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A Leap in the Dark. From a Large Actor to a Large Approach: The Joint Committee of the Nordic Social Democratic Labour Movement and the Crisis of the Nordic Model




The purpose of this paper is to examine the Nordic Social Democratic parties’ own efforts to manage the inner and outer challenges of the so-called Nordic welfare model. The relationship between what Social Democracy does and the shaping of the welfare state seems, quite simply, no longer as direct and unproblematic. How should their political endeavours be understood if they can no longer unquestioningly be described as an expression of a movement that builds, refines, or defends tooth and nail a welfare model of a particular Nordic type? How have the Nordic Social Democrats legitimised their actions in recent decades? What role has the notion of a Nordic model played in the change or transformation process that has taken place? In practice, the answers to these questions depend on developments in the national parties. Social Democracy in the Nordic countries is not a uniform subject. Although there are many common features, Nordic Social Democrats have always worked under varied conditions, sought different paths toward reform, entered into different coalitions, and faced different problems. There is, however, a common denominator for a more general line of reasoning to be found in discussions of the future of the Nordic model that began in the late 1970s within the Joint Committee of the Nordic Social Democratic Labour Movement (Arbetarrörelsens nordiska samarbetskommitté, SAMAK). This paper will focus on the activities of this Nordic co-operative body.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundberg, Urban, 2005. "A Leap in the Dark. From a Large Actor to a Large Approach: The Joint Committee of the Nordic Social Democratic Labour Movement and the Crisis of the Nordic Model," Arbetsrapport 2005:14, Institute for Futures Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2005_014
    Note: ISSN 1652-120X ISBN 91-89655-72-9

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    Nordic Social Democratic Labour Movement; Nordic Model;

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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