A new Swedish model? Swedish social democracy at the crossroads
in In search of social democracy

The Swedish model of industrial relations premised upon social partner autonomy, industrial peace and high-level coordination between the LO and employers (SAF) had given way to wage-bargaining decentralisation, the withdrawal of the social partners from state boards and agencies and growing divisions within the labour movement. This chapter examines the evolution of the Swedish model in conjunction with social democratic reformism and the party's relations to the union movement. It discusses the collapse of the old Swedish model, before examining the Third Way of the 1980s. The chapter presents the empirical evidence in support of the emergence of a new Swedish model, and underlines the importance of the Social Democratic Party (SAP)-LO partnership in allowing the union movement to play an influential role in the labour market. It explains the internal and external challenges for the labour movement, and offers some preliminary thoughts on the future of Swedish social democracy.

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In search of social democracy

Responses to crisis and modernisation

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