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The Swedish Theory of Love Book Launch

General Programming

dateOctober 26, 2022 timeWednesday, 6:00pm–7:30pm EDT location Buell Hall, Maison Française, Columbia University
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • European Institute
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Cover of The Swedish Theory of Love: Individualism and Social Trust in Modern Sweden by Henrik Berggren and Lars Trägårdh

Join us for the book launch of The Swedish Theory of Love – Individualism and Social Trust in Modern Sweden (University of Washington Press, 2022), the English translation of the Swedish bestseller Är svensken människa? (Are Swedes Human?).

Henrik Berggren and Lars Trägårdh argue that the long-standing view of Sweden's welfare state as the result of socialist collectivism is flawed. While social values have been and remain strong, they have co-existed with a radical form of individualism.

Delving into Swedish philosophy, cultural studies, sociology, literary criticism, and political science, the book uncovers the moral logic behind Sweden's welfare state: the notion that human relationships based on dependency and subordination lead to inauthenticity and that equality and autonomy are preconditions for genuine love and affection.

Henrik Berggren, journalist and historian, co-author of The Swedish Theory of Love.
Lars Trägårdh, historian and public intellectual, co-author of The Swedish Theory of Love

Helena Rosenblatt, recent recipient of a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, teaches in the PhD Programs in History, French, and Politicial Science, and the MA Program in Liberal Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also a faculty member of the M.A. Program in Biography and Memoir.

Carl Wennerlind is a professor of history at Barnard College and specializes in the history of early modern Europe, with a focus on intellectual history and political economy. He is particularly interested in the historical development of ideas about money and credit; ideas on the relationship between economy and nature; and ideas about "improvement" and "modernization. He was also a Heyman Center Fellow (Spring 2022).

Adam Tooze teaches and researches widely in the fields of twentieth-century and contemporary history in the Department of History at Columiba University. From a start in modern German history with a special focus on the history of economics and economic history his interests have widened to take in a range of themes in political, intellectual and military history, across a canvass stretching from Europe across the Atlantic. His most recent book was Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World (2018).