Janne Holmén’s main research interests are historiography, textbook research, educational history, identity, and island studies. Most of his research can be characterized as comparative studies of modern history in the Nordic and Baltic Sea regions. Holmén has previously investigated the depiction of the Soviet Union in Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish school textbooks during the cold war, as well as regional history writing and regional identity on islands in the Baltic Sea. In addition to “Driving Forces of Democracy”, Holmén is engaged in a comparative study of the development of Swedish and Finnish teacher education at the Department of history, Uppsala University, and a study of mental maps and perception of history among secondary school students in the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Regions, which is part of the project “Spaces of Expectation” at Södertörn University.

Within ”Driving Forces of Democracy”, Holmén studies school reforms in Sweden and Finland. The educational systems of Sweden and Finland have mutually influenced each other, and the educational debates in both countries have been characterized by similar ideals. Sweden and Finland have also received the same international impulses regarding public governance, such as the wave of new public management in the 1990s. In spite of this, significant differences between the countries’ educational systems have developed during the last decades, regarding organization as well as achievements in international student assessments. In order to explain these different developments, Holmén will analyze the influence different actors – politicians on national and municipal level, teacher unions and academic experts of pedagogy and other subjects – have wielded over educational policies. Special attention will be given to these actors’ views on the importance of egalitarian transmission of knowledge and inoculation of democratic ideals for the development of a democratic society.

Contact information

Email: janne.holmen@sh.se, janne.holmen@hist.uu.se


Holmén, Janne, 2006: Den politiska läroboken: bilden av USA och Sovjetunionen i norska, svenska och finländska läroböcker under Kalla Kriget. Summary: Political textbooks: the depiction of the USA and the Soviet Union in Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish schoolbooks during the Cold War. Uppsala: Studia Historica Upsaliensia.

Holmén, Janne & Edquist, Samuel, 2015: Islands of Identity. Södertörns högskola. (Publiceras i början av februari.)

Holmén, Janne, 2011: ”Nation Building in Kenyan Secondary School Textbooks” in Education Inquiry vol.2 no.1. pp. 79-91. Umeå University.

Holmén, Janne, 2014: ”A Small Separate Fatherland of our Own” in Island Studies Journal vol.9 no.1 pp. 135‑154. Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Holmén, Janne, 2009: ”Vikingatid och medeltid i åländsk historieskrivning”, Tankar om ursprung, ed. S. Edquist, L. Hermansson & S. Johansson, pp. 311‑328.

Holmén, Janne, 2009: ”Historiens roll i byggandet av en åländsk nationell identitet”, Tiedepolitiikka, no. 4, 2009, pp. 31‑36. (Bygger på föreläsning vid konferensen “Faller den nationella identiteten?” i Helsingfors 9-10.10.2009).

Holmén, Janne & Edquist, Samuel, 2012: ”Identities and History Writing on Islands in the Baltic Sea” in From One Island to Another: A Celebration of Island Connections. Karin Topsø Larsen (ed.) Bornholm: CRT-ISISA. pp. 73‑82.

Holmén, Janne, 2009: Finlands okända historia. Den svenska tiden 1150-1809. Magma studie 2, 2009, 117 pp. Med finskspråkig sammanfattning.

Holmén, Janne, 2011: ”Historia” i Larsson, Esbjörn & Westberg, Johannes (ed.), 2011: Utbildningshistoria. Lund: Studentlitteratur. pp. 199‑208.

Holmén, Janne, 2013: ”Humorn som vapen under Kalla Kriget” i Niklas Ericsson (ed.) Samband Historia Tema. Stockholm: Sanoma utbildning. pp. 110–112.