From Steering Capitalism to Seeking Market Acceptance: Social Democrats and employment in Finland, 1975–1998

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This article puts into a historical context the employment conceptions and policies of leading Social Democrats in Finland from 1975 to 1998. It takes into account both the strategic decision-making and public argumentation of the Social Democrats in employment-sensitive issues related to economic, employment, labour market, state company, competition, globalization and integration policies.

Finland’s Social Democrats moved towards emphasizing private sector-led employment, approached the middle classes, adopted monetarist ideas, accepted the ‘market economy’ and favoured ‘controlled restructuring’ over counter-cyclical measures in a series of steps in 1975–1998. 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.

Furthermore, Finland’s Social Democrats seemed initially to practise a ‘third way’ type of ‘Bad Sillanpää’ policy long before its adherents in the UK. such as Tony Blair. After the mid-1970s, the Finnish Social Democrat-led governments no longer imitated Sweden, while implementing many reforms which were followed by the Swedish Social Democrats.
TidskriftScandinavian Journal of History
Sidor (från-till)389-413
Antal sidor25
StatusPublicerad - 19 jun 2017
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 615 Historia och arkeologi

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