FSD2039 ISSP 2004: Citizenship: Finnish Data

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  • International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)
  • Blom, Raimo (University of Tampere. Department of Sociology and Social Psychology)
  • Melin, Harri (University of Turku. Department of Sociology)
  • Tanskanen, Eero (Statistics Finland)


attitudes, citizen participation, corruption, democracy, international cooperation, political influence, political interest, political participation, public administration, voluntary organizations


The survey covers citizen participation, and attitudes towards participation in Finland. Opinions as to what it takes to be a good citizen (e.g. always obey laws, never evade taxes, willingness to serve in the military) were charted. Respondents were asked whether religious extremists, people who want to overthrow the government or people prejudiced against any racial or ethnic group should be allowed to hold public meetings. A set of questions charted respondents' political and social participation, for example, taking part in a demonstration or expressing views in the media. Membership and level of activity in different kinds of groups or associations (e.g. political parties, church, voluntary associations) were investigated.

One theme covered people's rights in a democracy: respondents were asked to rate the importance of all citizens having adequate standard of living, of being allowed to participate in decision-making, or that authorities respect the rights of minorities etc. Political efficacy was studied by asking whether the government cares what respondents think. The degree to which respondents understand political issues was queried. Further questions explored citizen influence on legislature, respondents' interest in politics, and trust in other people.

The survey also investigated opinions on international issues, like whether the UN has too much or too little power, and which bodies should be involved in the decision-making in international organizations. Respondents were also asked whether the UN should intervene if a country violates human rights. Opinions of Finnish politics were studied by asking about political parties, referendums, how honest the counting and reporting of votes had been in the last national elections, and how fair the campaign opportunities of the candidates and parties. Opinions on the degree of commitment and corruption in the Finnish public service were examined. Some questions focused on the functioning of democracy in Finland at the moment, 10 years ago and 10 years from now. Views were probed on whether the government should restrict democratic rights under any circumstances. Frequency of following political news/content in different media was studied, likewise respect and tolerance towards other people.

Background variables included respondent's gender, year of birth, marital status, education, occupation, employment status, weekly working hours, trade union membership, employer sector, industry of employment, social class, personal and household income, household composition, type of community, region, and spouse's education, occupation, weekly working hours, employer sector and industry of employment.

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