On the defence line. Social science research and historical research into national defence and national service

Teemu Tallberg, Anni Ojajärvi & Tiia Laukkanen (ed.)

In Finnish: Puolustuslinjalla. Yhteiskuntatieteellistä ja historiallista tutkimusta maanpuolustuksesta ja asevelvollisuudesta


Military history and armed defence are in many ways an integral part of our national identity and culture and the story of Finnishness. On the defence line is a fresh collection of social science research and historical research related to national defence. The book aims to provide a varied and rich description of the way in which national service, national defence and the Finnish people’s relationship with defence can be examined and studied from the perspective of social science. The writers represent many different fields of research within sociology, military sociology, international politics, youth research, gender studies, history and strategic research.

The researchers approach the subject from different perspectives and research traditions, shedding light on the way in which Finland’s national service and national defence help to shape the story and experience of Finnishness and, for example, the memory culture related to the Second World War. The current situation is also shaped by this discourse – a fighter plane programme would hardly develop into an air show and family event for the entire population without a national history and manner of speaking that are related to national defence.

The book highlights interesting themes related to national defence and national service. Social science research and historical research have a special perspective that introduces insightful observations, and new outlooks and voices into the discussion. The texts function as an introduction to research on the subject of national defence and open the debate both for those interested in the subject on a general level and for those studying or researching the subject in more detail.