Publications and research interests

My current research interests are split between five categories.

. Franco-Nordic relations
This is my most important research interest: international relations in the Nordic/Baltic region, and especially France’ input in this region. This is a vast field, which I treated in my PhD and in other publications.

  • Le comité français d’aide à la Finlande, Janvier-Septembre 1940. Bulletin des anciens élèves de l’INALCO, October 2001, Paris. 15-30.
  • La guerre d’hiver de Finlande, novembre 1939-mars 1940. Revue Historique des Armées, 231, 2/2003. 77-90.
  • La guerre d’hiver et le comité français d’aide à la Finlande, janvier-septembre 1940”. Historiens et géographes, 382, 4/2003. 403-412.
  • Un serpent de mer du débat français – Le modèle nordique au prisme des discussions françaises”. Nordiques, 15, winter 2007-2008. 25-43.
  • Entre influence allemande et imbroglio russe: la mission militaire française en Finlande, 1919-1925”. Revue Historique des Armées, 254, 1/2009. 39-52.
  • Ranskalaisten reaktiot talvisotaan” (French reactions to the Winter War). Lintunen, Tiina & Clerc, Louis (eds.), Ajankohta 2010 – Kenen sota? Uusia näkökulmia talvisotaan, Uniprint, Turku, 2010. 75-100.

. Diplomatic and International History

Publications dealing with the field of diplomatic and international History at large. This is something I would like to dedicate more time to.

  • I was asked to participate to an anthology of methodological texts dealing with using the media in hitsorical research. I tried to present the way the media can be fruitfully used in writing the history of foreign policy and international relations. As always, it became painfully obvious that I don’t have a head for theories, so I tried to keep things simple and close to my own experiences in historical research. The editors were kind enough to print the result:  “Tiedotusvälineet ulkopolitiikan historian lähteinä; Esimerkkejä Ranskan historiasta 1900-1980” (The media as historical sources)Historia Mirabilis, 9/2012. 78-101. Despite my contribution, the book was reviewed very kindly on Agricola, the network of Finnish Historians.
  • Two years ago, we were thinking with my colleague Tiina Lintunen about new ideas for the common yearbook of the Helsinki and Turku departments of Contemporary History. We decided to gather case studies of Finnish activities in and relations to international organizations. The starting point was that there is actually rather little historical study on the various Finnish characters involved in international organizations. The volume was thus meant as an attempt to rejuvenate studies dealing, not only with Finnish diplomats, but also with the myriad of semi-diplomatic actors active in Finland’s foreign relations. Most of the contributions are in Finnish, but one is also in English: Tero Erkkilä and Attila Krizsan bring to light in the volume the outcomes of research conducted through interviews with EU civil servants and lobbyists (especially but not solely Nordic ones). Beyond that paper, the end result was a nice collection of cases, of which insights I tried to tie in the introduction: Ajankohta 2013 – Suomen asialla? Yksityiset ja julkiset toimijat kansainvälisissä yhteistöissä, toim. Tiina Lintunen & Louis Clerc (Painosalama, Turku, 2013).

. Public Diplomacy, National Image Management, Propaganda, representations in international relations
I came to this research interest through my interest in representations, networks and the unorthodox diplomatic practices of small states. The Academy of Finland has agreed to fund my Post-doc research on the subject (2011-2013). I have developed it in a few  texts and through conferences.

  • Kuinka kukaan voi olla suomalainen? Suomalaiset ja Suomi ranskalaisissa kirjoituksissa suuresta adressista talvisotaan” (How can someone be a Finn? The Finns and Finland in French writings from the Great Address to the Winter War). In the book Vuorovaikutuksia, Timo Soikkasen juhlakirja, Gummerus/Turun Historiallinen Arkisto 60, Turku, 2007. 177-199.
  • Suomalaiset verkostot ulkomailla sortovuosien aikana” (Finnish networks abroad during the years of oppression). In the book Laamanen, Ville & Railo, Erkka (eds.), Suomi muuttuvassa maailmassa, Edita, Helsinki, 2010. 76-114.
  • “Reputation by Committee? Finland’s Committee for International Information, 1988-1990”. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, Volume 9, Issue 2, 176 – 210.

. Nordic Countries and European Integration
This is mostly an aside of my teaching activities. I also coordinated a project for NOS-HS organizing a series of workshops on the subject.

  • Un euroscepticisme nordique? Le Danemark face à la construction européenne (1918-1993)”. In the book Wassenberg, Birte & Clavert, Frédéric & Hamman, Philippe (dir.), Contre l’Europe? Anti-européisme, euroscepticisme et alter-européisme dans la construction européenne de 1945 à nos jours (vol. I): les concepts, Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 2010. 175-194.
  • In 2009, we obtained a grant from the Nordic Association of Research Councils (NOS-HS) in order to produce a series of workshops on the Nordic Countries and European Integration. That was a fascinating experience, and the three workshops (Oslo, Reykjavik, Turku) gathered interesting people from all the region around a reflection on what made Nordic reactions to European Integration specific. The workshops were filmed and archived here:

. Scandinavia’s, Finland’s and France’s General History
These are general, vulgarization texts or academic productions on various aspects of French, Finnish, and Scandinavian history.

  • I edited the special issue of the Valahian Journal of Historical Studies entitled “Mind and Matter, France and the ‘Lands Between’ in the Course of the 20th Century”, special issue on France and Central-Eastern Europe, 2/2004.
  • This was a project on the visions of France in Finland, co-edited with the wonderful Kristina Ranki:Ranki, Kristina & Clerc, Louis (eds.), Suomalaisten Ranska – Kaunis Tuntematon (France for the Finns – The Beautiful Stranger), Gummerus/Ajatus Kirjat, Helsinki, 2008.
  • That one was a pleasure to realize: a book dedicated to the reportage realized by the French photographer Denise Bellon in August 1939 in Finland and the Baltic States. Wonderful pictures, and a good occasion to reflect on the perception of Finland and Scandinavia in France: Sovijärvi, Sini & Paavilainen, Ulla & Clerc, Louis & Le Roy, Eric & Perttola, Mikka & Varilla, Minna (eds.), Denise Bellon – Onnen Maa, Suomi elokuussa 1939 (The Land of Happiness, Finland in August 1939 through the pictures of Denise Bellon), Finn Lectura, Helsinki, 2008. Probably the best-selling book I participated to so far…
  • Lintunen, Tiina & Clerc, Louis (eds.), Ajankohta 2010 – Kenen sota? Uusia näkökulmia talvisotaan (Ajankohta 2010 – Whose war? New perspectives on the Winter War), Uniprint, Turku, 2010.
  • La Finlande et le débat sur l’OTAN durant la campagne présidentielle de 1999-2000”. Etudes Internationales, Vol. XXXIII/2, June 2002, Laval, Canada. 303-324.
  • La construction d’une communauté de sécurité en Europe : le cas de la Finlande. Cultures et Conflits, 51, Winter 2003. 116-125.
  • Demokratia sodassa, Ranskan yhteiskunta ja Algerian sota” (Democracy at war, French society and the Algerian War). Ajankohta 2005. 66-90.
  • La Finlande entre OTAN et incertitude russe”. Nordiques, 7, Summer 2005. 27-48.
  • Enjeux stratégiques et identitaires à la frontière russo-finlandaise, 1917-1947”. Revue d’Histoire Nordique, 3/2007. 169-188.
  • Sortir de la guerre froide? Le débat finlandais de politique étrangère et de defense dans les années 2000”. Nordiques, 21, winter 2009-2010. 99-116.


  • Ranskan sosialistipuolueen uusi tuleminen” (The comeback of the French Socialist party). In the book Majander, Mikko (ed.), Presidentin vaali ja poliittinen mobilisaatio (Kalevi Sorsa-Säätiö, Helsinki, 5/2012). 75-96.

. Forthcoming:

  • France and the Baltic Sea Region, 1900-1945, Rodopi Press, Amsterdam. Contract pending.
  • La guerre finno-soviétique de l’hiver 1939-1940, Economica, Paris. Contract pending.


To download a complete list of my publications, click here.


For more information, see my staff page:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s