A1 Journal article – refereed

'Completely New Challenges’?: Continuity and revision in Finnish political parties’ objectives on immigration, 1986–1991

List of Authors: Matti Välimäki

Publisher: De Gruyter

Publication year: 2019

Journal: Nordic Journal of Migration Research

Journal acronym: NJMR

Volume number: 9

Issue number: 1

Number of pages: 19

ISSN: 1799-649X

eISSN: 1799-649X

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2478/njmr-2019-0003

URL: https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/njmr/9/1/article-p99.xml



This study analyses the discussion of four Finnish parties – Centre Party, National Coalition Party, Social
Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) and Finnish People’s Democratic League/Left Alliance (SKDL/VAS;
Suomen kansan demokraattinen liitto/Vasemmistoliitto) – on foreign workers, refugees and asylum seekers
in 1986–1991. The turn of the 1990s marked a period of substantial change in Finnish immigration policy
and legislation and included the first comprehensive immigration policy papers by the parties. The study
sheds light on the contemporary history of Finnish party politics and discourses on immigration and the
challenges faced by mainstream right-wing and left-wing parties when dealing with immigration. The
analysis of a wide range of policy papers and documents produced for parties’ internal use indicates that
the changes in foreign policy, developments in national demographic and economic circumstances as
well as the parties’ broad base of supporters and distinctive ideological traditions facilitate explanation of
party stances. The parties’ objectives of the period represented both continuity and revision in relation to
previous decades’ considerably restrictive politics.

Keywords: Finland • political parties • refugees • asylum seekers • labour migration

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 11:56