Experienced Institutional Confidence

Pauliina Maukonen

e-mail: spmaukon@yfi.jyu.fi



Experienced Institutional Confidence – New Justification for Nordic Cultural Policy? Macro-level Analysis of Nordic Political Tradition





Social capital, such as the institutional confidence between people and different political institutions, norms of reciprocity and civic participation in for example arts and culture associations, are important societal resources that help to overcome many social and collective action problems. Theories of Social capital, such as those presented by Putnam, Bourdieu or Rothstein, are important instruments in analysing and measuring the level of democratisation or functionality of welfare policy and democratic government. This has become more significant than ever when considering recent changes: individualisation, globalisation, partnerships, not to mention the demand for cost effectiveness or need to decentralize.


The state’s role is converting. In Nordic countries, the universal welfare state (citing Esping-Andersen’s typology of welfare regimes) is delegating its policy responsibilities, for example, to associational sector, which makes associations more important political actors. It is fair to argue, that for instance people’s equal access to cultural activities (one guiding principle of welfare cultural policy) has become more complicated and the quality of services has been contested. This has a certain effect on the legitimacy of cultural policy too. In the cultural field, this also means that we must reconsider the contents of cultural policy as a whole. One theoretical instrument for that is institutional confidence, concentrating on the relationship between citizens’ needs and policy purposes.


My future PhD research concentrates on exploring art and culture organisations from two points of view. First of all, associations represent a political gateway to institutional confidence and, from the theoretical perspective, to social capital as well. Secondly, arts and culture associations have a major role in the cultural policy system. In Finland as well as in other Nordic countries, the third sector is one important political actor besides the public sector. My thesis is a study on citizen’s political analysis (intermediated by arts and cultural association) of Finnish cultural policy system and its efficiency, based theoretically on the issues of experienced institutional confidence. The study is mainly based on qualitative methodology, such as interviewing association members.


In this paper I examine theoretical perspectives on social capital and trust in the context of different welfare regimes inspired by Esping-Andersen, Rothstein and Stolle. I will make a comparison with two different traditions: the Nordic third sector tradition versus the Anglo-American model of non profit association / non governmental organisation. This comparison is based on macro level analysis (for instance historical and ideological background, and the political role of association) exploring prerequisites for institutional confidence. Finally, I consider the relevance of recent discussions on trust / mistrust to the cultural policy system by posing a question: Is it possible to argue that institutional confidence could be one new justification for current cultural policy in the Nordic countries?




Current debates within political theory and the public sphere reveal a growing concern with issues of social capital, social cohesion and issues of trust. Such debates are also largely articulated around a perceived crisis of trust and confidence in a range of political institutions. Political system is often seen as being inefficient to respond to people’s needs and this causes lack of trust within the society. While different forms of associations are frequently cited as best examples of trust relations and sources of social capital (see e.g. Fukuyama 1995, Luhmann 1988, Putnam 1993, Seligmann 1997, Stolle & Rochon 1998, Uslaner 2002), they seldom provide a focus for such debates.


My forthcoming PhD research concentrates on exploring arts and culture associations from two points of view. First of all, associations represent a gateway to institutional confidence (institutionalised forms of trust in the public sphere) and in theoretically to social capital as well. Secondly, arts and culture associations have a major role in cultural policy system. In Finland, like in the other Nordic countries, the third sector is one important political actor besides the public and private sectors (see e.g. Kangas 2004 and Siisiäinen 2002).


Institutional confidence is one important requirement to a viable political system. It is well known that trust and institutional confidence aid the associational sector in maintaining a political license to operate (e.g. Tonkiss & Passey 1999, 263).  My PhD research discusses institutional confidence in the context of cultural policy’s legitimacy and accountability represented by a single association member (qualitative research based on interviews). Despite this grass root orientation, it is important to explore the context of cultural policy system and the public policy system in order to clarify what kind of themes are affecting the association member’s system orientation and experienced trust towards institutions of cultural policy (both in the private and public spheres). For that reason this paper concentrates on the basic figures and development within the Nordic cultural associations comparing it to the Anglo-American Model of Non-Profit Organisations in ideological and welfare-orientation levels. My aim is to find out what kind of positions associations have in cultural policy system and what kind of challenges they will face nowadays prejudicing for instance institutional confidence.


The discussion in this paper is in four parts. First, I will survey theoretical perspectives on social capital theory, and set out a distinction between forms of trust and institutional confidence. In this chapter, I briefly discuss trust in the context of different welfare regimes inspired by Rothstein & Stolle (2003) and Esping-Andersen (1991). Then I will focus on the “ideological” comparison between two different traditions: The Nordic third sector tradition and the Anglo-American Model of Non Profit Organisation. I will concentrate on the following themes: historical backgrounds, roles of associations, different traditions of cooperation, funding (and current changes in this field), ideological backgrounds (inspired by Esping-Andersen’s regimes) and future challenges. Then I will take a short outlook to Finnish cultural history figuring out what kind of roles cultural associations have in public (and later cultural) policy and what kind of relationship they have with the public and private sector. Finally, I consider the relevance of recent discussions on trust and confidence to the cultural association and third sector research inspired by this comparison introduced in this paper.



The Various Worlds of Social Capital and Trust: How to Discuss about Institutional Confidence?


As I mentioned before, trust and institutional confidence are related to the theory of social capital. Citing Ilmonen (2002, 20), the concept of social capital is divided in two: the first conception emphasizes the conceptual side of the concept (mainly social networks and their forms of organisation) and the second one is more practical consisting of elements which intensify social networks and their vitality. These elements – trust, norms, principle of reciprocity and social networks,  like associations - are mainly known by Putnam’ s studies of Italy and from his theory of social capital (Putnam 1993). Putnam’s results are widely discussed but there are still couple of findings that are not criticized: if we have strong and civilised civil society, the better the markets work. This means that the markets and economical situation are depending on the social structure and trust within. If we have a strong civil society, we would have a better functioning state as well. According to Putnam, social capital (consisting trust) is lifeline to vital politics and economics (Putnam 1993, see also Ilmonen 2002, 20-23).


In this paper, cultural policy system - consisting of the public, private and third sector - represents social networks in Putnam’s sense. For example, in cultural policy system there are common values and norms like the right to express oneself in artistic way. Ilmonen has compared issues of social capital and networks to Bourdieu’s conception of the field. Different social networks like arts and culture associations are instruments for their members to act in the field of culture. On the other hand, they also are messages to people outside this field. (Ilmonen 2002, 23).


There are different ways to categorize social capital and trust in the context of institutions. Rothstein and Stolle distinguish two main types of institutional arguments in relation to the concept of social capital: an attitudinal approach and an institutional-structural approach. In the attitudinal approach, scholars examine the relationship between institutional/political trust and generalized trust (interpersonal trust). Some social scientists (like Lipset and Schneider according to Rothstein & Stolle 2002, 8-9), who recognize the correlation between the two types of trust, see generalized trust mostly as a predictor of institutional / political trust. The institutional structural approach generally centers on the role of the state as a source of generating social capital. For example, states enable the establishment of contracts in that they provide information and monitor legislation, and enforce rights and rules that sanction lawbreakers, protect minorities and actively support the integration and participation of citizens. These are well-known themes from cultural policy too. This discussion is very insightful, as it specifies institutional characteristics such as the efficiency and trustworthiness of state institutions as influential for social capital creation. (Rothstein & Stolle 2002, 10).


In this paper, I follow Rothstein’s and Stolle’s ideas, as well as Seligman’s (1997, 18) twofold conception of trust: relationship between private individuals (trust) and relationship between individuals and institutions (institutionalised form of trust in the public sphere, so called institutionalised confidence), concentrating on the previous one. Institutional confidence is based on abstract systems, institutions and contracts (c.f. Luhmann 1988); citizens can be sure that different social and political institutions function as they ought to do.


How to research and measure trust or institutional confidence is a question, which has  been widely discussed in the social sciences and the third sector research. Through many research projects – mainly based on quantitative data - (for example Dekker & Uslaner 2001), it is well known that people who participate in associational work are more trusting than other fellow citizens. Citing Rothstein (2003) it is well known too that political institutions (not only associations) enable generation of social capital and trust / institutional confidence. So it is easy to belive what Ronald Inglehart (1999) has argued: “It seems likely that democratic institutions (including contemporary political institutions as well as associations) are conducive to interpersonal social trust, as well as trust being conducive to democracy”. (Rothstein & Stolle 2002, 10-11; Rothstein & Stolle 2003, 142.)


Stolle has explored the connection between contemporary political institutions and social capital (including trust) based on World Value Survey collected from three different types of welfare states: Sweden represents the universal welfare system, United States the selective welfare system and Germany the conservative one (Rothstein & Stolle 2003). According to this research, more important for the development of generalized trust is the experience of impartial, just, and fair political institutions, which are responsible for the implementation of public policies. In other words, we need to redirect our attention to themes like the character of service delivery and the impartiality within the welfare system. They cause differences in regional or national institutional trust, which in turn influenced generalized trust as well as institutional confidence (Rothstein & Stolle 2003, 142).


Permanent political institutions (like artists’ pension system, artists’ grants) reveal messages about the principles and norms of the prevailing political culture that mold and shape people’s beliefs and values. The issue here is not so much whether these institutions speak for one’s interests, but more important is that citizen trust them. Trust depends on, for example, whether these institutions represent the ideals of universalism, equality, impartiality and a reasonable degree of efficiency. The idea is that despite different political leanings in government at different times, people are able (or not) to trust that institutions responsible for the implementation of public policies are run and guided by these principles. (Rothstein & Stolle 2002, 12-13). In this case, institutional confidence in cultural policy system is depending on convention and procedures of successful long-term cultural policy, which is in line with people’s needs, beliefs and values.


Citizens have various experiences with impartiality in dealings with the different institutions like police or welfare system. In this paper I will concentrate on different traditions of the welfare states, as an important example of “citizen’s experience playground”. Gösta Esping-Andersen’s well-known typology of different types of welfare states (Esping-Andersen 1991) and their different institutional foundations, character, ideology, and consequences provides a useful scheme for distinguishing how the principles of fairness and partiality are implemented differently in different welfare traditions. The basic principle of a universal welfare policy is not to discriminate between citizens for example on economic grounds, which means not to separate “the needy” and “the poor” from other citizens and to treat them differently. Instead, services such as health care, basic studies in arts or communal library system, are organized by public government for the whole population on the principle of equal access. The universal welfare state provides the best possibilities for generation of different types of trust like interpersonal, generalized and institutional trust. (Rothstein & Stolle 2003, 144).



Some Prerequisites for Constructing the Institutional Confidence between Different Cultural Policy Actors: Comparing Nordic Third Sector Tradition and Anglo-American Model of NPOs and NGOs


In this chapter, I examine the Nordic associational sector (third or voluntary sector as well) and  the Anglo-American NP- and NGO tradition using Esping-Andersen’s welfare theory, in particular, comparing these regimes in the context of history, typical association type, the role of associations (in public policy), cooperation tradition between public and private sector, funding, political ideology as well as trust. I will make a short outlook to the future challenges too concentrating on arts and culture associations. My starting point is based on the role of arts and culture associations using Finland as a closer example of Nordic welfare state.


As Klausen and Selle (1996, see also Kangas 2004, 74) have pointed out, the same third sector organisations at local and national levels can be located throughout Scandinavia. They are not necessarily doing the same things, but are all integrated into a hierarchical and nationwide organisational structure in which the local branch and social connectedness between citizens have historically been the cores of the organisation. This way associations become important mechanisms for social integration. They are community-based organisations and they have great importance in building local identity and civic connectedness. They also are important nation-builders, which make them major political actors (Klausen & Selle 1996, 99-103). How do we end up with this kind of Nordic unity? What is the common denominator which explains this common associational orientation? Next, I explain these issues through the welfare state theory.


Nordic countries have shared almost the same cultural history and cultural traditions, ethnic homogeneity and the phenomenon we could call “historical cooperation without national boarders”. When we consider the development of the third sector, it is important to pay attention to the following issues that are same in every Nordic country: peasant movement, labour movement, trade union movement, a strong emphasis on civil society and volunteering (civil engagement to community), as well as a tight solidarity between the citizens, which can be seen in social responsibility within the nation. Moreover, the social democratic ideology is also a common issue to every Nordic country. (Klausen & Selle 1995, 13 and Klausen & Selle 1996, 101).  


When we are discussing the Nordic model of association, we mean by it a model in which the public sector has a major role, like Klausen’s and Selles’s study (1996) has shown. Nordic associations are something else than non-governmental organisations like in the Anglo-American model. For example in Denmark the tradition of cooperation between the public authorities and associations is even stronger than in Finland, concentrating first on the national level. Public subsidies and grants to cultural and recreation associations were given at first to national “umbrella” organisations each with its own independent board and administration, and they forwarded them to local level activities. These national umbrella organisations were much more interest-based associations than their “cousins” in Finland. Their role was social politically oriented too. The Leisure Time Act since 1991 enabled the direct financial subsidy to local cultural groups (Ibsen 1995, 239 and Ibsen 1996, 162-170; c.f. Duelund 2003, 31-46).


Nowadays, Danish cultural associations are major servants of cultural community and services at the local level in the name of subsidiarity. They have adopted new forms of cooperation for example via service agreements with the communal sector based on the New Public Management initiatives (see more: Bennett 1995 and McQuigan 1998; see also Duelund 2003).  In Finnish communal level, cultural and arts associations are mainly producers and developers of alternative cultural services. On the other hand, in the end of the 1990’s the municipal support to arts and cultural associations has been remarkably increased, as well as citizen’s involvement and engagement in cultural  associations, both in Denmark and Finland. (Klausen & Selle 1995, 21; Ibsen 1996, 161; cf. Oesch 2000, 12).


Anglo-American model of non-profit organisations or non-governmental organisations is very different from the Nordic one. Non-for profit and non-governmental organisation -tradition could also be seen in the perspective of Esping-Andersen’s residual / selective regime, in which the market is a primary source of welfare. The only role of the state is to take care of the poor and excluded people (Esping-Andersen 1991). Typical aspects of Anglo-American association tradition are communal heterogeneity, idea of pluralism and diversity, which are, as such, the basic values of cultural and arts associations – and cultural policy (for instance Foote 1998 and Murray 2000).


According to the concept of non-governmental organisation, NGO, there is a clear division between the state and civil society (including association and non profits). NGOs could, however, be seen as service providers who act mostly under charitable purposes. In cultural sector, a typical non profit organisation concentrates on providing, for example, new experimental art forms or it is a pure fundraising organisation. Cultural nonprofits have a weak connection to the public sector; they receive only subsidies or some indirect help (like spaces for activities) from the public sector (Montias 1986, 288, 293). For example charity and voluntary work are typically coordinated via different religious communities, community centres, schools etc.


Main differences on the basis of these two kind of associational sectors and their roles in society are to be found, as I showed above, in their political accomplishments of the welfare state. The Nordic associational sector can be seen as complementor and/or developer of the public welfare system organized by the state and municipalities (so called need-basis e.g. in Finland cultural associations could be seen as a producers of alternative and particular cultural services mentioning e.g. cultural services for handicapped people). The non-profit tradition, instead, underlines the minimum role of the state. The state’s role is only to provide public subsidies and tax expenditures (Montias 1986, 287).


The recent studies (Helander&Sundback 1998; Lorentzen 1995 and Siisiäinen 2002) on global social changes have pointed out that the third sector is capable for regenerating itself. On the one hand, economical globalization, new actors, new forms and sources of funding (like structural funds of European Union in the cultural field), developing communication technology, growing networking in society and individualisation, and on the other hand, the intensification of concerted culture too, have been questioning the Nordic and Anglo-American models of associational tradition. Different kind of crisis e.g. reformulating welfare states have also been influencing the third sector forcing it to make changes. Some researches (for instance Ibsen 1996, Klausen & Selle 1996) have argued that the only way for the associational sector to survive, is orientation towards market and the ideology of profit.


In his article “Frivillighet i velferdsstaten” (1995) Håkon Lorentzen has been considering the new model for Nordic associational tradition. According to Lorentzen new Scandinavian tradition could be based on such kind of cultural and historical configuration that would esteem the locality of each country. In consequence, these voluntary organizations will produce new forms of local social integration to be based on “recommunitarism”. This orientation points out much more attention to interpersonal trust. For example, new interest-based movements and associations in Nordic countries, which underline social mobilization and the importance of integration, could be seen as a living proof of re – communal action and/or re –village community in a local area (Lorentzen 1995, 69).


Table 1 shows the main differences between the Nordic Third Sector tradition and Anglo-American model. It is a conclusionary presentation (based on this chapter), in which the basic differences are presented only in certain context. For my research the most important issue is that close relationship between public sector and associations is based on mutual trust (Klausen & Selle 1996, 99). Trust is possible due to various reasons: associational sector does not have very high hierarchical structure (only local and national level) and relationships between different sectors are based on pragmatism and social consensus. These shared values are gateway to institutional trust, as well as horizontal and vertical social integration in Putnam’s sense.



Table 1: Conclusion / Nordic Third Sector Tradition versus Anglo-American model of NPOs and NGOs


Nordic Associational


Anglo-American Model /

NP and NGO Tradition

Historical Background

- Universal Welfare State

- Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Protestant Religions

- Homogenous Civil Society consisting the local and national levels (from the association’s perspective)


- Residual Welfare State

- Relogious unity

- Pluralism

- hierarchical structure of non government organisations

Ideological Background                                        

- Voluntarism

- (Social) Democracy

- Subsidiary principle

- Solidarity

- Political Consensus

- Legitimacy by Society

- Social Cohesion

- Voluntarism

- Liberal Democracy

- Subsidiary principle (cf. communitarism)

- Altruism, Civic Virtue and Public Good

- Pluralism

- Social Capital

Common Association Type

- Labour union

- Religious associations are strong in Sweden and Norway

- Religious community

Role of Association

- Complementing the Welfare State

- “Alarm-Bell”

- Developer

- Public Services

- Providing Services

- Providing Economical Growth

Tradition of Cooperation

- Public / Authority Sector

- Public (tax expenditures, subsidies) and Private Sector


- Mixed model

- New forms of Funding (e.g. Structural Funds by EU, international resources)

- Mixed model

- New forms of Funding (e.g. international resources)

Future Challengies

- Collapse of Welfare State

- Globalization

- Private and Associational Management

- Top To Down

- Associationalization (producing services)

- Lack of Trust / Institutional Confidence

- Collapse of Welfare

- Globalization

- Private and Public Management

- Top To Down

- Lack of Trust / Institutional Confidence / Social Capital

Consequences for Trust

- can spread widely

- those singled out will trust less


The Roles of Cultural Associations and the Institutional Confidence in the Development of Finnish Cultural Policy System


The third sector developed in various ways across Europe. In Finland, like in other Nordic countries, the third sector has many connections with the state and with the politics, as I have shown before. Moreover, arts and culture associations have played a major role in developing Finnish cultural policy system. When we look at the long-term alignments or developmental stages of Finnish cultural policy (c.f. Kangas 2003; Kangas 2004), we can discuss the changing relationship between the public sector and the associational sector over the years.  A central element in the formation of this close relationship, is trust between the state and the associations, manifested in giving space and exerting control, and in joint formulation of the rules and the agreements (Kangas 2004, 71). This chapter will take a close, but short outlook to development of Finnish cultural policy in the perspectives of cultural associations and trust.


According to Tuomikoski-Leskelä (1977, 20), the first steps towards the Finnish cultural policy were made in the 1860s. When the State became a Patron State, the support of arts and culture was included in public decision making. During the first decades of autonomy (1809-1840), the support for arts and culture had been mainly channelled through the few established literary cultural institutions and organisations. The functioning of the Patron State started in 1864 when the Finnish Senate pointed a certain amount of money in its budget for the promotion of fine arts in Finland. The appropriation was presented to the Finnish Art Society (now registered association), which was in charge of its further distribution. (Kangas 2004, 71). Maybe it is too naive to argue that state trusted these associations. The better reason to this important role of associations could have been the lack of cultural institutions within the cultural political sphere.


The present foundations for music, literature, performing and visual arts, artist organisations and the art institution were created during that period (like Finnish Art Society founded in 1846, Finnish Literature Society founded in 1831 and Finnish Artist Association founded in 1864). The Finnish Patron State evolved its art administration: utilising the expertise of national cultural associations and specially-appointed panels in cultural policy practises (like grants to the artists), were the starting point for the later system of arm’s length bodies like boards and the council in cultural policy system (Tuomikoski-Leskelä 1977, 21). The bases of close relationship – as well as cooperation -between public sector and associations were founded in this historical period. Citing Tuomikoski-Leskelä, this established the informational contact between art associations and decision-makers in the state administration (Tuomikoski-Leskelä 1977, 90-122; see also Kangas 2004, 71). We might argue that associations as an agent were engaged in cultural policy system by that time.


The expansion of the Welfare State reforms after 1950s was a favourable time period for developing arts and culture –political measures because the state, and the public sector in general, was taking a stronger role in promoting arts and cultural activities. The state justified the need to create a public cultural policy establishment on different levels of administration with the idea that it would balance the opportunities of citizens to participate in culture. In associations this development was interpreted differently: associations felt that the state does not trust them anymore as cultural actors. Functions such as municipal library system and adult education, which before were the responsibility of associations, moved to the public sector. State and provincial art administration too was formed during this period (Kangas 2004, 72-74). Artist grants and government subsidies to cultural associations and groups was channelled through these institutions at regional level. Regional institutions like art committees consisting of key-persons from the field of culture became more important in decision making. In 1970-80s a municipal cultural service system was also established (for example the Law on Municipal Cultural Activity since 1981 and the Sports Law since 1979). One guiding principle for welfare cultural policy was the citizen’s equal right to participate in cultural life. These different functions had diverse but clear connection to the associational field. (Kangas 2004,75). Since that time associations had a permanent role as one part of the cultural policy system.


This shortcut to the background of Finnish cultural policy system has established a close connection between the State (public sector) and associational sector as well as the importance of arts and cultural associations. Associations have been acting like a civil “alarm bell” (e.g. Siisiäinen 2002) concentrating on people’s needs in cultural life. Civic action (like acting in associational sector promoting for example some group’s needs) has often led to an extension of the state’s task (Alapuro 1988; see also Kangas 2004). There has often existed a complex relationship between public and third sector organizations due to the division of tasks in which they cooperate, each delivering their services to the same person. However, associations have played the role of pressure groups in relation to the political and administrative system. They also have been co-opted into state and policy-making processes, for the reason of intensive lobbying, professional and personal networking and binding activities. (Kangas 2004, 69; see also Siisiäinen 2002).


One of the famous and almost worldwide third sector comparative study, Johns Hopkins – research (Salamon & Anheier 1998, Salamon et. al. 1999, Finnish part: Helander & Sundback 1998) has shown that the number of associations has increased significantly in all European countries. Salamon, Anheier and other responsible associates (Salamon et. al. 1999) explains this phenomenon with the fact that the role of the state has been changing thanks to the recent development and social changes. A working partnership between government and nonprofits designates that the nonprofits deliver services with the help of government funds, and typically as part of complex contracting schemes (Heiskanen & Ahonen & Oulasvirta 2005, Kangas 2004, 69). Neo-liberalism, decentralisation, bottom-up thinking and the New Public Management have been emphasizing the privatisation of public agencies. Like Kangas (2004) has explained, the political and institutional consensus of the late industrial society is breaking up, and this has affected cultural associations too.


In 2001, Hänninen & Kangas & Siisiäinen conducted a study which analysed the activities and resources of the registered associations in Jyväskylä (city of 80 000 inhabitant, situated in Middle-Finland), their cooperation with different municipal actors and the innovative nature of their activity. Kangas focused on analysing the cultural associations in Jyväskylä. Citing her results it is obvious that cultural associations’ roles have been changing. The data showed that cooperation pattern with the city seemed to take many forms: general contact and contractual provision of services with the idea of substituting or complementing the city’s services (so called service contracts; OBS! This is not yet very usual way to act within cultural associations), and city employees and elected officials belonged to associational boards. Cooperation strengthened and it became reciprocal. The study showed also that new forms of cooperation require trust in different institutions to become concrete. (Kangas 2004, 78-79 c.f. also Dekker, P & van den Broek 1998, Klausen & Selle 1996, Predelli & Baklien 2003 and Wijkström & Lundström 2002).





One important difference between the Anglo-American model and the Nordic one is the role that the state, cultural institutions (including associations) and single citizens play in fulfilling the overall objectives. These models also reflect the fact that the state’s commitment to art and culture is closely associated with its political culture and traditions like the welfare orientation according to Esping-Andersen’s typology. The common elements of Nordic model like a strong role of the state, local orientation in public policy (consisting the issues like decentralisation and subsidiarity), civic connectedness, solidarity, reciprocity as well as strong emphasis on social integration, have affected our cultural policy system too. Citing Hillman-Chartrand and McCaughey (1989), the Nordic cultural model can be conceptualised as a variation of the architect model, but it is obvious that it has particular characteristics which aparts it from other European architect  models. According to Peter Duelund (2003), these characteristics are, for example, strong emphasis on equality, arm’s length principle based on institutional variation and close relationship between the public and third sectors, as well as, high degree of access, participation and engagement to cultural activities.


Recent social and political changes have an effect on all public policies and cultural policies forcing them to make some changes in emphasis. The role of the state is weakening and states direct their responsibilities to other levels of community, like the associational sector. This kind of development is well known both in the Nordic and Anglo-American regimes. Citing Tony Bennett (2001), there is no step back for example to demand equal providing of cultural resources or demand of stronger participation in cultural affairs in liberal democracies. These have passed forever. The social democratically oriented Nordic countries have faced similar problems too in the name of public efficiency and people’s individualisation.


For every public policies and cultural policies, it is important that the nation and civil society keeps on producing social integration and civic connectedness. This is a basic requirement for vital democracy too, like Inglehart has argued, as well as in producing social capital.  According to my future thesis, generalized trust and institutional confidence are in major roles producing social and political legitimacy within Finnish cultural policy. My future PhD dissertation is a study of citizens’ political analysis (intermediated by arts and cultural associations) of Finnish cultural policy system, and its effectiveness based on theoretically experienced institutional confidence. Experienced institutional confidence could also be seen as a new kind of measurement or justification for cultural policy too.




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