Swedish Social Democratic Party

The Swedish Social Democratic Party (Swedish: Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetareparti, S/SAP), officially the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Sweden,[11] contesting elections as The Workers Party – The Social Democrats (Swedish: Arbetarepartiet – Socialdemokraterna) and usually referred to simply as the Social Democrats (Swedish: Socialdemokraterna), is a social-democratic party. Founded in 1889, the SAP is the oldest and largest political party in Sweden.

Swedish Social Democratic Party

Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetareparti
AbbreviationS/SAP
LeaderStefan Löfven
Secretary-GeneralLena Rådström Baastad
Parliamentary group leaderAnnelie Karlsson
Founded23 April 1889; 131 years ago (1889-04-23)
HeadquartersSveavägen 68, Stockholm
Student wingSocial Democratic Students of Sweden
Youth wingSwedish Social Democratic Youth League
Women's wingSocial Democratic Women in Sweden
Religious wingReligious Social Democrats of Sweden
LGBT wingLGBT Social Democrats of Sweden
Membership (2017)89,010[1]
IdeologySocial democracy[2][3]
Democratic socialism[4]
Feminism[5][6]
Political positionCentre-left[7]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists
International affiliationProgressive Alliance[8]
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Nordic affiliationSAMAK
The Social Democratic Group
Colours  Red
Riksdag
100 / 349
European Parliament
5 / 21
County councils[9]
572 / 1,597
Municipal councils[10]
4,364 / 12,780
Website
socialdemokraterna.se

From the mid-1930s to the 1980s, the Social Democratic Party won more than 40% of the vote. From 1932 to 1976, the SAP was continuously in government. Currently, the party has been heading the government since 2014 under Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, who has been the party leader since 2012.

HistoryEdit

Founded in 1889 as a member of the Second International, a schism occurred in 1917 when the left socialists split from the Social Democrats to form the Swedish Social Democratic Left Party (later the Communist Party of Sweden and now the Left Party). The symbol of the SAP is traditionally a red rose which is believed to have been Fredrik Ström's idea.[citation needed] The words of honour as recorded by the 2001 party programme are "freedom, equality, and solidarity". The party had influences from Marxism in its early days, but these were gradually removed in the years leading up to the split in 1917.[12] Between 1923 and 1940, the party was a member of the Labour and Socialist International.[13]

Unlike in many other European countries, the Swedish socialist left was able to form a stable majority coalition during the early 20th century.[14] Early on, in large part due to the leadership of Hjalmar Branting, the Swedish socialists adopted a flexible and pragmatic understanding of Marxism.[14] They were also willing to form cross-class coalitions with liberals and farmers.[15][14] Political scientist Sheri Berman also credits the Swedish Social Democratic success during the interwar years to the party's adoption of Keynesianism during the Great Depression (which she contrasts with the Social Democratic Party of Germany's reluctance towards Keynesian policies during the same time and the German Social Democrats' subsequent decline).[14]

In 2007, the Social Democrats elected Mona Sahlin as its first female party leader.

On 7 December 2009, the Social Democrats launched a political and electoral coalition with the Greens and the Left Party known as the Red–Greens. The parties contested the 2010 election on a joint manifesto, but lost the election to the incumbent centre-right coalition The Alliance. On 26 November 2010, the Red–Green alliance was dissolved.[16]

The party is a member of the Progressive Alliance, the Party of European Socialists[17] and SAMAK. The party was a member of the Socialist International until March 2017.[18][19]

Party organisation and voter baseEdit

Currently, the SAP has about 100,000 members, with about 2,540 local party associations and 500 workplace associations.[citation needed] It has been the largest party in the Riksdag since 1914. The member base is diverse, but it prominently features organized blue-collar workers and public sector employees.[citation needed] The party has a close, historical relationship with the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO). As a corporatist organ, it has also formed policy in compromise mediation with employers' associations (primarily the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and its predecessors) as well as trade unions.

Organisations within the Swedish Social Democratic movement include:

The SAP had its golden age during the mid-1930s to mid-1980s when in half of all general elections it received between 44.6% and 46.2% (averaging 45.3%) of the votes, making it one of the most successful parties in the history of the liberal-democratic world.[20]

In two of the general elections in 1940 and 1968, it got more than 50% of the votes, although both cases had special circumstances. In 1940, all established Swedish parties, except for the Communist Party of Sweden (SKP), participated in a coalition government due to the pressures of the Second World War, and it led to voters most likely wanting one party to be in majority to give a parliament that could not be hung. In 1944, the tides of the war had turned and the Allied nations looked to win, giving voters more confidence in voting by preference and explaining the more normal electoral result of 46.6%. The previously-excluded SKP also achieved a result of 10.3% in this election. In 1968, the established Communists, most likely due to bad press about the Soviets overtaking of Czechoslovakia (Prague Spring), got a historically bad result of 3% of the votes while the SAP enjoyed 50.1% and an absolute majority in parliament. Only in a fairly brief period between the elections of 1973 to 1979 did the SAP get below the normal interval of 44.6% to 46.2%, instead scoring an average of 43.2%, losing in 1976 (the first time in 44 years) and again just barely in 1979. However, the Social Democrats won back power in 1982 with a normal result of 45.6%.

The voter base consists of a diverse swathe of people throughout Swedish society, although it is particularly strong amongst organised blue-collar workers.[21]

Decline since 2006Edit

In the 2006 Swedish general election, the SAP received the smallest share of votes (34.99%) ever in a Swedish general election with universal suffrage, resulting in the loss of office to the opposition, the centre-right coalition Alliance for Sweden.[22] Among the support that the SAP lost was the vote of pensioners (down 10% from 2002) and blue-collar trade unionists (down 5%). The combined SAP and Left Party vote of citizens with non-Nordic foreign backgrounds sank from 73% in 2002 to 48% in 2006. Stockholm County typically votes for the centre-right parties and only 23% of Stockholm City residents voted for the SAP in 2006.[23]

From 2006 to 2014, the SAP lost two consecutive terms to the centre-right Alliance due to the centrist liberal attitudes of then-Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt attracting some of the SAP voters. In 2010, 2014 and 2018, the vote share of SAP dramatically declined, with some of these votes being lost to the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats.[24][25][26]

In the 2018 Swedish general election, the Social Democrats' vote share fell to 28.3 percent, its lowest level of support since 1908.

Electoral historyEdit

SAP results by group, VALU 2010[27]
Group Votes
(%)
Average result
+/− (pp)
Members of LO 51 +24
On sick leave 51 +24
Raised outside Sweden 49 +22
Blue-collar workers 41 +14
Unemployed 39 +12
Local government employees 34 +7
Aged 65+ 34 +7
Public sector employees 32 +5
Government employees 29 +2
Females 29 +2
Aged 18–21 28 +1
First-time voters 28 +1
Aged 31–64 27 0
Members of TCO 26 -1
Students 25 -2
Males 25 -2
Aged 22–30 24 -3
Farmers 24 -3
Private sector employees 23 -4
Employed persons 22 -5
White-collar workers 20 -7
Members of SACO 18 -9
Business owners 16 -11
All groups (total) 27 0

RiksdagEdit

In the 1890s, the Social Democrats usually stood on the same ticket as the Liberals.

Election year No. of overall votes % of overall vote Number of overall seats won % of overall seats +/– Government Notes
1902 6,321 3.5 (3rd)
4 / 230
1.7 (3rd)   3 In opposition
1905 20,677 9.5 (3rd)
13 / 230
5.7 (3rd)   9 In opposition
1908 45,155 14.6 (3rd)
34 / 230
14.8 (3rd)   21 In opposition
1911 172,196 28.5 (3rd)
64 / 230
27.8 (2nd)   30 In opposition
1914
(March)
228,712 30.1 (3rd)
73 / 230
31.7 (2nd)   9 In opposition
1914 (September) 266,133 36.4 (2nd)
87 / 230
37.8 (1st)   14 In opposition
1917 228,777 31.1 (1st)
87 / 230
37.4 (1st)   1 In coalition Coalition with the Free-minded National Association
1920 195,121 29.6 (1st)
75 / 230
32.6 (1st)   11 In opposition
1921 630,855 36.2 (1st)
93 / 230
40.4 (1st)   18 In minority
1924 725,407 41.1 (1st)
104 / 230
45.2 (1st)   11 In minority
1928 873,931 37.0 (1st)
90 / 230
39.1 (1st)   14 In opposition
1932 1,040,689 41.7 (1st)
104 / 230
45.2 (1st)   14 In minority Confidence and supply from Kilbommare and Sillénare
1936 1,338,120 45.9 (1st)
112 / 230
48.7 (1st)   9 In minority Confidence and supply from Kilbommare and Sillénare
1940 1,546,804 53.8 (1st)
134 / 230
58.3 (1st)   22 In majority
1944 1,436,571 46.6 (1st)
115 / 230
50.0 (1st)   19 In minority Confidence and supply from the Communist Party
1948 1,789,459 46.1 (1st)
112 / 230
48.7 (1st)   3 In minority Confidence and supply from the Communist Party
1952 1,729,463 46.1 (1st)
110 / 230
47.8 (1st)   2 In coalition Coalition with the Farmers League
1956 1,729,463 44.6 (1st)
106 / 231
45.9 (1st)   4 In coalition Coalition with the Farmers League
1958 1,776,667 46.2 (1st)
111 / 231
48.1 (1st)   5 In minority Confidence and supply from the Communist Party
1960 2,033,016 47.8 (1st)
114 / 232
49.1 (1st)   3 In minority Confidence and supply from the Communist Party
1964 2,006,923 47.3 (1st)
113 / 233
48.5 (1st)   1 In minority Confidence and supply from the Communist Party
1968 2,420,242 50.1 (1st)
125 / 233
53.6 (1st)   12 In majority
1970 2,256,369 45.3 (1st)
163 / 350
46.6 (1st)   38 In minority Confidence and supply from the Left Party
1973 2,247,727 43.6 (1st)
156 / 350
44.6 (1st)   7 In minority Confidence and supply from the Left Party
1976 2,324,603 42.7 (1st)
152 / 349
43.6 (1st)   4 In opposition
1979 2,356,234 43.2 (1st)
154 / 349
44.1 (1st)   2 In opposition
1982 2,533,250 45.6 (1st)
166 / 349
47.6 (1st)   12 In minority Confidence and supply from the Left Party
1985 2,487,551 44.7 (1st)
159 / 349
45.6 (1st)   7 In minority Confidence and supply from the Left Party
1988 2,321,826 43.2 (1st)
156 / 349
44.7 (1st)   3 In minority Confidence and supply from the Left Party
1991 2,062,761 37.7 (1st)
138 / 349
39.5 (1st)   18 In opposition
1994 2,513,905 45.2 (1st)
161 / 349
46.1 (1st)   23 In minority Confidence and supply from the Green Party and the Left Party
1998 1,914,426 36.4 (1st)
131 / 349
37.5 (1st)   30 In minority Confidence and supply from the Green Party and the Left Party
2002 2,113,560 39.9 (1st)
144 / 349
41.3 (1st)   13 In minority Confidence and supply from the Green Party and the Left Party
2006 1,942,625 35.0 (1st)
130 / 349
37.2 (1st)   14 In opposition
2010 1,827,497 30.7 (1st)
112 / 349
32.1 (1st)   18 In opposition
2014 1,932,711 31.0 (1st)
113 / 349
32.4 (1st)   1 In minority Minority coalition with the Green Party
Confidence and supply from the Left Party
2018 1,830,386 28.3 (1st)
100 / 349
28.7 (1st)   13 In minority Minority coalition with the Green Party
Confidence and supply from the Centre Party and the Liberals

European ParliamentEdit

Election year No. of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
No. of
overall seats won
% of
overall seats
+/−
1995 752,817 28.1 (1st)
7 / 22
31.8 (1st)
1999 657,497 26.0 (1st)
6 / 22
27.3 (1st)   1
2004 616,963 24.6 (1st)
5 / 19
26.3 (1st)   1
2009 773,513 24.4 (1st)
  • 5 / 18
  • 6 / 20
27.8 (1st)
  •   0
  •   1
2014 899,074 24.2 (1st)
5 / 20
25.0 (1st)   1
2019 974,589 23.5 (1st)
5 / 20
25.0 (1st)   0

Ideology, political impact and historyEdit

 
Hjalmar Branting, the first elected SAP Prime Minister in 1920

The party's first chapter in its statutes says "the intention of the Swedish Social Democratic Labour Party is the struggle towards Democratic Socialism", i.e. a society with a democratic economy based on the socialist principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need". Since the party held power of office for a majority of terms after its founding in 1889 through 2003, the ideology and policies of the SAP have had strong influence on Swedish politics.[28] The Swedish social democratic ideology is partially an outgrowth of the strong and well-organized 1880s and 1890s working class emancipation, temperance and religious folkrörelser (folk movements), by which peasant and workers' organizations penetrated state structures early on and paved the way for electoral politics. In this way, Swedish social-democratic ideology is inflected by a socialist tradition foregrounding widespread and individual human development.[29]

In 1967, Gunnar Adler-Karlsson confidently likened the social democratic project to the successful social democratic effort to divest the king of all power but formal grandeur: "Without dangerous and disruptive internal fights. [...] After a few decades they [the capitalists] will then remain, perhaps formally as kings, but in reality as naked symbols of a passed and inferior development state".[30]

The Social Democrats are strong supporters of egalitarianism and maintain a strong opposition to discrimination and racism. The party supports social welfare provision, paid for by progressive taxation. The party also supports a social corporatist economy involving the institutionalization of a social partnership system between capital and labour economic interest groups, with government oversight to resolve disputes between the two factions.[31] Concerning constitutional issues, the Social Democrats advocate the abolition of monarchy. [32]

LiberalismEdit

 
Prime Minister Tage Erlander at a TV debate in 1967

Liberalism has also strongly infused social-democratic ideology. Liberalism has oriented social democratic goals to security. Tage Erlander, prime minister from 1946 to 1969, described security as "too big a problem for the individual to solve with only his own power".[33] Up to the 1980s, when neoliberalism began to provide an alternative, aggressively pro-capitalist model for ensuring social quiescence, the SAP was able to secure capital's co-operation by convincing capital that it shared the goals of increasing economic growth and reducing social friction. For many Social Democrats, Marxism is loosely held to be valuable for its emphasis on changing the world for a more just, better future.[34] In 1889, Hjalmar Branting, leader of the SAP from its founding to his death in 1925, asserted: "I believe that one benefits the workers so much more by forcing through reforms which alleviate and strengthen their position, than by saying that only a revolution can help them".[35]

Some observers have argued that this liberal aspect has hardened into increasingly neoliberal ideology and policies, gradually maximizing the latitude of powerful market actors.[36] Certainly, neoclassical economists have been firmly nudging the Social Democratic Party into capitulating to most of capital's traditional preferences and prerogatives which they term "modern industrial relations".[37] Both socialist and liberal aspects of the party were influenced by the dual sympathies of early leader Hjalmar Branting and manifest in the party's first actions, namely reducing the work day to eight hours and establishing the franchise for working-class people.

While some commentators have seen the party lose focus with the rise of SAP neoliberal study groups, the Swedish Social Democratic Party has for many years appealed to Swedes as innovative, capable and worthy of running the state.[38] The Social Democrats became one of the most successful political parties in the world, with some structural advantages in addition to their auspicious birth within vibrant folkrörelser. At the close of the 19th century, liberals and socialists had to band together to augment establishment democracy which was at that point embarrassingly behind in Sweden and they could point to formal democratic advances elsewhere to motivate political action.[39] In addition to being small, Sweden was a semi-peripheral country at the beginning of the 20th century, considered unimportant to competing global political factions, so it was permitted more independence while soon the existence of communist and capitalist superpowers allowed social democracy to flourish in the geo-political interstices.[40] The SAP has the resource of sharing ideas and experiences and working with its sister parties throughout the Nordic countries. Sweden could also borrow and innovate upon ideas from English-language economists which was an advantage for the Social Democrats in the Great Depression, but more advantageous for the bourgeois parties in the 1980s and afterward.

RevisionismEdit

Among the social movement tactics of the Swedish Social Democratic Party in the 20th century was its redefinition of "socialization" from "common ownership of the means of production" to increasing "democratic influence over the economy".[41] Starting out in a socialist-liberal coalition fighting for the vote, the Swedish Social Democrats defined socialism as the development of democracy—political and economic.[42] On that basis, they could form coalitions, innovate and govern where other European social democratic parties became crippled and crumbled under right-wing regimes. The Swedish Social Democrats could count the middle class among their solidaristic working class constituency by recognizing the middle class as "economically dependent", "working people", or among the "progressive citizens", rather than as sub-capitalists.[43] The Social Democratic congress of 1932 established that "[t]he party does not aim to support and help [one] working class at the expense of the others". In fact, with social democratic policies that refrained from supporting inefficient and low-profit businesses in favor of cultivating higher-quality working conditions as well as a strong commitment to public education, the middle class in Sweden became so large that the capitalist class has remained concentrated.[44] Not only did the SAP fuse the growing middle class into their constituency, they also ingeniously forged periodic coalitions with small-scale farmers (as members of the "exploited classes") to great strategic effect.[45] The SAP version of socialist ideology allowed them to maintain a prescient view of the working class. The party's 1932 election manifesto asserted that "[the SAP] does not question whether those who have become capitalism's victims are industrial workers, farmers, agricultural laborers, forestry workers, store clerks, civil servants or intellectuals".[46]

While the SAP has worked more or less constructively with more radical left-wing parties in Sweden, the Social Democrats have borrowed from socialists some of their discourse and decreasingly the socialist understanding of the structurally compromised position of labor under capitalism. Even more creatively, the Social Democrats commandeered selected, transcendental images from such nationalists as Rudolf Kjellen in 1912, very effectively undercutting fascism's appeal in Sweden.[47] In this way, Per Albin Hansson declared that "there is no more patriotic party than the [SAP since] the most patriotic act is to create a land in which all feel at home", famously igniting Swedes' innermost longing for transcendence with the 1928 idea of the Folkhem, or the People's Home. The Social Democratic Party promoted Folkhemmet as a socialist home at a point in which the party turned its back on class struggle and the policy tool of nationalization.[48] Hansson soothed that "[t]he expansion of the party to a people's party does not mean and must not mean a watering down of socialist demands".[49] He further stated:

The basis of the home is community and togetherness. The good home does not recognize any privileged or neglected members, nor any favorite or stepchildren. In the good home there is equality, consideration, co-operation, and helpfulness. Applied to the great people's and citizens' home this would mean the breaking down of all the social and economic barriers that now separate citizens into the privileged and the neglected, into the rulers and the dependents, into the rich and the poor, the propertied and the impoverished, the plunderers and the plundered. Swedish society is not yet the people's home. There is a formal equality, equality of political rights, but from a social perspective, the class society remains, and from an economic perspective the dictatorship of the few prevails.[50]

Social democracyEdit

The Social Democratic Party is generally recognized as the main architect of the progressive taxation, fair trade, low-unemployment, active labor market policies (ALMP)-based Swedish welfare state that was developed in the years after World War II. Sweden emerged sound from the Great Depression with a brief, successful "Keynesianism-before Keynes" economic program advocated by Ernst Wigforss, a prominent Social Democrat who educated himself in economics by studying the work of the British radical Liberal economists. The social democratic labor market policies, or ALMPs, were developed in the 1940s and 1950s by LO (Landsorganisationen i Sverige, the blue-collar union federation) economists Gösta Rehn and Rudolf Meidner.[51] The Rehn-Meidner model featured the centralized system of wage bargaining that aimed to both set wages at a just level and promote business efficiency and productivity. With the pre-1983 cooperation of capital and labor federations that bargained independently of the state, the state determined that wages would be higher than the market would set in firms that were inefficient or uncompetitive and lower than the market would set in firms that were highly productive and competitive. Workers were compensated with state-sponsored retraining and relocating. At the same time, the state reformed wages to the goal of "equal pay for equal work", eliminated unemployment ("the reserve army of labor") as a disciplinary device and kept incomes consistently rising while taxing progressively and pooling social wealth to deliver services through local governments.[52] Social Democratic policy has traditionally emphasized a state spending structure, whereby public services are supplied via local government as opposed to emphasizing social insurance program transfers.[53]

These social democratic policies have had international influence. The early Swedish red–green coalition encouraged Nordic-networked socialists in the state of Minnesota to dedicate efforts to building a similarly potent labor-farmer alliance that put the socialists in the governorship, ran model innovative statewide anti-racism programs in the early years of the 20th century and enabled federal forest managers in Minnesota to practice a precocious ecological-socialism before Democratic Party reformers appropriated the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party infrastructure to the liberal Democratic Party in 1944.[54]

 
Social Democratic leader and Prime Minister Olof Palme in the 1970s
 
Logo of the party between 1967 and 1987

Under the Social Democrats' administration, Sweden retained neutrality as a foreign policy guideline during the wars of the 20th century, including the Cold War. Neutrality preserved the Swedish economy and boosted Sweden's economic competitiveness in the first half of the 20th century as other European countries' economies were devastated by war.[55] Under Olof Palme's Social Democratic leadership, Sweden further aggravated the hostility of United States political conservatives when Palme openly denounced American aggression in Vietnam. President Richard Nixon suspended diplomatic ties with the social democratic country.[56] In 2003, top-ranking Social Democratic Party politician Anna Lindh—who criticized the American-led invasion of Iraq as well as both Israeli and Palestinian atrocities and who was the lead figure promoting the European Union in Sweden—was assassinated in public in Stockholm. As Lindh was to succeed Göran Persson in the party leadership, her death was deeply disruptive to the party as well as to the campaign to promote the adoption of the EMU (euro) in Sweden. The neutrality policy has changed with the contemporary ascendance of the centre-right coalition and Sweden has committed troops to support the United States and United Kingdom's interventions in Afghanistan. Under Social Democratic governance, relatively strong overseas humanitarian programs and a comparatively well-developed refugee program have been implemented and frequently reformed.

From Rehn–Meidner to neoliberalismEdit

Because the Rehn–Midner model model allowed capitalists owning very productive and efficient firms to retain excess profits at the expense of the firms' workers, thus exacerbating inequality, workers in these firms began to agitate for a share of the profits in the 1970s, just as women working in the state sector began to assert pressure for better wages. Meidner established a study committee that came up with a 1976 proposal that entailed transferring the excess profits into investment funds controlled by the workers in the efficient firms, with the intention that firms would create further employment and pay more workers higher wages, rather than increasing the wealth of company owners and managers.[57] Capitalists immediately distinguished this proposal as socialism, and launched an unprecedented opposition—including calling off the class compromise established in the 1938 Saltsjöbaden Agreement.[58]

The 1980s were a very turbulent time in Sweden that initiated the occasional decline of Social Democratic Party rule. In the 1980s, pillars of Swedish industry were massively restructured. Shipbuilding was discontinued, wood pulp was integrated into modernized paper production, the steel industry was concentrated and specialized and mechanical engineering was digitalized.[59] In 1986, Olof Palme, one of the Social Democratic Party's strongest champions of democracy and egalitarianism, was assassinated. Swedish capital was increasingly moving Swedish investment into other European countries as the European Union coalesced and a hegemonic consensus was forming among the elite financial community while progressive taxation and pro-egalitarian redistribution became economic heresy.[60] A leading proponent of capital's cause at the time, Social Democrat Finance Minister Kjell-Olof Feldt reminisced in an interview: "The negative inheritance I received from my predecessor Gunnar Sträng (Minister of Finance, 1955–1976) was a strongly progressive tax system with high marginal taxes. This was supposed to bring about a just and equal society. But I eventually came to the opinion that it simply didn't work out that way. Progressive taxes created instead a society of wranglers, cheaters, peculiar manipulations, false ambitions and new injustices. It took me at least a decade to get a part of the party to see this".[61] With the capitalist confederation's defection from the 1938 Saltsjöbaden Agreement and Swedish capital investing in other European countries rather than Sweden as well as the global rise of neoliberal political-economic hegemony, the Social Democratic Party backed away from the progressive Meidner reform.[62]

The economic crisis in the 1990s has been widely cited in the Anglo-American press as a social democratic failure, but it is important to note not only did profit rates begin to fall worldwide after the 1960s,[63] this period also saw neoliberal ascendance in Social Democratic ideology and policies as well as the rise of bourgeois coalition rule in place of the Social Democrats. 1980s Social Democratic neoliberal measures—such as depressing and deregulating the currency to prop up Swedish exports during the economic restructuring transition, dropping corporate taxation and taxation on high income-earners and switching from anti-unemployment policies to anti-inflationary policies—were exacerbated by international recession, unchecked currency speculation and a Moderate Party government led by Carl Bildt (1991–1994), creating the fiscal crisis of the early 1990s.[64]

 
Göran Persson, a prolific Social Democratic leader, holding the office of Prime Minister for ten years

When the Social Democrats returned to power in 1994, they responded to the fiscal crisis[65] by stabilizing the currency—and by reducing the welfare state and privatizing public services and goods as governments did in many countries influenced by Milton Friedman, the Chicago School of political and economic thought and the neoliberal movement. Social Democratic Party leaders—including Göran Persson, Mona Sahlin and Anna Lindh—promoted European Union (EU) membership and the Swedish referendum passed by 52–48% in favor of joining the EU on 14 August 1994. Liberal leader Lars Leijonborg at his 2007 retirement could recall the 1990s as a golden age of liberalism in which the Social Democrats were under the expanding influence of the Liberals and its partners in the centre-right political coalition. Leijonborg recounted neoliberal victories such as the growth of private schooling and the proliferation of private, for-profit radio and television.[66] It has been argued that the Swedish Social Democrats' Third Way pension reforms have been more successful than those enacted by the German Social Democrats.[67]

21st centuryEdit

In the 21st century, many of the aspects of the social-democratic welfare state continued to function at a high level, due in no small part to the high rate of unionization in Sweden, the independence of unions in wage-setting and the exemplary competency of the feminized public sector workforce as well as widespread public support.[68] The Social Democrats initiated studies on the effects of the neoliberal changes and the picture that emerged from those findings allowed the party to reduce many tax expenditures, slightly increase taxes on high income-earners and significantly reduce taxes on food. The Social Democratic Finance Minister increased spending on child support and continued to pay down the public debt.[69] By 1998, the Swedish macro-economy recovered from the 1980s industrial restructuring and the currency policy excesses.[59] At the turn of the 21st century, Sweden has a well-regarded, generally robust economy and the average quality of life after government transfers is very high, inequality is low (the Gini coefficient is .28) and social mobility is high (compared to the affluent Anglo-American and Central European countries).[60]

The Social Democratic Party pursues environmentalist and feminist policies which promote healthful and humane conditions. Feminist policies formed and implemented by the Social Democratic Party along with the Green Party and the Left Party (which made an arrangement with the Social Democrats to support the government while not forming a coalition), include paid maternity and paternity leave, high employment for women in the public sector, combining flexible work with living wages and benefits, providing public support for women in their traditional responsibilities for care giving and policies to stimulate women's political participation and leadership. Reviewing policies and institutional practices for their impact on women had become common in social democratic governance.[70]

The Social Democratic Party was defeated in 2006 by the centre-right Alliance for Sweden coalition which according to research from the Department of Government at Uppsala University can be largely traced to the SAP government's poor handling of the two major natural disasters that struck the Swedish political landscape at the turn of the new year of 2004 and 2005. These disasters are known as the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami and the 2005 Storm Gudrun (Erwin). In particular, the Centre Party was very successful in its opposition against the SAP on the issue of the party's poor crisis response to these disasters.[71] Mona Sahlin succeeded Göran Persson as party leader in 2007, becoming the party's first female party leader. Prior to the 2010 Swedish general election, the Social Democratic Party formed a cooperation with the Green Party and the Left Party culminating in the Red–Green alliance. The cooperation was dissolved following another defeat in 2010, throwing the party in to its longest period in opposition since before 1936. Sahlin announced her resignation following the 2010 defeat and she was succeeded by Håkan Juholt in 2011. Initially, his leadership gave a rise in the opinion polls before being involved in a scandal surrounding benefits from parliament which after a period culminated in his resignation. Sahlin and Juholt become the first party leaders since Claes Tholin, who was party leader 1896–1907, to not become Prime Ministers.

Stefan Löfven, elected by the party board, succeeded Juholt as party leader. Löfven led the Social Democratic Party into the 2014 European Parliament election which resulted in the party's worst electoral results at national level since universal suffrage was introduced in 1921. He then led the party into the 2014 Swedish general election which resulted in the party's second worst election result to the Riksdag since universal suffrage was introduced in 1921. With a hung parliament, Löfven formed a minority coalition government with the Green Party. On 2 October 2014, the Riksdag approved Löfven to become the country's Prime Minister and he took office on 3 October 2014 alongside his Cabinet.[72] The Social Democratic Party and the Green Party voted in favour of Löfvén becoming Prime Minister while the Left Party, a close ally of the SAP, abstained. The oppositional Alliance-parties also abstained while the Sweden Democrats voted against.

In the 2018 Swedish general election, the Social Democrats' vote share fell to 28.3 percent, its lowest level of support since 1911. Nevertheless, a Social Democrat and Green Party coalition government was formed in January 2019. Relying on support of the Centre Party and the Liberals, it is one of the weakest governments in Swedish history.

Party leadersEdit

Party leader Period Party secretary
Claes Tholin
1896
1907
Karl Magnus Ziesnitz
Carl Gustaf Wickman
First party leader after collective leadership.
Hjalmar Branting
1907
1925
Carl Gustaf Wickman
Fredrik Ström
Gustav Möller
Prime Minister (1920, 1921–1923 and 1924–1925). Died in office.
Per Albin Hansson
1925
1946
Gustav Möller
Torsten Nilsson
Sven Andersson
Prime Minister (1932–1936 and 1936–1946). Died in office.
Tage Erlander
1946
1969
Sven Andersson
Sven Aspling
Sten Andersson
Prime Minister (1946–1969). Longest-serving Prime Minister in Swedish history.
Olof Palme
1969
1986
Sten Andersson
Bo Toresson
Prime Minister (1969–1976 and 1982–1986). Assassinated.
Ingvar Carlsson
1986
1996
Bo Toresson
Mona Sahlin
Leif Linde
Prime Minister (1986–1991 and 1994–1996).
Göran Persson
1996
2007
Ingela Thalén
Lars Stjernkvist
Marita Ulvskog
Prime Minister (1996–2006).
Mona Sahlin
2007
2011
Marita Ulvskog
Ibrahim Baylan
First female leader of the party.
Håkan Juholt
2011
2012
Carin Jämtin
Resigned after a scandal.
Stefan Löfven
2012
Carin Jämtin
Lena Rådström Baastad
Prime Minister (2014–present)

See alsoEdit

LiteratureEdit

  • Andersson, Jenny (2006). Between growth and security: Swedish social democracy from a strong society to a third way. Manchester University Press.
  • Johansson, Karl Magnus; Von Sydow, Göran (2011). Swedish social democracy and European integration: Enduring divisions. Social Democracy and European Integration: The politics of preference formation. Routledge. pp. 157–187.
  • Therborn, Göran & Kjellberg, Anders & Marklund, Staffan & Öhlund, Ulf (1978) "Sweden Before and After Social Democracy: A First Overview", Acta Sociologica 1978 – supplement, pp. 37–58.
  • Therborn, Göran (1984) "The Coming of Swedish Social Democracy", in E. Collotti (ed.) Il movimiento operaio tra le due guerre, Milano: Annali della Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli 1983/84, pp. 527–593
  • Östberg, Kjell (2012). Swedish Social Democracy After the Cold War: Whatever Happened to the Movement?. Social Democracy After the Cold War. Athabasca University Press. pp. 205–234.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sjunkande medlemsantal oroar inte Schyman" [Declining membership numbers do not worry Schyman]. Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 23 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  2. ^ Egle, Christoph; Henkes, Christian; Merkel, Wolfgang; Petring, Alexander (2008). Social Democracy in Power: The Capacity to Reform. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 8–9. ISBN 0415438209.
  3. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "Sweden". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Stadgar Sveriges Socialdemokratiska Arbetareparti (Kapitel 1 Partiets ändamål)" (PDF). Socialdemokraterna.se. 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Vår Politik". Socialdemokraterna.se. 2019. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  6. ^ "New minister vows to press on with Sweden's feminist foreign policy". The Local Sweden. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  7. ^ Lane, Jan-Erik; Ersson, Svante (25 July 2008). "The Nordic Countries: Compromise and Corporatism in the Welfare State". In Colomer, Josep M. (ed.). Comparative European Politics (3rd ed.). Routledge. p. 261. ISBN 1-134-07354-2.
  8. ^ "Parties & Organisations". Progressive Alliance. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  9. ^ "2014: Val till landstingsfullmäktige – Valda". Valmyndigheten (in Swedish). 28 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
  10. ^ "2014: Val till kommunfullmäktige – Valda". Valmyndigheten (in Swedish). 26 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  11. ^ Lamb, Peter; Docherty, James C. (2006), Historical Dictionary of Socialism (Second ed.), Scarecrow Press
  12. ^ Engstörm, Christer (May 1995). Nationalencyklopedin. Höganäs: Bra Böcker. pp. 544–545. ISBN 91-7024-621-1. Det tyska Gotha-programmet mes dess blandning av laselleanska och marxistiska element betraktades som partiets program, men efter hand tog man även intryck av andra länders arbetarrörelser
  13. ^ Kowalski, Werner (1985). Geschichte der sozialistischen arbeiter-internationale: 1923–1919. Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften in German). p. 322.
  14. ^ a b c d Berman, Sheri (2006). "The Swedish Exception". The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making of Europe's Twentieth Century. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511791109.007. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  15. ^ Esping-Andersen, Gosta. The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. ISBN 978-0-7456-6675-4. OCLC 930601033.
  16. ^ Stenberg, Ewa (26 November 2012). "Det borde bara ha varit vi och S". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  17. ^ "Parties". Party of European Socialists. Archived from the original on 3 May 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Löfven till styrelsen för ny organisation | Västerbottens-Kuriren". Vk.se. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  19. ^ "S nobbar Socialistinternationalen". Di.se. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  20. ^ Göran Therborn, "A Unique Chapter in the History of Democracy: The Swedish Social Democrats", in. K. Misgeld et al (eds.), Creating Social Democracy, University Park Pa., Penn State University Press, 1996
  21. ^ Hur röstade LO-medlemmar? Archived 5 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Social bakgrund – sysselsättning relaterat till partiröst SVT Valu (Parliamentary election exit poll) Archived 30 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Historisk statistik över valåren 1910–2006 Archived 14 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine, from Statistics Sweden, accessed 14 June 2007 (in Swedish)
  23. ^ "Eric Sundström: September 2006". ericsundstrom.blogspot.com. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  24. ^ Kelly, Ben (8 September 2018). "Sweden Democrats: How a nationalist, anti-immigrant party took root in a liberal Nordic haven". The Independent.
  25. ^ Ahlander, Johan (7 February 2019). "Populist Sweden Democrats ditch 'Swexit' ahead of EU elections". Reuters.
  26. ^ Orange, Richard (15 November 2018). "Swedish Moderate-led council to ban halal meat in deal with populists". The Local.
  27. ^ Holmberg, Sören; Näsman, Per; Wänström, Kent (2010). Riksdagsvalet 2010 Valu (PDF) (Report). Sveriges Television. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  28. ^ Samuelsson, Kurt. 1968. From Great Power to Welfare State: 300 Years of Swedish Social Development. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  29. ^ Alapuro, Risto. 1999. "On the repertoires of collective action in France and the Nordic countries." TBD.
  30. ^ Pp. 101–102 in Adler-Karlsson, Gunnar. 1967. Functional Socialism. Stockholm: Prisma. Cited on p. 196 in Berman, Sheri. 2006. The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making of Europe's Twentieth Century. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, MA.
  31. ^ Gerassimos Moschonas, Gregory Elliot (translator). In the Name of Social Democracy: The Great Transformation, 1945 to the Present. London, United Kingdom; New York, United States: Verso, 2002. P. 64–69.
  32. ^ ETT PROGRAM FÖR FÖRÄNDRING (2019) https://www.socialdemokraterna.se/download/18.12ce554f16be946d046409fd/1568881603569/ett-program-for-forandring.pdf
  33. ^ Pp. 258–259 in Erlander, Tage. 1956 SAP Congress Protokoll, in Från Palm to Palme: Den Svenska Socialdemokratins Program. Stockholm: Raben and Sjögren. Cited in Berman 2006: 196. Abrahamson, Peter. "The Scandinavian model of welfare." TBD
  34. ^ Berman 2006: 153
  35. ^ in a letter to Axel Danielsson in jail (1889), reprinted on p. 189 in Från Palm to Palme: Den Svenska Socialdemokratins Program. Stockholm: Raben and Sjögren. Cited in Berman 2006:156.
  36. ^ Korpi, Walter and Stern. 2004. "Women's employment in Sweden: Globalization, deindustrialization, and the labor market experiences of Swedish Women 1950-2000." Globalife Working Paper No. 51. Korpi, Walter and Joakim Palme. 2003. "New politics and class politics in the conext of austerity and globalization: Welfare state regress in 18 countries 1975-1995." Stockholm: Stockholm University. Korpi, Walter. 2003. "Welfare state regress in Western Europe: Politics, Institutions, Globalization, and Europeanization." Annual Review of Sociology 29: 589–609. Korpi, Walter. 1996. "Eurosclerosis and the sclerosis of objectivity: On the role of velues among economic policy experts." Economic Journal 106: 1727–1746. Notermans, Ton. 1997. "Social democracy and external constraints." Pp. 201–239 in Spaces of Globalization: Reasserting the Power of the Local, edited by K.R. Cox. New York: The Guildord Press. Olsen, Gregg. 2002. The Politics of the Welfare State: Canada, Sweden, and the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pred, Alan. 2000. Even in Sweden: Racisms, Racialized Spaces, and the Popular Geographical Imagination. Berkeley: University of California Press. Ryner, Magnus. TBD. SAF. 1993. The Swedish Employers' Confederation: An Influential Voice in Public Affairs. Stockholm: SAF. Stephens, John D. 1996. "The Scandinavian welfare states: Achievements, crisis, and prospects." Pp. 32–65 in Welfare States in Transition: National Adaptations in Global Economies, edited by Gosta Esping-Anderson. Wennerberg, Tor. 1995. "Undermining the welfare state in Sweden." ZMagazine, June. Accessed at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 October 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ Vartiainen, Juhana. 2001. "Understanding Swedish Social Democracy: Victims of Success?" pp. 21–52 in Social Democracy in Neoliberal Times, edited by Andrew Glyn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  38. ^ Berman 2006: 153–154, 156
  39. ^ Berman 2006: 159
  40. ^ Berman 2006: 152
  41. ^ Berman 2006: 196
  42. ^ Berman 2006: 153, 155
  43. ^ Berman 2006: 157
  44. ^ Stevenson, Paul. 1979. "Swedish Capitalism: An Essay Review." Crime, Law and Social Change 3(2).
  45. ^ Berman 2006: 158–159; 166–167
  46. ^ Reprinted in Håkansson, edl, Svenska Valprogram, Vol. 2, and cited in Berman 2006: 173
  47. ^ Berman 2006: 163–164; 170
  48. ^ Meidner, Rudolf. 1993. "Why did the Swedish model fail?" The Socialist Register 29: 211–228. http://socialistregister.com/index.php/srv/article/view/5630
  49. ^ Hansson, Per Albin. "Folk och Klass": 80. Cited in Berman 2006: 166
  50. ^ Berkling. Från Fram till Folkhemmet: 227–230; Tilton. The Political Theory of Swedish Social Democracy: 126–127.
  51. ^ Carroll, Eero. 2003. "International organisations and welfare states at odds? The case of Sweden." Pp. 75–88 in The OECD and European Welfare States, edited by Klaus Armingeon and Michelle Beyeler. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar; Esping-Anderson, Gösta. 1985. Politics Against Markets: The Social-Democratic Road to Power. Princeton: Princeton University Press; Korpi, Walter. 1992. Halkar Sverige efter? Sveriges ekonomiska tillväxt 1820–1990 i jämförande belysning, Stockholm: Carlssons; Olsen, Gregg M. 1999. "Half empty or half full? The Swedish welfare state in transition." Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology, 36 (2): 241–268; Olsen, Gregg. 2002. The Politics of the Welfare State: Canada, Sweden, and the United States. Oxford: Oxford University Press; Samuelsson, Kurt. 1968. From Great Power to Welfare State: 300 years of Swedish Social Development. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  52. ^ Berman, Sheri (2006). The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making of Europe's Twentieth Century. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521817998.
  53. ^ Abrahamson, Peter. 1999. "The Scandinavian model of welfare." TBD
  54. ^ Delton, Jennifer A. 2002. Making Minnesota Liberal. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota; Hudson, Mark. 2007. The Slow Co-Production of Disaster: Wildfire, Timber Capital, and the United States Forest Service. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon.
  55. ^ Esping-Anderson, Gosta. 1985. Politics Against Markets: The Social-Democratic Road to Power. Princeton: Princeton University Press; Samuelsson, Kurt. 1968. From Great Power to Welfare State: 300 Years of Swedish Social Development. London: George Allen and Unwin.
  56. ^ Andersson, Stellan. "Olof Palme och Vietnamfrågan 1965–1983" (in Swedish). olofpalme.org. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
  57. ^ Michael Newman (25 July 2005), Socialism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press
  58. ^ Berman 2006
  59. ^ a b Krantz, Olle and Lennart Schön. 2007. Swedish Historical National Accounts, 1800–2000. Lund: Almqvist and Wiksell International.
  60. ^ a b Steinmo, Sven. 2001. "Bucking the Trend? The Welfare State and Global Economy: The Swedish Case Up Close." University of Colorado, 18 December.
  61. ^ Sjöberg, T. (1999). Intervjun: Kjell-Olof Feldt [Interview: Kjell-Olof Feldt]." Playboy Skandinavia (5): 37–44.
  62. ^ Berman 2006: 198
  63. ^ McNally, David. 1999. "Turbulence in the World Economy." Monthly Review 51(2). http://www.monthlyreview.org/699mcnal.htm. Bowles, Samuel, David M. Gordon, and Thomas E. Weisskopf. 1989. "Business Ascendancy and Economic Impasse: A Structural Retrospective on Conservative Economics, 1979–87." Journal of Economic Perspectives 3(1): 107–134.
  64. ^ Englund, P. 1990. "Financial deregulation in Sweden." European Economic Review 34 (2–3): 385–393. Korpi TBD. Meidner, R. 1997. "The Swedish model in an era of mass unemployment." Economic and Industrial Democracy 18 (1): 87–97. Olsen, Gregg M. 1999. "Half empty or half full? The Swedish welfare state in transition." Canadian Review of Sociology & Anthropology, 36 (2): 241–268.
  65. ^ (archive date: 27 June 2007) Between 1990 and 1994, per capita income declined by approximately 10% hdr.undp (original URL: [1]) (access date: 5 July 2007) (dead URL)
  66. ^ The Local, 13 June 2007. http://www.thelocal.se.
  67. ^ Anderson, Karen; Meyer, Traute (2003). "The Third Way in Welfare State Reform? Social Democratic Pension Politics in Germany and Sweden" (PDF). In Bonoli, Giuliano; Powell, Martin (eds.). Social Democratic Party Policies in Contemporary Europe. Routledge/ECPR Studies in European Political Science. Abingdon, England: Routledge. pp. 141–160. ISBN 9780415304252. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  68. ^ Olsen, 2002.
  69. ^ Steinmo, Sven. 2001. "Bucking the Trend? The Welfare State and Global Economy: The Swedish Case Up Close." University of Colorado, 18 December. Carroll, Eero. 2004. "International Organizations and Welfare States at Odds? The Case of Sweden." The OECD and European Welfare States. Edited by Klaus Armingeon and Michelle Beyer. Northampton, MA: Edward Egar.
  70. ^ Acker, Joan. Hobson, Barbara. Sainsbury, Diane. 1999. "Gender and the making of the Norwegian and Swedish welfare states." Pp. 153–168 in Comparing Social Welfare Systems in Nordic Europe and France. Nantes: Maison des Sciences de l'Homme Ange-Guepin. Älund, Aleksandra and Carl-Ulrik Schierup. 1991. Paradoxes of multiculturalism. Aldershot: Avebury.
  71. ^ Natural Disasters and National Election - On the 2004 Indian Ocean Boxing Day Tsunami, the 2005 Storm Gudrun and the 2006 Historic Regime Shift Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences. By LINA M. ERIKSSON.
  72. ^ "Sverige har fått en ny statsminister". dn.se. Retrieved 2 October 2014.

External linksEdit