Ville Kellokumpu & Heikki Sirviö (2022) Politics of public interest: Finnish forest capital’s strategy in the Kaipola paper mill shutdown, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 104:4, 341-361, DOI: 10.1080/04353684.2021.2025412
Politics of public interest : Finnish forest capital’s strategy in the Kaipola paper mill shutdown
|Author:||Kellokumpu, Ville1; Sirviö, Heikki2|
1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)|
|Persistent link:|| http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2022041128048
John Wiley & Sons,
|Publish Date:|| 2022-04-11
Depoliticization has emerged as a key concept in analyzing the changing political dynamics of capitalist democracies. Yet, the concept of public interest has been relatively absent in depoliticization literature. This article argues for a more systematic inclusion of public interest politics in scrutinizing de- and repoliticization. The argument is advanced through strategic-relational theory by interpreting public interest as (1) a terrain of political struggles, (2) a mode of doing politics and (3) a method of enquiry. These dynamics are examined in the empirical context of Finnish forest industry’s political strategy in the Kaipola paper mill closure in August 2020. The forest conglomerate UPM-Kymmene politicized its paper mill shutdown by shifting the responsibility to the centre-left governmental coalition’s purportedly business-hostile policies. However, analyzing the case through UPM strategies and the paper production crisis, the closure falls in line with the forest industry’s long-term business strategy. The forest industry’s and UPM’s strategy is recognized as a forceful defense of a corporate polity where public interest is equated with the success of key economic actors. The article concludes with an argument for the politics of public interest as a vital research perspective for analyzing contradictions surrounding ‘the economy’.
Geografiska annaler. Series B, Human geography
|Pages:||341 - 361|
|Type of Publication:||
A1 Journal article – refereed
|Field of Science:||
519 Social and economic geography
This study was supported by the Academy of Finland project ‘Justification for agreement-based approaches in Nordic spatial planning: towards situational direct democracy?’ (decision number 315772).
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.