Sosiaalidemokraattien tie talouden ohjailusta markkinareaktioiden ennakointiin: työllisyys sosiaalidemokraattien politiikassa Suomessa 1975–1998

Translated title of the contribution: Social Democratic Road from Steering Economy to Anticipate Market Reactions: Employment in the Politics of Social Democrats in Finland 1975–1998

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

The study puts into historical context the continuities and discontinuities of the employment concepts and policies of leading social democrats in Finland from 1975 to 1998. It concentrates on the decision-making of the most influential political party in Finland at that time, the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The study applies the methods of social science history and conceptual history by researching both the strategic decision-making and public argumentation of the social democrats. The framework of the analysis is based on regulation theory, which distinguishes five fundamental institutional forms in capitalist societies: (1) the nature of the state (economic, employment and unemployment security policy), (2) the wage-labour nexus (labour market policy),(3) the monetary regime (monetary policy and the regulation of capital markets), (4) the forms of competition (state company, privatisation and competition policy) and (5) international interconnectedness (European integration, economic globalisation as well as the impact of Sweden and international organisations).

Finnish social democrats moved towards emphasising private sector-led employment, approached the middle class, adopted monetarist ideas, accepted the market economy and favoured controlled restructuring over counter-cyclical measures in a series of steps in 1975 1998. Export sector competitiveness in global markets, European integration, active labour market policy and R and D investment were the cornerstones of social democratic employment policy in Finland at the time.

Finnish social democrats also partly adopted neoliberal practices such as activation, privatisation, financial market deregulation and labour market flexibility. The deregulation of financial markets meant a shifting of the basis of social democratic employment policy from steering the capitalist economy to seeking market acceptance of the party s politics. This did not manage to guarantee full employment in Finland during the period, and exacerbated the poverty of the unemployed.

Furthermore, Finnish social democrats practised a third way type of Bad Sillanpää policy long before its adherents such as Tony Blair in the UK. After the mid-1970s, the Finnish social democrat-led governments implemented many reforms which also resembled the premises of the Swedish social democrats Third Way Programme in the 1980s.
Translated title of the contributionSocial Democratic Road from Steering Economy to Anticipate Market Reactions: Employment in the Politics of Social Democrats in Finland 1975–1998
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-952-264-419-0
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2015
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Fields of Science

  • 5201 Political History

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