Research project Page last updated 7.2.2024

History of Finnish Cultural Policy

  • Duration of the project: 2004 — 2010

In 2004 CUPORE started a project analysing historical development of cultural policy in Finland. The project was implemented at the University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

The project covered a period of 120 years, from the mid 1850s to the end of the 1970s. It aimed at explicating the changing role of public authorities (the state and municipalities) as financers of artistic and cultural life and as suppliers of public or publicly subsidised cultural services. The development of different policy measures and the ground given for their legitimisation were analysed separately for different stages of the development of the national culture and the Finnish nation-state.

The research focussed on the interaction between the formation of cultural policy and the nascence and institutionalisation of the Finnish arts and culture. More specifically, the central theme was how the conceptions imbedded in cultural presentation about the Finnish nation and the Finnish nation state and the perceptions of cultural policy decision-makers and administration of the role of the arts and culture in shaping Finnish society have shaped each other. This interaction was looked at against the backdrop of the birth and development of art associations and cultural organisations, especially what varying political and ideological stances they have taken and invoked and how they have influenced the balance of power in cultural policy decision-making and in contestations between artistic orientations and cultural trends.

Altogether five research reports were published during the project in Cupore’s publication series. All publications are in Finnish.


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