EAGLE St.- to Index


If you’re reading this, the chances are that your curiosity has already been aroused by Finland and things Finnish. Perhaps you’ve visited Finland, maybe you have Finnish friends or possibly you’re already familiar with some of the country’s art, literature or music.

Now the Finnish Institute in London is offering you the opportunity to broaden your horizons and your mind by exploring Finland further.

"Profiles of Finland" is a distance study programme compiled by the University of Helsinki. It consists of four modules, covering Finnish history, geography, society and art and culture. Each module has a textbook, study guide and cassettes. The modules can be taken separately and are estimated to require 80 to 100 hours of study each.

To help the students with their studies, there is a study day accompanying each module, taught by Finnish and British experts on the subject. The aim is to explore different aspects of the source material, reinforce participants' initial understanding of the subject and give guidance to students to in their choice of essay subject.

The course is designed to be flexible. You can aim at a Diploma in Finnish Studies from the University of Helsinki. This means taking all four modules, submitting an essay on each, and returning the study guides with completed test questions for assessment. Alternatively, you could enrol on the course just for fun and come along for the study days to learn from the experts and at the same time exchange ideas and experiences with fellow students.

(Concessions for students, unwaged and OAPs)
All four modules, study days, diploma
£250 (Concs. £225)
All four modules, study days, no diploma
£170 (Concs. £150)
One module, study day, certificate
£ 85 (Concs. £ 75)
One module, study day, no certificate
£ 45 (Concs. £ 40)
Study day only
£ 13 (Concs. £ 10)

Cheques should be made payable to the Finnish Institute.

For more information, please contact

Ms Pirkko Hautamäki
Finnish Institute
35-36 Eagle Street
London WC1R 4AJ
tel. 0171-404 3309
fax. 0171-404 8893


Study day

Finnish History in the 20th Century

Saturday 12 October, 10am - 4pm

Much of the 20th century has been shaped by wars. This holds true for 20th-century Finland, too. The study day will include analysis and discussion of the effect of war on Finland and what Finland has made of the many wars waged in this century.

The Finnish Civil War of 1918

By Dr Henrik Meinander
University of Helsinki

Finland gained her independence from Russia in 1917. Soon after, she became embroiled in a bitter civil war. The events of 1918 can be approached from a number of different angles. Firstly, Dr Meinander will briefly review events in a broader European context; secondly, he will offer an analysis of the different interpretations of the causes of the war; finally, he will speculate on the other possible outcomes had events taken a different turn.

Special attention will be given to whether the outbreak of the war should be understood as a chain reaction to the Russian revolution or primarily as a consequence of domestic problems. The various interpretations of the war are also interesting from an historiographical viewpoint, reflecting as they do the ideological stance of the researchers.

Dr Meinander is Assistant Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Helsinki. He has published works on educational, political and social history and is currently writing about Finland in the years following the Second World War.

Finland in the Second World War

by Professor Anthony Upton
University of St Andrews

Professor Upton will suggest how and why Finland, much against her wishes and her intentions, became involved in the very beginning of the Second World War through the Winter War of 1939- 40. The speaker will then show how all the developments that followed were driven by the experience of that war and the subsequent period of insecurity and isolation. Most importantly, this led the Finnish leadership to participate in the German attack on the Soviet Union in 1941.

What were the aims and objectives of the Finnish leaders? Were they realised and if not, in which ways were they not achieved? Professor Upton will also illustrate how Finland sought to withdraw from the war and how in the end she succeeded, becoming the only western neighbour of the Soviet Union to escape military occupation and survive the war with her independence and political system intact.

The lecture will conclude with a brief analysis of the danger years from 1945 to 1948 which ended with the Peace Treaty of 1947 and the Mutual Assistance Treaty of 1948.

Professor Anthony Upton has been a professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews for many years. He has written extensively on Finnish history, including seminal works on the Finnish wars in the 20th century.

Study day: Finnish Society in the 20th Century

Saturday 14 December, 10am - 4pm

"The Friendly Democracy": Finland and the Cold War, 1945-1961

By Dr Jussi M. Hanhimäki, London School of Economics

Cold War Finland was a paradox. Alone among the USSR’s western neighbours, Finland did not become a ´people’s democracy´, but instead appeared able to maintain its economic and cultural ties with the West, to keep its democratic domestic institutions intact, and to satisfy Soviet strategic interests. While most of the rest of Europe became part of the ´West´, Finland lay somewhere in between.

This lecture will explore why Finland became such an exception in the aftermath of World War II. Some of the questions that will be addressed during the session include: Why did the USSR not try to incorporate Finland more firmly into its sphere? Did western policies play a role in these developments? Did Finnish policies, particularly the so-called Paasikivi (later Paasikivi-Kekkonen) Line, play a significant role in containing Soviet expansion?

Lecturer in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics, Dr Hanhimäki has just published a book on the immediate post-war years in Finnish politics entitled Containing Coexistence: The United States and the Paasikivi Line, 1948-1956 (English title of the Finnish-language book).

Present-day politics in Finland

by Jarkko Juselius, Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE)

With membership of the European Union, Finland gave up its policy of neutrality. Finland now defines herself as a militarily non-aligned country with an independent defence. In spite of this definition, a lively debate is currently in progress about possible membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The government, however, is anxious to reassure the country that Finland is not knocking on the door of NATO.

Finnish domestic policy is in the hands of a five-party government led by the Social Democrats and the Conservative Party, Kokoomus. The government has promised to cut unemployment by half . As Finland has the second largest unemployment rate in Europe, this promise is hardly attainable. Nevertheless, the government expects the overall economic performance to take Finland out of the unprecedented depression of the 1990s.

The local and EU elections to be held in October will gauge the political mood in Finland as the nation heads towards the 1999 parliamentary election, EU presidency and presidential elections.

Jarkko Juselius is political correspondent for the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE). He worked previously with television news and as YLE’s African correspondent in Nairobi.

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