Leena Malkki

Leena Malkki

Director, Centre for European Studies

Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland




Leena Malkki is a historian and political scientist specialising in the study of political violence in Western countries. She currently works as the Director of the Centre for European Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland. Malkki has been a visiting researcher at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University. She is editor-in-chief of Politiikasta, an award-winning Finnish-language journal that aims to popularise social science research for a larger audience, the chair of the ECPR Standing Group on political violence and a former chairperson of the Finnish International Studies Association from 2014 to 2017. Her research interests include the transnational dynamics of political violence, the decline of violent campaigns, school shootings and mapping societal processes that provide resilience against political violence. Malkki is currently leading an externally funded research project that aims to understand why there has been so little political violence in post-war Finland and has recently completed four externally funded research projects, two of which focus on extraparliamentary fascist and anti-immigration activism in present-day Finland. She has edited several special issues on political violence for international peer-reviewed journals, for example, on terrorism and political violence in the Nordic countries, and on lone-actor violence.

Research interests

  • Terrorism and political violence in post-war Europe
  • Radicalisation and countering radicalisation
  • Societal resilience against political violence
  • Social construction of political violence and terrorism in the public and political debate in the Nordic countries
  • Lone actor violence and school shootings

Featured publications

Malkki, Leena. 2020. “Learning from the Lack of Political Violence: Conceptual Issues and Research Designs.” Perspectives on Terrorism 14:6.
Malkki, Leena. 2020. “Amok – private oder politische Gewalt? School Shootings und die Grenzen der Einzeltäterthese.” Mittelweg 36 (4-5).
Malkki, Leena, and Daniel Sallamaa. 2018. “To call or not to call it terrorism: Public debate on ideologically-motivated acts of violence in Finland, 1991-2015.” Terrorism and Political Violence 30:5.
Malkki, Leena. “International pressure to perform: Counterterrorism policy development in Finland.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 39: 4.
Malkki, Leena. 2016. “School shootings and lone actor terrorism.” In Michael Fredholm, ed., Understanding Lone Actor Terrorism: Past Experience, Future Outlook, and Response Strategies. Routledge.
Malkki, Leena. 2014. “Political elements in post-Columbine school shootings in Europe and the United States.” Terrorism and Political Violence 26 (1).