The welfare state in Sweden was established more than a century ago by the Social Democratic Party of Sweden, which held power for close to eight decades. The welfare state can loosely be defined through strong social programs meant to uplift the livelihoods of the Swedish people funded through a heavy tax burden. The early democratic socialists established the welfare state with the goal of creating a “folkhem”, or people’s home, in Sweden, where all people could be supported throughout their lives by government welfare programs. (1) Who the “people” of Sweden are has changed over the last century, but the goal of creating a place for all to be supported has remained. Sweden was one of the earliest established countries to turn against classical liberalism and create a government system partially based in socialism.(2) Classical liberalism can be defined by limited government acting in the best interests of the people. Democratic Socialists in Sweden critique this being the best model of government by insisting that the role of the government is to support the people, which can only be attained through larger involvement. This Nordic Model of government began in Sweden in the 1920s and has continued to develop today as the Social Democratic Workers Party has shaped the Swedish government.
Riley, Shanan '23
"Social Democracy All the Way Down: The Swedish Model of Government,"
Zeitgeist: Vol. 2022:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.imsa.edu/zeitgeist/vol2022/iss1/3