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Analysing social policy concepts and languageComparative and Transnational Perspectives$
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Daniel Béland and Klaus Petersen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447306443

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447306443.001.0001

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The language of social politics in Finland

The language of social politics in Finland

(p.157) EIGHT The language of social politics in Finland
Analysing social policy concepts and language

Pauli Kettunen

Policy Press

Focusing on Finland as a bilingual (Finnish and Swedish) Nordic society that had particular historical relationships to the Russian and the Soviet Empire, this chapter examines the conceptual activities shaping social policy as a political and policy field. The story begins in the 1860s and proceeds then, via the definitions of the “social question” in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, from the paternalistic “welfare” and “social” policies of industrial companies to the institutionalization of “social policy” in the post-World-War-II decades. It continues with the emergence of the contested concept of “welfare state” after the early 1950s, at the time of the inter-systemic conflict of the Cold War and, especially, in connection with the international debates in of 1970s and 1980s, on “the crisis” or “the end” of the welfare state, and culminates in attempts to distinguish between “welfare society” and “welfare state”, which have, however, faced the old and persistent Finnish, and Nordic, usage of “society” as a synonym to “state”.

Keywords:   Finland, Nordic, welfare, welfare state, welfare society, social policy

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