Ainur Elmgren is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. She defended her doctoral thesis in history at Lund University in 2008. Her dissertation explored stereotypes, national identities and uses of history in Finland during the 1920s and 1930s. She has participated in several research projects in conceptual history at the University of Helsinki, such as Nordic Openness and The Political Rhetoric of Isms, with studies on populism in the Nordic countries. As a scholar associated with the Network for European Studies at the University of Helsinki, she has also received support from the Kone foundation for an individual project on communism as a political identity after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Ainur Elmgren has previously worked on a biography of the journalist and publisher Erkki Vala as a bilingual public intellectual, who questioned the ideological limits of the nation state. Within the scope of this project, she will explore Vala’s contacts within the Nordic countries and beyond, and his ideological path from ”national cosmopolitism” with connections to the Paneuropean movement to resistance against the EEC on the basis of Marxism and socialism after the Second World War. Vala’s activity is contextualized through analyses of the public debates in the relevant time period and the struggles with limits to freedom of expression, as well as the role of international contacts and geopolitical thinking for dissidents and adapters.

Contact information
Network for European Studies
P.O. Box 54
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki


Elmgren, A (2015), ‘The Nordic Ideal: Openness and Populism According to the Finns Party’. N Götz & C Marklund (eds), The Paradox of Openness Transparency and Participation in Nordic Cultures of Consensus, 6, International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology, no. 126, Brill 2015, s. 91-119.

Elmgren, A (2013), ‘Power and Society in Finland: Change and Continuity’. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, vol 21, no. 3, pp. 397-412.

Elmgren, A (2013), ‘The Jesuit Stereotype: An Image of the Universal Enemy in Finnish Nationalism’. in YM Werner & J Harvard (eds), European Anti-Catholicism in a Comparative and Transnational Perspective. European Studies, vol. 31, Rodopi, Amsterdam – New York, pp. 191-205.

Elmgren, A (2008), Den allrakäraste fienden: Svenska stereotyper i finländsk press 1918-1939. 1 edn, Sekel Förlag, Lund.

Elmgren, A (2006), ‘Den allrakäraste fienden – Sverige som hot och hopp i mellankrigstidens Finland’. in K-G Karlsson, E-H Ulvros & U Zander (eds), Historieforskning på nya vägar. Nordic Academic Press, Lund.