Changing feminist politics in a 'strategic state'

Anna Elomäki, Johanna Kantola, Anu Koivunen, Hanna Ylöstalo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


The chapter analyses the shifting relationship between feminist politics and the state in Finland in the 2010s, with the aim of providing new insights into this relationship in a changing political context. The chapter focuses on a particular form of neoliberal and managerial governance that aims to make government decision-making processes more strategic by narrowing down policy objectives and aligning them explicitly with fiscal objectives and that have moved the Finnish welfare state in the direction of becoming a strategic state, in which economic imperatives overrule other political concerns. The chapter asks: i) How do different feminist actors operate in the strategic state? And ii), how are gender issues politicised in the strategic state by different feminist actors? The chapter approaches these questions through three different conceptualisations of feminist politics in Finland: namely, the idea of the velvet triangle; governance feminism; and intersectional feminism. The chapter shows how the network model of the velvet triangle is challenged in the context of the strategic state, while both governance feminism and intersectional feminism are strengthened.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeminisms in the Nordic region
Subtitle of host publicationNeoliberalism, Nationalism and Decolonial Critique
EditorsSuvi Keskinen, Pauline Stoltz, Diana Mulinari
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-53464-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameGender and Politics
ISSN (Print)2662-5822

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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