Pietro Colla

The Ambiguous Legacy of a "Model" of Welfare

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The much-trailed "crisis of the Swedish model" has thus far failed to materialize. The Swedish Social Democratic Party managed to survive the neoliberal wave of the early 1990s by offering itself as a proponent of effective reform and good governance for the new century. In Sweden, as elsewhere, the left in government has championed a rigorous program of fiscal consolidation and rehabilitation of private initiative that is alien to its tradition, but only in Sweden has this been underpinned by a constant - and indeed nostalgic - identification between party and national project. The reason is perhaps to be found in the ethos on which social democratic values draw: a vision of the world in which extreme individualism and State intervention can exist side by side.


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