restricted access Welfare World

This essay revisits Gunnar Myrdal’s Rich Lands and Poor (1957) with special attention to his concept of “welfare world.” The essay reassesses the circumstances of Myrdal’s turn to the scaling up of the welfare state to the world stage, examines how Myrdal defended that vision, and goes on to try to ponder some of the reasons it did not come to pass. Also discussed is how Myrdal thought about the problem to solve, concluding that he took national parity as a proxy for overall human betterment.