Språk och politisk mobilisering. Finlandssvenskar i publikdemokrati [Language and political mobilisation. Finland-Swedes in public democracy]

10 June 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Språk och politisk mobilisering. Finlandssvenskar i publikdemokrati
[Language and political mobilisation. Finland-Swedes in public democracy]
Red. [in Swedish; ed. by] Kimmo Grönlund
Helsingfors: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland (The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland), 2011. 236 p.
ISBN 978-951-583-224-5
€ 29, paperback

Under the Finnish Constitution, Finnish and Swedish are the country’s national languages. The status of Swedish is currently the subject of debate: on the one hand there is concern about the adequacy of Swedish-language services, while on the other there is a strong opposition among the Finnish-speaking majority to the mandatory study of Swedish. This book discusses, for example, the basis on which Finland’s 5.5 per cent Swedish-speaking minority elects its party and its candidates in national elections, and the importance of the Swedish language in this choice. Research suggests that Svenska Folkpartiet, the Swedish People’s Party, would gain increased backing if it were to emphasise the language question and seeking support for Swedish-speaking districts, rather than by targeting Finnish-speakers and bilingual citizens with an interest in minority issues. The book also contains a summary of the results of the Svensk politik i Finland (Politics in Swedish-speaking Finland) research project; Kimmo Grönlund – also director of research at Åbo Akademi – was head of the project.
Translated by David McDuff

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