Finnish Political Science Association Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Discipline in Finland
Publication date: Mon, 16 May 2022
The annual conference of the Finnish Political Science Association was held at the University of Helsinki from 11 to 13 May 2022 under the theme of Hundred Years of General Political Science – Future, Past, Present.
One of the conference’s highlights was the Hundred years of Finnish Political Science in Context - with the International Political Science Association panel, held in hybrid format on 11 May. Chaired by IPSA Executive Committee member Emilia Palonen, the panel featured IPSA President Dianne Pinderhughes and Co-Chair of the 2023 IPSA World Congress and Co-Editor of the International Political Science Review (IPSR) Theresa Reidy.
In the introductory part of the panel, Prof. Palonen summarized the establishment of political science in Finland, which started as part of the Finnish independence and state-building process. The discipline was formed based on the German tradition of Allgemeine Staatslehre or general state theory, and this explains why political science in Finland was not a postwar import from the US. She also touched on the current situation of the profession in the country and the role of the Finnish Political Science Association.
In her presentation, Dr. Pinderhughes compared the learned societies and political science associations in Finland, the United States, and IPSA and their construction and transformation towards more gender and race-balanced institutions. She observes that although the structural changes haven’t been complete or that there is no balanced representation among political scientists by gender, race, and ethnicity, it is no longer the limited profession that it once was. She also pointed out that while the Finnish Political Science Association and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies are much more oriented toward the broader public and are state-supported, the American Political Science Association and the American Council of Learned Societies are more inwardly focused and receive modest public support.
The next speaker was Dr. Reidy, who first shared some statistics on the IPSR manuscript submissions and review process. Her presentation showed that submitted manuscripts come from worldwide but that the Global North is more represented than the Global South. Dr. Reidy mentioned that women are more successful in terms of acceptance rate than men. She also highlighted that the IPSR editors receive increasingly co-authored manuscripts than before. As the Co-Chair of the 2023 IPSA World Congress, Dr. Reidy also announced that the upcoming IPSA World Congress will be an onsite event in Buenos Aires with a limited number of virtual-only panels.
During the Q&A session of each presentation, the Finnish Political Science Association members made comments on the presentations and raised several questions to the speakers.
About the Finnish PSA
The Finnish Political Science Association was founded in 1935, making it one of the oldest associations in its field. FPSA is one of the founding members of IPSA and a member of the Nordic Political Science Association. The association is active in The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and the Finnish Association for Scholarly Publishing. It’s also a member of the UN Association of Finland and UN Women.