Resilient privatization: the puzzling case of for-profit welfare providers in Sweden

Publication year: 2018

Svallfors, Stefan , Tyllström, Anna

Socio-Economic Review, 2018. Vol 00, No. 0, 1–21. DOI: 10.1093/ser/mwy005

In this article, we analyse the striking resilience of for-profit care and service provision in what has often been seen as the archetypical social democratic welfare state: Sweden. We focus on the strategic discursive activities of private companies and their business organizations as they try to influence perceptions, organize actors and facilitate communication to defend profit-making in the welfare sector in the face of increasing conflict and opposition. We argue that taking such organized action into account changes dominant perceptions about the characteristics of the Swedish political economy, and carries important lessons for analyses of changes in the organization of the welfare state in general.

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