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School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesUniversity of TampereSchool of Social Sciences and Humanities
Reform and Revolution in Europe, 1917-19

Reform and Revolution in Europe, 1917–19: Entangled and Transnational Histories

University of Tampere, Finland, 16–18 March 2017

This international conference in historical sciences analyses the political, cultural, intellectual and societal influences of the First World War in Europe, focusing especially on the emergence of new nation states. The Finnish process of declaring independence in 1917 is related to the international developments of the time, paying particular attention to transnational interaction. In Finland, the Russian Revolution of February/March 1917 started a period of constitutional ferment which led to widespread political mobilisation, constitutional controversies, a declaration of independence in the aftermath of the October/November Revolution in December 1917, a civil war in spring 1918, and finally to adoption of a republican constitution as a compromise in July 1919. In all of these phases the Finnish process of becoming an independent state was linked to and dependent on inter- and transnational developments.

The purpose of this conference is to better understand the formation of new independent states and the reforms and revolutions of established polities in international, comparative and transnational contexts. Comparative and transnational perspectives help us to rethink and relativize national histories, reinforcing some national exceptional features and demonstrating the entangled nature of many national experiences.

Keynote speakers

The invited keynote speakers and their titles include:

  • Prof. Richard Bessel (York), A transnational revolution: The challenges of the First World War and the crises of the legitimacy of the established political order.
  • Prof. Krassimira Daskalova (Sofia), Reform, revolution and transformations of gender orders: A European comparison.
  • Dr. Bill Kissane (LSE), Civil wars in a comparative perspective.
  • Prof. Jörn Leonhard (Freiburg), 1917 and the Global Revolution of Rising Expectations.
  • Prof. Henrik Meinander (Helsinki), A Scandinavian Path to Democracy? European Perspectives and Comparisons.

Call for papers

Second call for papers (pdf) in English | suomeksi | på svenska (closed).


Registration for the conference is now open. Please register HERE by 31 December 2016.

For more information on registration and fees, please see "Registration"

Conference fee

100 euros (80 euros for students)

150 euros after 30 November 2016


The conference is organised by the Finnish Historical Society, University of Tampere and the Finnish Centre of Excellence in the History of Society. The conference is part of the Centennial Anniversary of the Republic of Finland.

The organising committee:

Dr. Juhana Aunesluoma (Helsinki)
Prof. Pertti Haapala (Tampere)
Prof. Pasi Ihalainen (Jyväskylä)
Prof. Petri Karonen (Jyväskylä)
Prof. Tiina Kinnunen (Oulu), chair
Prof. Taina Syrjämaa (Turku)
Prof. Kari Teräs (Tampere)


For further information on the conference programme, contact 1917conference-organisers[at]

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