Social Democrats and Employment in Sweden and Finland 1975–1998



The Great Recession and the subsequent uncertainty in global labour markets have been intertwined with the rise of nationalist, extremist and populist sentiments in the 2010s. The dawning de-globalisation has been affected by a record-level global unemployment rate, which is predicted to rise despite the fact that only a quarter of the global workforce is employed on a permanent but not always full-time basis (ILO 2015).

Transnational connections between politics and employment became a topical theme in the developed countries in the era of emerging globalisation, which co-existed with the era of recurrent economic and employment crises that followed Keynesian post-Second World War period of full employment policies after the mid-1970s (Jessop and Sum 2006). Unemployment also hit wage-work-oriented Nordic societies (Kettunen 2006a), where influential social democrats promoted the maintenance of full employment (Outinen 2015).

The Social Democrats and Employment in Sweden and Finland 1975–1998 project aims to put into a historical context the continuities and discontinuities of the employment conceptions and employment-related policies of leading social democrats in Sweden and Finland from 1975 to 1998. The project concentrates on the decision-making of the most influential political parties in the two Nordic countries at that time, the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) and the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP).

The cross-sectional framework of this analysis is based on regulation theory, which distinguishes five interacting fundamental institutional forms in capitalist societies (Boyer and Saillard 2002). The objective of this project is to find out how Swedish and Finnish social democrats deconstructed and conceptualised the employment-sensitive dimensions of these five forms: (1) the nature of the state (economic, employment, industrial and unemployment policies), (2) the wage-labour nexus (labour-market agreements), (3) the monetary regime (national and global monetary regulation), (4) forms of competition (state company, privatisation and competition policy) and (5) international interaction, examples and parallels (European integration, economic globalisation as well as the impact of transnational organisations, experts and financial institutions (Conrad 2011)).
Gällande start-/slutdatum01/06/2016 → …


From Steering Capitalism to Seeking Market Acceptance: Social Democrats and employment in Finland, 1975–1998

Outinen, S. M., 19 jun 2017, I : Scandinavian Journal of History. 42, 4, s. 389-413 25 s.

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