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Economic democracy through collective capital formation: the cases of Germany and Sweden and strategies for the future
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4962-1540
2014 (English)In: World Review of Political Economy, ISSN 2042-891X, Vol. 5, no 4, 488-515 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The global economic crisis, whose effects are ongoing, was the result of an undemocratic, anti-social system of production, investment and finance. Therefore it is an opportune time to revisit the question of economic democracy. This question has emerged in various periods and places as a salient issue within the labour movement and the Left. In Europe, two paths to economic democracy have been considered: the co-determination line and the more radical property line challenging private ownership of capital. While the former has been dominant in social democracy, in the 1970s the latter became the main focus of debates in Germany and especially Sweden in the social democratic parties and trade unions. In both cases, system-transforming proposals for collective capital formation, aiming beyond the Fordist accumulation regime, played a key role. This article examines these experiences, paying particular attention to the issue of hegemony in a changing mode of production, and then explores several newer strategies of collective capital formation: trade union pension funds, societal funds, and hybrid citizen-worker ownership. Based on the lessons of the German and Swedish debates, it concludes that labour and Left forces need to form a transnational hegemonic bloc in order to overcome the resistance of international capital and advance an economic democracy agenda, with the structural reformism of collective capital formation occupying a central place on this agenda.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 5, no 4, 488-515 p.
Keyword [en]
wage-earner funds; Fordist accumulation; hegemony; power relations; societal funds; citizens investment funds; worker ownership
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22407DOI: 10.13169/worlrevipoliecon.5.4.0488OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-22407DiVA: diva2:971266
Available from: 2016-09-15 Created: 2016-09-15 Last updated: 2016-10-25Bibliographically approved

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Sjöberg, Stefan
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Department of Social Work and Psychology
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