Kansalaisen synty. Fennomania ja modernin politiikan läpimurto

The birth of the citizen. Fennomania and the breakthrough of modern politics in Finland

Finnish political culture is often characterisized as collectivistic. The idea of an autonomous citizen is said to be overshadowed by the traditions of the strong state and powerful mass movements. The article studies how citizenship, civic organization and political participation were defined by prominent leaders of the 19th century national movement. It suggests that the idea of political citizenship was deeply rooted in early Fennomania. By challenging the power structure in the name of the people the Fennoman elite adopted and forced their opponents to adopt the language of modern politics. The breakthrough of popular mass movements was fundamentally stamped by this fight for political hegemony and the strive to mobilize the support of active citizens. In this sense, political citizenship was born in Finland long before the independent nation state.

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