An Evolving Asian-European Dialogue
Edited by Stein Kuhnle, Per Selle and Sven E.O. Hort
Chapter 9: The concept of society in the making of the Nordic welfare state
In the Nordic countries, the concept of society has had specific meanings that caused it to play a special role in the process retrospectively conceptualized as the building of the welfare state. Reflecting peripheral experiences of transnational interdependency and historical development, the Nordic political languages confused ‘state’ and ‘society’. The notion of the state as a society preceded the formation of the welfare state and contributed to legitimacy for state interventions. The popularity of the welfare state concept increased after the end of welfare state expansion in Western Europe. At the same time, the concept of the welfare society took on a new kind of use in critiques of the welfare state. However, in the Nordic countries any attempt to create a political alternative by contrasting the concepts of state and society has faced heavy constraints imposed by linguistic conventions. ‘Welfare society’ has proved to be an ineffective tool for criticizing the Nordic welfare states.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.