Missä on Jimmy Hoffa?: Searching for Hoffa in the Least Corrupt Country in the World

kutsutilaisuus · SEMINAR · 31.03.2023 09:30 - 11:00


In 1975, the most notorious union leader in the United States disappeared, the presumed victim of organized crime.  Hoffa’s disappearance transformed him into a mythic figure whose story is invoked to highlight the problem of corruption in American unions. This talk examines how the issue of corruption has delegitimized union power in the U.S. by comparing Hoffa’s story to a Finnish labor leader, Niilo Wälläri, whose career followed a parallel path to Hoffa’s, but which did so in a country reputed to be among the least corrupt in the world. 


David Witwer

The Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies, University of Helsinki

David Witwer is the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki. He is also a Professor of American Studies in the School of Humanities, Penn State Harrisburg. He joined Penn State Harrisburg in 2008 and previously taught at Lycoming College. He has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in history from Brown University and received his undergraduate degree from DePauw University. Witwer serves on the editorial board of the journal Labor History and in addition to his two books, he has published articles in the Journal of American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Women's History, Social Science History, Journalism History, Trends in Organized Crime, Criminal Justice Review, and International Labor and Working Class History. In 2011, he held a fellowship from the Institute for Arts and Humanistic Studies at Penn State. During the semester of 2022-23 Witmer is the Fulbright Bicentennial Chair in American Studies at the University of Helsinki.


Charly Salonius-Pasternak

Leading Researcher, FIIA

Charly Salonius-Pasternak is a Leading Researcher at FIIA and leads the work of the Center on US Politics and Power (CUSPP). His work at FIIA focuses on international security issues, especially Nordic and transatlantic security (including NATO), as well as U.S. foreign and defence policy. Recently he has focused on Finnish-Swedish defence cooperation and the evolution of US and NATO alliance reassurance approaches in light of the changed regional security situation. In 2017, he was a visiting research fellow at the Changing Character of War programme at Pembroke College (Oxford University), where he studied the hybridization of warfare and the impact of the Information Age on the character of war.