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Europe’s Reluctant Radicals: Sweden

On 14 March, Counterpoint will release a new pamphlet on populism in Sweden by journalist and writer Göran Rosenberg, entitled ‘Sweden: the reluctant nation’. The pamphlet is part of the second phase of our ‘Recapturing Europe’s Reluctant Radicals’ project, supported by the Open Society Foundations. This specific stage aims at portraying in-depth pictures of the context in which populism emerges, and it consists of a series of ten expert written country pamphlets exploring populism across Europe.

Göran Rosenberg’s piece will be released at a launch organised in partnership with Arenagruppen, to be held on Thursday 14 March, from 15:00 to 17:00 at Drottninggatan 83, Stockholm, Sweden. A small reception will follow.

The panel includes:

Göran Rosenberg, Journalist and writer. Author of Sweden: a reluctant nation

Henrik Berggren, Historian and writer

Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint


In ‘Sweden: the reluctant nation’, Rosenberg explores the hitherto limited success of populist movements in Sweden. This has been partly due to the historically remarkable success of the Swedish model and the concept of folkhemmet. In the early 1990s the Swedish paradise began to crumble. Collective obligations were weakened. And the rapid transformation from a culturally homogeneous nation to a society characterized by cultural and ethnic pluralism challenged the bonds of national cohesion. Thus the nostalgia for a “paradise lost” remains a powerful theme in Swedish politics. As Sweden still remains a reluctant nation, the Swedes still remain a reluctant people.

Read an excerpt from Sweden: a reluctant nation on Open Democracy


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