Calendar of Events
The Results Are In: Post-election Analysis Symposium. Photo by Elina Keskitalo

Upcoming Events:


Is the World Order in Flux? Challenges to Transnational Political Conventions

Date: Friday, October 27, 2017

Time: 13:15–16:15

​Place: Pub 2, Publicum Building



Chair: Dr. Samira Saramo (JMC)

Dr. Henna-Riikka Pennanen (JMC),                                                                    "Introduction: Disintegration of the Liberal World Order?"

Dr. Nina Tynkkynen (Baltic Sea Region Studies),                                                 "Putin's Appropriation of the International Leadership Vacuum"

Dr. Anna Kronlund (JMC),                                                                                   "The Trump Administration's Commitment to Rules-based Order"

14:30-14:45 BREAK


Chair: Dr. Reetta Humalajoki (JMC)

Dr. Mika Suonpää (Contemporary History),                                                         "Academic Populism of Anti-EU British Intellectuals"

Dr. Benita Heiskanen (JMC),                                                                              "Crisis of Knowledge in the Era of Trump"

Q & A

The event is free of charge and open for all. No advance registration is required. Students may collect lecture pass entries.


Dr. Henna-Riikka Pennanen, “Introduction: Disintegration of the Liberal World Order”

The current liberal international order was created and shaped by European and American democratic states in the decades following the Second World War. The order was led by the United States and was built around multilateral institutions, mutually agreed-upon rules, hierarchy, and security alliances. The order rested on consent, openness, interdependency, and capitalism. Ideally, the states within the order subscribed to such liberal values as universal human rights and freedom of speech. After the collapse of the Soviet Union—the U.S.’s main the geopolitical and ideological rival—this order expanded, and the world witnessed a moment of unipolar U.S. hegemony. Today, the liberal world order appears to be unraveling. In 2016, the United States elected a president who is critical of the current international order and argues that it no longer serves the interests of the country. The critique of internationalism and globalization resonates in Europe, too. Those European politicians, who endorse liberal internationalism, have voiced concerns that the U.S. no longer stands for “Western values.” This has contributed to a deepening of the so-called “transatlantic rift” between the core actors of the liberal order. While the U.S. appears to be withdrawing from international institutions and commitments, and states such as Russia operate partly outside of them, China increasingly represents itself as a steward of the current order. At the same time, however, China is also crafting a parallel order and advocates for its own, alternative values. The question for the future, then, is perhaps not whether we are returning to a more multipolar world, but whether the liberal world order is resilient enough to withstand the upcoming power shift.

Dr. Nina Tynkkynen, “Putin’s Appropriation of the International Leadership Vacuum”

“Don’t worry, be happy!” That is how Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Indeed, the chaotic presidency of Trump has given Russia plenty of reasons to be happy. Not only has the international leadership vacuum created by Trump helped to strengthen Russia’s international position in general, but presented it with an opportunity to capitalize on global climate politics. Will Russia take genuine leadership in climate policy so as to demonstrate its status as a Great Power? Or will it continue engaging in trade to compensate for the U.S. inaction, promising climate commitments so that countries would relax sanctions and adjust their foreign policies for the benefit of Russian interests? Will it take advantage of the chaotic situation by taking measures to destabilize the Paris agreement and stall a transition from fossil fuels to renewables so as to enable the expansion of Arctic oil and gas drilling?

Dr. Anna Kronlund, “The Trump Administration’s Commitment to Rules-Based Order”

The aftermath of the election of President Donald Trump fueled the discussion of U.S. interests and commitments to rules-based order: to international norms, institutions, and agreements. The overall uncertainty has characterized the discussions on where the U.S. is heading in its foreign policy and how it sees the value of multilateral cooperation and institutions. In his speech to the United Nation’s General Assembly, President Trump brought up U.S. commitments, but also emphasized states’ sovereignty and transactional cooperation. By using the concept “policy of principled realism,” based on “shared goals, values, and interests,” President Trump offered a glimpse of his foreign policy thinking. So far, Trump has announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, withdrawn the U.S. from the TPP free trade agreement, called NATO “obsolete,” and threatened to terminate the Iran nuclear deal. It seems that the value of commonly agreed rules is being challenged by the Trump administration. This presentation examines the Trump’s administration’s view of the rules-based order and its commitment to it.

Dr. Mika Suonpää, “Academic Populism of Anti-EU British Intellectuals”

This presentations explores anti-EU British intellectuals’ public roles in the context of EU referendum debates in 2016. A particular focus will be on populist elements of intellectual discourses. The paper reexamines the concept of academic populism which has been mainly used in reference to U.S. higher education reform of the late nineteenth century or as a descriptor of a process whereby academics verify popular beliefs through research. Populist discourses will be compared and contrasted to other discursive strategies in order to empirically determine and test the position of populism in intellectual political rhetoric.

Dr. Benita Heiskanen, “Crisis of Knowledge in the Era of Trump”

President Trump’s contradictory statements regarding domestic and foreign policy have created a sense of ambiguity both in the United States and abroad with regards to the U.S.’s position in the world.  At the same time, we are experiencing an epistemological crisis related to how we understand the world per se. So-called “post-truths,” “fake news,” and “alternative facts”—which President Trump himself has contributed to—are now part of global political parlance, causing uncertainty with regards to meaning-making, everyday practice, and identity. This presentation argues that the crisis in the creation, distribution, and understanding of knowledge has had some broader ramifications on political culture and the understanding of national identity. To do so, it first discusses the popularization of politics—or pop.politics—in the era of Trump; it then relates the broader crisis of knowledge to an identity crisis as a result of which the understanding of “American-ness” is in flux. The crisis of knowledge that emerged in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election has had distinct consequences not only in shaping political culture as we know it, but also in destabilizing established political practice.​