Science for Welfare and Warfare
Technology and State Initiative in Cold War Sweden

Per Lundin, Niklas Stenlås, and Johan Gribbe, editors

October 2010, 324 pp., clothbound and jacketed, illustrated (black and white and color), 978-0-88135-425-6, $49.95

Science for Welfare and Warfare


“In a compelling interdisciplinary study, Lundin and his colleagues reevaluate the social-engineering capacity of the Swedish state, the use of national myths to justify collective action and enable societal reform(s), and the power behind the decisions to redefine the state from warfare and welfare to information and ecology. No other work combines history, technology, power, reform, agriculture, globalism, and the role of the military and state-led industrialization with the evolution of state-society relations. Relying on theory, practice, and expertise across multiple fields, this edited volume has twelve chapters that cohere well in redefining the ways in which Sweden conveys power at home, and serves as an examplar to others… The volume is recommended reading for everyone interested in Scandinavian studies, international political economy, Swedish history, and the role of ecology and information technology in creating new markets and new ways of engaging in a digital age.”— Journal of Interdisciplinary History 42, no. 3 (2012): 469–471

“…considers how the state evolved during and after World War II, and how its new direction changed Swedish society and all aspects of its structure;…an outstanding, technical history perfect for college-level collections.” —California Bookwatch

“In the 1950s a nation of seven million people possessed the world’s fourth-largest air force. This fact is a particularly remarkable manifestation of Sweden’s postwar status as a technological power disproportionate to its size. Given the importance ascribed to technology as means of improving nations’ competitiveness, the historical strategies of the Swedish state and industry should be of considerable interest. This volume provides a valuable service by presenting original research into some of these strategies. In doing so, it also builds on and references a substantial existing literature, much of which is only available in Swedish…However, without any evaluation of the scale of sectors within the national economy, and quantitative comparisons between policy alternatives as well as between Sweden and other nations, it remains difficult to gauge how the government, the military, commercial firms, and other institutions chose between options and constructed budgets. Economic historians will be disappointed by this volume’s dearth of numbers, but should consider it a crucial resource nevertheless.”— Economic History Review, 65, 1 (2012)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Per Lundin and Niklas Stenlås
Technology, State Initiative and National Myths in Cold War Sweden: An Introduction

Chapter 2: Thomas Kaiserfeld
From the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to the Research Institute of Society: Long-Term Policy Convergence of Swedish Knowledge Intermediaries

Chapter 3: Niklas Stenlås
Military Technology, National Identity and the State: The Rise and Decline of a Small State’s Military-Industrial Complex

Chapter 4: Kristoffer Strandqvist
Technology Transfer and the Making of the Cold War Swedish Aircraft Industry:Project 1001 and the Opportunities Created by British Disarmament

Chapter 5: Tom Petersson
Private and Public Interests in the Development of the Early Swedish Computer Industry: Facit, Saab and the Struggle for National Dominance

Chapter 6: Sverker Sörlin and Nina Wormbs
Rockets and Reindeer: A Space Development Pair in a Northern Welfare Hinterland

Chapter 7: Maja Fjæstad and Thomas Jonter
Between Welfare and Warfare: The Rise and Fall of the ‘Swedish Line’ in Nuclear Engineering

Chapter 8: Hans Jörgensen
Neutrality and National Preparedness: State-Led Agricultural Rationalizations in Cold War Sweden

Chapter 9: Gustav Holmberg
Public Health, National Security and Food Technology in the Cold War: The Swedish Institute for Food Preservation Research

Chapter 10: Ulla Rosén
“A Rational Solution to the Laundry Issue”: Policy and Research for Day-to-Day Life in the Welfare State

Chapter 11: Carina Gråbacke and Jan Jörnmark
The Political Construction of the “Million Housing Programme:’’ The State and the Swedish Building Industry

Chapter 12: Per Högselius
Lost in Translation?: Science, Technology and the State since the 1970s