About us
The discipline of Contemporary History has close ties to the disciplines at the Department of History in the Faculty of Humanities, but it is set apart from them by its position in the Faculty of Social Sciences. In the Faculty of Social Sciences Contemporary History relates most closely to Political Science.

The Department of Contemporary History at the University of Turku was founded in 1965. The first professor at the department was Juhani Paasivirta.

The staff is composed of two professors, three lecturers, almost twenty researchers in various projects and two administrative secretaries. The Department is situated in the historic milieu of the restored 19th century wooden buildings originally used by the local military administration of the Grand Duchy of Finland.



The total number of students is about 450. Almost half of them have Contemporary History as their major subject. The number of Doctoral students is 40. The Department offers an active and challenging educational environment for the students. In the context of the Erasmus program of the EU the Department has student exchange with six European universities in Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and Spain. The Department also participates in the inter-Nordic student exchange (NORDPLUS).

In 1996, and for a second time in 1998, the Department of Contemporary History and the Department of History at the University of Turku were together nominated as a national centre of excellence in teaching.



Traditionally, the main research targets of Contemporary History have been political power and political actors in Finland and Finland's international relations. East Asian and Chinese studies, European space and thought between East and West and the changing meanings of politics and the political illustrate more recent research areas. These projects also have wide national and international research networks. The Department also houses the Centre for Parliamentary Studies.

Additional funding for research constitutes more than a half of the total budget of the Department. The main sources of this funding are the Academy of Finland and private foundations.