Political Temporalities (POLTE)

Narrating Continuity and Change in the Finnish Parliament from the Cold War to Covid-19

The Project

POLTE studies the uses of political temporalities in the Finnish Parliament from 1976 until today, a period commonly viewed as witnessing a major transformation in culture, politics and society. We focus on how narratives organize events and explain and predict motivations to drive political action. Storytelling is a powerful means to construe temporal sequences that justify the speaker’s point of view, as narratives organize time into storylines of continuity and change. Conventional narratives of historical change as a basis for continuity have today lost their explanatory power in the face of unexpected global phenomena and the fragmentation of political ideologies. Outside of the conventional and the paradigmatic, narrative as a sense making operation helps us organize time with the sequential and causal logic of stories.