Henrik Stenius, Docent
P.O. Box 59 (Unioninkatu 38 A)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Henrik Stenius continues his studies surrounding the Finnish concept of citizenship in a European context. His research is entitled: The Republican Citizen, “Bildungsbauerntum” and the Transnational Citizen. Three Analyses of the Finnish Concept of Citizenship: Levelling by Negotiating, Elevating and Crossing Borders. Stenius’ work sheds new light on the study of Finnish citizenship. He claims that the concept of citizenship covers so many different facets that one has to dissolve the discourse into separate and non-related studies.
Stenius’ point of departure lies in the presentation of three types of citizenship that were implicated in the political debates of the Finnish Grand Duchy. The republican citizen and the Bildungsbauerntum” represent two alternative types of civic habiti, while transnational citizenship concerns the possibilities for citizenship by creating civic space that spans across state lines. He introduces “Bildungsbauerntum” as a counter-concept to the German “Bildungsbürgertum” in order to highlight the great expectations that the nation-building activists placed upon the peasantry in Finland.
The third type of citizenship refers to the “Olympic Games Principle” that citizens must represent a state in order to participate in any form of organized international interaction. Stenius searches for signs of the republican, deliberating and negotiating citizen in Finnish political culture in three case studies: One on key nineteenth-century Swedish and Finnish-speaking periodicals, another comparing early manifestoes in Sweden and Finland, and a third on the shift among historians from the patronizing rhetoric on “the awakening of the people” to the rhetoric of “debate” as an expression of parliamentarian and civic thinking.