Uusi hallintokieli ja kansalaiset (UHK, in English: Citizens and the New Language of Public Administration) is a research project at the University of Helsinki, funded by the Kone Foundation. The research focuses on the language of Finnish administrative policy, especially from the perspectives of citizenship and democracy. The research project, which will be carried out between September 1, 2022 and March 31, 2026, will produce new information about the current national diversified administrative policy for Finnish discussion and international comparisons. This project also aims to promote the comprehensibility and implementation of administrative policy from a citizen perspective.

Contact details of the project’s Principal Investigator Kanerva Kuokkanen: kanerva.kuokkanen (at)


Research Objectives

The study examines the concepts of citizenship and democracy that appear in Finnish administrative policy after New Public Management (NPM). The review period mainly starts from the early 2000s, which in Finland represents the transition from NPM to new trends, and continues to the present day. The research focuses on the administrative thinking, administrative culture and administrative language of key actors in administrative policy. It applies interpretive policy analysis based on the theoretical traditions of social constructionism and discourse analysis, as well as interpretive management research. The research focuses on the construction of the meanings of administration and control, including the role of different actors in this process. The main research questions of the project are:

  • How has post-NPM administrative policy changed Finnish administrative thinking, culture and language? What are the different trends of thought associated with change? How are they related to international and transnational trends in administrative policy?
  • What kind of language is used about citizens and democracy in administrative policy after the new public management? What kind of boundary conditions does it set for them and what kind of contradictions regarding them can be found in it? Which administrative policy actors influence these thoughts the most?
  • Does the new administrative policy challenge the perceptions of the citizens of the previous administrative thinking and how? What are the consequences of this for Finnish politics and democracy?


Research Network