The Centre for Nordic Studies employs two professors, a senior lecturer, a coordinator and researchers in different stages of their careers.
Peter Stadius

Peter Stadius is professor in Nordic Studies and director of CENS. He holds a PhD in History, and his research interests include image studies of the Nordic Region, both in a historical longue durée perspective and as part of current branding practices. He has taken specific interest in the theme of North and South within Europe, studying how the content of this imagological dichotomy has developed over time. In recent times he has also pursued reserach on regionalisms, minorities and identity politics in the Nordic Region. As university lecturer in Nordic Studies 2006-2013, and later in his current position, he has also developed other research themes connected to the cultural history of the Nordic Welfare State and the dynamics of Nordic cooperation and the culture and strategies of articulated Nordicness in a historical perspective.

Peter Stadius's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Hasan Akintug

Hasan Akintug has been a doctoral student at the Centre for Nordic Studies since 2021. Hasan was educated in Winnipeg, Morphou, Ankara, Turku and Helsinki. He holds a master's degree in European and Nordic Studies from the University of Helsinki and a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Hacettepe University. He is interested in contemporary political history, regional integration, minority issues and security policy. Akintug’s doctoral project is about the external policies of the autonomous polities (Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Åland Islands) in the Nordic region. He is also affiliated with the Åland Islands Peace Institute and is a Europaeum Scholar within the 2022-23 cohort.

Malte Gasche

Malte Gasche is a project manager, lecturer and post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Nordic Studies at the University of Helsinki. He defended his PhD, entitled DerGermanische Wissenschaftseinsatz“ des „Ahnenerbes“ der SS, 1942-1945: Zwischen Vollendung dervölkischen Gemeinschaft“ und dem Streben nachErlösung“, at the Humboldt University of Berlin in 2012. In addition to his research on doctrine topics in the field of History of Science, he is interested in majorities’ policy on minority groups and their strategies to gain societal security within mainstream society.  Since 2012 Gasche has been representing Finland in the committee Genocid on the Roma within the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. From 2017 to 2018 he is managing the pilot-project Diverging Fates: Travelling Circus People in Europe under National Socialism.

Malte Gasche's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Heidi Haggrén

Heidi Haggrén is a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University Helsinki. Her doctoral project analyses the development of nurses’ collective interest organization in the emerging Finnish wage-work society and welfare state in the post-World War II era focusing on the tensions between social loyalties related to work, its content and organization. She has published on Nordic cooperation, labour market relations and nursing in an international and Nordic context. She has coordinated a number of Nordic projects in and outside of the academia, including Nordic Centre of Excellence: The Nordic Welfare State – Historical Foundations and Future Challenges (NordWel) 2007-2014.

Heidi Haggrén's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Larisa Kangaspuro

Dr Larisa Kangaspuro has an academic background in History and Law. Her ongoing research focuses encompass migration dynamics within the Nordic and Baltic regions, with a specific focus on evolving immigration policies in Finland. She has been researching and writing on the penitentiary system and prison reform in the Russian Empire and the Grand Duchy of Finland, as well as law-making in relation to ethnic minorities. Her prior scholarly efforts also involved in-depth analysis of the concept of Nordic penal exceptionalism and its application in Finland. Currently, Kangaspuro is  leading the project “Multinational Migrants: Ways of Adaptation in the Nordic and Baltic Countries” (2023–2024), funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers`. Later this year, she will join the project team for IMPACT: "Post-Soviet Immigration in the Wake of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine and Its Repercussions for Finnish Immigration Policies" (2024-2026), funded by KONE. Previously, she was the research coordinator for the ERC project GULAGECHOES: 'Echoes in the “Multicultural Prison”: Historical and Geographical Influences on the Identity and Politics of Ethnic Minority Prisoners in the Communist Successor States of Russian Europe" (2018-2022), funded by the European Research Council (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki).

Larisa Kangaspuro's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal





Elina Kuorelahti

FT Elina Kuorelahti is a university lecturer with a broad expertise in the 20th century Nordic economic and political history. She is currently interested in the history of the League of Nations, international cartels, and Finnish labour relations. 






Ilkka Kärrylä

Ilkka Kärrylä is University Teacher of Contemporary History at the University of Turku and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Nordic Studies. He is a political historian with research interests in intellectual and conceptual history, political ideologies, the history of economic thought and policy as well as the history of working life and labour market relations. Ilkka’s dissertation The Contested Relationship of Democracy and the Economy: Debates on Economic and Industrial Democracy in Finland and Sweden, 1960s-1990s examined the visions and debates on economic and industrial democracy in Finland and Sweden from the 1960s until the 1990s. He is affiliated with the project Neoliberalism in the Nordics funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Ilkka Kärrylä's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Jana Lainto

Jana Lainto is a PhD student at the Centre for Nordic Studies (2016- ). She studies the institutionalization of Czechoslovakian cultural relations with the Nordic countries during the interwar period. Her main research interests are Czech cultural history, cultural transfer and image studies of the Nordic region in the Czech lands/later Czechoslovakia. She holds Master’s degrees from the University of Helsinki in European Studies and from the Palacký University Olomouc in History and Philosophy.

Jana Lainto's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Tuire Liimatainen

Tuire Liimatainen is a post-doctoral researcher at Migration Institute of Finland and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Nordic Studies. She defended her doctoral thesis in area and cultural studies, with specialization in Nordic Studies, Finnishnesses in Sweden: The Discursive Construction of Ethnicity in the Landscape of Social Media at the University of Helsinki in 2022. Her main research interests are migration, minorities, sociolinguistics, ethnopolitical activism, new media and social media in the Nordic context. She is affiliated with the project Nordic Added Value and Vision 2030 (NAV2030).

Tuire Liimatainen's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal 


Jani Marjanen

Jani Marjanen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki from where he gained his PhD in 2014. In 2014-2015 he was visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin. He specializes in late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century language of economic patriotism in Scandinavia, the theory and method of conceptual history, and the public sphere in the nineteenth-century Nordic context. He is one of the editors of Contributions to the History of Concepts.

Jani Marjanen's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Stefan Nygård

Stefan Nygård is a historian with special interests in the modern history of intellectuals, culture and philosophy, in Finland, Scandinavia and Europe. He has worked and taught on these topics at the University of Helsinki and the European University Institute in Florence. He is currently involved in research projects on Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space (Academy of Finland), The Debt: Historicizing Europe's relations with the 'South' (HERA), Minority, Nation and the World (Academy of Finland), and a project on the philosopher and public intellectual Georg Henrik von Wright (Society of Swedish Literature in Finland).

Stefan Nygård's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal

Henrik Stenius

Henrik Stenius is emeritus research director and founder of CENS. He specializes in the history of concepts. In recent years he has worked specifically on the concept of citizenship in the Nordic countries and the processes of translation as enablers of conceptual change. His publications include Nordic Associations in a European Perspective: European Civil Society (2010, edited together with Risto Alapuro), "The Finnish Citizen: How a Translation Emasculated the Concept", Redescriptions 8, pp. 172-188 (2004), Frivilligt - jämlikt - samfällt: Föreningsväsendets utveckling i Finland fram till 1900-talets början med speciell hänsyn till massorganisationsprincipens genombrott (1987).

Henrik Stenius's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal 

Johan Strang

Johan Strang is Professor in Nordic Studies. Trained as a philosopher he has a broad interest in in Scandinavian political history (20th and 21st centuries). His publications include studies of Nordic cooperation, Nordic democracy and legal culture, the welfare state and human rights. He has also contributed to the discussion on transnational intellectual history with a small state perspective. His current projects include Neoliberalising Nordic Democracy and Neoliberalism in the Nordics. He teaches in the European and Nordic Studies-master programme, and coordinates the Swedish module in Norden-studier (KUKA-NOR, 15sp). He will be on research leave in the calendar year of 2024.

Johan Strang's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal 

Bo Stråth

Bo Stråth is professor emeritus at CENS. He was in 2007–2014 Finnish Academy Distinguished Professor in Nordic, European and World History and Director of Research. 1997–2007 he was Professor of Contemporary History at the European University Institute in Florence, and 1990–1996 Professor in History at the University of Gothenburg. He is a principal investigator in the HERA Research Project, The Debt: Historicizing Europe's Relations with the 'South'.   Bo Stråth’s research has focused on philosophy of history and political, social and economic theory of modernity, from a conceptual history perspective with special attention to questions of what keeps societies together or divides them, and how community is constructed. A special field of interest in this perspective is the history of European integration and the exploration of Europe in its global historical (19th–20th century) context through the method of  conceptual history.

Frederik Forrai Ørskov

Frederik Forrai Ørskov is the coordinating researcher of the NAV2030-project, a project funded by NordForsk, on the uses and developments of the term “Nordic Added Value” in institutions for Nordic cooperation since the end of the Cold War. He is a historian with an MA from Central European University. He wrote his PhD at CENS, exploring the German-Nordic Writers' House, an institution facilitating vivid but hitherto overlooked interactions between writers from the Nordic countries and Nazi Germany throughout the 1930s. He has been part of the prestigious Europaeum Scholars Programme and was awarded the 2022 ReNEW Early Career Paper Prize for a paper on the intellectual and peace activist Fredrik Bajer and the origins of the notion of “Nordic peace.”

Frederik Forrai Ørskov's profile in the University of Helsinki Research Portal