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Historical making, present and future challenges for the Nordic welfare state model in Finland
NordMod2030. Sub-report 6

Olli Kangas and Antti Saloniemi

Fafo-report 2013:40

Web edition

Lots of academic effort, intellectual inspiration and perspiration have been used in the debate on welfare state models or regimes. How many models are there? What are the main characteristics of the models? Which countries belong to different models? Some scholars have questioned the morals of the whole welfare state modeling business: every country is unique, has its own history and, thus, there are as many models as there are countries. Much of the answers in the regime debate depend on the perspective we use. As regards the Nordic countries, while it is easy to see multiple similarities if we look at the Nordic region from a distance, those similarities are not that obvious if we have only the Nordic countries in focus. While binoculars produce one kind of a story, a microscope reveals something else. It is sometimes said that there indeed is a Nordic model but it consists of five exceptions. We analyze one of the exceptions, i.e., Finland. Finland shares many important family resemblances with the Nordic model but also deviates from the model in some crucial points when it comes to the socio-political background, institutional set-ups and governance of the welfare state. In this report we take a closer look at the historical roots, developmental patterns, institutional set-ups and consequences of the Finnish welfare state. In the latter part of our analysis we describe political challenges and possible trajectories in the development of the Finnish variant of the Nordic model.

Utgitt: 2013 Id-nr.: 20330