Postwar studies

Director: Professor Pertti Ahonen

This multidisciplinary group of historians and ethnologists explores the short- and long-term consequences of wars and other conflicts, particularly transitions between conditions of war and peace. We adopt a broad analytical perspective that stretches from political and societal structures to issues of culture and remembrance. Much of the work focuses on the twentieth century in general and the eras of the two world wars and the Cold War in particular, but we also compare and analyze postwar experiences in a long-term perspective, stretching from the early modern to the modern and contemporary periods.  A further area of interest is the ending of postwar situations; when and how do the after-effects of armed conflicts begin to fade away and be replaced by other problems.


Research projects:


Select publications:

  • Pertti Ahonen, ”On Forced Migrations: Trans-National Realities and National Narratives in Post-1945 (West) Germany”, German History, 32, 4 (December 2014): 599-614
  • Pertti Ahonen, ‘Germany and the Aftermath of the Second World War‘, The Journal of Modern History,vol 89, no 2 (June 2017): 355-387
  • 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
  • Anssi Halmesvirta, “István Bibó and the European Nemesis”. In: Diptichon. Tanulmányok Bartha Elek tisztéletére. Szerk. Bihari Nagy Éva, Melinda Malinka, Keményfi Róbert & Kavecsánszki Maté. MTA-DE: Debrecen, 2016, 711–727.
  • Antero Holmila & Pasi Ihalainen, “Nationalism and internationalism reconciled? British concepts for a new world order during and after the First and the Second World War”, Contributions to the history of Concepts, forthcoming 2018.
  • Antero Holmila & Simo Mikkonen, Suomi sodan jälkeen: pelon, katkeruuden ja toivon vuodet, 1944-1949 (Jyväskylä: Atena, 2015)
  • Antero Holmila & Jouni Tilli, “From Oblivion to Historical Consciousness: Finnish Responses to the Holocaust and WWII since the End of the Cold War”, Scandinavian-Canadian Journal 23, 2015-2016, 122-145
  • 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, (589 pages).
  • Pasi Ihalainen, “The First World War, the Russian Revolution and Varieties of Democracy in Northwest European Debates”, in Democracy in Modern Europe: A Conceptual HistoryEuropean Conceptual Histories, eds. Jussi Kurunmäki, Jeppe Nevers and Henk te Velde, forthcoming Berghahn Books: New York 2018.
  • Petri Karonen & Ville Kivimäki, eds., Continued Violence and Troublesome Pasts: Post-War Europe Between the Victors after the Second World War (Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2017, Studia Fennica Historica vol. 22)
  • Simo Mikkonen, “Mass Communications as a Vehicle to Lure Russian Émigrés Homeward” Journal of International and Global Studies (Lindenwood UP) vol. 2, nro 2: April 2011, 45-61.
  • Simo Mikkonen, “Exploiting the Exiles: The Soviet Emigration in US Cold War Strategy,” Journal of Cold War Studies (MIT press), vol 14, issue 2 (Summer 2012), 98-127.
  • Simo Mikkonen, “Not by Force Alone. Soviet Return Migration in the 1950s.” In Soo, Scott & Gemie, Sharif (eds) Coming Home? Conflict and Return Migration in the Aftermath of Europe’s civil wars (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013), 183-200.
  • Simo Mikkonen, “The Finnish-Soviet Society: From Political to Cultural Connections” in Valur Ingimundarsson & Rosa Magnusdottir (eds), Nordic Cold War Cultures. Ideological Promotion, Public Reception and East-West Interactions (Helsinki: Kikimora, 2015), 109-131.
  • Simo Mikkonen, Кража монополии знания? Советская реакция на американское радиовещание во время Холодной войны,” in Beate Fieseler and Rosa Magnusdottir (eds.), ССР и США в XX веке: восприятие «другого» (Moscow: Rossiiskaia politicheskaia entsiklopediia, 2017).




Other research staff:

Doctoral students: