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This list gives an overview of the ongoing research carried out in the department that has been given funding after competition by the Academy of Finland, the University of Helsinki, the EU and Nordic research funding institutions, private foundations or funding institutions from other countries. The list does not cover all research done by the department (individual projects, co-operation and participation in projects carried out in other institutes and departments and projects that do not yet have outside funding).

A Framework for Socio-Economic Development in Europe?
The Consensual Political Cultures of the Small West European States in Comparative and Historical Perspective (Smallcons)
Project Leaders of Smallcons Helsinki: Prof. Pauli Kettunen and Dr Henrik Stenius, Research Director of Centre of Nordic Studies, Renvall Institute Researchers: Johanna Rainio-Niemi, Milka Sunell

A Uniform Framework for Nordic Historical National Accounts
Project leader of the Finnish group: professor Riitta Hjerppe
Researchers: Jukka Jalava, Jari Kauppila and Seppo Varjonen (OECD)
Funding: Nordic Economic Research Council and NORFA

Communism in the Nordic countries, 1917-1990
Project leader: Professor Åsmund Egge, Institute of History
Finnish researchers:Elina Katainen, Joni Krekola, Kimmo Rentola and Tauno Saarela

Designing everyday life: constructing national identity, Finland 1950s-1980s
Project leader: Matti Peltonen
Researchers: Jaakko Autio, Tiina Huokuna, Kaarina Kilpiö, Hanna Kuusi
Funding: University of Helsinki, Academy of Finland

Detente, Finland and European Security
Project leader: Professor Seppo Hentilä
Researchers: Kimmo Rentola, Katalin Miklossy, Minna Starck, Petri Hakkarainen, Juhana Aunesluoma
Funding: Academy of Finland

Environmental history
Approaches to the environmental history of Helsinki, Finland and the Baltic Sea
Project leader: PhD, docent Simo Laakkonen

Ethnicity and marginalisation in twentieth century Finland
Project leader: docent Antti Häkkinen
Researchers: Laura Ekholm,Miika Tervonen,Gia Virkkunen
Main funding: The Academy of Finland

Finnish Foreign Trade Policy 1944-1995
Project leader: Seppo Hentilä
Researcher: Juhana Aunesluoma
Funding: Suomen Ulkomaankaupan Edistämisrahasto [The Finnish Foundation for the Advancment of Foreign Trade]

Health Promotion as Ideology, Policy and Practice in Finland 1900-2000
Project leader: Pertti Haapala, prof., Department of History, University of Tampere
Researchers: Antti Häkkinen, Kaisa Kauranen, Pirkko Leino-Kaukiainen, Eila Linnanmäki
Main funding: Academy of Finland, Juho Vainio Foundation

Household risk management before the welfare state: Coping with insecurity in early 20th century Finland
How did the need to manage economic and social risks privately influence everyday life before the postwar growth in wealth and welfare provision? The project provides a historical analysis of the private measures taken by households to secure their well-being during the first half of the 20th century in Finland.
Project leader: Sakari Saaritsa

Managing social capital in a changing economy

Communities, neighbourhoods and associations in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Finland
Project leader: Professor Riitta Hjerppe
Researchers: Antti Häkkinen, Marjatta Rahikainen, Miika Tervonen Maija-Liisa Tuomi
Funding: Academy of Finland

Nordic Centre of Excellence The Nordic Welfare State
– Historical Foundations and Future Challenges (NCoE NordWel)
Project Leader: Professor Pauli Kettunen
A multi-disciplinary, cross-national research network of seven partner units in Nordic universities.
Funding: NordForsk Centre of Excellence programme on welfare.

Sound and fury
Media Culture and Everyday Life in Finland of the 1960s
Project Leader: Matti Peltonen
Researchers: Hanna Kuusi, Mikko Laitamo, Jukka Kortti, Kaarina Kilpiö
Funding: Finnish Academy; Finnish Foundation of Alcohol Research

The Cold War - the Case of Finland
Project leader: Professor Seppo Hentilä
Researchers: Kimmo Rentola, Mikko Majander, Jari Sedergren, Aappo Kähönen, Ranya ElRamly, Juhana Aunesluoma
Funding: Academy of Finland

The Limits of of Nordic welfare universalism - Labour market interests, locality and gender in post-World-War-II social regulation
Project leader: Prof. Pauli Kettunen
Funding: The Academy of Finland

The strong state is usually regarded as a major characteristic of the Nordic pattern of social regulation. Guaranteeing social rights, promoting gender-equality, or patronising people, the strong state is also a central figure in the discussion on the current challenges in the Nordic countries. Market competition, civil society, or local community have been suggested as alternatives to the strong state by many discussants. At the same time, new ways are emerging in which these spheres are intertwined and new (and still active) roles are addressed to the state. These new roles and functions can be conceptualised as a “competition state”, albeit embedded in divergent nation-state traditions. The project will analyse this change from a historical perspective by focusing on the dimension of citizenship and on the meanings of the ‘social’ in connection with work and welfare. In so doing, the project will historically deconstruct the common stereotype of a strong Nordic state contrasting market, civil society and local community.

Universalism is a concept frequently associated with the Nordic countries. It refers to the principle of the citizenship including equal social rights, or social citizenship. The principle contains two paradoxes. Firstly, together with universal social rights, the normalcy of wage work and salaried work was reinforced and the representatives of particular labour-market interests took a central role in the regulation of working life and in the shaping of social security. Secondly, public services, the most pronounced indicator of the universalism, are mainly provided by municipalities, i.e. the institution of local self-government with their diverging resources. For both paradoxes, the gender division of labour is a crucial question, concerning, not least, (re)definitions of the relationship between the family and society. Hypothetically, the new imperatives of global competitiveness have turned these paradoxes to open contradictions. Further, the “competition state” solutions to these contradictions lead to the erosion of universalism and to the re-positioning of citizenship and the social. At the same as the public authorities assume strategies typical to market actors, private enterprises strive for neo-voluntaristic alternatives to legal constraints. As to the notion of citizenship, a tension between voluntary activities and “activation” policies can be seen.

Four thematic levels can be distinguished in the transformations under scrutiny: (1) the institutional and discursive shaping of social and labour policies through the interplay of the national and the international, and interests and knowledge; (2) the relationships between the public and the private as well as the official and the voluntary in the provision of social security and social services; (3) work, labour relations and gender in the production of public (municipal) welfare services, and (4) labour market regulations, corporate managerial practices and the gendered hierarchies of labour and pay. Most of the subprojects will focus on Finland, analysing it as a specific national case in the Nordic and wider international context.

The project is a part of the Nordic Centre of Excellence “The Nordic Welfare State – Historical Foundations and Future Challenges (NordWel)”, 2007-2012 (NordForsk, NCoE Welfare Programme).

Transformation of Consumer Society Graduate School
The Transformation of Consumer Society Graduate School is funded by the University of Helsinki (2005-2009). At the moment there are three doctoral students in the graduate school. The aim of the graduate school is to promote multidisciplinary and history related consumer studies. The graduate school focuses especially on the role and significance of the consumption in the Finnish society’s modernisation processes during the 20th century. Even though the research concerning consumption increased during the 1990’s not enough attention has been paid to the significance of the consumption in the society’s modernisation. At the same time, no comparative aspects have been used in the research. The presupposition of a rational consumer has meant that many interesting aspects of consumption have not yet been taken into consideration in the research. A multidisciplinary approach means that many sources earlier underestimated in the historical research, e.g. films, advertisements and novels, are used as a source material. The graduate school is a joint project between two disciplines at the University of Helsinki (Consumer Economics and Economic and Social History).The leaders of the seminar are Professor Visa Heinonen (Consumer Economics) and Professor Matti Peltonen (Economic and Social History). Doctoral students: Ms Kaisa Huttunen, Master of Science in Agriculture and Forestry, Ms Riitta Matilainen, Master of Social Sciences and Ms Sari Rauhamäki, Master of Social Sciences. An essential part of the Transformation of Consumer Society Graduate School is the Seminar Transformation of Consumer Society. The Seminar gives its participants an opportunity to e.g. present their own papers and book reviews and get feedback. The main aim is to exchange ideas in an informal way.

Ten Generations - Three Centuries: a Finnish History as Family Stories
The aim of this study is to re-construct three hundred years of Finland’s history through the life histories of Finnish families comprising more than fifty thousand individual life stories by using both genealogical data and family history interviews. In this study, special attention will be paid to an intergenerational transmission of occupation and social positions, including social mobility and impoverishment in a historical perspective. The research period covers such processes as industrialisation and urbanisation, modernisation, de-industrialisation and globalisation which have created the changing historical contexts for the lives of successive generations. Usually such processes have been interpreted as external factors modifying individual life courses and family histories. In this study, the construction of these phenomena will be analysed through thousands of individual actions by actors who were engaged in these processes. Theoretically Giovanni Levi’s, James Coleman’s and Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of different forms of capital and the mechanisms how they are inherited are in a key role in the study.
Project leader: Antti Häkkinen

Women and Alcohol in Finland 1917- 1987
Project leader: Matti Peltonen
Researchers: Aija Kaartinen and Hanna Kuusi
Funding: The Finnish Foundation of Alcohol Studies