Creating Social Democracy

A Century of the Social Democratic Labor Party in Sweden

Edited by Klaus Misgeld, Karl Molin, Klas ├ůmark

Paperback - £20.95

Publication date:

15 April 1993

Length of book:

548 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271009315

The Swedish Social Democratic Labor Party (SAP) was founded more than one hundred years ago, in April 1889. During this "century of social democracy" Sweden has been transformed from an agrarian to an industrial society, from a poor country to a welfare state; and the SAP has evolved from being a lower-class movement to the nation's leading party for more than half a century. Is Sweden's development so special and is the Swedish labor movement unique when viewed from an international perspective? When were the critical decisions taken, what did the Social Democrats want to achieve, and what have they actually succeeded in doing—especially in light of the Social Democrats' loss of governmental power in 1991? These questions are discussed in thirteen essays addressing economic policy, social and welfare policy, international policy, and the party's inner structure and ideology. Two additional chapters on historical background and the latest developments in Sweden and some tables make this volume valuable for readers wanting competent information about Sweden, about the development of Swedish society, and about the most successful Social Democratic Labor party in Europe.

“The Social Democratic Party of Sweden has played a crucial and, by international comparisons, unique role in the political, social, and economic development of one of Europe's most interesting societies. The contributions to this volume provide an excellent introduction, by authors sympathetic to the Social Democrats and to the role of social democracy in Swedish history.”

—Steven Kelman, Harvard University