Nato in focus #3: Taking Stock of NATO Enlargement

kutsutilaisuus · SEMINAR · 17.05.2023 09:30 - 11:00


Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and the Kremlin’s demands for the re-negotiation of the European security architecture in the months preceding 24 February 2022 re-energised a debate over NATO enlargement. In particular, Moscow’s use – and abuse – of the historical record from the 1990s to justify its expansionist policies has led many commentators, policy pundits and politicians to weigh in on whether the decision to enlarge NATO beyond its Cold-War limits was prudent and the extent to which Russia’s grievances have merit.

This third seminar of FIIA’s NATO in Focus series will take advantage of a visit to Finland by Professor M.E. Sarotte, author of Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate, to address the following questions: What was agreed between the Soviet Union and the West about NATO’s role in the former Warsaw Pact countries? How did the process of enlargement transpire in the years following the end of the Cold War, and what kinds of political battles did it ignite? Professor Juhana Aunesluoma will serve as discussant and further address the following questions: How was the evolution of NATO after the Cold War perceived in Finland? How should the Finnish and Swedish applications for NATO membership be viewed against this historical record?

This seminar is a part of a FIIA research project on Finland’s evolving role in Euro-Atlantic security,  which analyses Finland’s NATO membership process and its nascent NATO policy. 


Keynote: Mary Elise Sarotte, Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington DC

Comments: Juhana Aunesluoma, Professor, University of Helsinki

Chair: Ville Sinkkonen, Postdoctoral Fellow, FIIA




Mary Elise Sarotte

Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

An expert in the history of international relations, Mary Elise Sarotte is the inaugural holder of the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Distinguished Professorship of Historical Studies. She is also a research associate at Harvard University's Center for European Studies.

Sarotte earned her AB in History and Science at Harvard and her PhD in History at Yale University. She is the author or editor of six books, including The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall and 1989: The Struggle to Create Post-Cold War Europe, both of which were selected as Financial Times Books of the Year, among other distinctions and awards.

Following graduate school, Sarotte served as a White House Fellow, then joined the faculty of the University of Cambridge, where she received tenure before accepting an offer to return to the United States to teach at USC. Sarotte is a former Humboldt Scholar, a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Her most recent book is Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate, on what the fight over NATO expansion did to Western relations with Russia.


Juhana Aunesluoma

Professor, University of Helsinki

Juhana Aunesluoma is a professor of political history at the University of Helsinki. He has held various positions at the University of Helsinki since 2000. In his research he has studied the position of the Nordic countries in the cold war, the history of the Finnish foreign policy and international trade policy as well the integration politics of Finland. He has also published research of economics and corporate history.


Ville Sinkkonen

Postdoctoral Fellow, FIIA

Ville Sinkkonen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Center on US Politics and Power. His research focuses on US foreign policy, great-power politics, normative power, and the politics of trust in international relations.

Sinkkonen is the author of A Comparative Appraisal of Normative Power: The European Union, the United States and the January 25th, 2011 Revolution in Egypt (Brill, 2015), and his work has been published in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies, European Review of International Studies and European Foreign Affairs Review, among others. He holds an LL.D. (International Law) from the University of Turku, where he defended his doctoral dissertation Failing hegemony? Four essays on the global engagement of the United States of America in the 21st Century in December 2020.

Sinkkonen is the chairperson of the Finnish International Studies Association (FISA) and co-editor of the Nordic Review of International Studies (NRIS).