A People Before Profit councillor is the author of a new book about the rise and fall of the Swedish welfare state. Councillor Madeleine Johansson, who is one of only 9 migrant councillors in Ireland, wanted to use her own experiences of growing up in Sweden as the background to a thorough examination of the welfare state. The book is titled “Reform or Revolution- Sweden, Socialism and the Welfare State” and outlines the history of Sweden, the growth of the welfare state and its destruction. It aims to answer questions about how the “Swedish model” came about, why Sweden is now becoming the most unequal country in the world and whether or not the reforms won by workers in Sweden can be won in Ireland.
Cllr Madeleine Johansson said: “People always ask me about the Swedish welfare state and it’s always difficult to give a short answer to those questions. I was lucky to grow up at a time when we still had heavily subsidised childcare, free health and dental care for children, free school meals and much more. But many of those services have since been privatised or cut back. “There’s a lot of positive things to say about the so-called “Swedish Model” but it’s not all that simple. It was a product of its time and has since been deliberately dismantled. I’m hoping that my book can give Irish workers an idea of what was won by Swedish workers, but also perhaps teach the lessons of how those achievements can be lost.”