Statist individualism

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Statist individualism is an ideology which pushes for an alliance between state and individual. The ideology's basic tenet is the idea that strong state and individual freedom are not mutually exclusive, but that state interference can strengthen personal autonomy.[1][2] The term was coined by the historians Henrik Beggren and Lars Trägårdh in 2006.[3]

The concept is mainly used in the context of Sweden. While being of the most advanced welfare states in the world, Sweden is far from collectivist. The Swedish welfare policies and Family Law are aimed at liberating people from dependence on family, church and private charities.[4]

Critique on statist individualism[edit]

In the 2015 documentary The Swedish Theory of Love, the Italian-Swedish director Erik Gandini shows the dark side of statist individualism: alienation and loneliness.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Berggren, Henrik & Trägårdh, Lars. "Social trust and radical individualism: The paradox at the heart of Nordic capitalism" (PDF). The Nordic Way. Global Utmaning. pp. 13–27.
  2. ^ Trägårdh, Lars (10 February 2012). "The Swedish model is the opposite of the big society, David Cameron". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  3. ^ Berggren, Henrik; Trägårdh, Lars (1 January 2015). Är svensken människa? gemenskap och oberoende i det moderna Sverige. Norstedts förl. OCLC 951454595.
  4. ^ Ekman, Ivar (2006-11-13). "Like Garbo, Swedes just want to be alone - Europe - International Herald Tribune". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  5. ^ "'Sweden is a paradise but we've lost human values'". 29 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2016.