Call for papers: Transnational influences, local manifestations: Political violence in Europe, 7-8 May 2018, University of Helsinki

This conference seeks to bring together researchers that are interested in exploring why some European countries have witnessed more political violence than others.

Previous research has identified periods of time during which similar kinds of aspirations, ideologies and models have inspired the use of violent methods in different European countries (and in some cases even globally). The ideologies and models associated with these transnational waves of political violence have found supporters in virtually every (Western) European country, and have inspired at least some level of concern among politicians and policymakers that such support would lead to actual violence. The local manifestations of these waves have, however, varied greatly. While some countries have witnessed protracted campaigns of terror, other have seen hardly any violence at all. Political violence has often also assumed strong spatial concentration within individual countries.

Research has thus far mostly concentrated on locations and periods of time that have witnessed significant levels of political violence. Readjusting focus towards cases where political violence has either been absent or modest in nature provides an important avenue for further testing and refining the existing theories of political violence. There is also a need for more comparative studies. More could furthermore be done to explore the relationship between political violence and non-violence.

Keynote speakers

Dr. Stefan Malthaner (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung)

Dr. Petter Nesser (Norwegian Defense Research Establishment)

Dr. Jacob Aasland Ravndal (University of Oslo, Center for Research on Extremism)

Call for papers

We welcome paper proposals dealing with manifestations of political violence in Europe.  Particularly welcome are contributions that focus on the interplay of transnational influences and local context, activist networks, the relationship between violent and non-violent tactics, resilience to political violence, and comparative studies on political violence and the responses of politicians and policy-makers to (the threat of) violence in different European countries.

The paper proposals (max 500 words) should be submitted by 15 February 2018 using this link: We will confirm  acceptance by the end of February. There is no conference fee and it is also possible to attend the conference without a presentation.

More information

If you have any questions concerning the conference and call, please do not hesitate to contact Leena Malkki (

The conference is organized by the research project “Finland and theories of political violence: explaining the post-war tranquility and its demise”, led by Dr. Leena Malkki and financed by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation. For more information about the project, see