A1 Journal article (refereed)
Conducting Commissioned Research the Finnish Inquiry into the Failures of Child welfare, 1937-1983 (2020)

Malinen, A., Markkola, P., & Hytönen, K.-M. (2020). Conducting Commissioned Research the Finnish Inquiry into the Failures of Child welfare, 1937-1983. Scandinavian Journal of History, 45 (2), 202-220. doi:10.1080/03468755.2019.1577294

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Malinen, Antti; Markkola, Pirjo; Hytönen, Kirsi-Maria

Journal or series: Scandinavian Journal of History

ISSN: 0346-8755

eISSN: 1502-7716

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 45

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 202-220

Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03468755.2019.1577294

Open Access: Publication channel is not openly available


In 2013, the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health commissioned a testimony-driven inquiry into failings in child welfare in 1937–1983. An academic research team was appointed to produce data on maltreatment (knowledge production), to identify and recognize injustice (moral objective), and to recommend improvents in child welfare services (developmental objective). This article discusses the Inquiry and scrutinizes the strengths and weaknesses of the model applied. Two aspects emerged to suggest that commissioned research is susceptible. First, among care-leavers, the Inquiry raised a variety of expectations, which the report and subsequent apology ceremony were able to meet only partially. Second, as ad hoc teams were commissioned to draft recommendations with no political mandate, it is unclear who monitors whether recommendations are acted upon or not. However, the commissioned research had strengths in its knowledge production as well as in its political neutrality.

Keywords: child protection

Free keywords: inquiry; Finland; historical redress; children in care; history of childhood, commissioned research

Contributing organizations

Other organizations:

Ministry reporting: Yes

Preliminary JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2020-18-10 at 21:05