Seeking national essence by Justin
In Britain conversations about ‘Britishness’ were – for anyone born
after 1955, educated and left of centre – simply embarrassing. This had
a clear political dimension. Nations and nationalism were bad. The very
question of national identity was saturated with ideology. Forming identities
around the image of a nation was what Tories, war veterans, skinheads
and football hooligans did.
Ferry, across... Päijänne?!?
by John Richardson
Given the freeness with which ideas circulate in the contemporary world,
the ease with which they are transmitted to faraway locations and are
borrowed or appropriated by diverse cultures or subsequent generations,
why not lake Päijänne rather than the river Mersey as the new centre for
The unaesthetics of television by Markku
Does television have aesthetics? Or what are we talking about when
we talk about television? Or is television only a domain for communication,
popular culture and cultural studies? Can we talk about ‘an art of television’
as we have been talking about ‘an art of cinema’? By aesthetics I mean
a specific means of personal expression and by art I mean distinct authors
and their works.
Just war, cruel slaughter and
humanitarian bombings? by Riikka Kuusisto
Wars are fought not only with arms, but also with words. Official
definitions of conflict situations, publicly declared motives, names given
to the warring parties and explanations concerning decisions made in the
course of the hostilities — the rhetoric and discourses of war — play
as important a role in the progression of events as do the physical acts
of belligerency that accompany them.
Why does Basic Income thrill the Finns,
but not the Swedes? by Jan Otto Andersson
Basic income is a fascinating idea. People tend to react strongly,
either looking upon it as a pivotal liberating device or showing open
disregard for it. In two of the Scandinavian countries - Denmark and Finland
- the idea of an unconditional basic income has received much attention.
However, in Sweden and Norway it has almost been a non-issue. To compare
the theoretical and political debates in Finland and Sweden is therefore
a means to look at the differences between these two closely related societies.
The hollow promise of social fairness
Editorial by Tapani Lausti
Politicians often come up with bland declarations of conviction. The
Third Way has been trumpeted as a new way forward in European (and American)
politics. But there is something strangely vacuous in the statements connected
with this supposedly modern political tendency. More spin than substance,
one could say in the currently fashionable parlance.
Previous Focus articles:
Contents page of Focus Summer 2000:
Contents page of Focus Spring 2000: