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Globalization and Competitive Community . Pauli Kettunen University of Helsinki Workshop on Rhetoric of Innovation in Contemporary Society University of Helsinki 8-9, February, 2010. The nationalism of welfare and competitiveness.

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globalization and competitive community

Globalization and Competitive Community

Pauli Kettunen

University of Helsinki

Workshop on

Rhetoric of Innovation in Contemporary Society

University of Helsinki 8-9, February, 2010

the nationalism of welfare and competitiveness
The nationalism of welfare and competitiveness

globalisation does not mean a diminishing role for nationalism

nationalism does not only appear in protectionist and racist reactions against the global mobility of capital, information, ideas, and people

but also in the concern for ”our” competitiveness

the national welfare state (and welfare nationalism) challenged through the nationalism associated with globalised economic competition

“competition state” (Philip Cerny, Wolfgang Streeck, Ronen Palan & Jason Abbot etc)

globalisation within and through nation-states (Saskia Sassen)


the structure of the paper
The structure of the paper
  • the notion of national society in the making of the Nordic welfare state
  • the emergence of the critique of welfare-state nationalism (Gunnar Myrdal)
  • ”created harmony” à la Myrdal versus the harmony associated with the current concepts of ”corporate citizenship” and ”social partnership”
  • innovations in competitive communities: market relationships between business environments and business companies
  • welfare state and competition state
  • dualism of ’environment’
  • dualism of the ’social’
  • dualism of ’model’
the nordic confidence in virtuous circles
The Nordic confidence in virtuous circles
  • since the 1930s: confidence in positive-sum game between organised economic interests within a national society
  • linking three ideological aspects of Nordic modernisation: idealised heritage of the free Nordic peasant; spirit of capitalism; utopia of socialism
  • ”the cumulative causation” (Myrdal) of social equality, economic growth, and widening democracy
  • interest compromises, social engineering and Social Democracy for the People’s Home
the welfare state and the welfare world
The welfare state and the welfare world
  • The Myrdals and the ”population question” in the 1930s: the ideologies of rationalisation and nationalism in the Social Democratic welfare-state project
  • Gunnar Myrdal: Beyond the Welfare State (1960): the critique of the bureaucracy and the nationalism of the welfare state
  • ”created harmony” at the national and the international level; ”the Welfare World”
  • ”enlightened citizenry” and ”the international idealism of all people”
a paradoxical extension of citizenship
A paradoxical extension of “citizenship”
  • at the time of the loosening spatial ties of capital, the humble community-oriented concept of “corporate citizenship”
  • at the time of increasing asymmetries, the warm symmetrical expressions of “social partners” and “social dialogue”
  • how could we interpret these paradoxes?
corporate citizenship
Corporate citizenship
  • management’s own concept since the late 1990s
  • “corporate citizenship”, “corporate social responsibility”
  • a “stakeholder” perspective instead of a narrow “shareholder” one
  • the discursive role of the UN,ILO, OECD, EU
  • neo-voluntarism, a linguistic tool of redefining the relationship between public and private.
  • market relationship between business environments and business companies
  • “innovation systems” in the production and marketing of business environments
  • exit option and corporate citizenship: the two sides of the Janus-faced corporate strategies
  • reshaping the discussion on global governance and global democracy
social partnership
Social partnership
  • anchorage in traditions of European social thought:
  • the Catholic image of community, the tradition of social Catholicism
  • resonance with present tendencies of agenda setting:
  • “social partners” and “social dialogue” concepts in a discourse in which collective negotiations and agreements are proved to serve European or national knowledge- and innovation-based competitiveness
  • a crucial difference between the language of EU social dialogue and the Nordic modes of conceptualizing working-life issues
  • “social partners” vs. the Nordic “labour market parties”
  • from the recognized particularism of employer interests to the universalist interest of “economy”
welfare state and competition state
Welfare state and competition state
  • virtuous circles within a nation-state society?
  • symmetries of labour market parties?
  • nationalism nourished by coercive comparisons in global economic competition
  • welfare-state institutions modified to serve competition-state functions
the dualisms of environment and the social
The dualisms of ‘environment’ and the ‘social’
  • The dual meaning of ‘environment’ in dealing with globalization as ‘our national challenge’:
  • 1) globalization taking place in ‘our’ external environment
  • 2) ‘we’ are producing an innovative and competitive environment for global economic actors
  • naturalized globalization, commodified national community
  • the Janus face of the social, associated with:
  • 1) with subjects of innovation (social capital and competitiveness)
  • 2) with objects of activation (social exclusion, social integration, social cohesion)
  • post- and pre-welfare-state meanings of the social
the ambiguous nordic model of welfare and competitiveness
The ambiguous Nordic model of welfare and competitiveness
  • the dualist usage of ’model’: 1) a structure threatened through globalisation or 2) the way of responding to the challenge
  • “social policy as a productive factor” (the Lisbon strategy of the EU, 2000); cf. the Nordic trust in virtuous circles
  • a self-reinforcing circle: defining globalisation as a national challenge bound to reinforce the imperatives competitiveness in the defining of political agenda
  • different national(istic) strategies for competitiveness
  • alternatives: nostalgic welfare nationalism? xenophobic and racist right-wing nationalism?
  • conclusions from current economic crisis: the reinforced logic of competition state (with protectionist ingredients)? opening space for inter- and transnational economic and social regulation?