Dr Christer Pursiainen's scholarly publications consist of about 130 items, including sixteen (co-)authored or (co-)edited books, on a variety of themes such as societal security, crisis management, critical infrastructure protection and resilience, international relations theory, foreign policy analysis, regional cooperation and integration, comparative politics, state-society relations, and Soviet/Russia's history and politics, published in different countries and in several languages. In Finnish, he has also published one fiction novel, based on apocryphal biblical texts,  and two popular-historical biographies.

Download Full list of scholarly publications (at the end of CV)


Christer Pursiainen & Tuomas Forsberg. The Psychology of Foreign Policy. Palgrave Series of Political Psychology. Palgrave MacMillan/SpringerNature 2021. NEW! Forthcoming in October 2021.

Abstract: This book focuses on foreign policy decision-making from the viewpoint of psychology. Psychology is always present in human decision-making, constituted by its structural determinants but also playing its own agency-level constitutive and causal roles, and therefore it should be taken into account in any analysis of foreign policy decisions. The book analyses a wide variety of prominent psychological approaches, such as bounded rationality, prospect theory, belief systems, cognitive biases, emotions, personality theories and trust to the study of foreign policy, identifying their achievements and added value as well as their limitations from a comparative perspective. Understanding how leaders in world politics act requires us to consider recent advances in neuroscience, psychology and behavioral economics. As a whole, the book aims at better integrating various psychological theories into the study of international relations and foreign policy analysis, as partial explanations themselves but also as facets of more comprehensive theories. It also discusses practical lessons that the psychological approaches offer since ignoring psychology can be costly: decision-makers need to be able reflect on their own decision-making process as well as the perspectives of the others. Paying attention to the psychological factors in international relations is necessary for better understanding the microfoundations upon  which such agency is based.


"The authors present a comprehensive reassessment of the ideas that reside at the heart of the study of foreign policy. This book makes an important contribution to our understanding of the nexus between foreign policy and international relations, and promises to be a critical resource for academics, students and policy makers alike for years to come."   Professor Chris Alden, London School of Economics & Political Scienceco-author of Foreign Policy Analysis. New Approaches.

"This book is an important contribution to the literature on the psychology of foreign policy. Every chapter has several case studies emphasizing the relevance to real-world international affairs. This will be a go-to book for scholars and students alike. Highly recommended!"  Professor Valerie M. Hudson, Texas A&M University, author of Foreign Policy Analysis: Classic and Contemporary Theory .

Christer Pursiainen. The Crisis Management Cycle. UK: Routledge 2017.

Abstract: The Crisis Management Cycle is the first holistic, multidisciplinary introduction to the dynamic field of crisis management theory and practice. By drawing together the different theories and concepts of crisis management literature and practice, this book develops a theoretical framework of analysis that can be used by both students and practitioners alike. Each stage of the crisis cycle is explored in turn:

  • Risk assessment
  • Prevention
  • Preparedness
  • Response
  • Recovery
  • Learning

Stretching across disciplines as diverse as safety studies, business studies, security studies, political science and behavioural science, The Crisis Management Cycle provides a robust grounding in crisis management that will be invaluable to both students and practitioners worldwide.

Review:  "[…] this is a well written, extensively researched and fundamentally useful guide for any safety and health professional who wants to widen their understanding of broader crisis management.” IOSHMagazine, Safety, health and wellbeing in the world of work.

Christer Pursiainen. Emanuel ja Fredrik. Hovicembalisti ja hänen kuninkaansa [Emanuel and Fredrik. The court cembalist and his king. A biography of C.P.E. Bach and Fredrik II, only in Finnish], Jyväskylä: Docendo 2017.

In Finnish only

Abstract. A colourful double biography from the 18th century Europe. Cembalist Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach and King Friedrich II of Prussia were almost the same age but far from each other in terms of the social status, the life circle and the very nature of the men, yet the music brought them together. How did the world change during their lives, and how did they affect it? The double biography is a dive into the 18th century Prussia and Europe, an adventure in the world of an emerging great power. The book  describes high politics and cultural history as well as the relations between the two social classes, the nobility and the emerging bourgeoisie in the world of enlightenment. But above all, the book is a story of  its main characters. Their lives were coinciding for three decades in almost daily concerts, but they were never properly intertwined. That is why, through these two fates, a picture is drawn that is as colourful and contradictory as the life of that era itself.

Review. “The composer and the king come to life from the history books. [...] The relationship of the main characters of the book is loose and contradictory, but the result is an incredibly fine story. It is a description of the era and lifestyle. The reader is able to observe the life of the European elite of the mid-18th century. [...] The story flows intensively, themes are logically linked and the events and characters create a fascinating weave. The story fascinates the reader, one just cannot but continue reading." IK Kankanrinta, KIRJALA.

Christer Pursiainen & Tuomas ForsbergUlkopolitiikkaa norsunluutornista  [Foreign Policy from the Ivory Tower]. Tampere: Chan Puma 2015.

In Finnish only (available here):

This massive book on foreign policy analysis, discussing thoroughly both the history of the discipline as well as its contemporary versions, is currently a textbook of International Relations at the University of Turku and the University of Tampere

Christer Pursiainen (ed.). At the Crossroads of Post-Communist Modernisation: Russia and China in Comparative Perspective. Great Britain: Palgrave Macmillan 2012.

Abstract: Over the past  three decades, Russia and China have both experienced extensive socio-economic and political transformation, as well as foreign policy reorientation. However, this transformation has not followed one pattern, but rather has taken two specific routes. How do their strategies differ, and how are they interrelated? When – and at what junctures – were the crucial choices made? What are the strategic choices that have yet to be made by Russia and China? What are the alternatives, how are they constructed and what are the internal and external settings that constrain the choices between different policy lines? This book provides the first structured comparison of Russia's and China's post-communist modernisation paths from the perspective of three interrelated arenas of social change: political system, socio-economic system, and foreign policies.

Review: "Given the dearth of systematic comparative studies of the two authoritarian post-Communist giants, as the editor rightly points out in the introductory chapter, this volume makes a welcome and valuable contribution to the field of post-Communist studies by opening up new venues of research that could yield important theoretical and empirical insights. [...] this succinct and highly original book clearly fulfills its promise of drawing a holistic picture of the essence of transformations in post-Communist Russia and China, and deserves to be read by all students interested in comparative post-Communism." Cheng Chen, The State University of New York at Albany, The Russian Review.

Christer Pursiainen. Trotski. Helsinki: Gummerus 2011.

In Finnish only.

The book was nominated a "Finlandia" book prize candidate in 2011 in the non-fiction category, the most valued literature prize in Finland. While it did not win the prize, it later in January 2012 was awarded the Shadow-Finlandia of the Akateeminen kirjakauppa (Academic bookstore) based on its bestselling record. The third edition in paperback was released in December 2012.

Abstract: "Trotski" is a biography of Lev Trotsky(1879–1940), first such published in Finland, about a man whose legacy is still alive today. Written in a spirit of  popular biography, the book scrutinises Trotsky's life probing through the Russian and Soviet early 20th century history. The author also illustrates Trotsky's and the Bolsheviks' relations to Finland; it includes new information on Trotsky's stay in Finland in 1905 and 1907, Finland's role in the Russian civil war 1918-1921 when  Trotsky was acting as the Soviet people's commissar of war, as well as Trotsky's ideas concerning the Winter War 1939/1940 (while he was in exile). The book is based on first-hand sources, especially on Trotsky's own huge archives kept in the Houghton library of the University of Harvard.

Christer Pursiainen (ed.). Early Warning and Civil Protection. When does it work and why does it fail? Stockholm: Nordregio 2008.

Abstract: The main puzzle discussed in this study is when does early warning work in relation to civil protection, and more signicicantly perhaps, when does it fail, and for what reasons. While providing a general framework for analyzing these questions, the book also includes some detailed case studies in such fields as climate change related  floods and spatial planning, sudden sea water rise, electricity blackouts, and maritime safety in cross-border context. 

Christer Pursiainen (ed.). Towards a Baltic Sea Region Strategy in Critical Infrastructure Protection. Stockholm: Nordregio 2007.

Abstract: Critical infrastructures are such systems, which are essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions, including the supply chain, health, safety, security, economic and social well-being of people. With the European Commission Green Paper, published in November 2005, and Proposal for a Directive of the Council from December 2006, a European dimension has emerged in the field of critical infrastructure protection. This development towards a more integrated European critical infrastructure protection is a clear challenge for the national models and strategies, which differ from country to country. Another challenge is the regional dimension. How, in the context of the EU-27, would it be possible to take into account the particular regional cross-border effects of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities as well as the specific features of European sub-regions? This study discusses these issues from the specific perspective of the Baltic Sea Region. The study offers detailed case studies in such fields as electricity, information and communication technology, oil transportation and maritime safety, gas pipelines, and water. As a whole the study provides information, arguments and proposals that hopefully will lead to even more vigorous debates and discussion on critical infrastructure protection in Europe and elsewhere, and contributes to much needed awareness-raising in this field. 

 Jakob Hedenskog, Vilhelm Konnander, Bertil Nygren, Ingmar Oldberg, Christer Pursiainen (eds.). Russia as a Great Power. Dimensions of Security Under Putin. UK: Routledge 2005.

Abstract: After a period of relative weakness and isolation during most of the 1990s, Russia is again appearing as a major security player in world politics. This book provides a comprehensive assessment of Russia's current security situation. One important conclusion to emerge is that, while Russian foreign policy under Putin has become more pragmatic and responsive to both problems and opportunities, the growing lack of checks and balances in domestic politics makes political integration with the West difficult and gives the president great freedom in applying Russia's growing power abroad.


"Though something of a commonplace (and, one suspects, a convenient stylistic device for reviewers desperate to find a proper closing statement), in this case it holds true: Russia as a Great Power is indispensable reading for anyone wishing to understand Russia’s role as a great global power player. Time spent reading the fourteen essays that constitute the core of this book will indeed be time well spent." Susanne Hillman, University of San Diego California, in Australian Slavonic and East European Studies, Vol. 20, Nos. 1–2 (2006).

"This volume provides an excellent and comprehensive overview of the first period of Putin’s arrival to, and consolidation of, power, and the authors’ forecasts and analysis have been confirmed by events that have occurred since publication. This book is a useful edition to any research collection since many of the pieces summarize and build upon the main arguments in their analysis of the respective dimensions of Russian power that they focus on." Christian W. Erickson, Roosevelt University, The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, Issue 8, 2008.

Christer Pursiainen and Sergei Medvedev (eds.). Towards the Kaliningrad Partnership in Russia-EU Relations. Moscow: RECEP 2005. 

In English and Russian in the same volume.

Abstract: The Kaliningrad region is currently an important focal point of discussions between the European Union and Russia. Although small in terms of geography and population, it has grown in importance due to the EU enlargement process, becoming an exclave of Russia and an enclave of the EU. This RECEP book contributes to the ongoing discussion. Its scope is based on requests from the Administration of the President RF and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the RF, Committee on Economic Policy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism. The report identifies general scenarios, road maps, legal and socio-economic instruments for the region, aiming at finding a framework for the optimal development of the Kaliningrad region within the broader context of EU-Russia relations. 

Christer Pursiainen and Sergey A. Medvedev (eds.). The Bologna Process and its Implications for Russia. The European Integration of Higher Education. Moscow: RECEP 2005.

In English and Russian in the same volume.

Abstract: The study is based on a request from the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation to offer proposals and recommendations concerning the formation of the Common European Space in Science, Education and Culture. Within this context, the study focuses on the Bologna process in particular, which is presently the major higher education reform and integration effort in Europe. The aim of the Bologna process is to establish a European Higher Education Area by 2010. The book analyses the Bologna process especially from the point of view of its implications to Russia. It is structured into eight chapters, where eight experts discuss the central issue areas of the Bologna process and identify the necessary measures to be taken in the Russian educational system in order to enable Russia’s full participation in the process.

Tuomas Forsberg, Christer Pursiainen, Raimo Lintonen & Pekka Visuri (eds.). Suomi ja kriisit. Vaaran vuosista terrori-iskuihin. [Finland and Crises.] Helsinki: Gaudeamus 2003.

In Finnish only.

Abstract:  In crisis situations, there is a need to make quick decisions generally constrained by uncertain knowledge. Structured and influenced by a vast body of theoretical crisis management literature, the book discusses in detail sixteen historical cases of Finnish crisis decision-making, reaching from post-Second War situations to this day, and including both military-related and civilian crisis situations.

(Note: A sort of more ’social scientific’ summary article, written by Tuomas Forsberg and Christer Pursiainen, of this popularly written history book, can be found in the peer-reviewed journal Cooperation and Conflict here.)

 Christer Pursiainen. Russian Foreign Policy and International Relations Theory. Aldershot, Brookfield USA [etc.]: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2000/Reprinted and republished by Routledge 2017.

Abstract:  An original and challenging examination of how to transform post-Sovietological study of Soviet and Russian foreign policy into a more integrated part of the Social Sciences and International Relations Theory. This book represents the first detailed and sustained synthesis international relations theory and Soviet/Russian foreign and security policy in academic literature.  


"This pioneering volume offers the first serious scholarly effort to integrate the work of international relations theorists with that of area studies analysts of Russian foreign policy… [it] offers a new agenda for research and is required reading for all those seeking to understand post-Soviet foreign and security policy in a wider social science context." Dr Roy Allison, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, UK.

"…Pursiainen has done an excellent job of working through central issues in the three main international relations paradigms and has woven together a positive and thoughtful analysis of important issues facing scholars who are engaged in constructing and testing theory…". Slavic Review.

 Christer Pursiainen. Venäjän idea, utopia ja missio Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 1999.

In Finnish only.

Abstract: The study ('Russia's Idea, Utopia, and Mission') deals with Russian  political thought. It consists of five long essays. The first discusses the history of the two traditional schools of Zapadnichestvo ('Westernism) and Slavophilism; the second one reviews  Soviet political thought; the third essay makes an analysis on  Russian debates on modernisation; the fourth one elaborates Eurasianism, both  in  its classical (Eurasianists in emigration, Lev Gumilev) and contemporary versions;, and the fifth one presents classical examples of Russia religious metaphysic (Nikolay Berdyayev and Ivan Il'in) as well as their comtemporary applications.

Reviews: Pursiainen "succeeds in creating a surprisingly broad picture of multidimensional Russian thinking. By conveying the Russian discourse to the Finnish reader, Pursiainen helps to tie current development to its historical and philosophical roots." Niklas Jensen, Historiallisia Arvosteluja 06/2000.

Christer Pursiainen. Beyond Sovietology. International Relations Theory and the Study of Soviet/Russian Foreign and Security Policy. Helsinki: The Finnish Institute of International Affairs 1998. 

Abstract: This is the original doctoral thesis version of the shorter Ashgate version on the same theme (see above). It includes several case studies that are not included in the Ashgate version. 

Christer Pursiainen. Venäjän päätöksenteko ja Euroopan unionin vaikutusmahdollisuudet: Tshetshenian tapaus (In Finnish only: Russia's Decision-Making and the Impact of the European Union: the Case of Chechnya). Helsinki: The Finnish Institute of International Affairs/Ulkopoliittinen instituutti, Ulkopolitiikan haasteita 12/1996.