First published in 1999, this volume why Europe’s arguably most successful political party, the Swedish Social Democratic Party, become so divided over European integration. Why were its grass-roots so reluctant to embrace EU membership and why did a Social Democratic government decide to stand aside from the launch of the single European currency? What connection is there between Europe and the Swedish model of political economy? While much has been written in English on Swedish Social Democracy, little of this literature has dealt with its difficulties during the 1990s and especially with its acute problems over Europe. This book fills that gap. Using original, primary data, Nicholas Aylott addresses the topic from macro and micro-political perspectives, taking account of historical, cultural, geopolitical and economic constraints, but also the interests and calculations of key individuals at critical junctures. It places the experience of Swedish Social Democracy into a broad comparative framework, drawing especially from the experiences of its Scandinavian sister parties. Up-to-date analysis of the party’s debate on EMU is included.
’A fascinating study of how the Swedish Social Democratic Party abruptly changed course on Europe and how its foot-soldiers often failed to get into line. The analysis is of high quality throughout and represents a major addition to our knowledge of Swedish politics, the problems of adaptation to the European Union, and of crises of internal party democracy. It can be strongly recommended to specialist and non-specialist alike.’ Professor Kevin Featherstone, University of Bradford, UK ’…brings together established views and new ideas in contemporary European studies and is aimed at both the student and the professional wishing to keep up with European developments.’ European Access ’…a welcome work.’ Journal of European Integration History
1. Introduction: Sweden, Social Democracy and European Integration. 2. Swedish Social Democracy in Perspective: the Political and Research Context. 3. The "Swedish Model" and Europe: Social Democratic Strategy and Ideology. 4. Arguments and Evidence: the Contours of Division. 5. Crisis and Volte-Face. 6. Managing a Divided Party, 1990-94. 7. EMY Rears its Head. 8. Conclusions: Swedish Social Democracy in the European Union.
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