Abstract: A Technocratic Matrimony: Collaboration between the State and Private and Public Enterprises during the War Reparation Era in Finland, 1945-1952

Karl-Erik Michelsen


How do societies change? Historians and sociologists have long tried to understand the phenomenon of social change. Various theoretical models have been introduced to explain how societies move from agrarian into industrial, and recently also into information society. Social change has also been one of the most heated topics of political and ideological discussion. This paper investigates the social change in a small country. The research is a part of larger on-going project that tries to explain how Western industrial societies changed into an information society. This study builds a collaborative model in which the state and private and public companies jointly work together to enhance social change. The study argues that the change can take place in a relatively short period of time and the initiative for the change can come outside of the society. In this case the time period is right after the World War II, when Finland was forced to pay war reparations to the Soviet Union. It is argued that this massive project forced Finland to restructure not only its industry, but also its economy and social order.