Creating capabilities for societal participation in times of welfare state change? Experiences of people with disabilities in Finland

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Elisabeth Hästbacka, Mikael Nygård
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Alter: European Journal of Disability Research / Alter: Journal Européen de Recherche sur le Handicap
Volume number: 13
Issue number: 1
Start page: 15
End page: 28
eISSN: 1875-0680


participation is central for disability policies throughout the world. In a
Finnish setting, it is firmly anchored in the welfare state's commitment to
create equal capabilities, but it is also dependent on other prerequisites,
such as an inclusive labour market. However, these commitments have become both
increasingly important through efforts of strengthening the rights of people
with disabilities as well as increasingly challenged by crumbling growth and
recurrent austerity measures in social policy. This article explores societal
participation of people with disabilities in Finland in times of the recent
ratification process of the UN CRPD and welfare cuts, and investigates the
subjective experiences of societal participation in a changing welfare state
context. The data consists of 13 individual qualitative interviews among
working-age people with different kinds of disabilities. The findings highlight
the importance of state commitment for creating equal capabilities for societal
participation and for removing barriers standing in its way. They also suggest
that this commitment is becoming both strengthened by the UN CRPD and weakened
by the economic crisis and austerity measures and that this may have an
undermining effect upon capabilities for persons with disabilities to
participate in society.


capability, Disabled people, Finland, Societal participation


Last updated on 2020-20-09 at 06:06

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