Det svenska välfärdssamhällets historia
In the late 1940s, U.S. labor historian and economist Walter Galenson claimed that the Scandinavian countries were fast becoming “a social laboratory for the Western world.” The “laboratory” he had in mind was the emerging policies and program we now associate with the modern welfare state. In this class, we focus on Sweden and engage with competing interpretations of the development of the welfare state. How has the concept of the welfare state developed over time? Why did an agenda of social reform develop when it did? How does the Swedish welfare differ from welfare regimes in other countries? In this class, we study the development of the institutions and policies that constitute the welfare state. In lectures and/or seminars, we address how issues concerning citizenship, class, gender, and party politics have shaped the welfare “laboratory” at different points in time.