This comparative analysis of Scandinavian social democracies argues that the fate of socialist parties is decided, to a significant degree, by their own policies and reforms_not solely by the changes in social structure emphasized in previous studies. Combining quantitative analysis and historical case studies to demonstrate the electoral effects of party policy, Gosta Esping-Andersen formulates a theory that is applicable not only to Scandinavia but to Western Europe as a whole. In addition, he explains why the support basis of social democracy has deteriorated so much more in Denmark than in Sweden and Norway.
Originally published in 1988.
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"Esping-Andersen's Politics against Markets is an articulate, well thought out, and thoroughly researched account of the historical ascendance and, seemingly, current decomposition of social democracy in the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. His book, however, is more than a historical summary in that the author argues, through both theoretical and empirical evidence, that social democracy is still a viable alternative to bourgeois or extreme leftist parties. However, its future 'hinges on the interaction between class alliances and political reforms.' "--Janet Heitgerd, Social Science Quarterly
". . a very useful book, not only on the political economy of Scandinavia but also on the theory and practice of social democracy."--Michael Wallerstein, The American Journal of Sociology
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Gøsta Esping-Andersen: