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Great powers and small states – Rudolf Kjellén´s Baltic geopolitical visions and the role of democracy

Interested in geopolitics in both retrospect and contemporary application? CBEES and the Institute of Contemporary History would like to invite you to an event where we will discuss and present Rudolf Kjellén (1864-1922), the inventor of the concept of geopolitics.

Rudolf Kjellén (1864-1922), the inventor of the concept of geopolitics, wrote a number of publications on the Great Powers of the world, two of which, Russia and Germany, were neighbors to Sweden and fared extremely subverting destinies during his lifetime. In-between these great powers in demise were smaller states (Sweden), proto-states (Finland) and territories under Great Power domination but finally becoming independent, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Kjellén’s writings on the years before, during and after World War I reflect his attitudes to the geopolitical game around the Baltic Sea as well as the prospect of democracy and nationhood. Today, as geopolitics as well as authoritarian visions return to world politics and regional regime, challenging democracy, it is timely that Kjellén’s work is given a fresh analysis in an anthology edited by Ragnar Björk and Thomas Lundén, both associated with Södertörn University. One article by Carl Marklund, also at SH, directly addresses Kjellén’s biopolitical and Baltic visons. The book, Territory, State and Nation. The Geopolitics of Rudolf Kjellén, is planned to appear in August this year.

Due to the ongoing restrictions as well as the strict seating limitation of the venue, all participants have to register in the online form Länk till annan webbplats.

  • 10.00 – 10.30, Welcome Messages and Information
    • Ulla Manns - Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research
    • Thomas Lundén, Carl Marklund – Organisers of the Workshop
  • 10.30–11.15, Rudolf Kjellén: Life and Letters (Ragnar Björk)
  • 11.15–11.45, Coffee break (outside of MA331)
  • 11.45–12.30, Kjellén, Biopolitics and the Baltic Agenda (Carl Marklund)
  • 12.3013.30, Lunch for registered participants Venue: Restaurant Allé Elva, Södertörn University Library
  • 13.30-14.15, The rise, fall and the resurgence of Finnish geopolitics (Anssi Paasi)
  • 14.15-15.00, Continentalism and Big-Space Politics(Mark Bassin, Andres Rivarola Puntigliano)
  • 15.0015.30 Coffee break (outside of MA331)
  • 15.30–16.00 Kjellén´s Legacy (Thomas Lundén)
  • 16.00–17.00, Panel debate: Kjellén, democracy and the Baltic world. Panellists: Ulrika Dahl, Mart Kuldkepp, Henrik Gutzon Larsen, Leif Lewin. Moderator: Carl Marklund.

We are very grateful to be joined by the special guests: Mart Kuldkepp, Leif Lewin, Anssi Paasi

Organisers: Thomas Lundén and Carl Marklund

This workshop is conducted in cooperation with Institute of Contemporary History and Södertörn University Library as part of the series "Contemporary Talks" (Samtidshistoriska samtal).

The workshop is supported by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University.

Tid och plats

20 september 10:00-17:00


MA331 - obligatory registration, hitta hit


Arrangeras av

Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) and the Institute of Contemporary History



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