Climate and labour market policies in Sweden

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWorking Paper/Preprint


This case study discusses sustainable work in Sweden since 1990 with a focus on the implications of paid work-centred cohesion policies as well as increasing inequality for social and natural (re)productivity. Work policies in Sweden have historically been renowned for sustaining high employment rates and assuring low unemployment rates by re-educating the unemployed to find better jobs. Furthermore, they have successfully realised equality between genders as well as narrowing the income gap. All this, through a successful combination of present-oriented social rights based policies, social investments and future-oriented activating labour market policies (ALMP). Concerning the environment, Sweden was one of the first countries to implement a carbon tax and has been the biggest overachiever of the Kyoto goal. With the implementation of the generational goal in 2010, Sweden by now changed its focus from production-based emissions to consumption-based emissions. However, cutbacks in the welfare state, increasing unemployment, rising inequality and a shift in environmental policy towards voluntarism of consumers, businesses and trade partners are presented in this case study. Section: 2 General Framework: Theoretical considerations of sustainable work Page 21 / 217 Reasons for these changes lie in the economically and politically motivated policies, with distinct implications for the satisfaction of needs, the maintenance of equity and protection of the environment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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