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Arkistoitu opetusohjelma 2017–2018
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POLVOA32/S27 From "Terve Suomi" to "Moi Suomi": Perspectives on the Second Half-Century of Finnish Independence 5–10 ECTS
Implementation is also a part of open university teaching
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Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Intermediate studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
Politiikan tutkimuksen tutkinto-ohjelma
Faculty of Management

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, students will have gained a firm grounding in the extent and trajectory of change in Finnish domestic and foreign policy over the last half-century of Finnish independence. They will be able to assess inter alia whether the transition from YYA Finland to EU Finland has meant more or less de facto independence; whether the 2000 constitution elevated diagnosis over clear prescription; and whether both endogenous and exogenous forces have moulded a fundamentally different political culture (at both mass and elite levels) from fifty years ago.

General description

Indicative Lecture Content 

September 26:  1966. If a Woman Says ‘Perhaps’: The Great Political ‘Seduction’ and Rafael Paasio gets the Centre Party into Bed

Virolainen quotes Lenin but Einari Karvetti is unhappy. The Popular Front years; the ‘liberation of middle beer’; farm amalgamation and the exodus to Sweden and the ‘deep south’. The passing of agrarian Finland? Ämmänsaari 1968; Eero Raittisen ‘vanha holvikirkko’; SALT talks: the US and USSR negotiate whether to negotiate in Helsinki (and Vienna!). Podgorny’s visit and the Soviet’s failure to recognise Finnish neutrality.

October 3: 1970: The Finnish ship sails away from the Nordic Common Market

The ‘V’ linja: Väätäinen, Vasala, Viren and Vennamo. Did Veikko Vennamo really sink Nordek? The electoral ‘earthquake’ and the start of populism as a ‘family business’; Irwin Goodman; the Haukivuori relay; and Kekkonen takes to the television to roast the Communists. TUPO.

October 10: 1977: Why did superman fail to get the job?

The multiple aspects of Finlandisation: patronage, censorship and self-censorship. Westerholm forces a presidential election. The ‘midsummer bomb’ and ‘yleiset syyt’. Did the Kremlin really keep the Conservatives in opposition? Veikko and Manu in Jäähalli. Ilkityö in Kotka. Kekkonen rejects a Soviet approach for joint military ‘manoeuvres’

October 24: 1987 What was in the safe?

Manu and the ladybirds in Vaasa. The ‘Aids election’. Koivisto versus Väyrynen and a non-socialist coalition. From red-green to red-blue cabinets; Schism on the radical left: DEVA, Esko-Juhani Tennilä and the road to Vasemmistoliitto. Gorbachev recognises Finnish neutrality. Esko Almgren’s version of events.

October 31: 1992 Finland at 75: the ‘Kannuksen Kennedy’, a Nieminen gold and the ‘pulla index’

Did Nokia save Finland? From the depths of recession to ‘kännykä Suomi’.  The new liturgy: neutrality is replaced by ‘military nonalignment and a credible national defence’. Soft and hard security. Salolainen flops; Sundqvist implodes and so on to Lipponen

November 7: 1994 The EU Referendum, the ‘no butters’ and guess who?

As I said to Jacques Delors! Esko Aho and the airport taxi. Olli Rehn’s parents; the Estonian ferry disaster; Korhonen and Kainuun Sanomat; cocktails on the Royal Yacht Brittania. The Greens and ‘kyllä, mutta’; LFAs.

November 14: 1998 Onpa kiihkeä kosinta: the Centre beats the competition to sign a former ‘Miss Finland’

Tanja Karpela, celebrity candidates and the increasing mediatisation of politics. Finland becomes a founder-member of EMU and VL has a new chair. Why were ‘rainbow coalitions’ necessary? Uosukainen and her ‘water bed’.

November 21: 2000. What’s the most common word in the Finnish language? Answer: Kekkonen

The new Finnish constitution coincides with the centenary of Kekkonen’s birth. The end of semi-presidential government? The Kekkonen legacy. The first female Finnish president. Johannes Virolainen dies at 86. Iraqgate and the end of the social democratic hegemony

November 28: 2012 Finland According to Paavo Väyrynen: A Prophet in the Wilderness?

Neutrality (the Väyrynen version); Euroscepticism and the post-referendum filibuster; the Nordic Community; the minister, MEP and founder of the Citizens’ Party. Why Väyrynen has been good for Finland! Soini and the Social Democrats

December 5: Finland at 100: Independence, For What, So What?

Why, exactly, should we celebrate on December 6? What is the measure of the Finnish achievement? How independent has Finland really been? Punainen viiva. When electoral turnout is below 1907, how ‘well’ is Finnish democracy? How independent is Finland today? Aalto- Saara not Alvar; Tom of Finland; Vesa-Matti Loiri; the ‘Finland brand’. A marsalkka beer?

Enrolment for University Studies

Email registration essential by September 20, 2017.


David Arter, Teacher responsible


26-Sep-2017 – 5-Dec-2017
Lectures 24 hours
Tue 26-Sep-2017 - 5-Dec-2017 weekly at 14-16, Main building A3


Numeric 1-5.

Evaluation criteria

As an exercise in qualitative research method, students will design a short questionnaire and conduct face-to-face interviews with older adults (minimum n = 5)  elderly relatives for example  focusing on their memories and perception of change over the last half-century of Finnish independence. The interview results to be written up and submitted in Finnish.