In discursive negotiation: Knowledge and the formation of Finnish innovation policy

Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, Stefan Kuhlmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper analyses the formation of Finnish innovation policy from the mid-1980s to 2010. Inspired by Foucauldian thinking in line with selected social-constructivist policy approaches, it conceptualises innovation policy as a discourse constituted of policy knowledge and policy-making practices. Our alternative approach towards policy formation, introduced in this paper, highlights the role of rules, and gradual changes in these, in defining truth values in policy knowledge, which in turn actualise in policy practice. The paper shows three phases in the investigated policy in Finland. Based on theoretical insights on policy formation, the paper argues that changes in innovation policy cannot be explained as a rational learning process or as isomorphic convergence processes across countries. Rather, they are an outcome of highly politicised negotiations in trans-local contexts where the role of a nation state can vary over time. Another finding is that changes in policy occur in relatively slowly
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-106
JournalScience and public policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2015


  • METIS-306160
  • IR-92351


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