Sept. 21, 2023

On September 18th, the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD) hosted former Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson for a discussion on “Geopolitics, Leadership, and Equality.” Prime Minister Andersson, the current leader of the Social Democratic Party, holds the distinction of serving as Sweden’s first female prime minister. LISD Executive Director Nadia Crisan introduced the event, and Acting Director Dr. Sophie Meunier conducted the conversation with Prime Minister Andersson and moderated the discussion with the students.

The conversation covered a range of topics, beginning with Prime Minister Andersson’s historic decision to send arms to a foreign country for the first time since 1939 in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Prime Minister Andersson also addressed her pivotal role in Sweden’s application for NATO membership, an endeavor tightly intertwined with Finland's own strategic aspirations, though still hindered by obstacles to final approval.

Addressing questions on globalization, Prime Minister Andersson touted Sweden’s lengthy history as a defender of free trade rules, despite European “de-risking” toward China and growing tariff frictions with the United States in recent years. The prime minister defended her policy of stricter foreign investment controls in the name of national security. Discussing its continued use of the krona over the Euro, Prime Minister Andersson noted Sweden’s enduringly low public debt ratio in contrast to its European counterparts. 

Prime Minister Andersson concluded the conversation with remarks about growing polarization and right-wing populism in Europe and Sweden. Her words left the audience of Princeton undergraduates and professors with profound insight and served as a poignant reminder of the political challenges facing our world.

International Policy Associate Luke Carroll ‘26 said that the discussion was “remarkably honest and direct.”