Sweden is often praised as one of the, if not the, most successful welfare states in the world. Many progressives around the world take the country´s strong welfare system, pared with a healthy economy, as an example. According to a recent survey by World Economic Forum Sweden stands out as the best country in the world to live in, with top rankings in areas like gender equality and business climate. But something in this does not seem to translate into reality. Polls suggest that many Swedes do not think that their country is heading in the right direction, and the political situation is becoming more and more uneasy with minority governments and threats of snap elections. The Social Democrats, often attributed for Sweden’s success, seem to be heading for one of their worst election results ever, just around 30%. And how could a populist right wing party, that has its roots in 80s neo-nazism, become the third largest party and parliamentary kingmaker in the world’s most successful welfare state?
As a teacher, I often see my pupils firmly claiming that their sources are Google or Wikipedia. My reply to that is to try and explain why Google is not a valuable source and why Wikipedia is not a reliable one. Nevertheless, the Swedish curriculum which was released in 2011 includes a clear focus on source criticism. Youngsters and children need tools to understand and comprehend all the news coming their way. That said they have an advantage in comparison to adults because they are used to it whereas older generations were not and for some, are still not.