Globalisation, Marketization and Power – the Swedish case of Institutional Change
2002 (English)In: Scandinavian Political Studies, ISSN 0080-6757, Vol. 25, no 3, 197-229 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Globalisation is often thought to threaten the autonomy of national policymaking and generous welfare policies. This article examines two decades of policy change in Sweden, often viewed as a prime example of a fully fledged welfare state. The analysis is focused on reforms within the welfare sector, which is compared with three other important areas – credit markets, the labour market, and infrastructure policy. These areas can all be seen as crucial aspects of the Swedish social democratic model. The findings can be summarised in three parts. First, seeing the credit–market deregulation as the first phase of the internationalisation of capital in Sweden lends some support to the idea of globalisation as the result of political decisions rather than a structural change caused by technical change. Second, during the last two decades, there have been signs of marketisation of the Swedish public sector. However, this analysis does not give support to the simple hypothesis of globalisation. There are quite large variations both between and within policy areas, variations that are not easily related to international integration. Third, marketisation involves a shift in political power. An overall effect is that the government has lost some of its former direct influence. However, behind the façade of the invisible market we find the same actors as before influencing policy. Globalisation can have tremendous effects on power. Whether or not this will be the case is first and foremost the result of political decisions and individual desires.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2002. Vol. 25, no 3, 197-229 p.
Marketization, Privatisation, Liberalisation, Globalisation, Institutional Change, Swedish politics, Social Democracy
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-44389DOI: 10.1111/1467-9477.00069OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-44389DiVA: diva2:72294