Sexual Subordination and State Intervention: Comparing Sweden and the United States

Synopsis

"One would expect a welfare state such as Sweden to compare favorably with the United States regarding the implementation of public policies and programs. Surprisingly, the author comes to quite different conclusions: in studying the treatment of battered, raped, and sexually harassed women in the two countries, she has found that, contrary to conventional expectation, the ability of the decentralized American state to innovate effectively has been consistently underestimated, whereas Sweden's ability to do the same has often been exaggerated. One explanation seems to be that the very structure of Sweden's centralized, corporatist state does not permit women to make claims on it that do not directly relate to work-force participation. By contrast, the American state is more permeable to the interests of women (as women) in instances where those interests are not economically determined. By focusing on issues specific to women, this study transcends the emphasis on class which is the traditional basis for social reforms and discussions of the state. Thus, it establishes a more comprehensive comparative political perspective than those presently offered by political analysts concerned with public policy and state structure." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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