The Nordic welfare model
in Scandinavian politics today
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The origins of the Nordic welfare state were traced to the recessionary 1930s and 'historic compromises' between organisations representing the conflicting interests of capital and labour. This chapter examines the origins of the Nordic model and the process of welfare state-building in the region. It presents an ideal-type Nordic welfare model, which incorporates three analytically distinct components. First was the core welfare principles constituting the normative foundations of the model; second was the main features of the practical operation of the welfare state and third was the identification of desired policy outcomes. The chapter concentrates on the performance of the Nordic welfare model and the extent to which desired policy outcomes have been realised. It considers the challenges facing the Nordic welfare model in the years ahead, with particular reference to the exogenous forces of Europeanisation and globalisation and the internal pressures generated by demographic change.

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