Matias Edvard Gardin


In today’s overpowering neoliberal dogma, the written media often renders strong economic developments and generous welfare state policies as incompatible. At a European level, the recent economic and financial crisis has worryingly reinforced this trend, exemplified by strategic cuts in higher education funding in the majority of EU member states. This article takes the present European crisis as its point of departure, and by drawing on the example of post-war higher education expansion in Finland and West Germany, it argues that crisis can provide beneficial insights into the causes, capacities, forms, and mechanisms of change in current capitalist economies under increased austerity. This analysis thereby condemns the alleged incompatibility of economic growth and egalitarianism, and concludes by suggesting – as was also implied by the Finnish and West German press of the 1960s – that investment in human capital via education needs to be maintained and increased to facilitate the EU member states out of the economic crisis.


Article Keywords

Welfare state, higher education, media analysis, Finland, West Germany

Research Articles
Article Copyright
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Material published in the JCER is done so under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence, with copyright remaining with the author.
  • Articles published online in the JCER cannot be published in another journal without explicit approval of the JCER editor.
  • Authors can 'self-archive' their articles in digital form on their personal homepages, funder repositories or their institutions' archives provided that they link back to the original source on the JCER website. Authors can archive pre-print, post-print or the publisher's version of their work.
  • Authors agree that submitted articles to the JCER will be submitted to various abstracting, indexing and archiving services as selected by the JCER.
Further information about archiving and copyright are contained within the JCER Open Access Policy.