Education Policy in Finland: Varying Approaches for Addressing Injustices

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


In the Nordic welfare state model that aims for societal well-being for the population as whole, education has traditionally been seen as a key instrument for increasing social justice. In line with this tradition, an emphasis on addressing injustices has been one of the key principles of education policy in Finland. In this chapter, we focus on the tension between the different policy approaches for addressing injustices. This chapter focuses on education policy from early childhood education (0–6-year-olds) to primary and lower secondary education (7–15-year-olds). First, we introduce the three-tiered administration of education in Finland. Second, we bring the Finnish education system into the discussion with Nancy Fraser’s account of injustice and possible remedies for it. We will take a closer look at three examples: the extension of compulsory education, changes in the entitlement to early childhood education and care and changes in the core curriculum in primary education. We show how recent education policies continue the long trajectory that has been built on the idea of addressing injustices with redistributive remedies. Finally, we will discuss how strong municipal autonomy and competing approaches to addressing inequalities enable locally varying landscapes of education policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinnish Public Administration
Subtitle of host publicationNordic Public Space and Agency
EditorsElias Pekkola, Jan-Erik Johanson, Mikko Mykkänen
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-34862-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-34861-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameGovernance and Public Management
ISSN (Print)2524-728X
ISSN (Electronic)2524-7298

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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