Picture: Aino Sutinen 2019

This course addresses the history of the Finnish welfare state from the perspectives of sexuality, reproduction, family policies, and gender. The course focuses on the developments in Finland after the Second World War and addresses topics such as pronatalism, sexual revolution, abortion, changing norms of sexuality and marriage, and queer history. During the course, Finnish history is placed into European contexts and Finland is discussed as a Nordic welfare state but also as a part of larger European changes.

The teachers of the course are Sophy Bergenheim, Matleena Frisk, Miina Keski-Petäjä and Riikka Taavetti, with guest lectures by Kathryn Mahaney. The teaching is based on new research conducted in research project Power, Population, Sexuality (PI Hanna Kuusi, funded by the Kone foundation). The course is open to all students.

12.12.2019 at 09:00 - 14.1.2020 at 23:59
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Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Tue 14.1.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 17.1.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 21.1.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 24.1.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 28.1.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 31.1.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 4.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 7.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 11.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 14.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 18.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 21.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Tue 25.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45
Fri 28.2.2020
14:15 - 15:45


The course can be completed as part of either the bachelor’s or master’s programme, or the 25/35 cr module. Restrictions on participation will be announced in the annual teaching programme.

After completing the course, students will have a well-rounded understanding of historical studies focused on the welfare state, particularly the Nordic welfare state. They will be able to analyse the different stages of welfare state development, and will have a reasoned understanding of the active parties, objectives and conflicts related to this development. They will be able to put this into proportion with their own knowledge interests, for example in their thesis.

Period 1

The course examines the different stages and fields of the welfare state, as well as different emphases of related research. Welfare state development will be examined from the perspective of the political target setting and conflicts that have had an impact on the development, as well as its social consequences.

Literature required for the literature examination

Four from the following:

Niels Finn Christiansen (ed.): The Nordic Model of Welfare – A Historical Reappraisal

Kees vain Kersbergen: Social Capitalism: A Study of Christian Democracy and the Welfare State

Pauli Kettunen: Työjärjestys. Tutkielmia työn ja tiedon poliittisesta historiasta

Pauli Kettunen & Klaus Petersen (eds.): Beyond Welfare State Models. Transnational Historical Perspectives on Social Policy

Pauli Kettunen, Sonya Michel & Klaus Petersen (eds.): Race, Ethnicity and Welfare States – An American Dilemma?

Pirjo Markkola: Synti ja siveys. Naiset, uskonto ja sosiaalinen työ 1860–1920

Related literature for contact teaching

Applicable research literature, particularly articles from scientific journals available as e-publications

On a scale of 0 to 5. All completed studies will be taken into consideration, while self-assessment is promoted.

a) Course implemented as contact teaching, including literature and assignments

b) Supervised independent written assignments

c) Literature examination

-Completion methods will be annually specified in the teaching programme.