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Contents of issue No 10, September 1998


Seminar: Blairism -- a Beacon for Europe?                             

                    Tony Blair's 'third way' compared to the Nordic welfare state

New Labour’s claim of showing the way for the rest of Europe has raised the question of the exportability of Blairism. At the same time, Tony Blair’s political ideas have provoked a debate on whether the dramatic political changes taking place internationally dictate our responses to the new world or whether we are able to use our political imagination to mould the world more to our liking.

Blairism -- Europe's shining beacon or just a low-watt glow? by Erkki Tuomioja

Tuomioja acknowledges that Labour's election strategy and campaign were brilliant and successful. He doubts, however, whether the same strategy works elsewhere. Applied in the Nordic contries it could even lead to electoral disasters rather than success.

Europe needs credible instruments of governance by John Palmer

Palmer's only reservation about Tuomioja's defence of traditional Nordic social democracy is that he may underestimate the extent to which the nation state is no longer really capable of defending let alone developing the social democratic reform project.

  • Concept harmonisation strikes a discordant note, Editorial by Henrik Stenius

    Instead of helping it, harmonisation of key social concepts makes mutual understanding much more difficult. The reason is obvious. Differences in social and cultural backgrounds produce different sets of concepts. To impose a universal set of key social concepts one has to create identical social environments. Attempts in this direction have so far failed and will continue to do so in the future.

Having witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union, with its dire economic impact on the Finnish economy, the Finns are holding their breath as the new Russia slumps from crisis to crisis. The effect on Finland will be significant but not overwhelming, as our correspondent found out.

Dr Heikki Patomäki, Reader in International Relations at Nottingham Trent University, is less than impressed by his experiences of higher education in England. According to him, Finns are misled to look to Anglo-Saxon education systems in aiming to reform theirs.

  • And still they come: Finnish students in Britain by Pirkko Hautamäki

    The Finnish Institute in London fields some 300 enquiries yearly from Finns who want to study in Britain. While this is peanuts compared to the thousands of enquiries to the British Council office in Helsinki, we manage to get a fair picture of the needs, hopes and demands of the Finns who wish to secure a place in a British (or, as it occasionally happens, Irish) college or university.

Before the second half of the 19th century, Vyborg enjoyed ethnic, religious and cultural tolerance. It was finally shattered by the rise in nationalism in the 1870s and 1880s; by the political controversies between Swedes, Finns and Russians at the turn of the century; by the Russian Revolution in 1917; and by the Finnish Civil War in 1918.


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