The Information Society and the Welfare State: The Finnish Model

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Oxford University Press, 2002 - Business & Economics - 200 pages
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Silicon Valley has been considered as the model that societies must imitate to succeed in the information age. However, recently another alternative has attracted strong international interest: the Finnish model. This is equally dynamic in technological and economic terms, but combines theinformation society with the welfare state. The Information Society and the Welfare State is the first accessible academic study of what the Finnish model really is. The authors analyse the factors that have enabled Nokia to become the world's leading telecommunications company, for example, andLinux to become the biggest challenger to Microsoft in the operating systems market. They discuss the development of Nokia and the Finnish innovation model, with important lesssons for businesses and national technology policies.However, the Finnish model's most radical and interesting feature is its attempt to combine technological and economic success with social justice and equality. The book shows how Finland has uniquely created a 'virtuous cycle' out of the information society and the welfare state: the successfulinformation society makes the continued financing of the welfare state possible and the welfare state generates well-educated people in good shape for the information society's continued success. This model has significant implications for all societies where policy debates about the information society and/or public policy are on the agenda. Ultimately, the Finnish model proves that there is no one model for the information age, but that there is room for different policies and values.

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INTRODUCTION The Finnish Information Society in a Global Context
THE MOBILE VALLEY Nokia Finland and the Transformation of the Finnish Economy
INNOVATION ABOUT INNOVATING The Unlikely Innovation System The State Corporate Business Universities and Hackers
THE WELFARE OF THE NATION The Information Society and the Welfare State
THE LOCAL INFORMATION SOCIETY Spatial Dynamics Information Technology and Public Policy
THE POWER OF IDENTITY Identity Driving the Information Society and the Information Society Building Identity
CONCLUSION I The Challenges for Finland
CONCLUSION II Learning from Finland

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About the author (2002)

Manuel Castells is Professor of Sociology, and Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was appointed in 1979 after teaching for twelve years at the University of Paris. He has also been a visiting professor in fifteen universities around theworld, and an invited lecturer in hundreds of academic and professional institutions in thirty-five countries. Pekka Himanen works as a researcher in Europe and the United States. Following the completion of his Ph.D. eight years ago, he has also carried out field study in India, China, and Japan.He has been an adviser to the Finnish government on the information society, and to the Finnish Ministry of Eduacation and numerous universities on the virtual university. He works with some of the world's leading information technology companies on the human-oriented approaches to the informationsociety.

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