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The Relational Nordic Welfare State

Between Utopia and Ideology Edited by Sakari Hänninen, Kirsi-Marja Lehtelä and Paula Saikkonen, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland
The success of the Nordic welfare state is well known, but the key drivers of its remarkable expansion are not. This book explores the relationships between citizens that constitute the normative groundwork of Nordic societies, arguing that the quality of relations steers welfare development.
Extent: c 288 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 2019
ISBN: 978 1 78897 464 6
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Social Policy and Sociology
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Sociology and Sociological Theory
  • Welfare States
The success of the Nordic welfare state is well known, but the key drivers of its remarkable expansion are not. This book explores the relationships between citizens that constitute the normative groundwork of Nordic societies, arguing that the quality of relations steers welfare development.

Chapters explore relations of reciprocity, trust and equality that characterize the relational Nordic welfare state. Through an interdisciplinary approach, expert contributors consider the establishment and growth of welfare institutions in Nordic countries, and evaluate the neoliberal challenge that these institutions have faced since the 1980s. This book reveals how and why Nordic societies may find a path of balanced and sustainable development.

Timely and insightful, this book will be indispensable for scholars and students of social and political sciences, as well as jurisprudence, especially those interested in welfare states.

‘Theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, this is an excellent – diverse yet coherent – collection on the changing Nordic welfare state, which I highly recommend.’
– Ray Kiely, Queen Mary University of London, UK

‘Most studies of the Nordic welfare states concentrate on specific policies. The contributors to this book probe far deeper than this, examining the deeper cultural and social roots of these distinctive systems, as well as of the changes now taking place in them.’
– Colin Crouch, University of Warwick, UK and Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Germany

‘Excellent and novel, the chapters in this book offer an incisive analysis of the historical paths and contemporary challenges for Nordic welfare states. The relational perspective gives a theoretically fresh and insightful understanding of these states as states of civilization. A must-read for anyone interested in the past, present and future of the welfare state.’
– Åsa Lundqvist, Lund University, Sweden
Contributors: M. Berg, S. Blomgren, P. Borioni, S. Hänninen, M. Jokela, P. Kettunen, M. Kivipelto, T. Kotkas, P.H. Kristensen, K.-M. Lehtelä, K. Lilja, E. Moen, M. Perlinski, P. Saikkonen, S.F. Schram, K. Tuori, N. Witoszek



Contents:

Preface

Introduction: the Nordic welfare state as a state of civilisation 1
Sakari Hänninen, Kirsi-Marja Lehtelä and Paula Saikkonen

PART I AUTONOMY
1 Neoliberal relations of poverty and the welfare state 15
Sanford F. Schram
2 The Nordic welfare state and the challenge of difference 29
Sakari Hänninen
3 The profits and pitfalls of prosociality: cultural-evolutionary
perspectives on Scandinavia 50
Nina Witoszek

PART II PARTICIPATION
4 The Nordic model in ordo-liberal Europe: from welfare parity
to social hierarchy? 74
Paolo Borioni
5 The rise and fall of the Nordic utopia of an egalitarian wage
work society 95
Pauli Kettunen

PART III INCLUSION
6 Nordic welfare states, trust and the rights discourse:
the history of the children’s day care system in Finland 120
Toomas Kotkas
7 A social constitution of Europe? 138
Kaarlo Tuori

PART IV SUSTAINABILITY
8 The eco-social Nordic welfare state – a distant dream or a
possible future? 162
Monika Berg and Paula Saikkonen
9 Social sustainability and the organization of social work from
the perspective of Finnish adult social work practitioners 184
Minna Kivipelto, Merita Jokela, Sanna Blomgren and Marek
Perlinski
10 Civilizing business enterprises: the search for a new Nordic
growth and development model 202
Peer Hull Kristensen, Eli Moen and Kari Lilja
Epilogue: the Nordic welfare state beyond ideology and utopia 224
Sakari Hänninen, Kirsi-Marja Lehtelä and Paula Saikkonen

Index 251