FIIA Forum 2023: Global order(s) and China

Livestream · 08.03.2023 13:00 - 18:15


World politics is in a state of disarray. The Post-Cold War period of tranquility has ended, and the institutional framework of global governance, built up after the Second World War, is under stress. What kind of a global order – or orders –eventually will emerge greatly depends on the dynamics of US-China relations and China’s foreign policy priorities. China’s expanding international role impacts issues of global order in multiple policy arenas, from economic governance to security.

The annual FIIA Forum is the Institute’s main event that highlights the core topics of FIIA research. This year’s FIIA Forum also marks the launch of FIIA’s new research center focusing on global orders and China (CORD).  



Opening remarks:
Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA

Presentation of FIIA’s new Center on Global Orders and China 
Mikael Mattlin, Research Professor, FIIA


Panel I: A world of orders, or disorders?

Keynote speaker:
Alastair Iain Johnston, Professor, Harvard University

Katja Creutz, Programme Director, FIIA
Elina Sinkkonen, Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Panel discussion

Mikael Mattlin, Research Professor, FIIA

∼ Break ∼

15:15 – 16:45
Panel II
Domestic influences on Chinese foreign policy

Keynote speaker:
Xuetong Yan, Professor, Tsinghua University

Jie Yu, Senior Research Fellow on China, Chatham House
Jyrki Kallio, Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Panel discussion

Bart Gaens, Leading Researcher, FIIA

∼ Break ∼

7:00 – 18:15           

Panel IIIDealing with economic dependencies in a deglobalizing global economy 

Keynote speaker
Lenita Toivakka, Director, International Affairs and Trade, Finland Chamber of Commerce

Panel discussion:
Tuuli Koivu, Chief Economist, Nordea
Iikka Korhonen, Head of the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT)
Mikael Mattlin, Research Professor, FIIA

Mika Aaltola, Director, FIIA



Opening remarks

Mika Aaltola

Director, FIIA

Mika Aaltola is the Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He is also a tenured professor of International Relations and European Union Affairs at Tallinn University (part-time), Estonia, and holds the rank of Docent at Tampere University. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (CERI), and Johns Hopkins as well as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota. Aaltola’s areas of expertise include the U.S. global role, dynamics of major power politics, democratic vulnerability, pandemic security, and Finnish foreign policy.


Mikael Mattlin

Research Professor, FIIA

Mikael Mattlin is a Research Professor in the Global Security research programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. He heads FIIA’s recently established Center on Global Orders and China (CORD). Prior to joining FIIA, he has been Professor of Political Science at the University of Turku, as well as Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki. Mattlin leads the Academy of Finland-funded ForAc -research project at the University of Turku, where he retains a secondary affiliation. Prof. Mattlin has published extensively in leading academic journals, e.g., The China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Information, Communication & Society, Cooperation and Conflict and Simulation & Gaming. In 2022 Prof. Mattlin published the first comprehensive Finnish-language research-based book on the Chinese political system (Vastapaino), together with two other leading Finnish China experts. Prof. Mattlin has also long developed, taught, and researched a negotiation simulation teaching concept for international relations that has gained wide recognition, e.g., recently receiving an honourary mention from the European Political Science Consortium (2021 EPS Jacqui Briggs Prize).

Keynote speaker

Alastair Iain Johnston

Professor, Harvard University

Alastair Iain Johnston is the Laine Professor of China in World Affairs in the Government Department at Harvard University. He is the author of Cultural Realism: Strategic Culture and Grand Strategy in Chinese History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995) and Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980-2000 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), as well as articles on identity and foreign policy, strategic culture, socialization and international norms, and crisis management theory and practice in China.


Katja Creutz

Programme Director, FIIA

Katja Creutz is Programme Director of the Global Security and Governance research programme. Her main field of expertise is international law and especially issues of responsibility, human rights and global governance. Dr Creutz holds a Doctor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws programme degree from the University of Helsinki and a Master of Political Science from Åbo Akademi University. She has previously worked as Research Fellow at the Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights of the University of Helsinki. She is the author of the monograph "State Responsibility in the International Legal Order: A Critical Appraisal" (CUP, 2020).

Elina Sinkkonen

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Elina Sinkkonen (Oxford DPhil), is Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. She holds the title of Docent at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Turku. Her research interests include great power relations, authoritarian regimes, regional security in East Asia, Chinese nationalism, public opinion issues in China and domestic-foreign policy nexus in IR theory. Sinkkonen’s ongoing research is linked with the Academy of Finland funded project ForAc (Foreign acquisitions and political retaliation as threats to supply security in an era of strategic decoupling). List of her publications with links can be accessed at

keynote speaker

Yan Xuetong

Professor, Tsinghua University

YAN Xuetong is a university distinguished professor of Tsinghua University and foreign member of Russia Academy of Science. He is serving as the Dean of The Institute of International Relations at Tsinghua University and the Secretary General of the World Peace Forum. He obtained Ph.D from University of California, Berkeley in1992 and was named as one of world's Top 100 public intellectuals by the American journal Foreign Policy in 2008. He is the founder of IR moral realism and the only Chinese political scientist listed in Most Cited Chinese Researchers by Elsevier during 2014-2019.


Yu Jie

Senior Research Fellow on China, Chatham House

Dr Yu Jie is senior research fellow on China in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House, focusing on the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy as well as China’s economic diplomacy. She frequently comments in major media outlets such as BBC News and the Financial Times and regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the G7 member governments and the Silk Road Fund in Beijing. She also advises major FTSE 100 corporates and leading European financial institutions on China’s political landscape.

Jyrki Kallio

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Jyrki Kallio is Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and holds the Title of Docent in International Relations and Chinese Studies at the University of Lapland. His research foci include Chinese political culture and foreign policy, and regional issues in East Asia. He has a special interest in the instrumentalization of traditional schools of thought in East Asian politics, and in addition to his research, has translated classical Chinese philosophy and prose.

He received the J.A. Hollo Prize for his work in 2015, and his latest monograph, a critical reader on Confucianism, was published by Gaudeamus in 2022. Previously, he served the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as a diplomat. He holds degrees of MSocSc (International Relations) and PhD (Chinese Society Studies).


Bart Gaens

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Bart Gaens is a Leading Researcher in the Global Security Research Programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. From May 2021 to April 2023, he leads a project on connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region. He also holds the title of Docent at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. In the past Gaens has worked as Project Director for the Center on US Politics and Power (CUSPP), as Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Helsinki, and as Specially Appointed Associate Professor at Osaka University, Japan.

He has published widely on Europe-Asia inter-regionalism and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process, Japan’s foreign policy and regional role, India’s foreign policy and relations with the EU, domestic politics in Myanmar, and security-related issues in the Indo-Pacific region. He has also (co)edited volumes and reports on connectivity, EU-Asia relations, the US-China rivalry, transatlantic relations, and Japan’s search for strategic partnerships.

keynote speaker

Lenita Toivakka

Director, International Affairs and Trade, Finland Chamber of Commerce

Lenita Toivakka is Director of International Affairs at the Finland Chamber of Commerce and Country Director of Finland for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). She is a former Member of Parliament (2007-2019) and former Minister of Foreign Trade and Development. Before her political career, Toivakka worked in a family business within the retail industry for 12 years, gaining solid know-how in entrepreneurship.

Panel discussion

Tuuli Koivu

Chief Economist, Nordea

Tuuli Koivu is a Chief Economist at Nordea. She has served as an economist on world economy at the Bank of Finland, the European Central Bank and at the Ministry of Finance. At Nordea, Koivu specialises on monitoring developments in the Euro area and on ECB monetary policy. She also has a deep interest on the Chinese economy. Koivu holds a PhD in economics (2012) with a focus on China's monetary policy. Koivu has been working at Nordea since 2016.

Iikka Korhonen

Head of the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT)

Iikka Korhonen is the Head of the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT). Korhonen received his doctoral degree from Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration, majoring in economics.

In July 1995, he joined the Institute for Economies in Transition, where he has followed, among other things, banking and financial systems of the Baltic states and Russia. His past duties include working as BOFIT's research supervisor, and since October 1, 2009, he has been the Head of BOFIT. His research interests include exchange rates and inflation in transition as well as emerging market countries. In addition, he has published widely e.g. on the correlation of economic activity between different countries, as well as on the effects of oil prices on economic activities.