Studies in Parliamentary History at the University of Jyväskylä

The comparative study of the history of political thought, discourse and cultures combines a variety methodological approaches inspired by the linguistic (discursive, spatial and movement) and cultural turns in the study of ‘new’ political history, paying attention to the influence of political and social structures as well. By ‘political culture’ the research group refers to the norms, values, discourses, concepts and practices that have surrounded and structured political thought and action in the past.

Methodologically the research group's work is related to the study of political and policy discourse in political science and language studies. The research group aims at developing multidisciplinary (historical, linguistic, political and ethnographic) analyses of multi-sited and mutually linked political discourses, proceeding beyond conventional history of political thought and conceptual history. The understanding of a political culture can be deepened by analysing its long-term change between the early modern period and the present day or by comparing it to parallel political cultures.

The research group aims at combining the comparative study of national cases with the analysis of transfers and transnational interaction. Special attention is paid to temporal multilayeredness of political cultures: change and continuity; dissimultaneity of the simultaneous; temporal, spatial and cultural differences. Research within the team has recently focused especially on the role of parliaments in various northwest European political cultures, but also political thought and culture in general and foreign policy decision-making are being explored. Constructions of national identity in European political cultures continue to be of major interest to the team. Furthermore, special attention is paid to the handling of postwar situations in various political cultures.

Research projects:

Supra- and Transnational Foreign Policy versus National Parliamentary Government, 1914–2014, funded by the Academy of Finland, leader: Professor Pasi Ihalainen.

How the political became personal: Feminism in practice in Finland, funded by the Academy of Finland in 2015-2018, leader: PhD Arja Turunen.

Identities, Culture, and State Formation: Territorial Particularity in the Late Early Modern Sweden, Russia, and the Grand Duchy of Finland, ca. 1720–1840, funded by the Academy of Finland in 2014–2017, leader: PhD Antti Räihä

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,