Headlines 2013

Different Political Tradition(S)


On Wednesday, as part of a joint IFN-SNS project called From welfare state to a welfare society, professor Anders Lindbom presented a chapter in a forthcoming report entitled "Welfare services under private management - the growth and motivation ." The anthology will be presented in its entirety on November 13. In his research Lindbom has found that different traditions of thought within the the Social Democratic Party form geographic clusters with the result that some (S)-municipalities are in favor of privatization and other are more or less against. A panel including former party leader Mona Sahlin (S) commented on the report.

From left can be seen Stig-Björn Ljunggren, Anna Johansson, Carl Melin, Mona Sahlin and Anders Lindbom.


In his research Anders Lindbom shows that the Social Democratic Party districts of Stockholm, Östergötland and Jämtland (folkrörelsedemokrater/popular movement democrats) are relatively favorable to private operation in the health-, education- and welfare sectors. Party districts that are more state socialist-oriented (statssocialister) are more opposed to privatization, for example social democrats in Skåne, Blekinge, Jönköping and the City of Stockholm.

"I agree with much of this", said panelist Anna Johansson, Assistant Municipal Commissioner (S) in the City of Gothenburg.

Other members of the panel were Stig-Björn Ljunggren, PhD in Political Science, Carl Melin, head of social and opinion research at United Minds, and Mona Sahlin – all four Social Democrats.

Mona Sahlin explained that she would rather describe it as left and right wings within the Social Democratic Party, not statssocialister and folkrörelsedemokrater. She admitted that there is certainly this span of opposing views within the party but that with the help of pragmatism they can agree in the end. The panel discussed pragmatism as mostly something positive. Someone said that pragmatism ought to be called "to be results oriented".

Today, when choice is taken for granted, it is easy to be for a gain control, said Carl Melin. This was not the case during the 1980's and 90's when there was not much choice for citizens. "At that time it was easier to be pro-choice."


Read the chapter Socialdemokraterna och privat drift i välfärden: två idétraditioner on the SNS website

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