This introductory chapter sets out the focus of the book, namely the ideological turnaround and how the notion of the productive role of social policy has changed in the Swedish Social Democratic party's (SAP) economic and social policy discourse in the post-war period, from its ideology of the ‘strong society’ in the 1950s and 1960s, to the attempts to articulate an ideology around the notion of a third way in the early 1980s. The analysis focuses on the two key ideological concepts—‘security’ (trygghet) and ‘growth’ (tillväxt)—and how they are constructed and articulated in social democratic discourses on social policy over time, as ideological objectives in harmony or in deep conflict.
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