Arto Luukkanen
  • PL 24 (Unioninkatu 40)



1994 …2020

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

University Portfolio/Ansioluettelo – Arto Luukkanen


I Basic Information





Luukkanen, Arto Pekka






Tenure position. University Lecturer




-High School Examination, Finnish                                   


-Master of Theology

University of Helsinki                                                                                                   


-Licentiate in Theology, General Church History

University of Helsinki                                                                                                   


-Doctor of Theology, General Church History

University of Helsinki                                                                                                   


-Docent of Church History                                            


(University of Helsinki)

-Docent of Russian History

(University of Tampere)                                                                                               

15.9. 1998

-Docent of Political History (Russian History and Politics)

(University of Turku)                                                                                                    

14.4. 2005




Language examinations required in a university degree; good command of Swedish, written and spoken language (KeplA, 442/87),


text comprehension

and oral command of English                                                                



Text comprehension of Russian,

University of Helsinki                                                                                                   



Oral command of Russian,

University of Helsinki                                                       



6-7. CAREER, Previous professional (academic) appointments

-University of Helsinki, Department of Orthodoxy and

East European Church Studies



-Academy of Finland

Humanities Committee

-Research Assistant                                   


-The Academy of Finland, Committee of Cultural and Social Studies

Junior Fellow                                                                                                                                    



The Journal Idäntutkimus

Part-time journalist and

member of the advisory board                                                                01.08.1995-



University of Helsinki

Adjunct Associate Professor for Russian and East European Studies (assistentti)

1.8. 1998 - 31.7.1999


-Senior Member. St. Anthony's College, Oxford                

1.8. 1999  - 31. 8. 2000


-Researcher (Finnish Academy)                                                              

1.9.2000 -   30.7.2001


-University Lecturer of Russian and East European Studies (Renvall-Institute, University of Helsinki) (non-tenure)

1.8.2001 - 31.12.2004

Director of Finnish-Russian Cross-Border University, professor

(non-tenure - University of Joensuu)                                 




Contemporary position

University Lecturer of Russian and East European Studies (Renvall Institute, University of Helsinki) (tenure)                                                                                                                             

1.8.2006 (started 1.1. 2007)


Provisional Director of CBSS (Turun School of Economics and Council of Nordic Countries) 1.9. 2008 – 1.4. 2009.    



8-9. Elected membership in scholarly societies


-Finnish Historical Society (researcher membership)

-General Secretary of Russian Studies Section in Finnish Historical Society

-Society of Finnish Church History

-Finnish Society of Russian and East European Studies

-1998 elected to the Governing Body of that Society


10 Educational merits (see a special appendix – opetusansiot)


11. Activities in administration


*Leader of of guiding group for Russian and East-European Studies (Renvall-institute) 2005-

*Finnish Historical Society, Venäjä-section, General Secretary, 2003-

*Head of Department, CBU (Erillislaitos) University of Joensuu 2005-2006.



12.  Activities in society and outside the university


A) Expertise for administration:


-Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for expertise services (Severnaja Izmirenija), since 1994- (see special letter).

-Finnish Parliament (special lecture for Committee of Foreign Affairs/2006)

-Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for expertise services “New Russia” (2006-2007)

-Finnish Ministry of Defence, expertise for National Defence Report, 2007 (Haasteiden Venäjä)

-Advanced Study Group for Northern Dimension, since 1994-


B)  Cooperation with IME – International Management Enterprise from 2007 (see appendix)

C)  Active cooperation with STT (Finnish New Agency) – Analysis of Russian politics, security and economy from 1999 t0 2007. (see appendix)


13. Reviews

What follows are the search results of a search engine ( after entering Arto Luukkanen, databases AA&HCI@ and timespan Aall years@. However, this excludes Finnish and Swedish reviews.



1. The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol. 74, No.2, April 1996, p. 337.

(David McLellan, University of Kent)

‘...With better access to archival material…, Luukkanen has shown that Bolshevik religious policy was not formed so much by a militant materialism as by the general political situation and the sudden turns in the power struggle. In doing so, he has produced a work of solid historical scholarship which will be authoritative for many years to come’. 


2. The American Historical Review, Vol. 101, No. 3, June 1996, p. 881.

(Daniel Peris, University of Wyoming)

‘...this book remains extremely useful as a handbook for official policy. It is also an unparalled resource for identifying archival materials in Moscow concerning the relationship of church and state in the early Soviet period’.


3. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 48, No. 4, June 1996, p. 692.                                                          

(Arfon Rees, CREES/University f Birmingham)

...Luukkanen provides a dispassionate account of these major policy changes and a close study of the role played by different individuals and institutions’.


4. Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 47, No. 4, October 1996,                                              

(John Anderson, University of St. Andrews)

‘...This excellent study, essentially a revised doctoral dissertation making use of Soviet archival sources, fills an important gap in the study of Soviet religious policy’.


5. Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 50, No. 2, April 1999, p. 413

( John Anderson, University of St. Andrews)

‘...Luukkanen’s book, perhaps too dismissive of the earlier literature (pp. 39-42) has the great virtue of integrating the study of religion into our broader understanding of the Soviet polity’.


6. The Russian Review, Vol. 56, No. 1, 1996, p. 139.


(Nathaniel Davis, Harvey Mudd College)

‘...Luukkanen has labored long and diligently in Russian archival collections and with memoirs, documentary histories, periodicals and books. He has collected much useful information and has provided fascinating glimpses of the disputes among Bolshevik leaders during their first twelve years of rule. Luukkanen’s judgements are often right, although I would not subscribe to all of them’.


7. The English Historical Review, Vol. CXII, No. 447, June 1997 , p. 811.

(Philip Walters, Keston College, Oxford)

‘...It is a very valuable addition to scholarship in the field – and not least in the light of the author’s plea that the persecution and compensatory renaissance of religion should be taken seriously as one of the factors in the collapse of the Soviet Union’.


8. Revolutionary Russia, Vol. 10, No. 2, December 1997, p. 107.

(Jeremy Smith, Centre for European Studies, Edge Hill University College)

‘...For all this, Luukkanen’s skillful use of archival material to describe the religious policy of the Bolshevik provides us with an invaluable, thoughtful and provocative account. The author’s modest claim that “in most cases archive sources have verified the results of earlier studies” (p. 237) does not do justice the originality and importance of this work’.


9. Nordisk Ostforum. Samfunn og kultur i Russland og Osteuropa, No. 2, 1998, p. 71.

(Jacob Dragsdal Sørensen, Center Slaviske Studier, Odense Universitet)

‘...Det overordnede billede af grundighet, saglighed og overblik’.


11. Internationale Kirchliche Zeitschrift. Oktober-Dezember 1998. 4. Heft. p. 478.

(Gerd Stricker, G2W, Geneve)

‘...In Gegensatz zu älteren Historikergenerationen konnte sich Luukkanen also auf authentische Quelle authentischen Dokumenten untermauern: er kann manche Annahmen differenzieren, präzisieren’.


12. Europe-Asia Studies. Vol. 50, No. 8, December 1998, p. 1504.

(Terry Martin, Harvard University)‘...Overall, the book’s research is exceptional. One feels confident that Luukkanen missed very little (and I have worked in many years of these archives,  so I have some basis for asserting this)’.


13. Otetšvennaja Istorija, 2000/1, p. 189.

(O.Ju. Vasileva, Institut Rossiiskoij Istorii)

Venäjän Tiedeakatemia (RAN)

‘...problematika obeih monografii finskogo istorika slozna i mnogogranna, a osvechenie podnjatih v nih voprosov javljaetsja bolshim vkladom v izuchenii v SSSR v 1920-1930 gg.’


14. Historisk Tidskrift, 1/1997, p. 176.

(Kristian Gerner, Uppsala)

‘...Anhandlingen AOtrons parti@ är frmalagd vid teologiska fakulteten i Helsingfors. Den är en politiskhistorisk analys av klassisk snit...'



15. Osteuropa-Wirtschaft, Jahr 48, Heft 3, 1998, p. 327.

(Peter Tuchtenhagen)

‘...Dies ermöglicht es dem Autor, ein wesenlich differenzieteres Bild der Religionspolitik der 1920er Jahre zu zeichnen, als dies bisher getan wurde...Durch eine uberzeugend argumentierende und rechhaltig mit Beweismaterial ausstaffierte Untersuchung ist Luukkanen dieses Experiment voll auf gelungen’.


16. Teologinen Aikakausikirja, 4/1998, p. 359.

(Antti Laine, Joensuun Yliopisto)

‘...Luukkanen on kirjoittanut erittäin arvokkaan teoksen neuvostokauden nykytutkimuksessa. Englanninkielisenä sillä tulee olemaan suuri merkitys myös kansainvälisesti. Tämän oletuksen oikeutuksen olen kokenut ennakolta Moskovassa tavatessani arkistossa nuoren amerikkalaistutkijan kädessään Luukkasen väitöskirja. Tämä on hänelle tärkeä perusteos’.


17. Historiallinen Aikakausikirja, 3/1998

(Ilmari Susiluoto, UM)

‘...teos ottaa kantaa läntistä Venäjän tutkimusta parhaillaan raastaviin keskeisimpiin metodologisiin ja tieteellisiin kiistoihin’.


18. SKHS:n vuosikirja 1997-1998, p. 767.

(Timo Vihavainen, HY)

‘...Luukkasen kirjoja on pidettävä yhtenä tämän aihepiirin perusteoksina. Siihen alan tutkijat kansainvälisestikin joutuvat ottamaan kantaa ja viittamaan...vaikka tekijää näyttää joskus uhkaavan hybriksen vaara, on se aina pienempi paha kuin liiallinen pidättyminen johtopäätöksistä.’


19. Historische Zeitschrift Band 265 (1997), p. 523.

(Manfred Hildermeier, Göttingen)

‘...Luukkanen hat die Kirchenpolitik der NEP sozusagen, von oben neu dargestellt.’


20 Historische Zeitschrift Band 269 (1999)

(Manfred Hildermeier, Göttingen)

21. Nordost-Archiv. Zeitschrift fur Regionaldeschichte. Band IX/2000 Heft 1. p. 327

(Wolfgang Heller, Heidelberg)

‘...Alles im allem liegt tätsächlich ein höchst respektables Werk in mittlerweile zwei Bänden vor, so dass man schön wegen der sorgfältigen Quellenanalysen in beiden Bänden auf eine Fotsetzung gespannt sein darf. Vorest jedoch verdienen beide Bände und ihr Autor hohen Lob.’


22. HS 23.3.2001

(Osmo Jussila)

‘...Myönnän avanneeni kirjan suurin epäilyksin.  Päällimmäisin epäilevä kysymykseni oli, miten noin nuori, vasta väitellyt dosentti, on rohjennut ryhtyä kirjoittamaan yleisesitystä niin vaikeasta aiheesta kuin Venäjän historia? Mitähän sekoilua siitäkin on tullut? Mutta yllätyin iloisesti. Suosittelen lämpimästi takakannen mainossanoin kaikille niille naapurimaamme historiasta ja nykytilanteesta kiinnostuneille, jotka haluavat kartuttaa Venäjä-tuntemustaan’.



23. Hufvudstadbladet 5.4. 2001

(Thomas Parland)

‘...Jag har blivit ombedd att själv ta ställing till Luukkanens märkliga bok som inte tycks lämnä någon oberörd utan tvärtöm väcka starka känslor...Luukkanen hör till vårt lands unga energiska vätenskapmän företräder en välkommen metodologisk motsvik till dagens av nyliberalism färgade mode at reducera Rysslandsforskning till allehanda ekonomiska analyser.’


24. Politiikka 3/2001

(Jukka Paastela)

‘...kokonaisuutena arvioiden Luukkasen kirja on mielenkiintoisella tavalla kirjoitettu ja soveltuu oppikirjaksi hyvin’.


25. Revue historique No. 597/jan-mar 1996, p. 254.

(Sylvain Bensidoun)

‘...Luukkanen a mis au point une etude fouillee, methodique, meritoire’


26. Historisk tidskrift för Finland 2/2001

(Sune Jungar. Åbo akademi)

‘...Hajoaako Venäjä? Är en bok där man känner forskningens puls’


27. European History Quarterly, Vol. 36, No. 4, 665-671 (2006)

(Prof. Thatcher, University of Edinburg)

“…Arto Luukkanen has produced two fine volumes that utilise party and state archives to examine the issue of religion among the Bolshevik elite…”


II Introduction to Portfolio


I’m a historian (originally church historian) and university lecturer of Russian and East European Studies at the Renvall Institute for Area and Cultural Studies, University of Helsinki. I have published several monographs and articles on my research field of Russian/Soviet history. As a university lecturer, I have also been in a position to get acquainted with the international community of historians (Senior Associated Member, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford in 1999–2000).


My first monograph The Party of Unbelief: The Religious Policy of the Bolshevik Party, 1917–1929 came out in 1994, followed by the second monograph The Religious Policy of the Stalinist State, 1929–1938, in 1997. These were both positively received among the scholars in the field (see above).


Since publishing these two monographs in English, my academic interests have focused on the “mainstream of Russian Studies”, especially on contemporary internal, foreign and security politics in Russia including energy politics, and on Russian history in the “longue durée”.


My third monograph, the Finnish-language Hajoaako Venäjä? Venäjän valtiollisuuden kehitys 862–2000 (Shall the Russian Federation Disintegrate? The History of Russian Statehood, 862–2000) was published in 2001. The monograph surveyed the history of Russian statehood in the long perspective, investigating the processes of integration, disintegration and overall development in the Russian state, and the development of the recent “securocratic” state-model as a new type of regime, which underlines the significance of security policy for new post-Soviet Russian statehood.


My fourth monograph Neuvostojen maa. Neuvostoliiton historia 1917–1991 (The Land of the Soviets: The History of the Soviet Union 1917–1991) came out in 2004. This retrospective study analyzes the development of Soviet ideology, politics, security infrastructure and economy. The main emphasis lies on investigating the authoritarian modernization model of Russia created by J.V. Stalin. My monograph was examining the syndrome of reforming and modernizing Russia, which coincided with the millenarian hopes of certain sections of the Russian intelligentsia.


The fifth monograph Projekti Putin – Uudemman Venäjän historiaa, 1996–2008 from 2007 (Project Putin – A Story of Contemporary Russian History) concentrates on the eight years of Vladimir Putin in power. This is the first systematic study published in Finland on contemporary Russian history: it conceptualizes the internal processes and foreign and security policies of the new Russia.


The fundamental conclusion of this monograph is that in order to stop the inevitable-seeming process of disintegration (started during Jeltsin’s era), the Russian security organs made an unofficial “coup-d’état” in 1999. The new Russia is in effect now ruled by the security organs and its “state-interest” is dictated by the dilemmas which have their origins in the Russian security  policies. The dilemma of Russian doctrines of borders and policies related to this were studied in this monograph.


In 2008, I also published a pamphlet Georgian sota – miten mahdottomasta tuli mahdollinen (War in Georgia – How Impossible Became Possible)  in order to study the background of the Georgian-Russian border-conflict in August 2008.


It appears that the political reasons for this conflict were more complicated than foreseen by some

Finnish scholars and less conventional than propounded by the media. As a matter of fact, it seems that the political necessity for this conflict was more than vital for the new Russian elite. Russian policy-making was now dictated by “worst-case scenarios”; the need to stop NATO’s enlargement process seemed to be the main reason for Russia’s aggressive reactions.


My seventh monograph Muutosten Venäjä. Venäjän historia 962–2008 (Russia in Flux: The History of Russia, 862–2008), published in 2009, concludes my “extensive trilogy” of Russian history. It outlines Russian history as seen in philosophy, ethnic ideas, economy, internal policies, foreign policies and security policies, analyzing the same themes which I studied in the report “Haasteiden Venäjä” (official memorandum dealing with modernization theories vs. contemporary Russian political system; Ministry of Defence 2008).


In my latest monograph, Kuka omistaa Venäjän? Omistamisen ja vallan dynamiikka Venäjällä” (Who owns Russia? The Dynamics of Power and Ownership in Russia. WSOY, 2009) I have scrutinized dynamics of ownership; its new drive to concentration and dynamics of  “Ivanov-Putin” doctrines in Russia.


In 2005–2006 I was the director of the international Finnish-Russian Cross-Border University Consortium project at the university of Joensuu. This academic consortium consists of five Finnish and four Russian universities with a mission to establish a Bologna-treaty type joint-degree system between the EU and Russia. I was able to conclude demanding negotiations and to be able to create the official agreements and a read-map for future development in the CBU.


Responsible for integrating the inter-university curricula, I was uniquely placed to learn the pedagogical structures in both Finnish and Russian academic institutions. After this special “komandirovka” and the signing of the consortium agreement, I received the tenured position of university lecturer of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Helsinki.   


All my studies have been informed by a strong interdisciplinary approach: my research deals not only with history, but also, for example, with political science and sociology dealing with the questions of ethinicy, border dilemma and general politics.  


In my current position at the Renvall Institute for Area and Cultural Studies, the dilemmas of ethnicity policies are integral in our basic and advanced curriculum. Annually approximately 200 students take exams on these issues, including basic and advanced studies in Russian studies. I have been supervising students in these issues for more than 10 years.  I am also a leader of Finnish Academy funded project “Helsinki-St. Peterburg – Cultural bridges between two metropolis” (2010-2012). 


Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology