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Resolving the dilemma between equality and liberty: the Swedish political system

Nathalie Blanc-Noel ()
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Nathalie Blanc-Noel: University of Bordeaux 4, France

Eastern Journal of European Studies, 2013, vol. 4(1), pages 25-40

Abstract: Swedish democracy ranks very high in international democracy indexes. It fascinates political scientists from all over the world because it seems to have resolved a fundamental political dilemma: the choice between equality and liberty, without the historical inconvenient of regimes which favoured too much equality - but killed liberty, or regimes which favoured liberty - but failed to make citizens equal... The "'egalitarian pluralism" practiced in Swedish political system is rooted in a specific political culture. This culture has opted for popular sovereignty and comes from the ancient peasant society. Lutheran values and the absence of feudalism paved the way to the search for equality and the edification of a strong State. In the 20th century, the Social-democrats endorsed the traditional Swedish values and prolonged them in the so-called Swedish model, with social policies allowing more equality along with more individual autonomy. Nowadays, the model is evolving, coping with globalization, and the definition of equality is under discussion.

Keywords: Sweden; political system; equality; political culture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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