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New Left Review I/201, September-October 1993


Jane Jenson and Rianne Mahon

Representing Solidarity: Class, Gender and the Crisis in Social-Democratic Sweden

The 1991 Swedish election produced the victory of a coalition of four bourgeois parties dedicated to bringing about a ‘system shift’. Their preparedness to break with the Swedish social-democratic model stands in marked contrast to the bourgeois governments of 1976–82. The change can be understood only in relation to the deep crisis of that model of development. This crisis is not simply one of the model’s economic institutions and political compromises. It is also a crisis of representation, involving the detachment of the represented from the organizations that have long represented them. As such, it is a crisis of an earlier paradigmatic consensus about the very ‘who’ and the ‘why’ of the Swedish model. [1] This is a revised version of a paper prepared for the Eighth International Conference of Europeanists, March 1992. For helpful comments on earlier versions we thank A. Hunt, J. Myles, R. Ryan, B. Siims, D. Swartz. C. Bergquist, Y. Hirdman and G. Therborn. Support from the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the research assistance of A. B. Hellmark are also gratefully acknowledged.

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