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Between Growth and SecuritySwedish Social Democracy From a Strong Society to a Third Way$
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Jenny Andersson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074394

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074394.001.0001

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A productive investment: social policy in the strong society

A productive investment: social policy in the strong society

(p.28) 2 A productive investment: social policy in the strong society
Between Growth and Security

Jenny Andersson

Manchester University Press

This chapter describes the ideology of the strong society as a social democratic worldview, where economic and social advances drew on each other, and where the expansion of security was inextricably related to industrial expansion. Growth, under the control of democratic socialism, was identified as the primary means for social development and increased security, and as a means that would, in the near future, overcome the evils of capitalism and spread affluence to all groups in society. Security, on the other hand, was articulated as a precondition for a productive economy—the lubricant of the process of modernisation towards the advanced industrial economy. To this extent, the strong society was a coherent worldview, where economic expansion and individual security coexisted in utter harmony. Its commitment to progress in the form of a highly productive economy was based on this faith in a balanced development. This, then, was a notion of progress that saw change as a fundamentally unproblematic process. The role of politics within this framing was to steer change towards the fulfilment of individual and public good. However, the strong society was also an inherently economistic ideology, one in which social goals seemed to derive their meaning from the economic.

Keywords:   strong society, security, industrial expansion, social democracy, social development

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