A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Citizenship, populism and social work in the Finnish welfare state (2021)

Turtiainen, K., & Kokkonen, T. (2021). Citizenship, populism and social work in the Finnish welfare state. In C. Noble, & G. Ottmann (Eds.), The Challenge of Right-wing Nationalist Populism for Social Work : A Human Rights Approach (pp. 122-134). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429056536-10

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Turtiainen, Kati; Kokkonen, Tuomo

Parent publication: The Challenge of Right-wing Nationalist Populism for Social Work : A Human Rights Approach

Parent publication editors: Noble, Carolyn; Ottmann, Goetz

ISBN: 978-0-367-17401-9

eISBN: 978-0-429-05653-6

Publication year: 2021

Pages range: 122-134

Number of pages in the book: 250

Publisher: Routledge

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429056536-10

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77612


This chapter ties together discussions of citizenship and social work practice in the context of growing populist and neoliberal political trends in Finland. These political trends are manifested in populist right-wing nationalist movements on the one hand, and in the neoliberal dismantling of the welfare state on the other. Both political trends – right-wing nationalist populism and neoliberalism – tend to separate people into two groups: those who are ‘deserving’ and those who are ‘undeserving’. Simultaneously, the dynamics of globalisation have radically changed nation states and their traditional concepts of citizenship and related social rights. There is thus a need to redefine the understanding of an emancipatory idea of citizenship as connected to human rights, because nation states are dividing their residents into various groups that are not offered equal social rights; their human rights as determined by international conventions are therefore not protected. Emancipatory citizenship efforts face resistance from contemporary populist political movements. This situation is paradoxical as right-wing nationalist populist political movements also base their political mandate on an underprivileged group of people, namely those living in fragile life situations within the nation state. Social work practice has conventionally been determined by national contexts due to differences in social work traditions, social systems, social problems and cultures. Social work practice must now also be seen in relation to the current political climate, and the authors argue that the social work profession must become a human rights profession and adopt the ethics of social workers.

Keywords: citizenship; populism; social work; welfare state; neoliberalism; nation-state; civil society; social rights; political movements; human rights; ethics

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:56