Comparative study of political cultures

Director: Professor Pasi Ihalainen

The comparative study of the history of political cultures 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’. 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:

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.

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.

Pasi Ihalainen, The Springs of Democracy: National and Transnational Debates on Constitutional Reform in the British, German, Swedish and Finnish Parliaments, 1917–1919. Finnish Literature Society: Helsinki 2017. Open access, http://dx.doi.org/10.21435/sfh.24.  

Research projects:

Links to international partners:



Research fellows:

Doctoral students: