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From Rights to Activation: The Evolution of the Idea of Basic Income in the Finnish Political Debate, 1980–2016

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 January 2019

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere, 33014Finland email:


The article contributes to the growing body of research on the politics of basic income by analysing the framing of the idea in the context of Finland, a country with a long history of debate and one of the forerunners in experimenting with this policy. Using a comprehensive dataset of political documents covering 36 years, the study shows how contextual factors and shifts in political climate shaped the framing of the idea. It also shows that the key frames describing basic income were widely shared among the politicians and parties discussing the policy. The study enriches our understanding of the politics of basic income by adding an ideational perspective that has for long been a missing element in this field of research.

© Cambridge University Press 2019 

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