Comparative study of political cultures

Director: Professor Pasi Ihalainen

The comparative study of the history of political cultures is characterised by openness to diverse themes and methodological approaches. It combines a variety methodological approaches inspired by the linguistic, discursive, cultural, spatial, mobility, international, transnational and material turns that have reformed political history and the history of ideas since the 1970s. We cooperate especially with the Research Centre on Postwar Studies as well as with political theory and language policy research, aiming at multidisciplinary, comparative and transnational short or long-term analyses of past political discourses and cultures in Finland, Sweden, Europe and globally that proceed beyond conventional history of political thought and conceptual history, developing into a multifaceted history of political and social discourse. In addition to deepening understanding interaction between political discourse and political practice and action in national political cultures we want to reveal the relative importance of transnational connections and cross-national transfers in comparison with ‘the national’. We are particularly interested in national history policies (Geschichtspolitik) and the discursive aspects of political crises. The studied institutions can be churches, parliaments, parties, the press, national and international organisations etc., while also the role of individual political agency is often central in our studies. 


Select publications:

Pertti Ahonen, “The Berlin Wall and the Battle for Legitimacy in Divided Germany”, German Politics and Society, Special Issue: ”The Berlin Wall after Fifty Years, 1961-2011”, 29, 2 (Summer 2011), 40-56.

Scandinavia in the Age of Revolution: Nordic Political Cultures, 1740-1820, eds. Pasi Ihalainen, Michael Bregnsbo, Karin Sennefelt and Patrik Winton. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Limited 2011.

Pertti Ahonen, “The Curious Case of Werner Weinhold: Escape, Death, and Contested Legitimacy at the German-German Border”, Central European History, 45, 1, (March 2012), 79-101.

Pasi Ihalainen, “From a Despised French Word to a Dominant Concept: The Evolution of ‘Politics’ in Swedish and Finnish Parliamentary Debates”, in Writing Political History Today, eds. Willibald Steinmetz, Ingrid Holtey & Heinz-Gerhard Haupt. Frankfurt & New York: Campus 2013, pp. 57–97.

Pasi Ihalainen, “Parlamentsdebatten und der Aufstieg ausserparlamentarischer Medien im späten 18. Jahrhundert. Schweden, Grossbritannien und die Niederlande“, in Parlamentarische Kulturen vom Mittelalter bis in die Moderne. Reden – Räume – Bilder, Hrsg. Jörg Feuchter & Johannes Helmrath. Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 2013, pp. 97–113.

Pasi Ihalainen, “Prospects for Parliamentary Government in an Era of War and Revolution: Britain and Germany in Spring 1917”, in The Politics of Dissensus: Parliament in Debate, eds. Kari Palonen, José María Rosales and Tapani Turkka, Santander: Cantabria University Press & McGraw Hill Interamericana de España 2014, pp. 423–448.

Pertti Ahonen, “On Forced Migrations: Trans-National Realities and National Narratives in Post-1945 (West) Germany”, German History, 32, 4 (December 2014): 599-614.

Teemu Häkkinen, The Royal Prerogative Redefined: Parliamentary debate on the role of the British Parliament in large-scale military deployments, 1982-2003. Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities, vol. 224. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä 2014.

Language Policies in Finland and Sweden: Interdisciplinary and Multi-sited Comparisons, eds. Mia Halonen, Pasi Ihalainen and Taina Saarinen. Bristol: Multilingual Matters 2015.

Pasi Ihalainen, “The 18th-Century Traditions of Representation in a New Age of Revolution: History Politics in the Swedish and Finnish Parliaments, 1917–1919”. Scandinavian Journal of History 40(1) 2015, 70–96.

Teemu Häkkinen, "Embracing values? The question of Finnish membership of the Council of Europe as a case of political value deliberation in European integration, 1987-1989", Journal of European Integration History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (2016), pp. 125-140.

Parliament and Parliamentarism: A Comparative History of a European Concept, eds. Pasi Ihalainen, Cornelia Ilie and Kari Palonen, European Conceptual Histories. New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books 2016. Available as paperback in November 2017. 

Parliamentary History 1/2016, Special issue on ‘The British Parliament and Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century’, eds. Pasi Ihalainen and Satu Matikainen.

Miina Kaarkoski, ‘Energiemix’ versus ‘Energiewende’: Competing Conceptualisations of Nuclear Energy Policy in German Parliamentary Debates of 1991-2001. Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities 290. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä.

Petri Karonen & Marko Hakanen, Personal Agency and Swedish Age of Greatness 1560-1720. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2017. Open access.

Pasi Ihalainen, The Springs of Democracy: National and Transnational Debates on Constitutional Reform in the British, German, Swedish and Finnish Parliaments, 1917–1919. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2017. Open access.

Taru Haapala & Teemu Häkkinen, "Debating Federal Europe in the British Parliament, c. 1940-1949", European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, Vol. 24, No. 5 (2017), pp. 801-816.

Teemu Häkkinen, "British parliamentary attitudes towards a supranational parliament and the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, 1948-49", Parliaments, Estates and Representation, 1/2018. Forthcoming.

Teemu Häkkinen & Miina Kaarkoski, "Sovereignty versus influence. The question of European unity and the conceptualisation of sovereignty in British parliamentary debates, 1945-2016" Contributions to the History of Concepts, 2/2018. Forthcoming.

Pasi Ihalainen, “The First World War, the Russian Revolution and Varieties of Democracy in Northwest European Debates”, in Democracy in Modern Europe: A Conceptual History, European Conceptual Histories, eds. Jussi Kurunmäki, Jeppe Nevers and Henk te Velde, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2018. Forthcoming.

Pasi Ihalainen, “Monarchists, Republicans, Revolutionaries: Criticism of parliamentarism and the reception of anti-parliamentarism among the Finnish and Swedish left and right, 1917−1919”, in Parlamentarismuskritik und Antiparlamentarismus in Europa, eds. Marie-Luise Recker and Andreas Schulz. Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 2018, 291–304.

Pasi Ihalainen, “Towards a Religion of Popular Sovereignty, Democracy and Equality: The Lutheran Sermon as a Nexus of Traditional and Modern Discourses on Political Values and a Collective Identity”, for Robert H. Nelson, Anneli Portman, Kaius Sinnemäki, Jouni Tilli (eds), On the Legacy of the Reformation in Finland: Societal perspectives. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2018. Forthcoming.

Pertti Ahonen, “Europe and Refugees: 1938 and 2015/2016”,  Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 52, no 2 (2018), Special Issue “Refugees Then and Now: History, Memory and Politics in the Long Twentieth Century”, forthcoming 2018.


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