• Norwegian social policy;
  • productivism;
  • de-commodification;
  • full employment

This article examines the extent to which social policies in post-War Norway fit three key features of the social development model, namely productivism, social investment and universalism. The historical review shows that the pursuit of a social development model changes in line with economic development and the expansion of the welfare state. It reveals that policies to promote full employment have been central to the country's economic and welfare policies throughout the post-War period. Nevertheless, the extent to which the productivist objective has been emphasised and implemented has fluctuated over time. In contrast to the 1970s and 1980s, the 1990s witnessed a strengthening of the work ethic but also a continued commitment to de-commodification. The extent to which the combination of productivism and social investment is pursued is examined with reference to services for the insured and uninsured. The article concludes that the ways in which the social development perspective understands and defends universalism and social investment only partially applies to the mature Norwegian welfare state.