To the astonishment of both their supporters and opponents, the populist Finns Party are likely to be influential players in the new Finnish coalition government. What does this mean for Finland...and for Europe?
These are extracts from citizen consultations in Kuopio, regional
centre of 100,000 inhabitants in the middle of a vast rural area 380 kilometres
northeast from Helsinki. Kuopio is famous for its easy-going, down-to-earth people,
and its contribution to Finnish arts, philosophy and the nineteenth century construction of
the Finnish nation-state.
small city of Kouvola lies in forests where once the paper
industry thrived. Recently, the region has suffered
from closing factories and loss of jobs. Kouvola is one of the most important strongholds for the Finns Party.
The following excerpts are taken from a focus group of party supporters.
The author of a new book on the ongoing crisis in the eurozone discusses the survival of the euro,
the default alternative, who might gain from a failed austerity, and the
prospects for global Keynesianism. An interview.
misrepresentation of Egypt’s withdrawal from the recent NPT meeting in Geneva, a
retired Egyptian Ambassador puts the record straight and suggests ways to put
the Conference on WMD in the Middle East back on track.
This second of two essays on military spending and the
EU crisis, explores
the role of the European arms trade, corruption and the role of arms exporting
countries in fuelling a debt crisis, and why these 'odious' debts need to be
written off. See Part One here.
Finland underwent a spectacular populist upheaval in 2011, when the
True Finns won over nearly one fifth of the vote and went on to become the main
opposition party to the current government. The prelude to this was growing disquiet towards Finland’s consensus-dominated political
Combining support for the
welfare state with xenophobic populist sentiments, The Finns have clouded and
shaken the traditionally straightforward Finnish political landscape. Beyond
this textbook example of mainstream recognition for a previously radical faction, what do
the Finns really stand for?
There is a vital need, for the sake of the future, for new forms of collective action to combine feeling with thought, neither denying the seriousness of the crisis nor closing our minds to a ‘radical hope’ that deep political change is possible. Empathetic imagination is as necessary as science.
Right-wing populist parties tend to be anti-multinational and anti-intellectual: they endorse nationalistic, nativist, and chauvinistic beliefs, embedded - explicitly or coded - in common sense appeals to a presupposed shared knowledge of ‘the people’.
Why is widespread social anxiety fuelling xenophobia rather than criticism of neoliberal capitalism? What role has the state played? Have we arrived at the paradoxical situation where the best we can do is to call on the state to do its job?