By Hadi Ajili and Hanif Ghaffari

Scandinavian political economy

April 23, 2019

TEHRAN - Study on international political economy of two countries, Sweden and Norway, in international interactions allows us to examine political economy of these two countries as the case study for further understanding of macro patterns of international political economy.

Thus, understanding the power of influence of international developments in two economic and political areas in internal relations of countries refers to one of the necessities in this research. The present research displays how a constant pattern such as the welfare state pattern can change under influence of global relations or loses its some principles, i.e. the vice versa of this rule is true. In other words, we face impact and effectiveness of the two sides of the exchange. Without doubt, movement toward pattern of welfare state generates behaviors, patterns and considerations at the area of foreign policy of Sweden and Norway, which we will examine them in this research. However this multi-variable equation has not yet on the stage of final settlement and in some cases the relation between Norway and Sweden has not yet defined with the developments in the new world at the area of international political economy, definition for what going on is required to understand this complexity and the reason for creation of some ambiguities. Definition for political economy of Norway and Sweden as two countries with the most welfare worldwide reveals the necessity to conduct this research. Since Norway and Sweden have a distinctive pattern in their welfare services, measurement of the relation between these distinctive patterns and common patterns which have conventionalized at the international economy is considered a major concern. Ultimately, this research is the necessity for our country to use the interactive pattern existing in Scandinavian countries at the area of international political economy. however, there are huge differences between our country and Scandinavian countries in terms of geographical position, population size and financial facilities, it can use some of the patterns of welfare state in our country and some of the behavioral patterns of Norway and Sweden in international relations to progress the political and economic relations of our country in international system.
 International political economy concept is relatively new and dynamic issue in international relations. When speaking of political economy in International Relations, naturally, by integration of basic economic and political data and consequently, the definition and interpretation of foreign policy actors in the international system are involved. When you want to review a country’s political economy, or beyond, a particular domain (such as the Caribbean, the Baltics or Scandinavia), you have to process documented data for analysis of international and political behavior of it. Thus the research in the field of political economy – due to the dynamic and applied nature of this domain – has fruitful results. International political economy deals with the concerns and important areas of economic and political relations between the various actors in the international system, particularly the governments. While private and multinational corporations have undergone dramatic developments subject to large changes such as globalization, public policy in different countries is also affected by such trend. On the other hand, study of mutual reflection of the domestic and international issues of different countries of the world in the domestic and international fields affect their political and economic behavior are among the main things that are considered within the framework of theories of international political economy for proper justification. On the other hand, Scandinavia has politically and economically unique characteristics in the international system and even Europe. Scandinavia is like an island in northern Europe, including Sweden, Norway and Denmark. What is common to these countries is adherence to the model of the welfare state in these countries – an issue that affects and is affected by the concerns of the actors in their foreign policy. In other words, as long as the economy, and domestic and foreign policies of Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden and Norway is not analyzed accurately, no accurate and comprehensive picture of “international political economy” of these countries can be achieved. Existence of welfare states in Scandinavia, and some components and specific economic and cultural ideas are what distinguish Scandinavia from other European regions. Evaluating of the relation between the welfare state and economic and international behavior of the two countries, Sweden and Norway was the main aim of this research. However, due to lack of organized English literature on the Scandinavian region (especially political economy of the region), actually no applied research in our country, at least in the form of a doctoral thesis, has been done in our country. However, the author hopes that given the relative mastery of language resources and the Nordic countries, a comprehensive thesis on the subject can written that would provide a source for future research in the field of “political economy of Scandinavia”. When it comes to international political economy, automatically a combination of “economy”, “internal policies”, “International Relations” arise. Therefore, types of view of different countries about the issue of economics or international relations affect their overall international political economy fundamentally. This rule is also true about the Scandinavian countries. Assessing the relationship between the economy and domestic policy and foreign policy in the Nordic countries in this research is the main concern. Here the concepts and categories like “welfare state” and “Keynesian economics” rise. Also here with specific behaviors of Sweden and Norway in the international system, including the efforts of the two countries to create a democratic peace among European countries, mediation in international conflicts and efforts to create peace in the world are considerable. Scandinavian countries are characterized in the field of domestic policy by issues including overall commitment to the welfare state on the one hand and disagreements over policies such as increase or decrease of income taxes on the other hand. We have to reach reasonable composition and aggregation of the economic behavior, and domestic and international behavior of Nordic countries, allows us to analyze the economic, political and international impact and deterrence each of areas on two other areas. In this respect, we are confronted with data, with each containing a “message” in the above three areas (economy, domestic policy and foreign policy) for both Sweden and Norway. Obviously the impact of these three areas on each other is not equal, and based on time, location and nature of the subject, they change. So in the international political economy of both countries Sweden and Norway, we are faced with numerous variables and components that change the orientation and behavior of the economies of the two countries in the international system in different time periods. However, in this regard, we also saw constants and principles that are not changed even by international conflicts. For example, observance the principle of neutrality in foreign policy Sweden is an issue to which all parties are committed in this country. Or that the overall welfare state structure is fixed in social and economic equations of Scandinavian countries. Next topic that is discussed in this research is social democracy model and then welfare state (as the product of thought and action arising from social democracy). In this respect, we are facing the historical and theoretical evolution. How Social Democracy as a school of thought has grown over the past century and what is product of realization and the rule of such thinking on the structure of welfare state. Basically, the study of international political economy of both Sweden and Norway without regard to the concept of social democracy and the welfare state is not possible. International Social Democrats historically faced many ups and downs and structural changes and a lot of thought has occurred among the Social Democrats. Social Democrats have historically faced many ups and downs and a lot of intellectual and structural changes have occurred among the Social Democrats. Social Democracy’s shift from revolutionary thought against capitalism to a reformist thinking under capitalism has abolished many of the basic principles of the movement and replaced it with questions, concerns and goals. Changes in the main objectives and approaches of the Social Democrats, in Europe led to changes in behavior, speech and action in the welfare state-based community. Essentially welfare state community rose from social democracy rather than socialism. The welfare state does not intend to be against capitalism and liberalism. Here the concept of mixed economy (social-liberal) rises, which has specific and unique characteristics of its own.

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