A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä

Partisanship, continuity, and change: Politics in Finnish unemployment benefit reforms 1985–2016

Julkaisun tekijät: Varjonen Sampo, Kangas Olli, Niemelä Mikko

Kustantaja: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Julkaisuvuosi: 2020

Journal: Social Policy and Administration

Volyymi: 54

Julkaisunumero: 1

Sivujen määrä: 15

ISSN: 0144-5596

eISSN: 1467-9515

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12526



apparent decline of partisan effects on social policies since the 1980s
has encouraged the development of theories that challenge the
traditional partisan politics theory. Although the new politics approach
pointed to institutional path-dependence and to the unpopularity of
radical retrenchment, recent research has highlighted shifts in
electoral landscapes, differences in party systems and institutional
contexts, and changing party-voter linkages. This in-depth case study
contributes to debates on partisan effects by focusing on Finland, whose
dualistic unemployment benefit system and institutional and political
conditions provide an interesting case to analyse changing partisan
effects. The aim is to explain, through qualitative policy analysis, why
government partisanship has not had a significant effect on
unemployment benefit levels since 1985. The explanations are different
for earnings-related and flat-rate benefits. For the former,
retrenchment efforts have seen a distinct partisan divide, but trade
unions have thwarted most cutbacks; thus, although partisanship has not
mattered much for policy outcomes, power resources have remained
important as inhibitor of cuts. For the latter, parties that in the late
1980s still had differing priorities have since converged on policies
emphasizing activation and work incentives. Universal flat-rate benefits
have lacked political support and have been left to stagnate. The study
suggests that one single theory is not sufficient to explain
developments even in one single welfare policy-there are too many
aspects to cover-not to speak of the entire welfare state consisting of
an array of different schemes.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 08:23