To page body
university of tampere: faculty of social sciences: research: tampere peace research institute (tapri): research projects:
Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of TampereFaculty of Social Sciences
Tampere Peace Research Institute (TAPRI)

Dialogic Memories and Narrative Agency in Conflict Transformation

Project Leader: Docent Dr. Marko Lehti

Research Theme:

The goal of the project is to critically interrogate how representations of the past shape inter-communal conflict and to elaborate a new dialogic approach to conflict transformation that takes fuller account of the significance of memory and ontological security for this process. The main research questions are as follows: How do competing narratives on the past contribute to the (re)emergence and escalation of conflict? How has uses of the past been understood and captured within past and ongoing processes of conflict resolution? How might contested pasts be approached differently in order to more meaningfully promote new imagined futures based on coexistence?

Ensuring the effectiveness of peaceful conflict transformation remains a key challenge in numerous European and non-European settings, where we see ongoing conflicts occasioned not simply by competition for material gain, but also by a wider (re)production of identities and group boundaries based on mutually exclusive myths, interpretations of history and collective memorialisation. The role of the past within conflict transformation, however, remains under-explored from both a theoretical and a policy perspective. Our project will address this gap in knowledge by providing a fuller understanding of the memory-conflict relationship across a range of currently salient cases (Ukraine, the Baltic States, Northern Ireland and the Middle East), drawing on perspectives and insights from peace research, history, cultural studies, nationalism and area studies and international relations. Using a range of methods and sources, it will identify and analyse specific practices and institutions (commemorative, legislative, educational etc.) that bring about and perpetuate antagonistic constructions of the past, as well as proposed and ongoing efforts towards their resolution. Having done this, the project will elaborate (in conjunction with practitioners) an innovative strategy of memory conflict transformation based on Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of dialogism.

Research Group:

Dr. Marko Lehti
Dr. Bruno Lefort

Dr. Jyrki Ruohomäki

Dr. Elena  Pavlova
PhD student Armenak Tokmajyan (TAPRI)


Professor Viacheslav Morozov (University of Tartu)
Dr. Ina Merdjanova (Trinity College Dublin)
Associate Professor Sara Dybris McQuaid (Århus University)
Professor David Smith (University of Glasgow)

Dr. Tanja Tamminen (Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung – IOS)

Selected Publications:

  • Lehti, M “Rethinking Identities and Dialogue in Conflict Transformation”, in Samuel Goda, Maksym Khylko and Oleksandr Tytarchuk (eds.), International Crisis Management: NATO, EU, OSCE and Civil Society. Collected Essays on Best Practices and Lessons Learned, Amsterdam, Berlin, Washington, DC: IOS Press 2016, 24-37.
  • Lehti, M "Multiple Histories and Peace Mediation", in A. Blåfield (ed.), The Use and abuse of history. Helsinki: Siltala 2016, 234-263.
  • Lehti, M: “The Quest for Solidarity and Tamed Nationalism: Envisioning Sustainable Peace in the Balkans”, Peace & Change. A Journal of Peace Research 39(1), 2014: 101-132.
  • Lehti, M & Saarinen, J.: “Mediating Asymmetric Conflicts: A Survey on Nordic Studies on Peacemaking”, in Nordic Approaches to Peace Mediation. Research, Practices and Policies, M. Lehti (ed.), TAPRI Studies in Peace and Conflict research No. 101. Tampere: Tampere Peace Research Institute 2014, 11-90.
  • Hackmann, J & Lehti, M.: “Myth of Victimhood and Cult of Authenticity: Sacralizing the Nation in Estonia and Poland”, in Catharina Raudvere, Krzysztof Stale & Trine Stauning Willert (eds), Rethinking the Space for Religion. New Actors in Central and Southeast Europe on Religion, Authenticity and Belonging. Nordic Academic Press 2012, 126-162.
  • Lehti, M., Jokisipilä, M. & Jutila, M.: “Never Ending Second World War: Public Performances of National Dignity and Drama of Bronze Soldier” Journal of Baltic Studies vol 39(4), 2008: 393-418. (Published also in Contested and Shared Places of Memory, History and Politics in the North Eastern Europe, Marko Lehti & Jörg Hackmann (eds.), London: Routledge 2010: 15-40)
  • Browning, C. & Lehti, M.: “Beyond East-West: Marginality and National Dignity in Finnish Identity Construction”. Nationalities Papers 35(4), 2007: 691-716.
  • Lehti, M.: ”Identiteeteistä mielenmaisemaan. Kansallisten tarinoiden paluu maailmanpolitiikan tutkimukseen” (From identities to mindscapes: return of national narratives to study of world politics) Kosmopolis. Rauhan-, konfliktin-ja maailmanpolitiikan tutkimuksen aikakauskirja 34(3), 2004: 53-73.
  • Lehti, M.: ”Ymmärtämisen haaste. Balkanin mielenmaisemaa kartoittamassa” (Challenge of understanding: mapping the Balkan mindscape), Idäntutkimus 3/2002: 5-17.
  • Lehti, M.: ”Etnisen puhdistuksen trauma - Miten selittää Balkanin sotien väkivaltaisuus?” (Trauma of ethnic cleansing: how to explain violence of the Balkan wars), in: Jäljillä. Kirjoituksia historian ongelmista. P. Kettunen, A. Kultanen & T. Soikkanen (eds.). Turku: Kirja-Aurora 2000:. 125-149.


Marko Lehti
tel. +358 (0)40 190 1595
Tampere Peace Research Institute,
Kalevantie 5, Tampere
FI-33014 University of Tampere (Finland)
Visiting address: Linna building, 6th floor, room 6066

Visiting address: Linna building, 6th floor
Postal address: TAPRI, School of Social Sciences and Humanities
FI-33014 University of Tampere, Finland
tel. +358 (0)3 355 111
Maintained by:
Last update: 5.10.2016 17.12 Muokkaa

University of Tampere
+358 3 355 111

FINEEC Audited HR Excellence in Research

Cooperation and Services
About Us

Research & Study

Career Services
Finnish Social Science Data Archive
Centre for International Education
IT services
Language Centre
Language Services
Registrar's Office
Sports Activities
» more

Teaching schedules
Curricula guides
Student's Desktop

Andor search
Renew your loans
UTA intranet
Office 365 webmail
Uta webmail
Electronic exam service
Examination results