This article uses strategy metaphors consisting of a plan, a home and a game to study government programme formation in Finland. The strategy approach both contradicts and complements the traditional political science approach to government formation. The government programme has been strategic in the sense of separating the formulation and implementation parts of the strategy. The most important function of the metaphor of plan is to hold coalition parties together. The adopted austerity policy provides a meagre contribution to the expansion of services and the increase in government spending. Consequently, the home metaphor in the government programme appears in the distant future and in combating external threats. The game metaphor is apparent in the goal of making contracts with social partners. The vocabulary change from politics to strategy alters the government programme’s position in terms of catering to the needs of civil servants, citizens and stakeholders. The strategy perspective might be instrumental in shifting open democratic debates to closed and secretive policy formations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited