation in a Menacing World 185 Not the Same War--The Cold War--Still Not the Same War?--The Internal Danger and Surveillance--A New Drive for a Nordic Customs Union--SAS: A Success Story--Despite Everything, a Flourishing Collaboration--Cooperation in a Menacing World CHAPTER 7: "The Most Dynamic Force for Social Development" 205 Class Society in Transformation I--Class Society in Transformation II--"The Most Dynamic Force for Social Development"--The Vision of the Atomic Age--Sweden: A Winner Nation--The Wallenberg System--Swedish Labor Market Policy--The Norwegian State and the Labor Market--Focusing on Natural Conditions--To "Play Wallenberg" in Norway--An Attempt to Create a Norwegian Knowledge Industry--Successful Industrial Policy?--The Social Democratic Urban Landscape--TheSuburban Towns--Who Can Save the City?--The Triumph of Reason CHAPTER 8: The Crowning Glory 241 Technocracy and the Welfare State--Children and the Family--The Radicalism of the Myrdals--The Era of the Nuclear Family--The Housewife Contract under Pressure--The Struggle over the Compulsory General Supplementary Pension (ATP)--Agreement on Social Security--Why Standard Security?--The "Evangian" Health Policy--Swedish Health Policy--Good Family Housing--Social Democracy's Happy Moment CHAPTER 9: What Kind of People Do We Need? 267 Sweden and Norway, One School-Nation--A Break with the Past?--What Kind of Equality?--Integration and Normality--Several Dilemmas under the Surface--An Unsuccessful Integration Drive--Marginalized Universities--Swedish University Reform--Norwegian University Reform--The Social Democratic People's Church--Church and Morals--Which Is More Important--Health or Salvation?--What Kind of Human Being? CHAPTER 10: Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy 289 Tage Erlander and Einar Gerhardsen--The Struggle over the Planned Economy in Sweden--The Struggle over the Planned Economy in Norway--A Social Democratic Constitution--Corporatism and Economic Democracy--The New Administrative Corporatism--How Democratic?--The Double Strategy of Business and Industry--An Ideological Counterthrust--Social Democracy as a Consumer Society--Taxation Socialism--Capitalism without Capitalists?--Credit Socialism or Indicative Planning?--An Order in Its Own Right PART III: 1970-2000: A Richer Reality CHAPTER 11: A Difficult Modernity 333 A Decade of Conflict--The Social Democrats Reply--The Risk Society--Sweden and Nuclear Power--Norway and Natural Gas Energy--The Nordic Energy Market--Norway Becomes an Oil Nation--Heavy-Handed Discrimination--Sweden Loses Its Leading Position--New Policy: A Turnabout?--Successful Policy?--A Difficult Modernity CHAPTER 12: What Happened to Economic Democracy? 361 Corporatism under Pressure--Nevertheless, a Change of Model?--Industrial Democracy--Self-determination--Wage Earner Funds--a Radical Move--Weakened Administrative Corporatism--Labor Power for a Better Competitive Edge--Social Democracy in a Globalized Economy--A Weak Milieu of Private Ownership--State Ownership--An Ambiguous Development CHAPTER 13: From Equality to Freedom 388 The Welfare State under Pressure--The Changing Character of Social Policy--The Hunt for the Lost Sense of Community--The Jewel Is Removed from the Crown--Does Norway Follow Suit?--From an Emigration Society to an Immigration Society--The Establishment of an Immigration Policy--A Political Minefield--The Policy Is Revised--Toward the Two-Income Family--The Great Dispute over the Cash Benefit Plan--Gender Equality Lite--A School for the Weakest--Gudmund Hernes--a Parenthesis--Toward the Dissolution of the Comprehensive School--The Universities and Market Logic--From Equality to Freedom CHAPTER 14: The Return of Politics 431 Two Perspectives--Is Democratic Power Disintegrating?--A Weakened Party System--New Forms of Participation--Social Democracy's Media System--The Great Release--Threats to Independence--The Media-Biased Society--The Decay of the General Public?--The Youth Rebellion--Feminism--Marxism-Leninism--Constitutionalism Rediscovered--The Return of the Values Debate--Jesus--a Social Democrat?--The Common Good--A Showdown with the Past--The Return of Politics CHAPTER 15: The Last "Soviet States"? 468 A Large-Scale Cooperative Effort--The Volvo Agreement: Another Unsuccessful Campaign--Toward a Nordic Economic Region?--Europe--Why Did Sweden Reverse Its Policy on Europe?--The Last "Soviet States"?--After Social Democracy: Toward New Social Structures? 484 A Success--but Not Exclusively So--Social Democracy's Liberal Inheritance--The Institutional Structures under Pressure--The Freedom and Rights Revolution--What Kind of Freedom?--High Score--Toward New Structures?--Politics Matter Bibliography 503 Index 533