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Sakari Hänninen, Kirsi-Marja Lehtelä, Paula Saikkonen

The Relational Nordic Welfare State
Between Utopia and Ideology


Abstract 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.