Sweden’s Turn To Economic Inequality, 1982-2019 – Structural Change and Economic Dynamics – article

Sweden’s Turn To Economic Inequality, 1982-2019

Göran Therborn | Structural Change and Economic Dynamics

2019-10-15

In 1980 Sweden was probably the least unequal country of the world, but as part of the international turn of the centres of capitalism Sweden became one of the European frontrunners of economic unequalization. How did this happen? The turn of increasing inequality and a large part of its process 1980-2019 have occurred under Social Democratic governments. How could Social Democracy become a vehicle of unequalization? This paper provides a comparative empirical overview of the rise of inequality in Sweden since 1980, and a political sociological analysis of the process of distributive change, relating crucial economic crises and emergent financialized post-industrialism to the crisis perceptions, politics and policies of the leading politicians in a context of generational change and a new ideological climate.

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