A 'middle way' between capitalism and socialism is how the Swedish 'model' has been cast since the 1930s. The Swedish Social Democrats prefer the expression 'third way'. The reality is that there is no longer any viable 'second way' – unless it is along the route taken by the Scandinavians themselves. But it is one thing for small peripheral nations to carve out a path between two major roads, and quite another to proclaim it the alternate route. And it's even harder to do so when economic conditions are very unfavourable – as they became early in the 1990s. Furthermore, any such proclamation was likely to fall on the deaf ears of the younger generation at home. For while taking the benefits of social democracy for granted, educated young Scandinavians were increasingly rejecting the rules and compromises on which it was built as old-fashioned and inhibiting. They were looking instead to a barrierfree Europe which promised to liberate their energies and ambitions.