Growth and welfare in a historical perspective
In the aftermath of the Second World War, the welfare state was seen as a desired combination of economic growth, capitalism and social redistribution. In later years this have been challenged both in theory and by actual historical development. This course explores a historical period and varieties of ways to deal with rapid economic, demographic and social change during the twentieth and twenty-first century. Extra attention will be given to the Swedish experience, with a comparative and consequent gender perspective. Addressed themes are: income distribution, inequality and equality, gender equality, divisions of labour, choices between market, family or public solutions to societal needs. One aspect of this is a decisive development towards higher rates of female labour force participation during the second half of the twentieth century, especially among mothers with small children. Another aspect is the strong expansion in providing public day care of pre-school children. The course will address these developments within an economic-historical framework, as well as providing a basis for a critical understanding of the policies and behavioural changes involved.