1st Edition

Political Behaviour in Contemporary Finland Studies of Voting and Campaigning in a Candidate-Oriented Political System

Edited By Åsa von Schoultz, Kim Strandberg Copyright 2024
    294 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents a comprehensive overview of Finnish electoral democracy, expertly detailing both its typical representation of a stable European party democracy and its particularities such as a personalized electoral system, a fragmented party system with tradition of grand government coalitions and its sensitive geopolitical location.

    Using the Finnish National Election Study as a basis, it analyses how voters act and react in an electoral democracy characterized by a high degree of competition between and within parties, yet a democracy in which the possibility for voters to hold governments accountable for their actions is weak, leading to interesting tensions within the system and influences on how voters relate to and engage in politics. This book not only describes these patterns but also provides the reader with thorough explanations and interpretations from a team of expert contributors.

    This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of Finnish politics, Nordic/Scandinavian politics and studies, political behaviour, electoral studies, public opinion and more broadly to comparative politics and democracy.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution‑Non Commercial‑No Derivatives (CC‑BY‑NC‑ND) 4.0 license.

    1. An introduction to the Finnish electoral context

    Åsa von Schoultz and Kim Strandberg

    Part 1: The state of democracy

    2. What kind of democracy do the people want?

    Lauri Rapeli and Kim Strandberg

    3. Finland: A Country of High Political Trust and Weak Political Self-efficacy

    Maria Bäck, Thomas Karv and Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen

    4. In safe elections, democracy wins: perceptions of electoral harassment among candidates and voters 

    Veikko Isotalo and Hanna Wass

    5. Foiled at every turn? Understanding turnout in Finland

    Theodora Helimäki and Hanna Wass

    6. Act Your Age! Generational Differences in Political Participation in Finland 2007–2019

    Janette Huttunen and Henrik Serup Christensen

    Part 2: Elections, parties and candidates

    7. The Social Basis of the Vote: Class Voting in Finland

    Aino Tiihonen and Peter Söderlund

    8. Value dimensions and party choice in Finland

    Kimmo Grönlund and Peter Söderlund

    9. Party identification 

    Sami Borg and Heikki Paloheimo

    10. Friends and foes: Affective polarization among Finnish voters

    Arto Kekkonen, Daniel Kawecki and Staffan Himmelroos

    11. Party and candidate as objects of electoral choice

    Peter Söderlund

    12. How to find a needle in a haystack: Which candidate characteristics matter for voters’ choice of candidate?

    Theodora Helimäki and Åsa von Schoultz

    13. What makes a successful candidate in the Finnish open-list proportional electoral system?

    Veikko Isotalo and Åsa von Schoultz

    Part 3: Campaigning

    14. Generational Patterns in Voters’ Use of the Internet and Social Media in Finnish Parliamentary Elections 2003–2019

    Tom Carlson and Kim Strandberg

    15. Candidates and campaigning

    Peter Söderlund

    16. Individualized Campaigning in the Finnish Open-List System

    Mikko Mattila

    17. Conclusions

    Kim Strandberg and Åsa von Schoultz


    Åsa von Schoultz is Professor of Political Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and the Director of the Finnish National Election Study.

    Kim Strandberg is Professor of Political Science and Political Communication at Åbo Akademi University, Finland.