Research

My research focuses on representative democracy and political institutions, both in the context of national politics and at the European level. My main research interests are 

  • Parliaments and political parties
  • The European Parliament and Europarties
  • The Europeanization of domestic politics
  • Legislatures, parties and foreign affairs
  • Semi-presidentialism
  • The Finnish political system

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=nxDMFSEAAAAJ&hl=fi.

Semi-presidential regimes and presidential activism

I am the principal investigator of Taming the presidents? Exploring the links between presidential activism, policy-making capacity, and regime legitimacy, a four-year project (2020-2024) funded by the Academy of Finland (https://www.researchgate.net/project/Taming-the-presidents-Exploring-the-links-between-presidential-activism-policy-making-capacity-and-regime-legitimacy). The project examines the links between presidential activism, policy-making capacity, and regime legitimacy. Drawing on top-level interviews, data on presidential behaviour, expert survey, and public opinion surveys, it asks what are the consequences of presidential activism for policy-making and the stability and legitimacy of political regimes. Institutionalized coordination mechanisms between the two executives should result in lower intra-executive conflict and thus higher policy-making capacity which in turn should produce stronger public trust in political institutions. Considering the challenges facing semi-presidential countries, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, the lessons drawn from this project also benefit practitioners involved in questions of institutional design. The project employs doctoral researcher Maarika Kujanen and postdoctoral researcher Vesa Koskimaa. Collaborative partners are Anna Fruhstorfer (Freie Universität Berlin), Gianluca Passarelli (Sapienza University, Roma) and Thomas Sedelius (Högskolan Dalarna). Together with Sedelius we co-authored a book published by Palgrave, Semi-Presidential Policy-Making in Europe: Executive Coordination and Political Leadership (2020), which analysed coordination between the president and the government in Finland, Lithuania, and Romania (https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783030164300).

Legislatures, ideologies, and foreign and security policy

Together with Wolfgang Wagner (VU Amsterdam, https://wolfgang-wagner.org/) we study the role of national legislatures and political parties as well as the European Parliament in foreign and security policy. We co-edited a special issue of West European which analyzed legislative-executive relations in foreign affairs (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/fwep20/40/1?nav=tocList). More recently we published a special issue for Foreign Policy Analysis which focuses on the role of political parties and ideologies in foreign and security policy (https://academic.oup.com/fpa/issue/16/4?browseBy=volume).

Collaboration with Karl Magnus Johansson

I have known and collaborated with Karl Magnus Johansson (Södertörn University) ever since we met as doctoral students in the mid-1990s. Our respective dissertations focused on the European Parliament and the Europarties, and over the years we have co-authored various publications on the Europarties and on how EU impacts on the domestic politics of Sweden and Finland. In recent years we have also written several papers on government communication and I was glad to be part of an edited volume comparing government-media links in Finland, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. The book, titled Close and Distant: Political Executive–Media Relations in Four Countries, is available for free at https://www.nordicom.gu.se/en/publikationer/close-and-distant.

Publications in Finnish

I also believe in the value of producing scientific publications in Finnish. Throughout my career I have worked extensively with my Finnish colleagues, particularly co-editing various volumes on Finnish politics and the EU. All of these have been used as course material or exam books in Finnish higher education institutions. Juho Saari (Tampere University) and I have co-edited several books on European integration. The most recent is Reunalla vai ytimessä? from 2017 which analyses Finnish EU policy (https://www.gaudeamus.fi/reunalla-vai-ytimessa/). Currently we are preparing an edited collection Moninaisuudessaan yhtenäinen? Euroopan unionin suunta, which in turn focuses on the current challenges facing the EU. The book will be published in autumn 2021.

Select publications

In English

The European Perspective: Transnational Party Groups in the 1989-1994 European Parliament (Ashgate, 1997).

Finland in the European Union (& Teija Tiilikainen, Frank Cass, 2003).

National Parliaments within the Enlarged European Union: From victims of integration to competitive actors? (co-edited with John O’Brennan, Routledge, 2007).

Connecting with the Electorate? Parliamentary Communication in EU Affairs. Journal of Legislative Studies 20:1, 2014 (co-edited with Katrin Auel; published in 2015 by Routledge as Parliamentary Communication in EU Affairs: Connecting with the Electorate?).

The Changing Balance of Political Power in Finland (co-edited with Lauri Karvonen and Heikki Paloheimo, Santérus Academis Press, 2016).

Challenging Executive Dominance: Legislatures and Foreign Affairs. West European Politics 40:1, 2017 (co-edited with Wolfgang Wagner)

Constituency Representation in the Nordic Countries. Representation 54:1, 2018 (co-edited with David Arter).

Semi-Presidential Policy-Making in Europe: Executive Coordination and Political Leadership (& Thomas Sedelius, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020).

Political Parties and Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy Analysis 16:4, 2020 (co-edited with Wolfgang Wagner)

In Finnish

Liittovaltiot: Federalismin teoria ja arki (Gaudeamus, 2002).

Eurooppalaistuminen: Suomen sopeutuminen Euroopan integraatioon (co-edited with Juho Saari, Gaudeamus, 2006).

Euroopan tulevaisuus (co-edited with Juho Saari, Gaudeamus, 2007).

Suomen puolueet ja puoluejärjestelmä (co-edited with Heikki Paloheimo, WSOY, 2008).

Euroopan paras maa? Suomen muuttuva asema Euroopan unionissa (co-edited with Juho Saari, Gaudeamus, 2013).

Politiikan muutos (co-edited with Tuomas Forsberg, Vastapaino, 2014).

Eduskunta: Kansanvaltaa puolueiden ja hallituksen ehdoilla (co-edited with Matti Wiberg, Gaudeamus, 2014).

Reunalla vai ytimessä? Suomen EU-politiikan muutos ja jatkuvuus (co-edited with Juho Saari, Gaudeamus, 2017).

Poliittinen valta Suomessa (co-edited with Mari K. Niemi and Ilkka Ruostetsaari, Vastapaino, 2017).

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