The politics of making Finland an experimenting nation

Helena Leino (Corresponding Author), Maria Åkerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


As atop-level national policy agenda, the Experimental Finland initiative (2015-2019) opens up an opportunity to investigate the politics of the nationally promoted experimental turn. We examine how the state launched agovernmental-level project aiming for the whole nation to become experimental. The Experimental Finland initiative was Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s governmental Spearhead Programmes 2015-2019. This paper explores the underlying politics revealed by the implementation of Experimental Finland by asking:1) what kind of evidence concerning the barriers and obstacles of experimental culture was included and excluded in the national evaluation of the Experimental Finland programme, and2) how did the understanding of those barriers differ when compared to local level experiments? We argue that as experiments are expected to facilitate learning, they instead cause ambiguities in the organizational routines and imbalances in the existing power relations between different actors and actor groups.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • experimental Finland
  • experimental governance
  • Experimentation
  • policy analysis


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