video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
The programme is about the advantages and problems of the welfare state in Sweden. It portrays the high level of income and welfare benefits of the Swedish people. It also looks at the problems of advanced welfare state - the boredom and frustration, the alcoholism and drug addiction. These new problems of affluence are a major political problem in Sweden. Forty years of social democracy has been based on growth and increasing the quantity of life; the problems associated with a loss of direction or purpose are problems that the authorities either do not understand or find increasingly difficult to solve. The programme poses the question whether any solution can be based on increasing central planning or whether decentralisation and community initiatives are necessary. It also considers whether local initiatives are still possible in a society with 40 years of state intervention and a bureaucratic approach to problem solving.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D232, Comparative politics
Item code: D232; 03
First transmission date: 11-05-1979
Published: 1979
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:30
Note: First shown as DE206/01(1979)
+ Show more...
Producer: Francis Sealey
Contributors: Lasse Londgren; Per Lodin; Inga Hastrom; Karl Faxen; Rudolf Meidner; Mats Agren; Karl Erik Lundgren; Lars Grahnstrom; Karen Gerden; Kjell Asp; Erland Stromqvist; Sture Ahnlund; Nerijam Nilsson; Geoffrey Matthews
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Politics; Sweden; Welfare
Footage description: The programme begins with a community worker, Lasse Londgren, arguing that Sweden's welfare services have grown out of the class struggle. Inga Hagstrom, of the Social Democratic Party, describes her party's aim of trying to give everyone the same standard of living. Karl Flaxen, of the Employers Association, argues that capitalism can survive the taxes that are imposed to pay for welfare services. Rudolf Meidner, a trade unionist, states that society should aim to achieve full employment. Mats Agren, a steel worker, describes the employment policy at the Sandvicken steel works. Karl Lindgren, social researcher, states that unemployment in Sweden is higher than official figures suggest. Much of it is disguised by job creation schemes and early retirement. Karl Flaxen and Karen Gerden describe how the early retirement schemes work. Kjell Asp argues that if he had chosen early retirement he would probably have become an alcoholic. Inga Hagstrom observes that the welfare state may have made everything too easy. Erland Stromqvist, a minister, states that people in Sweden have too much of everything. Two community workers, Lasse Longren and Per Lodin describe the difficulties that arise on one problem estate in Stockholm. Lars Gahnstrom, a resident, talks about the estate. The two community workers talk about delinquency and the way in which young people are treated at school. We see a council meeting discussing how to deal with vandalism. Inga Hagstrom argues that teenagers' problems must be solved as they are the people who will make the future society. Lasse Longren and Per Lodin talk about unemployment and youth problem; Erland Stromqvist explains how people begin to take drugs and drink too much. Sture Ahnlund, a Pentecostal preacher, talks about the employment problem and Merijam Nilsson argues that a high standard of living cannot solve all of society's problems. Karl Lindgren discusses the effects of recent cut backs in welfare provision. Erland Stromqvist talks about the high standard of living in Sweden. Inga Hagstrom argues that it is good that the community helps people but it does raise the problem of apathy. Karl Lindgren states that what is needed are good local organisations. Lasse Londgren and Per Lodin state that the politicians are worried about what is going on out in the streets. Lindgren argues that initiatives must come from people themselves. Rudolf Meidner calls for more centralised planning.
Production number: FOUDOO3D
Videofinder number: 107
Available to public: no