Neoliberalisation in a Nordic State: From cartel polity towards a corporate polity in Finland

Toni Ahlqvist (Corresponding Author), Sami Moisio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present an outline of state transformation in the context of a Nordic welfare state. We use Finland as an example of the transformation process in which a welfare state form we call a cartel polity is shifting towards a corporate polity, a particular adjustment of the competition state. We conceptualise the corporate polity as a spatio-temporal fix under construction. The corporate polity is both an on-going process to build a corporation-inspired management model for the Finnish state and a novel state ethos that is underpinned by constant concern about the state's international competitiveness in front of 'nature-like' market forces, transnational investors and highly skilled labour. We propose that the imaginary of a corporate polity is endorsed by a discursive practice that constructs a ceaseless crisis condition in the Finnish state, through repetitive and mundane activities related to state governance. Through the empirical analysis, we single out four dimensions of the corporate polity: fiscal-managerial, digital, capacity-oriented and territorial. Finally, we provide brief reflections on the potential state transformations in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-55
JournalNew Political Economy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • neoliberalisation
  • state
  • Nordic
  • Finland
  • spatio-temporal fix
  • cartel polity
  • corporate polity


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