Promoting neoliberal ideology in Finnish rural community development : the creation of new moral actors
Husu, H.-M., & Kumpulainen, K. (2019). Promoting neoliberal ideology in Finnish rural community development : the creation of new moral actors. Local Government Studies, 45(6), 893-912. https://doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2019.1635015
Published inLocal Government Studies
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Today’s political ambitions are based on the neoliberal aspiration to diminish the state’s role and responsibilities, and to transfer those responsibilities to local communities and individuals in ways that idealise those communities, promising to ‘give power to the people’. Instead of highlighting individualism, neoliberalism now celebrates communities and participation. This article deals with the effects of this ideology with regard to Finnish rural policy objectives. Drawing on Finnish village action programmes as data, we argue that these ideological views aim to transform individuals and create new moral actors. Our research indicates that Finland’s rural policy objectives invoke actors that are responsible for their communities, have an ‘enterprising spirit’, and are change-friendly and innovative. However, the ideology disregards the economic and social preconditions and resources necessary for building affluent communities and villages, which are difficult to attain when there is less government involvement. Thus, rural communities face increasing demands and less government involvement. ...
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