Modern Societal Impulses and their Nordic Manifestations: On Emancipation and Constraint in Societal Development

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The 1980s and the early 1990s have proved to be an important turning point in the history of the Nordic welfare states. After this breaking point, the Nordic social order has been built upon a new foundation. This study shows that the new order is mainly built upon new hierarchies and control mechanisms that have been developed consistently through economic and labour market policy measures.

During the post-war period Nordic welfare states to an increasing extent created equality of opportunity and scope for agency among people. Public social services were available for all and the tax-benefit system maintained a level income distribution. During this golden era of Nordic welfare state, the scope for agency was, however, limited by social structures. Public institutions and law tended to categorize people according to their life circumstances ascribing them a predefined role. In the 1980s and 1990s this collectivist social order began to mature and it became subject to political renegotiation.

Signs of a new social order in the Nordic countries have included the liberation of the financial markets, the privatizing of public functions and redefining the role of the public sector. It is now possible to reassess the ideological foundations of this new order. As a contrast to widely used political rhetoric, the foundation of the new order has not been the ideas of individual freedom or choice. Instead, the most important aim appears to have been to control and direct people to act in accordance with the rules of the market. The various levels of government and the social security system have been redirected to serve this goal.

Instead of being a mechanism for redistributing income, the Nordic social security system has been geared towards creating new hierarchies on the Nordic labour markets. During the past decades, conditions for receiving income support and unemployment benefit have been tightened in all Nordic countries. As a consequence, people have been forced to accept deteriorating terms and conditions on the labour market. Country-specific variations exist, however: in sum Sweden has been most conservative, Denmark most innovative and Finland most radical in reforming labour market policy.

The new hierarchies on the labour market have co-incided with slow or non-existent growth of real wages and with a strong growth of the share of capital income. Slow growth of real wages has kept inflation low and thus secured the value of capital. Societal development has thus progressed from equality of opportunity during the age of the welfare states towards a hierarchical social order where the majority of people face increasing constraints and where a fortunate minority enjoys prosperity and security.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Fields of Science

  • 5142 Social policy
  • Welfare State
  • WELFARE
  • NORDIC COUNTRIES
  • Labour market
  • Labour Law
  • UNEMPLOYMENT
  • Modernisation
  • DEMOCRACY
  • rights
  • individualization
  • INEQUALITY
  • JUSTICE
  • income support
  • social assistance
  • modernization
  • 5141 Sociology
  • Welfare State
  • WELFARE
  • NORDIC COUNTRIES
  • Labour market
  • Labour Law
  • UNEMPLOYMENT
  • Modernisation
  • DEMOCRACY
  • MODERNIZATION
  • rights
  • individualization
  • inequality
  • justice
  • income support
  • social assistance
  • 517 Political science
  • Welfare State
  • WELFARE
  • NORDIC COUNTRIES
  • Labour market
  • Labour Law
  • UNEMPLOYMENT
  • MODERNIZATION
  • Modernisation
  • DEMOCRACY
  • rights
  • individualization
  • inequality
  • justice
  • income support
  • social assistance
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Welfare State
  • welfare
  • NORDIC COUNTRIES
  • Labour market
  • Labour Law
  • UNEMPLOYMENT
  • MODERNIZATION
  • modernisation
  • DEMOCRACY
  • rights
  • individualization
  • individualisation
  • inequality
  • justice
  • social assistance

Cite this

@phdthesis{5d5de3b57eb74744a2ad4dc895b7e153,
title = "Modern Societal Impulses and their Nordic Manifestations: On Emancipation and Constraint in Societal Development",
abstract = "-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 1980s and the early 1990s have proved to be an important turning point in the history of the Nordic welfare states. After this breaking point, the Nordic social order has been built upon a new foundation. This study shows that the new order is mainly built upon new hierarchies and control mechanisms that have been developed consistently through economic and labour market policy measures. During the post-war period Nordic welfare states to an increasing extent created equality of opportunity and scope for agency among people. Public social services were available for all and the tax-benefit system maintained a level income distribution. During this golden era of Nordic welfare state, the scope for agency was, however, limited by social structures. Public institutions and law tended to categorize people according to their life circumstances ascribing them a predefined role. In the 1980s and 1990s this collectivist social order began to mature and it became subject to political renegotiation. Signs of a new social order in the Nordic countries have included the liberation of the financial markets, the privatizing of public functions and redefining the role of the public sector. It is now possible to reassess the ideological foundations of this new order. As a contrast to widely used political rhetoric, the foundation of the new order has not been the ideas of individual freedom or choice. Instead, the most important aim appears to have been to control and direct people to act in accordance with the rules of the market. The various levels of government and the social security system have been redirected to serve this goal. Instead of being a mechanism for redistributing income, the Nordic social security system has been geared towards creating new hierarchies on the Nordic labour markets. During the past decades, conditions for receiving income support and unemployment benefit have been tightened in all Nordic countries. As a consequence, people have been forced to accept deteriorating terms and conditions on the labour market. Country-specific variations exist, however: in sum Sweden has been most conservative, Denmark most innovative and Finland most radical in reforming labour market policy. The new hierarchies on the labour market have co-incided with slow or non-existent growth of real wages and with a strong growth of the share of capital income. Slow growth of real wages has kept inflation low and thus secured the value of capital. Societal development has thus progressed from equality of opportunity during the age of the welfare states towards a hierarchical social order where the majority of people face increasing constraints and where a fortunate minority enjoys prosperity and security. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------",
keywords = "5142 Social policy, Welfare State, WELFARE, NORDIC COUNTRIES, Labour market, Labour Law, UNEMPLOYMENT, Modernisation, DEMOCRACY, rights, individualization, INEQUALITY, JUSTICE, income support, social assistance, modernization, 5141 Sociology, Welfare State, WELFARE, NORDIC COUNTRIES, Labour market, Labour Law, UNEMPLOYMENT, Modernisation, DEMOCRACY, MODERNIZATION, rights, individualization, inequality, justice, income support, social assistance, 517 Political science, Welfare State, WELFARE, NORDIC COUNTRIES, Labour market, Labour Law, UNEMPLOYMENT, MODERNIZATION, Modernisation, DEMOCRACY, rights, individualization, inequality, justice, income support, social assistance, 615 History and Archaeology, Welfare State, welfare, NORDIC COUNTRIES, Labour market, Labour Law, UNEMPLOYMENT, MODERNIZATION, modernisation, DEMOCRACY, rights, individualization, individualisation, inequality, justice, social assistance",
author = "Johannes Kananen",
year = "2011",
language = "English",
publisher = "Johannes Kananen",
address = "Finland",

}

Modern Societal Impulses and their Nordic Manifestations : On Emancipation and Constraint in Societal Development. / Kananen, Johannes.

Helsinki : Johannes Kananen, 2011. 315 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

TY - THES

T1 - Modern Societal Impulses and their Nordic Manifestations

T2 - On Emancipation and Constraint in Societal Development

AU - Kananen, Johannes

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 1980s and the early 1990s have proved to be an important turning point in the history of the Nordic welfare states. After this breaking point, the Nordic social order has been built upon a new foundation. This study shows that the new order is mainly built upon new hierarchies and control mechanisms that have been developed consistently through economic and labour market policy measures. During the post-war period Nordic welfare states to an increasing extent created equality of opportunity and scope for agency among people. Public social services were available for all and the tax-benefit system maintained a level income distribution. During this golden era of Nordic welfare state, the scope for agency was, however, limited by social structures. Public institutions and law tended to categorize people according to their life circumstances ascribing them a predefined role. In the 1980s and 1990s this collectivist social order began to mature and it became subject to political renegotiation. Signs of a new social order in the Nordic countries have included the liberation of the financial markets, the privatizing of public functions and redefining the role of the public sector. It is now possible to reassess the ideological foundations of this new order. As a contrast to widely used political rhetoric, the foundation of the new order has not been the ideas of individual freedom or choice. Instead, the most important aim appears to have been to control and direct people to act in accordance with the rules of the market. The various levels of government and the social security system have been redirected to serve this goal. Instead of being a mechanism for redistributing income, the Nordic social security system has been geared towards creating new hierarchies on the Nordic labour markets. During the past decades, conditions for receiving income support and unemployment benefit have been tightened in all Nordic countries. As a consequence, people have been forced to accept deteriorating terms and conditions on the labour market. Country-specific variations exist, however: in sum Sweden has been most conservative, Denmark most innovative and Finland most radical in reforming labour market policy. The new hierarchies on the labour market have co-incided with slow or non-existent growth of real wages and with a strong growth of the share of capital income. Slow growth of real wages has kept inflation low and thus secured the value of capital. Societal development has thus progressed from equality of opportunity during the age of the welfare states towards a hierarchical social order where the majority of people face increasing constraints and where a fortunate minority enjoys prosperity and security. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AB - -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 1980s and the early 1990s have proved to be an important turning point in the history of the Nordic welfare states. After this breaking point, the Nordic social order has been built upon a new foundation. This study shows that the new order is mainly built upon new hierarchies and control mechanisms that have been developed consistently through economic and labour market policy measures. During the post-war period Nordic welfare states to an increasing extent created equality of opportunity and scope for agency among people. Public social services were available for all and the tax-benefit system maintained a level income distribution. During this golden era of Nordic welfare state, the scope for agency was, however, limited by social structures. Public institutions and law tended to categorize people according to their life circumstances ascribing them a predefined role. In the 1980s and 1990s this collectivist social order began to mature and it became subject to political renegotiation. Signs of a new social order in the Nordic countries have included the liberation of the financial markets, the privatizing of public functions and redefining the role of the public sector. It is now possible to reassess the ideological foundations of this new order. As a contrast to widely used political rhetoric, the foundation of the new order has not been the ideas of individual freedom or choice. Instead, the most important aim appears to have been to control and direct people to act in accordance with the rules of the market. The various levels of government and the social security system have been redirected to serve this goal. Instead of being a mechanism for redistributing income, the Nordic social security system has been geared towards creating new hierarchies on the Nordic labour markets. During the past decades, conditions for receiving income support and unemployment benefit have been tightened in all Nordic countries. As a consequence, people have been forced to accept deteriorating terms and conditions on the labour market. Country-specific variations exist, however: in sum Sweden has been most conservative, Denmark most innovative and Finland most radical in reforming labour market policy. The new hierarchies on the labour market have co-incided with slow or non-existent growth of real wages and with a strong growth of the share of capital income. Slow growth of real wages has kept inflation low and thus secured the value of capital. Societal development has thus progressed from equality of opportunity during the age of the welfare states towards a hierarchical social order where the majority of people face increasing constraints and where a fortunate minority enjoys prosperity and security. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

KW - 5142 Social policy

KW - Welfare State

KW - WELFARE

KW - NORDIC COUNTRIES

KW - Labour market

KW - Labour Law

KW - UNEMPLOYMENT

KW - Modernisation

KW - DEMOCRACY

KW - rights

KW - individualization

KW - INEQUALITY

KW - JUSTICE

KW - income support

KW - social assistance

KW - modernization

KW - 5141 Sociology

KW - Welfare State

KW - WELFARE

KW - NORDIC COUNTRIES

KW - Labour market

KW - Labour Law

KW - UNEMPLOYMENT

KW - Modernisation

KW - DEMOCRACY

KW - MODERNIZATION

KW - rights

KW - individualization

KW - inequality

KW - justice

KW - income support

KW - social assistance

KW - 517 Political science

KW - Welfare State

KW - WELFARE

KW - NORDIC COUNTRIES

KW - Labour market

KW - Labour Law

KW - UNEMPLOYMENT

KW - MODERNIZATION

KW - Modernisation

KW - DEMOCRACY

KW - rights

KW - individualization

KW - inequality

KW - justice

KW - income support

KW - social assistance

KW - 615 History and Archaeology

KW - Welfare State

KW - welfare

KW - NORDIC COUNTRIES

KW - Labour market

KW - Labour Law

KW - UNEMPLOYMENT

KW - MODERNIZATION

KW - modernisation

KW - DEMOCRACY

KW - rights

KW - individualization

KW - individualisation

KW - inequality

KW - justice

KW - social assistance

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

PB - Johannes Kananen

CY - Helsinki

ER -