Announcing the new Finnish Chair

The Finnish Chair Advisory Committee is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Aappo Kähönen as the 10th Lakehead University Chair in Finnish Studies. 

The Chair in Finnish Studies is an interdisciplinary appointment for one or two terms during the regular academic year. Chairs are chosen by the Advisory Committee through an open competition and are expected to have a significant research profile. Dr. Kähönen is an expert on foreign policy, as well as national state- and border building with a particular emphasis on Soviet-Finnish relations.

Dr. Kähönen will be in Thunder Bay until the end of April. During his time at Lakehead University, he will be conducting a research project entitled “Mobilization, Participation and State relation: Case of a Finnish Community in Canada, 1900–1960.”  He will be collecting data on the role of religious, social and political activities, providing a means of participation in the Canadian society for Finnish Canadians.

Dr. Kähönen has taught a wide variety of courses at University of Helsinki, and has given courses in University of Warsaw and in Moscow Lomonosov University (MGU).

During the last three years, his teaching included the following courses: Foundation of Soviet-Finnish relations, 1920–1930, Finnish Contemporary Society and Political Culture In Historical Perspective, 1809– 2016, Theories and Methods of History. In addition to lectures, he has supervised literature examinations on topics such as Modern State and the Birth of Civil Society, History of Integration of Europe, and International and Global System.

Research Interests:

In his doctoral thesis, Dr. Kähönen explained a crisis in Cold War Soviet-Finnish relations in the late 1950s caused by foreign and trade politics, together with the ideological reforms of the Soviet Union. The theoretical background of this research was constructionist paradigm of international relations, which allows the observation of interdependence between foreign and domestic politics, from the perspective of interest groups.

Dr. Kähönen is the author of several publications including the following:

  • Dr. Kähönen and Veera Laine, ”Venäjän valtion ja kansakunnan sisäiset ja ulkoiset rajat – miten niitä rakennetaan ja perustellaan?” [Internal and External Borders of the Russian State – How They Are Argued and Constructed?] Historiallinen aikakauskirja [Finnish Historical Journal], ed. Anu Lahtinen 1/ 2019 s. 22–36
  • “State-building and foreign policy: The case of East Karelia and the role of Finland in the Soviet foreign policy 1921–1922” in Nordic and Baltic Studies Review: 3/2018, Petrozavodsk State University, s.380–395.
  • “The Clash of Great Powers and Revolution in the Baltic Sea? Finland in the Soviet Foreign Policy, 1922–1925”, Scandinavian Journal of History, vol.40, No. 5, 2015, Routledge.
  • Sovjetunionen och konkurrensens nya arenor under det kalla kriget 1957-73 [The Soviet Union and the New Fields of Competition in the Cold War, 1957-73], Nordisk Østforum. 25, 3/2011.
  • Suomen ja Viron ulkomaankaupan uudelleensuuntautuminen 1920 –luvulla –taloudellisen keskinäisriippuvuuden poliittiset ja yhteiskunnalliset seuraukset [The Reorientation of Finnish and Estonian Foreign Trade in the 1920s –Political and Social Consequences of Economic Interdependence], Poliittisen historian vuosikirja Ajankohta 2009, toim. Klaus Lindgren, Yliopistopaino, Helsinki 2010

Restrictions permitting, Dr. Kähönen will be making public presentations in Thunder Bay during the fall and winter terms. He is also interested in hearing from Finnish-Canadians and their descendants for his research project and he is looking for opportunities to discuss research with faculty and students.

His office is RB 3017 in the Department of History. He can be contacted via email at and will soon have a Lakehead University email address.