Director of the Visiting Fellows Programme
Anna Korhonen
Head of International Affairs
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Eeva Korteniemi
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aleksanteri-fellows [at] helsinki.fi

Aleksanteri Institute
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FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Telephone: +358 (0) 2941 23544

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi
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Location & Connections

 

Visiting Fellows 2013-2014

Tom Junes, Human and Social Studies Foundation, Sofia, Bulgaria

“Growing up with Solidarity: The Cold War Roots of Post-communist Populism”
(September-November 2013)

JunesBiography:
Tom Junes holds a PhD in History from the University of Leuven (2011) where he was a lecturer in Polish history. As a post-doctoral researcher he has had fellowships in Warsaw, Vienna, and Budapest, and is at present a scholarly collaborator with the Human and Social Studies Foundation in Sofia. His research focuses on student political activity during the Cold War, communist inter-party relations during the Cold War, and populism in Eastern Europe. His monograph Generations of Change. Student Politics in Communist Poland, 1944-1989 is forthcoming with Lexington Books with a Polish version set to be published by the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland. He is also preparing a monograph on the relations of the Polish United Workers’ Party with European communist parties. Other recent publications include "The Demise of Communism in Poland: A Staged Evolution or Failed Revolution?" in The 1989 Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe: From Communism to Post- Communism edited by Kevin McDermott and Matthew Stibbe, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013); "Oppositional Student Politics in Poland and South Africa: Youth Rebellion as a Factor in the Demise of Communism and Apartheid." in Studia Historyczne LV, no. 3-4 (219-220) (2012); and "Copycat Tactics" in Processes of Regime Change: The Demise of Communism in Poland and Apartheid in South Africa," co-authored with Adrian Guelke in Критика и Хуманизъм/Critique & Humanism no. 40 (2012): 171-92 [Bulgarian version in Социологически проблеми/Sociological problems no. XLIV-I (2012)].

Abstract of current research:
During my visiting fellowship at the Aleksanteri Institute, I will be researching the origins of the ideas that lay behind the rise of populism in post-communist countries from a Cold War era perspective based upon a case study of Poland. My research project starts from the observation that the rise of populism in Poland and other countries in Central Europe - most recently in Hungary - possesses some specific traits that warrant it to be typed a strand of its own. While the post-communist transition period, roughly between 1989 and 2004, has certainly played its role in this process, I will argue that a specific generational experience during late socialism provided the rationale through which present-day Central European politicians perceive their actions and policies. Borrowing a paradigm set from recent studies on the ‘populist challenge of democratic illiberalism’ in countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, my research will first venture into the political activity of anti-communist students in the final decade of the communist regime in Poland and subsequently explore the linkages that exist between that activity and the populist politics in Poland of the past decade.


Email: junes.tom[at]gmail.com

Academic hosts at the Aleksanteri Institute: Suvi Kansikas and Mila Oiva