Seminar in Honour of Professor Heikki Patomäki

January 20, 2023, at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

Organizers: The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS), Faculty of Social Sciences (University of Helsinki) and Helsinki Centre for Global Political Economy (Helsinki-GPE)

Venue: The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS), Fabianinkatu 24A, 3rd Floor

Zoom link for the book launch Debating the War in Ukraine: Counterfactual Histories and Future Possibilities at 1:15 pm available via the registration form.

Register here by January 17:



10:15 – Opening

Opening: Tuomas Forsberg, Director of HCAS

10:30 – Global Political Economy (Chair: Lauri Holappa, University of Helsinki)

  • Magnus Ryner (King’s College London)
  • Teppo Eskelinen (University of Eastern Finland)
  • Barry Gills (University of Helsinki)

Comments: Heikki Patomäki


12:00 – Lunch


13.15 – Peace and War (Chair: Tuomas Forsberg)


Book launch:

Debating the War in Ukraine: Counterfactual Histories and Future Possibilities, Routledge (2023).

  • Ole Waever (University of Copenhagen / HCAS)
  • S.M. Amadae (University of Helsinki)
  • Sergei Medvedev (Affiliated Professor, Charles University, Prague / HCAS)

Comments: Heikki Patomäki


14:45 – Coffee


15:15 – The Future of the University (Chair: Teivo Teivainen, University of Helsinki)

  • Cris Shore (Goldsmiths University of London / HCAS)
  • Hanna Kuusela (Tampere University)
  • Thomas Wallgren (University of Helsinki)

Comments: Heikki Patomäki


17:00 – Reception


Heikki Patomäki is Professor of World Politics (Global Political Economy) at the University of Helsinki. He was Core Fellow at HCAS in 2022.

As a university student, Patomäki initially studied mathematics and physics before switching to economics at University of Turku in 1984. He then subsequently reoriented his interests towards philosophy, politics and IR. Patomäki was awarded an MA in Political Science in 1988 and in Economics in 1989. He began his PhD studies in early 1989 and spent 1989-1990 as a training fellow at the University of Kent. He was awarded a PhD, again from Turku, for a thesis titled ‘Critical Realism and World Politics’ in 1993.

Patomäki’s professional academic career began as a full-time member of teaching staff at the University of Turku prior to completion of his PhD, but his first significant appointment was as a Senior Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs 1994-1997. In 1998, he moved to the UK and was appointed Reader in International Relations at Nottingham Trent University, transitioning to Professor of World Politics and Economy in 2001. From 2003, he has been Professor of World Politics, University of Helsinki.

Over the last 30 years, Professor Patomäki has become widely known for his advocacy in favour of Critical Realism and his works on its relevance for international relations (IR) theory, global political economy and future studies. His research and writing emphasizes the need for humanity to transcend nationalism and country-based conflict through cultural and civilizational learning.

These interests are also reflected in Professor Patomäki’s prominent role as a public intellectual and activist. In 1993, he was a founding member of Radical Democracy, which became the Network Institute for Global Democratisation (NIGD), one of the founding organizations of the International Council of the World Social, in 1997. Since 1998, he has been a prominent figure in the ATTAC movement. He is also a member of DiEM25, the trans-European movement/party dedicated to democratizing European governance. His work over the years has led to his current interest in the development of a world political party aimed at transforming and democratizing institutions of global governance. He stood as a candidate for the European Parliament in 2014 and the Finnish Parliament in 2011 and 2015. He is also a frequent guest on TV and radio, writes regularly for and is interviewed in both domestic and international media, and maintains his own blog site.

Over the years Professor Patomäki has also spent periods at other universities. Between 2007 and 2010 he was Innovation Professor of Globalisation and Global Institutions at RMIT University, Melbourne, which overlapped with a period as Visiting Professor at University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK, 2009-2011. He was Visiting Professor at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, in 2012.

Professor Patomäki has been a member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters since 2018, and after a stint as visiting fellow at Clare Hall Cambridge in 2019 is now a lifetime member of the college. He is a docent at University of Turku and University of Lapland, a member of the advisory board of several well-known journals and academic book series, and consultant to numerous government and civil society organizations. He is a founding member of the Helsinki Centre for Global Political Economy, vice-chair of the Euro-Memo network (2021-2022), and an Associate Fellow of the Tellus Institute.

Professor Patomäki’s publications cover subjects as diverse as the methodology of social sciences, university politics, IR theory, the Tobin Tax, crisis in the Eurozone, Brexit, war in Ukraine, global political economy trends and global security, and governance and the future of humanity. In dealing with this wide range of subjects his work is typically posed in terms of progressive alternatives to identified problems.

Patomäki’s work in Finnish, includes

  • Yliopisto oyj. tulosjohtamisen ongelmat – ja vaihtoehto (Gaudeamus, 2005)
  • Uusliberalismi Suomessa. Lyhyt historia ja tulevaisuuden vaihtoehdot (WSOY, 2007), and
  • Eurokriisin anatomia. Mitä globalisaation jälkeen? (Into, 2012).

He is also the author of seven single-authored books in English:

  • Democratising Globalisation. The Leverage of the Tobin Tax (Zed Books, 2001)
  • After International Relations. Critical Realism and the (Re)Construction of World Politics (Routledge, 2002)
  • The Political Economy of Global Security: War, Future Crises and Changes in Global Governance (Routledge, 2008)
  • The Great Eurozone Disaster: From Crisis to Global New Deal (Zed Books, 2013)
  • Disintegrative Tendencies in Global Political Economy: Exits and Conflicts (Routledge, 2018)
  • The Three Fields of Global Political Economy (Routledge, 2022)
  • World Statehood. The Future of World Politics (Springer, 2023)

He has also authored a number of joint and edited texts, e.g.:

  • Yhdentymisen politiikkaa: Suomi ja EMU globaalissa poliittisessa taloudessa (with Minkkinen; Like, 1997)
  • Globalizing Finance and the New Global Economy. Vol.2 of Globalization and Economy (with James; Sage, 2007)
  • A Possible World: Democratic Transformation of Global Institutions (with Teivainen, Zed Books, 2004)
  • Brexit and the Political Economy of Fragmentation: Things Fall Apart (with Morgan; Routledge, 2018)
  • Debating the War in Ukraine: Counterfactual Histories and Future Possibilities (with Forsberg; Routledge, 2023)

Professor Patomäki has published in a wide range of journals including, Globalizations, Alternatives, Journal of Peace Research, Cooperation and Conflict, Millennium, International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Review of International Political Economy, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, and Theory, Culture & Society, as well as a series of articles and essays in Journal of Critical Realism. In addition, he has written numerous chapters and entries for edited texts, handbooks, encyclopaedias and academic dictionaries – including Dictionary of Critical Realism (Routledge, 2007). His work has also been translated into several languages including Arabic, Greek, and Spanish.


More information:

HCAS research coordinator Kaisa Kaakinen,