Redefining Local Self-Government: Finnish Municipalities seeking their Essence

Hanna Vakkala, Lotta-Maria Sinervo, Anni Jäntti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Finnish municipalities have strived to manage an extensive number of statutory tasks with insufficient financial resources. Local government reforms have followed the politics of bigger scales, which is feared to cause problems in implementing the principles of locality and subsidiarity. This chapter aims to discuss what is happening to local self-government in Finland in the context of recent reforms. We reflect on the municipalities’ struggle with the concept of local self-governance and the contents of the European Charter of local self-government. The chapter builds on knowledge based on the previous literature and recent studies. Strengthening local autonomy and supporting municipalities’ financial resources would require loosening regulation at the central government level, while at the local level municipalities need to seek their essence and reinvent themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Local Self-Government
Subtitle of host publicationEuropean Trends in Autonomy, Innovations and Central-Local Relations
EditorsTomas Bergström, Jochen Franzke , Sabine Kuhlmann, Ellen Wayenberg
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-56059-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-56058-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

Publication series

SeriesPalgrave Studies in Sub-National Governance


  • local self-government
  • Finland
  • local government
  • reform

Field of science

  • Political science
  • Administrative science


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