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Jan Sundberg, "Compulsory Party Democracy: Finland as a Deviant Case in Scandinavia," Party Politics, 3 (January 1997), 97-117.

First Paragraph:
The aim of this study is to discuss to what degree parties in Finland, as compared to parties in other Scandinavian countries, experience state interference, and how the impact of state authority affects internal party structure and organization. By raising the question we want to highlight the relation between the state and the civil society of which parties are or were a part. Freedom of speech and the freedom to establish and run voluntary organizations (including political parties) are corner-stones of the well-documented Nordic democracy. However, the notion of freedom is differently understood, regulated and practised in Finland. Strong state authority usually results in strong organizational authority, but in the case of Finland the result is ambiguous.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Comparing the scope of public interference in central party functions in Scandinavia.
Table 2: Indicators of egalitarian and hierarchical party rule.
Figure 1: The degree of egalitarian and hierarchical party rule in Finland.
Table 3: Relative size and importance of Finnish parties, 1970-95.

Last Paragraph:
Reaction from civil society was non-existent when the people's control of the state was turned in the opposite direction and the state began to control the people's political organizations. Now it is the state that defines the limits of what organizational activity is accepted and what is not. This shift is not only of academic interest; it also has implications for how democracy operates. It is a question of the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, or the political elite and the masses. Two hypothetical interpretations may be made. Either the gap between the political elite and the voters has grown to such an extent that the elite no longer see themselves as representatives of the people and instead act independently above them, or the Finnish parties fit so well into the cartel party model that they have become a part of the state and not the civil society from which they originated and grew.