1st Edition

The Nordic Welfare State in Three Eras
From Emancipation to Discipline

ISBN 9781138270732
Published September 6, 2016 by Routledge
218 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Nordic welfare states are known for a unique combination of equity and efficiency and for political institutions facilitating compromise and consensus between conflicting interests. The Nordic Welfare State in Three Eras: From Emancipation to Discipline analyses the historical and contemporary evolution of Nordic welfare states in Denmark, Sweden and Finland during three periods: the developmental period until the end of WWII, the period of emancipatory welfare institutions until the 1980s, and the period of restructuring from the 1980s until present times. The three eras discussed are shared in one way or another by all welfare states. However, Nordic welfare institutions are unique in the sense that they were particularly compatible with the ideas of Keynesian macro-economic management that constituted the blueprint of international economic ideas during the post-war period. This ground-breaking book will show how preceding emancipating elements of Nordic welfare states were largely lost in the process of renegotiating the post-war social order, and replaced by new elements of discipline and control.



Johannes Kananen works currently as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland.


’Johannes Kananen's book tells us that all is not well with the Nordic welfare states. The historically unique impetus towards emancipatory social development for which they are rightly so famous has been reversed. Kananen's perceptive analysis illuminates the global and internal constraints that have been leading to this, but also hints at the possibilities for a re-reversal.’ Hartley Dean, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK ’The Nordic welfare states represent a social democratic welfare model with roots in the industrial society of wage work. The dramatically changing national economies and labour markets since the 1990s, under labels like Europeanisation and globalization, meant a serious challenge to the model. This excellent book analyses this challenge and the destiny of the model in a long historical perspective since World War I.’ Bo StrÃ¥th, University of Helsinki, Finland 'Kananen’s study is an interesting contribution to the Nordic welfare state literature, particularly as regards the recent reforms taking place in the region, while it brings back social theory to the study of welfare states, an aspect much neglected by the current middle-range institutional theories.' Journal of Contemporary European Studies