The abstract (summary) of my 2016 Master's thesis on Armenian Genocide Recognition in Finland and politics of memory.


The subject of this study is the politics of memory about genocides and especially discussion on Armenian Genocide in Finland. Finland is regarded as a country where the Armenian Massacres haven't been officially recognised as Genocide, whereas discussion on the topic has taken place in media and also on a parliamentary level. Material for the study consists of Finnish discussion on Armenian Genocide preceding the April 2015 centennial, of which the most important piece is the book Armenian kansanmurhan perintö by Serafim Seppälä (2011, Like). The first research question asks how the recognition of Armenian Genocide is being morally argued in the Finnish discussion.

In Political Science a special role concerning the legacy of genocides is given to Hannah Arendt's reportage on Adolf Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem. Eichmann was prosecuted for crimes involving the Jewish Holocaust and was sentenced in 1962. The second research question compares the moral legacy of the Armenian Genocide to the political legacy of the Eichmann trial.

The study employs politics of memory (theory and tradition) especially in the study of international politics. Politics of memory and history politics draw upon material from a plurality of fields, including study of history. The research method is a theory-driven application of politics of memory as a tool to analyse and categorise the material.

As results the study presents the legacy of the Armenian Genocide in Finnish discussion as a morally obligatory politics of memory and displays special characteristics of the post-traumatic state of the Armenian people as a cultural legacy of the genocide. On the other hand, the political analysis and moral judgements of Hannah Arendt give the official state recognition of the Armenian Genocide only a secondary importance for a serious and respectful politics of memory about the Genocide to still be possible.

The Armenian culture and legacy has "flourished" also without universal state politics of recognition.


The whole thesis can be read here (in Finnish): http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:ula-201611101358 

”Me olemme kukoistaneet ilman kenenkään lupaa tai suojelusta”: kansanmurhan muistin politiikka ja armenialaisten kansanmurha. Leskinen, Miikka-Markus (2016). University of Lapland. Faculty of Social Sciences.