Post-war Scandinavia: Growth, consensus and crisis
1. Growth and consensus 1945-70
- (a) Economic: strong, stable growth; national
variations; role of government policy.
- Sweden: counter-cyclical policy; Labour Market Board.
- Norway: state planning and nationalisation; North Norway
Plan 1952. Statoil.
- Finland: Soviet reparations as stimulus; rapid but
uneven growth; class conflict.
- Denmark: shift from agriculture to manufacturing industry
in 1950s and '60s.
- (b) Political: Consensus; social democrats dominant.
Finland: more polarised; role of president (Paasikivi 1946-56,
(c) Problems: Inflation; high taxation; insistence
on conformity (see R. Huntford, The New Totalitarians).
2. The crisis of the 'Scandinavian model'? 1970-99
- (a) 1970s:
- Economic: faltering growth. Oil price rise 1973; Swedish
policy mistakes; Norwegian oil; Finnish success; Danish weakness.
- Political: fragmentation of traditional party system
(esp. Denmark); 'welfare backlash'; revolt against high taxation
(e.g. Ingmar Bergman, Astrid Lindgren); anti-system parties (e.g.
Mogens Glistrup's Progress (anti-tax) Party); new issues - e.g.
- Challenge of European integration - 1972 referendum
in Norway; Denmark joins EEC 1973.
- (b) 1980s - 90s:
- Economic - mixed fortunes (Denmark, Norway, Sweden
do well; then hit by recession; Finland hit by collapse of USSR).
- Political - further instability - e.g. Sweden 1991.
- Challenge of European integration: 1994: Sweden and
Finland join EU; Norway stays out.
- Challenge of collapse of USSR and emergence of new
states in Baltic region.