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FSD3227 Finnish Views on Democracy and Political Issues 2017: Swedish-Speaking Finns

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Authors

  • Lindell, Marina (Åbo Akademi University. Faculty of Social Sciences, Business and Economics)
  • Taloustutkimus

Keywords

corruption, cybercrime, defence and state security policy, democracy, immigration, mass media, minority groups, minority language users, political attitudes, representative democracy, terrorist threats, voting

Abstract

The study charted Swedish-speaking Finns' views on democracy, society and safety in Finland. The public opinion survey was part of the "Fate of Democracy" project led by think tank Magma. The study contained attitudinal statements that the respondents were asked to evaluate on a scale ranging from "Strongly agree" to "Strongly disagree". The themes of the survey included safety, Finland's EU membership, multiculturalism and minorities, and trust in democracy and traditional media.

First, the respondents' opinions regarding elections and the functionality of democracy were charted with questions pertaining to issues such as whether voters in parliamentary elections can truly impact politics, and if Finnish matters would be tended to better if decision-making was left to independent experts instead of politicians and citizens. It was also asked if the ability to make citizens' initiatives had improved democracy in Finland. Some questions pertained to cyber threats, terrorism and Russia, as well as the extent of the respondents' trust in "traditional" media rather than social media, for instance. The study also canvassed attitudes with regard to foreign and security policy, e.g. with questions concerning Nordic cooperation, NATO and the European Union. The final questions covered matters related to multiculturalism, corruption, language policy, and safety, and the respondents' attitudes toward immigrants and asylum seekers were examined.

Background variables included gender, age (categorised), education level and type of municipality of residence.

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