Finland's modern, technologically advanced welfare state is, in fact, a fairly recent creation, because the social changes that led to it occurred in Finland much later than elsewhere in the West. Once underway, however, such changes took place with unprecedented speed. This book is the story of what happens to parties, governments and voters when the fundamental features that conditioned party formation and voter alignments undergo rapid change. It is this that makes the Finnish case interesting and, as far as possible, this book examines Finland in a comparative perspective. Karvonen's study is based on a wealth of new primary evidence. It demonstrates that Finland is indeed a special case in certain respects, especially when it comes to the attenuation of ideological rivalry and the recurrent waves of populist protest.
List of Figures and Tables vii
Chapter One: Introduction 1
Chapter Two: Three Pillars Transformed 23
Chapter Three: Parties Under Pressure 43
Chapter Four: The Politics of Oversized Coalitions 73
Chapter Five: Voters Amidst Change 107
Chapter Six: Conclusion: Politics in a Changing Society 145
Lauri Karvonen is Professor of Political Science at Åbo Akademi, Finland, and Director of Democracy: A Citizen Perspective (D:CE, a Centre of Excellence in Research on Democracy). His previous books include Fragmentation and Consensus (1993) and Party Systems and Voter Alignments Revisited(2001). He has published articles in journals such as International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Theoretical Politics, International Political Science Review and Party Politics.