Henrik Meinander is Professor of History at the University of Helsinki. He has in his research focused on sports history, historiography as well as on Finnish and Nordic 20th Century history, which among other publications has resulted in a number of syntheses. Most renowned of these works is probably A History of Finland, which has been published in nine languages. Meinander has earlier functioned as curator of the Mannerheim Museum in Helsinki and the Finnish Institute in Stockholm. He takes often part in societal debates and is columnist for Hufvudstadsbladet, the leading Swedish-speaking daily in Finland. 

1968: A Cross Section and Perspective

The driving forces of democracy in Finland and Sweden are analysed in a cross sectional study of the year 1968, which was both exceptional and at the same time in many respects very typical for the golden age of the nation state, 1930-1980. The Finnish and Swedish societies went during this year through swift structural changes that considerably tested their political systems and in a very tangible way uncovered problems and challlenges in their democratic decision making. The concept democracy was for example during this year intepretated in more diversified and contradictory manner than ever before in these two countries. The study is a follow-up of Meinander´s monography Finland 1944 (published in Swedish, Finnish, Ukranian and Russian), a total history analysis of World World Two in northeast Europe. The leading methodological approach in this survey is thus a combination of a chronological narrative with an examination of the Finnish and Swedish societies from a number of thematic angles, which opens perspectives also on the cultural field, the economy and the geopolitics before, during and after the chaotic year of 1968.


  1. Towards a Bourgeois Manhood: Boys’ Physical Education in Nordic Secondary Schools 1880-1940, The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters 47:1994, Helsingfors 1994, 250 p. (Diss.)
  2. Finlands historia, del 4, Schildts: Esbo 1999, pp. 33-560; New edition: Republiken Finland igår och idag. Finlands historia från inbördeskriget till 2012, SETS: Helsingfors 2012, 560 p; Translation: Tasavallan tiellä: Suomi Kansalaissodasta 2000-luvulle, Schildts: Espoo 1999, 543 p. Translation by Paula Autio; New edition: SETS: Helsinki 2012, 559 p.
  3. “Sharp Trends, Soft Turnings. Remarks on Finnish historical research in the twentieth century”, in Frank Meyer & Jan Eivind Myhre (red), Nordic Historiography in the 20th Century: An Anthology, Oslo 2000, pp. 185-207.
  4. “On the Brink or In-between? The Conception of Europe in Finnish identity”, in Mikael af Malmborg & Bo Stråth (eds), The Meaning of Europe. Variety and Contention within and among Nations, Berg: Oxford 2002, pp. 149-168.
  5. Finlands historia: Linjer, strukturer, vändpunkter, Söderströms: Helsingfors & Atlantis: Stockholm 2006, 261 p. Revised editions 2008, paperback 2010, New edition, hardback SETS: Helsingfors 2014, 330 p. – Translations: Suomen historia: Linjat, rakenteet, käännekohdat, WSOY: Helsinki 2006, 256 p. Translation by Paula Autio. Revised paperback 2010; New edition, hardback 2014, SETS: Helsinki 2014, 326 p; История Финляндии. Пер. со шв. М., Весь мир, 2008, 238 p. (Istorija Finlandii, Moskva, Ves Mir, 2008). Translation by Zinaida Lindén; Історія Фінляндії: Лінії, структури, переломні моменти, Літературна агенція «Піраміда»: Львів 2009, 213 p. (Istorija Finljandiji: Linii, strukturii, perelomni momentii, Literaturna ahentsija ”Piramida”: Lviv 2009). Translation by Natalia Ivanitjuk; A History of Finland, Hurst: London 2011, 227 p. Translation by Tom Geddes; Soome ajalugu: Suundumused, pohijooned ja pöördepunktid, Ilmamaa: Tartu 2012, 270 p. Translation by Sirje Olesk. Somijas Vesture: Linija, strukturas, paversienpunkti, Jumava: Riga 2013, 214 p. Translation by Rute Ledina.
  6. Kekkografi och andra historiska spånor, Söderströms: Helsingfors 2008, 302 p. – Translation: Kekkografia: Historiaesseitä, Siltala: Helsinki 2010, 229 p. Translation by Matti Kinnunen.
  7. Finland 1944: Krig, samhälle, känslolandskap, Söderströms: Helsingfors 2009, 428 p. – Translations: Suomi 1944: Sota, yhteiskunta, tunnemaisema, Siltala: Helsinki 2009, 428 p. Translation by Paula Autio; 2nd edition, Siltala: Helsinki 2012, 428 p; Фінляндія, 1944: війна, суспільство, настрої, Видавництво Темпора 2010, 294 p. (Finl’andija, 1944: Vijna, suspil’stvo, nastroji, Tempora: Kiev 2010). Translation by Oleh Korol; Фінляндія, 1944 год, Пер. со шв. М., Весь мир, 2014 (Finlandia, 1944 god, Ves Mir 2014) 346 p. Translation by Zinaida Lindén.
  8. “Finland and the Great Powers in World War II: Ideologies, Geopolitics, Diplomacy”, in Tiina Kinnunen – Ville Kivimäki (eds.), Finland in World War II: History, Memory, Interpretations, Brill: Leiden 2011, pp 49-91.
  9. ”A Separate Story? Interpretations of Finland in the Second World War”, in Henrik Stenius, Mirja Österberg & Johan Östling (eds.), Nordic Narratives of the Second World War: National Historiographies Revisited, Nordic Academic Press: Lund 2011, pp 55-77.
  10. “Nature Boys, Supermen, Fanatics: Perspectives on Finnishness in Three Sports Novels”, The International Journal of History of Sport 12/2012, pp 1744-1758.