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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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Can we afford security? Social policy in the third way

Can we afford security? Social policy in the third way

(p.105) 6 Can we afford security? Social policy in the third way
Between Growth and Security

Jenny Andersson

Manchester University Press

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

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