Faculty of Social Sciences

The new pages for Faculty of Humanities are available at https://www.jyu.fi/hytk/fi/en/.

The new pages for Department of Psychology are at https://www.jyu.fi/edupsy/fi/laitokset/psykologia/en.

Haapala Taru, Tutkijatohtori / Postdoctoral researcher

Valtio-oppi / Political science
Short number:
Opinkivi 237.1.


I received my PhD in political science at the University of Jyväskylä in December 2012. My doctoral thesis “That in the opinion of this House”: The parliamentary culture of debate in the nineteenth-century Cambridge and Oxford Union Societies dealt with British parliamentary ideas and their transfer to contemporary debating societies. The focus of my study was on the political practices and activity of the Union Societies and how they were connected to the wider nineteenth-century political culture in Britain.

I started my postdoctoral project with Kone Foundation scholarship (2013-2014). Currently, my research is funded by Finnish Distinguished Professor Niilo Kauppi’s Academy of Finland project Transformations of Concepts and Institutions in the European Polity (TRACE; 2015-2019). The contribution of my research within the project is to examine the conceptual and institutional transfers of academic and political culture.

My new research project deals with the early stages of European integration from the point of view of British political culture. I am especially interested in the political rhetoric of British politicians and intellectuals who promoted European federalism in the 1940s and 1950s.

Professional Activities

  • Board member of the Finnish Political Science Association, 2014 -
  • Treasurer, Standing Group "Political Concepts", European Consortium for Political Research, 2015 -
  • Member of the research project "The Civic Constellation II: Debating Democracy and Rights" (Spain's National Research Fund, FFI2014-52703-P), 2015-2018
  • Member of the International Board, Global Intellectual History (Taylor&Francis), 2016 -
  • Visiting Fellow, Department of History and Civilization, European University Institute, Florence, April - June 2016
  • Visiting Fellow, QMUL Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought, London, October - December 2016
  • Co-founder of EURECA JYU, https://www.jyu.fi/hum/en/eureca

Areas of Interest

My fields of interest include rhetoric, especially its history and applications in different political contexts, history of political thought, intellectual history and parliamentary cultures.

Research Areas

My research area covers the study of politics, political rhetoric and intellectual history.

The Relevance and Benefits of Research

My study of political rhetoric provides crucial knowledge on how the mechanisms of political action have been formed and how they are used in practice. My research benefits broadly all who are interested in political action, especially in relation to parliamentary cultures and the European integration, as it deepens our current understandings, both at national and global levels.

Recent Publications

Taru Haapala, forthcoming 2016. Political Rhetoric in the Oxford and Cambridge Unions, 1830-1870. Series: Studies in Modern History. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Taru Haapala, forthcoming 2016. Debates, Rhetoric and Political Action: Practices of Textual Interpretation and Analysis (co-authored with Claudia Wiesner and Kari Palonen). Series: Rhetoric, Politics and Society. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Taru Haapala, 2015. The issue of the secret ballot in the Cambridge and Oxford Union Societies, c. 1830–72: an extension of the nineteenth-century parliamentary culture of debate, Parliaments, Estates and Representation 35(1), pp. 66-83. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/yNmnyK5sctX39HJz8H2S/full

Taru Haapala, 2014. Parliament as a Model for Debating: Procedure Debates in the Cambridge and Oxford Union Societies, in: K. Palonen, J. Rosales and T. Turkka (eds.), The Politics of Dissensus: Parliament in Debate. Santander: Cantabria University Press & McGraw-Hill, pp. 279-300. http://www.editorial.unican.es/libro/politics-dissensus-parliament-debate

Taru Haapala & Tuula Vaarakallio (eds.), 2013. The Distant Present. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto, SoPhi. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-5102-3

Taru Haapala, 2012. “That in the opinion of this House”: The parliamentary culture of debate in the nineteenth-century Cambridge and Oxford Union Societies. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto, PhD diss. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-4970-9

Teaching (list of courses)

VALS451 Parlamentaariset debatit, 5 op

VALS460 Parlamentarismin tutkimuksen lähestymistavat ja menetelmät, 5 op