Finntopia

What We Can Learn from the World’s Happiest Country

Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen

Agenda Publishing

Finntopia

Pub Date: November -0001

ISBN: 9781788212168

192 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00

Pub Date: July 2020

ISBN: 9781788212151

192 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $25.00

Finntopia

What We Can Learn from the World’s Happiest Country

Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen

Agenda Publishing

In 2018, the World Happiness Report ranked Finland the world's happiest country, both for its total population and for the immigrants living there. The United States and the UK were placed eighteenth (fifteenth for immigrants) and nineteenth (twentieth for immigrants), respectively.

The Nordic Model has long been touted as the aspiration for social and public policy in Europe and North America, but what is it about Finland that makes the country so successful and seemingly such a great place to live? Is it simply the level of government spending on health, education and welfare? Is it that Finland has one of the lowest rates of social inequality and childhood poverty, and highest rates of literacy and education? Finland clearly has problems of its own – for example, a high level of gun ownership and rising rates of suicide – which can make Finns sceptical of their ranking, but its consistently high performance across a range of well-being indicators does raise fascinating questions.

In the quest for the best of all possible societies, Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen explore what we might learn from Finnish success and what they might usefully learn from us.
As inequality reaches eye-watering levels around the world, this book contains some fascinating and important lessons on how policies like progressive taxation and investing in public services can lead to more equal—and happier—societies. Danny Sriskandarajah, Chief Executive, Oxfam GB
An absorbing, insightful, and scholarly book, grounded in emancipatory hope and humility, that captures the very essence of why Finland has become one of the most equitable countries in a highly unequal world. Paul Stepney, adjunct professor of social work, Tampere University, Finland
Finland is one of the fairest, most inclusive, and dynamic countries to live in. This is not because it is small or culturally homogeneous, or enjoys a great deal of oil wealth. As Danny Dorling and Annika Koljonen show us in this marvelous book, it is because of what Finns have learned about ‘caring for each other more and more cleverly’ over recent decades. We would do well to follow their example. Simon Reid-Henry, associate professor in the School of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London, and senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo
Finntopia is the remarkable story of a country on Europe’s perceived fringes that should instead be in the center of our view for creating a better society. Dorling and Koljonen provide a compelling picture of why Finland may not be the utopia that it sometimes is portrayed as, but can still teach us many lessons about a different kind of politics, one that has the interest of people at its heart. Benjamin Hennig, professor of geography, University of Iceland

About the Author

Danny Dorling is the Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford.

Annika Koljonen graduated in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge in 2019 and is currently an intern at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.