Supra- and Transnational Foreign Policy versus National Parliamentary Government, 1914–2014


The research project Supra- and Transnational Foreign Policy versus National Parliamentary Government, 1914-2014 examines the dynamic relationship between the parliamentarization of foreign policy at the national level and pressures to proceed towards supra- and transnational decision-making in this field. The project consists of five interconnected historical analyses of debates in the national parliaments on the concepts ‘national’, 'international', ‘supranational’, ‘transnational’ and ‘parliamentarism’ in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States during the past hundred years.

The project compares policy debates on foreign and related economic policy in selected parliaments over time as well as debates on the possibilities and risks of supra- and transnational decision-making. It also examines executive debates on the parliamentary dimension of decision-making processes both at the national and international levels. The changing self-conceptions of the parliamentary assemblies of various inter-governmental organisations including the League of Nations, UN, WEU, the Council of Europe and the European Union will also be analysed.

Our analysis of parliamentary and archival sources combines updated methods of the history of political discourse with a contextualising interest in the political use of language and the methods of political history studied both in domestic and international contexts. The analysis of multi-sited policy discourse, i.e. in both national and supranational parliaments and the assemblies of intergovernmental organisations, executive bodies, media etc. entails a methodologically ambitious combination of research strategies with a special emphasis on the history of international relations.

The project is funded by the Academy of Finland in the period 2014-2017.

Coming events

Final workshop Parliaments, the Executive and Foreign Policy in Comparative and Transnational Perspectives (18-20 June 2017)

5th International PhD Conference of the Association for Political History (20-22 June 2017)

Past events

Workshop Parliaments, Foreign Policy and Transnationalization: Methodological Challenges, 24-26 September 2015 in Jyväskylä

Research group 

Principal Investigator: Professor Pasi Ihalainen. Working title: National Parliaments and Foreign Policy during World War I and the Founding of the League of Nations: Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Finland, 1917-1920.

Dr. Antero Holmila. Working title: National parliaments vis-à-vis transnational foreign policies in the USA, Britain, Sweden and Finland in the cases of the founding of the UN.

Dr. Teemu Häkkinen, Parliamentary Governments of Great Britain, Germany and Finland and the Common European Values in the Council of Europe, 1947-1990.

Associate members

Ville Häkkinen

Miina Kaarkoski

Dr. Rinna Kullaa

Jukka Nissinen

Jarmo Taskinen

Matti Roitto

Co-operation with other projects

Driving Forces of Democracy (University of Jyväskylä, University of Helsinki and Södertörn University)


Association for Political History


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