Program Details

What Happened to Today's Sweden? The Middle Way is No Longer in the Middle!

Joseph Sassoon

Course Description

Sweden is a modern Social Democratic country, going through several gut-wrenching changes. What was true in the recent past, what Sweden was famous for, no longer seems commonplace. In this new Lecture-Discussion format, several key issues will be examined: Rising socio-economic inequality in a majority middle-class society; gun violence and illegal drugs in a traditional law-abiding culture; right-wing extremism growing in a heavily left-wing political arena; the newly developing preference for private medicine in place of socialized-medicine; applying to join NATO after more than a century of strict foreign neutrality; and a growing rejection of new immigrants in a nation having accepted the highest per capita influx of migrants in Europe. The session, divided equally between a power-point lecture and a guided discussion, will explore and analyze current trends in Swedish society. Note: Kahn has visited Sweden many times, studied the Swedish language via Stockholm University, and currently has family living in the country. Space is limited.

About the Instructor

  • Joseph Sassoon, Ph.D. is a Professor of History and Political Economy at Georgetown University and holds the al-Sabah Chair in Politics and Political Economy of the Arab World. He is also a Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College, Oxford. In 2013, his book Saddam Hussein’s Ba‘th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime (Cambridge University Press, 2012) won the prestigious British-Kuwait Prize for the best book on the Middle East. Sassoon completed his Ph.D at St Antony’s College, Oxford. He has published extensively on Iraq and its economy and on the Middle East. His fifth book is titled: The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire (Pantheon, 2022)