The Change of Anti-Immigration Discourses in Finland

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Vesa PUURONEN, University of Oulu, Finland
The Change of Anti-Immigration Discourses in Finland

This paper deals with the development of anti-immigrant discourses in Finland since the beginning of 1990s. Large scale immigration to Finland began in the beginning of 1990s when the president gave an permission to so called Ingrian people, and the former Finnnish citizens who lived in Soviet Union/Russia to immigrate to Finland as expatriates. At the same time first groups of Somalian refugees arrived to Finland. Since 1990 the number of immigrants has risen from 20 000 to more than 400 000 in the year 2016. Racist anti-immigrant, mainly white power skinhead groups emerged around the country during 1990s distributing anti-immigrant propaganda, organizing demonstrations and street violence. In the beginning of 21st century began the development of a political anti-immigrant movement, which became gradually a part of a right wing populist party The True Finns (later The Finns), The Finns forms at the moment important part of Finnish government (4 ministers) and has had a decisive role in defining the immigration and integration policies of the country. The paper is based on the empirical, qualitative discourse analysis of written statements, documents, interviews and parliamentary discussions about immigration.