A1 Journal article (refereed)
Epistemic governance in local policy debates : The case of entitlement to early childhood education and care in Finland (2020)

Paananen, M., Alasuutari, M., Karila, K., & Siippainen, A. (2020). Epistemic governance in local policy debates : The case of entitlement to early childhood education and care in Finland. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 7(1), 52-74. https://doi.org/10.1080/23254823.2019.1650651

The research was funded by Strategic Research Council at the Research Council of Finland.

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsPaananen, Maiju; Alasuutari, Maarit; Karila, Kirsti; Siippainen, Anna

Journal or seriesEuropean Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology



Publication year2020


Issue number1

Pages range52-74

PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66328


In Finland, children below school age have enjoyed the right to attend subsidised full-time early childhood education and care (ECEC). However, the attendance rate in Finland is low in comparison to other Nordic countries. Furthermore, the entitlement was restricted to 20 h per week in 2016 unless the child’s parents work or study full-time or unless it is believed that the child will benefit from full-time ECEC. The debates concerning restrictions in ECEC entitlement in three municipal councils serve as the data for this study. By using the framework of epistemic governance, we identify three differing constructions of the ECEC’s societal functions in the municipal policy debates. The similarities and differences between these constructions aid us to understand recent changes in ECEC policies. This case illustrates how focusing on epistemic governance on local-level policy debates opens interesting insights in policy changes more generally.

Keywordsearly childhood education and careday carechild carepoliticslocal administrationlocal politicssubjective rights

Free keywordsepistemic governance; epistemic capital; early childhood education; childcare; policy

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2020

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-22-04 at 13:09