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New Left Review I/143, January-February 1984


Jonas Pontusson

Behind and beyond Social Democracy in Sweden

As the tide of Eurocommunism has subsided, the evolution of labour movements hegemonized by social democracy has come to assume a more pivotal role for the debate on strategies of transition in the advanced capitalist countries. [*] An earlier version of this article appeared in Häften för Kritiska Studier, vol. 15, no. 6, 1982, pp. 30–58, together with a reply by Walter Korpi. I wish to acknowledge the extensive and very helpful comments provided by Bengt Abrahamson, Anders Broström, Michael Burowoy, Tony Daley, Mike Davis, Lennart Erixon, Ian Gough, Anders Gullberg, Ann-Britt Hellmark, Jen Hoff, Stephen Katz, Peter Swenson, Paul Thomas, and Stephen Turner. With good reason, the Swedish case is frequently cited in this context. This essay will explore its significance by way of a critical examination of recent theories about the relationship between labour reformism and the prospects of socialism.

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