Politics Against Pessimism

with Geoff Dow (Peter Lang, 2013)

Ernst Wigforss masterminded the social-democratic breakthrough in Sweden of 1932, and thereafter staked out the policy development that took the country, over two decades, from poverty-stricken backwater to the international paragon of an affluent and equitable society. This book presents the most sustained account in English of Wigforss’s own political evolution, and his hand in government policy development. It argues that Wigforss still provides us with the vital inspiration to harmonise the aspirations of economic efficiency and social equity on the way to a decent society. His thought thus flatly refutes neoliberalism and provides the starting-point for an effective political challenge to it today.


‘This book presents valuable information about Ernst Wigforss and the theoretical development of Swedish social democracy in the context of broader western trends and their diverse scholarly analyses.’

Lennart Erixon, Stockholm University


‘The book is an important intervention into social democratic strategic thinking. It presents the political and economic aspirations of social democracy as long anticipated in heterodox political economy.’

Frank Stilwell, University of Sydney