Navigation path

Finland as your own home: Integration policy and its development potential (book review) (Unofficial translation)

Suomi omaksi kodiksi: Kotouttamispolitiikka ja sen kehittämismahdollisuudet (Original language title)

What is known about Finnish integration policy in the end? And what does the overall picture of the field of integration look like on its entire multidimensional scale: what is integration and who is involved in these processes? These are questions addressed by this book, written by Pasi Saukkonen and published by Gaudeamus in 2020.

The book begins with a discussion of the current state and history of integration policy and integration. Key concepts are opened. It is hoped that they will be used more precisely in the public debate: inaccurate use would make it difficult to talk about such things and to understand them. This section also deals with integration research and research-based information. When analysing the integration situation of those who have moved to Finland, Friedrich Heckmann's model (structural - cultural - interactive - identifying) is utilised. 

The next question asks what could be done better and what the future holds for integration and its promotion. Integration is a societal and multidimensional issue that requires a wide range of expertise, cooperation and perspectives. Clarification of the integration policy system and a clearer definition of the responsibilities of the various parties could further stifle action. 

Saukkonen highlights current developments and the probable future possibilities that follow from them. The most important themes for the future are defined as:

  • Entering and remaining in the labor market;
  • Promoting the inclusion of those outside the world of work;
  • Actual realisation of equality of the descendants of people who have moved to Finland;
  • Creating the conditions for a (national) sense of belonging. 

According to the book, Finland's integration policy has been relatively stable since its inception in the 1990s. However, improvements can be made. One key improvement would be to be able to update the old notion of Finnishness in Finland. A new vision would value diversity, be open to people from different backgrounds, and be able to harness diversity to bring real added value to all members of society.

Pasi Saukkonen
Posted by:
Country Coordinator Finland