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Anneli Anttonen and Olli Karsio

The last thirty years have witnessed a significant change in the ethos and organisation of public services. There has been a profound market shift in the provision of publicly funded services in different types of welfare states. This chapter looks at the avenues and mechanisms through which in the Nordic countries an increasing proportion of publicly funded care services for older people is being removed from the entirely public sphere of state and municipal provision and is increasingly shifted to private for-profit providers. There are clear signs of intensified marketisation developments, most particularly in Finland and Sweden. Marketisation refers to the growing presence of private for-profit providers and the increasing influence of market ideas, logics and mechanisms within public service delivery. In this chapter the concept of ‘marketisation from within’ is used to characterise the marketisation shift typical of the Nordic countries, as the state and municipalities are important actors in the marketisation process by regulating and financing services that are outsourced to for-profit providers through competitive bids and customer choice models.

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Tiina Vaittinen, Hanna-Kaisa Hoppania and Olli Karsio

This chapter considers the connections between commodified care, transnational capitalism and the neoliberal restructuration of the welfare state. Understanding care beyond feminized work and in terms of services and structures allows us to engage with the economy of care beyond the realm of the household. This is particularly important in an era of globally ageing populations. The authors first describe and define the processes of commodification and marketization of care. They illustrate these concepts with empirical examples from the Nordic welfare state, focusing on elderly care. They then elaborate through feminist economics how treating care as a market product is in many ways problematic. The chapter argues that the failure to take seriously the problems of commodified care in national social policies further increases the racialized and gendered hierarchies of the global care economy exposed by feminist economics and IPE.