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Matti Pesu is a Leading Researcher in the Finnish foreign policy, Northern European security, and NATO research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA). From May 2022 to April 2023, he leads a research project analyzing Finland’s nascent NATO policy and the country’s evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security. Since the beginning of 2023, Pesu has been leading FIIA’s Nordic network.

Pesu has worked at FIIA since 2017 as a Visiting Fellow, Research Fellow, and Senior Research Fellow. He has also worked at Tampere University, the European Commission, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. In 2012–2018, he was actively involved in the leading Finnish online magazine on international politics, The Ulkopolitist¸ most recently as a Managing Editor.

He has published extensively on Finnish foreign, security, and defence policy, defence cooperation, Baltic Sea security, and Euro-Atlantic security. Pesu’s writing has appeared in publications such as War on the Rocks, the National Interest, and Diplomacy & Statecraft. He is a frequent commentator on Finnish and Northern European security matters, and, in addition to the Finnish and Nordic media, he has provided analysis for the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Newsweek, Reuters, and the Associated Press, among others.

Pesu completed his PhD on the role of ideas in Finnish foreign policy at Tampere University in 2019.

Expertise

Finnish foreign, security and defence policy, Euro-Atlantic security, Northern European security, Foreign Policy Analysis

Degrees

PhD (International Relations), Tampere University, 2019

Language skills

Finnish, English (working languages), Swedish, German

Projects

Finland’s evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security
The EU as a Security Community: citizens’ views and values
New Challenges for Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century
Development of EU’s Sanctions Policy: Political and economic implications for Finland
Northern Europe in Russia’s Foreign and Security Policy
Finland in Afghanistan 2001–2021


Latest FIIA Publications

Expertise

Finnish foreign, security and defence policy, Euro-Atlantic security, Northern European security, Foreign Policy Analysis

Positions of responsibility

Managing editor, The Ulkopolitist, 2016–2018
Secretary, Nordic International Studies Association, 2015–

Work experience

Researcher & Doctoral Candidate (International Relations), University of Tampere 2014–2017
Intern, European Commission, Helsinki, 2013
Intern, Embassy of Finland in Vienna, 2012
Research Secretary, Tampere Peace Research Institute, 2011

Degrees

PhD (International Relations), Tampere University, 2019

Language skills

Finnish, English (working languages), Swedish, German

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Pesu, Matti (2020). Finland. In Björn Fägersten ed(s): The Nordics and the New European Security Architecture. Stockholm: Swedish Institute of International Affairs.

Pesu, Matti & Juntunen, Tapio (2019). Luottamus kansainvälisissä suhteissa. In Bäck, Maria; Kestilä-Kekkonen, Elina ed(s): Poliittinen ja sosiaalinen luottamus: Polut, trendit ja kuilut . Helsinki: Valtiovarainministeriö. 252-271.

Lavikainen, Jyri; Pynnöniemi, Katri; Saari, Sinikukka; Järvenpää, Pauli; Mikkola, Harri; Mikkola, Olli-Matti; Pesu, Matti; Saarinen, Sampo & Sinkkonen, Elina (2019). Venäjän ulkopolitiikka. In ed(s): Voiman Venäjä. Helsinki: Puolustusministeriö. 12-46.

Pesu, Matti (2018). Miksi Suomessa ei luoteta Ruotsiin? The Ulkopolitist, 25.4.

Pesu, Matti (2018). Kuuden vuoden kuuliaisuus. Ulkopolitiikka. Ulkopoliittinen instituutti.

Pesu, Matti (2016). Kun pienvaltiorealismin hegemonia murtui: suomalaiset ulkopoliittisen koulukunnat kylmän sodan jälkeisen ajan alussa. Politiikka, 59 (4):280-297.

Pesu, Matti (2017). Taakanjako on ikuisuusaihe. Ulkopolitiikka, 54 (4):83.

Pesu, Matti (2016). Suurvaltaempiristi pienvaltion johtajana: Mauno Koiviston ulkopoliittinen uskomusjärjestelmä. Kosmopolis, 46 (2):6-24.

Pesu, Matti (2016). Pienvaltiorealismi kuihtuu: Suomen ulkopoliittisen ajattelun murros. The Ulkopolitist, 23.11.

Pesu, Matti ed(s) (2016). Testin nimi on Baltia.

Pesu, Matti (2015). Pettikö länsi lupauksensa? The Ulkopolitist, 17.8.

Pesu, Matti (2014). Asevelvollisuus: instrumentti, identiteetti ja tulevaisuus. In Matti Muhli ed(s): Osaamista puolustusvoimille, yksilölle ja yhteiskunnalle! Puolustusvoimien koulutustoimialan vuosiseminaarin julkaisu. 21-25.

Pesu, Matti (2014). Liitossa vai ei? The Ulkopolitist, 26.8.

Pesu, Matti (2013). Tasapainoilua Pohjolassa. The Ulkopolitist, 24.10.