Registration for the conference on 7-8 May 2018 now open!

The project organises a conference “Transnational Influences, local manifestations: Political violence in Europe” on 7-8 May 2018. Conference is open for all interested and requires registration. To register, please fill in this form:


Monday 7 May

12:00-12:30 Opening words – Leena Malkki (University of Helsinki)

12:30-13:30 Keynote lecture – Stefan Malthaner (Hamburg Institute for Social Research): Processual perspectives on political violence

13:30-13:45 Break

13:45-15:15 Paper session 1: Leftist and national-separatist campaigns in European history

  • Nick Brooke (University of St Andrews): The Absence of Noise: Terrorism and Nationalism in Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • Ana Sofia Ferreira (New University of Lisbon): The New left and Political Violence in Portugal: Popular Forces 25th April (1980-1984)
  • Anton Monti: From Paris Spring to Prague’s Autumn: The Finnish Radical Student Movement of 1968 between East and West

15:15-15:45 Coffee break

15:45-17:00 Paper session 2: Brakes on violent escalation

  • Joel Busher (Coventry University), Donald Holbrook (Lancaster University) & Graham Macklin (University of Oslo): The Internal brakes on violent escalation
  • Mari Kuukkanen (University of Helsinki): Obstacles to diffusing insurrectionary anarchism in Finland

Tuesday 8 May

09:30-10:30 Keynote lecture – Jacob Aasland Ravndal (University of Helsinki) : Using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) to study why some countries experience more extreme right violence than others

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:00 Paper session 3: Far right and the question of violence

  • Ariel Koch (Tel Aviv University): Cumulative Extremism in Western Europe and its Manifestations in Syria and Iraq
  • Tommi Kotonen (University of Jyväskylä): Finnish Sonderweg? Far-right political violence (or the lack of it) in Finland since WWII

12:00-13:00 Lunch break

13:00-14:00 Keynote lecture – Petter Nesser (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment): Transnational dynamics of European Jihadism

14:00-14:30 Coffee break

14:30-16:00 Paper session 4: Jihadist networks

  • Silvia Carenzi (Italian Institute for International Political Studies): The case of Jihadism in Italy: An idiosyncracy?
  • Johannes Saal (University of Lucerne): “No man is an island”: Jihadi clusters in Switzerland and their transnational ties
  • Juha Saarinen (King’s College London/University of Helsinki): Evolution of jihadism in Finland, 2012-2018

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