chapter  3
The Emergence of a Modern Social Order
Pages 35

The 1970s and 1980s therefore constitute an important turning point in societal development. Nordic societies were facing a situation in which new ideas were needed for the continuation of emancipatory development. Policy makers and leaders of the time were presented with a situation in which a dismantling of collectivist constraints might have led to continued emancipation of human creative potentials. Workfare measures are the most extreme and most visible manifestation of reversed societal development. Individual action is constrained whenever externally motivated behaviour is imposed upon without an opportunity to participate in the definition of the motives. Workfare policies do contain efforts to involve clients in designing what they should do, but such elements are in the Nordic countries eroded by the compulsion that is also built into these policies. It is true that societal emancipation has not disappeared overnight in the Nordic countries since the establishment of a social order based on workfare.