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When the State Stepped into the Arena: The Swedish Welfare State, Refugees and Immigrants 1930s-50s
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History.
2014 (English)In: Journal of contemporary history, ISSN 0022-0094, E-ISSN 1461-7250, Vol. 49, no 3, 599-621 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Immediately after the Second World War, the Swedish Social Democratic government launched a number of far-reaching social and economic programmes which led to the development of a modern welfare state. At the same time that social policy was increasingly focused towards developing a welfare system, its foreign policy developed in a new direction. The Swedish wartime refugee policy has been characterized as restrictive. But by the time the war had ended, there were approximately 185,000 refugees in Sweden. Most of those refugees went 'home' in 1945 but some of them stayed and in the early postwar years, foreigners were also 'imported' as workers as a result of labour shortages. One could say that Sweden's development into a country of immigration was contemporaneous with its development into a welfare state.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 49, no 3, 599-621 p.
Keyword [en]
immigration, policy making, refugees, Sweden, welfare state
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-231311DOI: 10.1177/0022009414528259ISI: 000340197800007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-231311DiVA: diva2:744374
Available from: 2014-09-08 Created: 2014-09-07 Last updated: 2014-09-08Bibliographically approved

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Byström, Mikael
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