Social Space for Self-Organising: An Exploratory Study of Timebanks in Finland and in the UK


  • Teppo Eskelinen Department of social sciences and philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland



time banks, community building, alternative economies, social ontology, governance, volunteerism


The article examines the challenges to self-organisation and upscaling of alternative economies from the viewpoint of defending and negotiating social space. Timebanks in Finland and the UK are presented as examples, analysing the difference of defending such social space in the contexts of a traditional welfare state (in the case of Finland) and an austerity-driven government with a “Big Society” ideology (in the case of UK). Both systems of government present different kinds of pressures on timebanks, pushing them to a given ontological categories and to action in accordance with pre-defined political goals. This difference, along with timebank reactions and the question of prospects of opening ontological space, is analysed through material from observation, interviews with timebanks activists and brokers, and survey data from timebank users.

Author Biography

Teppo Eskelinen, Department of social sciences and philosophy, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Research fellow, social and public policy


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How to Cite

Eskelinen, T. (2018). Social Space for Self-Organising: An Exploratory Study of Timebanks in Finland and in the UK. Nordic Journal of Social Research, 9, 89–109.




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