FSD3546 Sustainable Policy-Making: Finnish Policy-Maker Survey 2018

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  • Koskimaa, Vesa (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science and International Relations)
  • Rapeli, Lauri (Åbo Akademi University. Institutet för samhällsforskning (Samforsk))


citizen participation, climate change, decision making, democracy, political participation, politics


The survey charted Finnish policy-makers' views on political and governmental decision-making, the present state of long-term policymaking in Finland, and civic participation. The survey was conducted as part of the Participation in Long-Term Decision-Making (PALO) research project. Between 2017 and 2022, the project was funded by the Academy of Finland's Strategic Research Council (SRC) (ID: 312617 and 312676).

First, the respondents were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with various statements regarding politics in general. The statements included, for example, whether policy-makers should primarily make decisions based on expert opinions and whether they should always be obligated to comply with voters' demands. Questions also charted the respondents' opinions on governmental decision-making in Finland in the 2010s, including, for example, whether they thought that policy-makers had mostly focused on current day issues or that group-specific interests had been more highly valued in decision-making than expert opinions. Questions also specifically focused on the respondents' attitudes towards climate change.

Next, the respondents were asked whether they thought various institutions and other actors (e.g. the research community, political parties, the EU, media) had influenced long-term policymaking in Finland. Furthermore, the respondents' opinions were surveyed on whether several phenomena and practices (e.g. results-focused politics, short government terms) had made long-term policymaking more difficult. The respondents were also asked whether they thought various actions could encourage more long-term policymaking. Views on civic participation were examined with questions on, for example, whether the respondents thought increased civic participation would have a positive impact on Finnish democracy and whether citizens should be given more avenues to take part in public decision-making. Finally, the respondents' views regarding their own future and personality were charted.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth categorised into five-year age groups, number of children and grandchildren, field of education, job description, years worked in current or corresponding job, administrative branch, how firmly established their political party preference was, and how often they participated in debates concerning everyday political issues as a private individual.

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