Timo Kivimäki

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Timo Antero Kivimäki is a professor of International Relations and Director of Research at University of Bath, United Kingdom.[1]


Timo Kivimäki is the Chairman of the Board for Calx Proclivia, a Finnish conflict resolution consulting company. Previously Dr. Kivimäki has held full professorships at the University of Helsinki in the Department of Political and Economic Studies,[2][3] the University of Copenhagen and the University of Lapland and he has been Director of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Helsinki and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies in Copenhagen.[4]


Kivimäki’s research focus is on peace and conflicts. His main theoretical contribution in that field is in the development of the neo-pragmatic peace research approach, where knowledge produced serves practical peace activities and creates social realities useful for peace (Kivimäki 2012a). Recently Kivimäki’s contribution to peace research scholarship has been focused on the creation of understanding on the relative peace in East Asia (Kivimäki 2012bc: Kivimäki 2011ab). Kivimäki’s scholarship has also tried to explain the contribution to peace and democracy of forceful democracy-promotion (Kivimäki 2012d; 2011c).

Peace work[edit]

In addition to academic work, Professor Kivimäki has been actively involved in practical peace work, advising parties to peace processes, building capacity to peace negotiation and supporting peace dialogue with academic seminars and research activities. According to a report by the Finnish Embassy, he was, together with a local professor, Dr. Syarif I. Alqadrie, the engine of the West Kalimantan peace process which was eventually, in 2008, taken over by the Vice President of Indonesia. A Report by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies reveals that this process managed to calm down local election campaigns and prevent escalation in conflict-prone situations. In Aceh Peace Negotiations, Professor Kivimäki acted as an adviser to the mediator, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, President Martti Ahtisaari. According to Ahtisaari, Kivimäki’s role in the process was vitally important.[5]

In addition to his work in Indonesian peace processes, Kivimäki has worked in various contracts in assistance of foreign ministries of Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands and Russia. Furthermore, he has worked with EU and UN organizations and several other donor agencies and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) promoting strategies of conflict prevention and peace dialogue. In October 2004, he was “strongly advised” by a Danish intelligence official either to stop his meetings with the Aceh rebel organization, or if he continued meetings, he would have to provide reports on them to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service. Dr. Kivimäki declined and continued his meetings (interview with a Malaysian diplomat, who had heard about the demand from Dr. Kivimäki in summer 2005).In September 2010 Dr Kivimäki was arrested (and released in 24 hours) on a suspicion of helping espionage organization of Russia.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

According to Kivimäki himself, his work with the Russian foreign ministry was similar to his work with other ministries and that the diplomats he worked with were not spies.[12] His work for the Russian foreign ministry consisted of short studies that explored research-based support for example for Russian diplomatic arguments against militaristic counter-terrorism of the United States and its allies (including Denmark) and military interventions in Iraq, and the potential intervention in Iran. Kivimäki had refused to help Russians in their arguments of their position in the negotiation on the territorial disputes in the Arctic. However, Kivimäki offered to organize scholarly seminars on the topic in order to help the initiation of political negotiation on the topic (Kai Byman: “Rauhanmies Häpeäpaalussa”,YLE documentary, September 27, 2012). The Court in Glostrup, Denmark, concluded in its public version of the verdict, after a hearing that was secret not only to the public, but, in part, also to the defendant (double closed doors hearings), that the Russians Dr. Kivimäki had collaborated with were diplomats (rather than spies), but that information that Kivimäki delivered in his discussions with these diplomats, if passed to the Russien intelligence organization, could have helped the intelligence organization. Thus the court convicted Kivimäki under the paragraph 108 of the Danish criminal code (public version). Kivimäki was not charged for delivering secrets to Russians (article 107). He served his 2 ½ years home arrest in autumn 2012. His sentence was controversial and for example the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland said in an interview to the biggest Newspaper in Finland (Helsingin Sanomat 13.4. 2012) that Kivimäki’s activities would not have given rise to legal proceedings in Finland, and that the Foreign Minister could not see with certainty that Prof. Kivimäki’s legal rights were protected in Denmark.

According to a University of Helsinki representative the peace negotiators need contacts with all the conflict parties and big nations.[13] According to Prof. Liisa Laakso of the Faculty of Social Sciences Dean of the University of Helsinki, scholars are often more suitable for the creation of the initial contacts that are needed for official peace negotiation and conflict resolution between official representatives of the conflicting parties.

Current activities[edit]

After the controversy in Denmark, Dr. Kivimäki moved back to his native Finland, and took up a faculty position at the University of Helsinki. He has recently published a book examining the relationship between academic research and peace work (Kivimäki 2012a) in which he also briefly touches on the subject of how intelligence communities can block or support peace processes. Since moving to Finland his activities have been focused on purely academic issues, and he is teaching and further developing the theory of pragmatic peace research giving a new generation of peace activists new ideas on how to help the crucial initial phase of dialogue between conflicting parties. He is also a frequent commentator of issues related to peace and conflict in the Finnish media. His book is entitled The Long Peace of East Asia.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Kivimaki, Timo (2016a). Paradigms of Peace:A Pragmatist Introduction to the Contribution to Peace of Paradigms of Social Science. Imperial College Press.
  • Kivimaki, Timo (2016b). Legalism, Developmentalism and Securitization:The Case of Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea.In: Fels, E. and Vu, T.-M., eds. Power Politics in Asia’s Contested Waters. Springer, pp. 57-76.
  • Kivimaki, Timo (2016c). Politics of economic relations between China and Myanmar. In: Kim, Y.-C., ed. Chinese Global Production Networks in ASEAN 2016. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG, pp. 137-155.
  • Kivimaki, Timo (2015). “Regional Cooperation and Joint Development: Speech That Acts And Action That Speaks”, in , eds., Ashgate, Farnham, 2014.:Speech That Acts And Action That Speaks. In: Wu, S.and Zou, K., eds. Non-Traditional Security Issues and the South China Sea:. Farnham: Ashgate, pp. 17-31.
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2014). Long Peace of East Asia. Routledge.
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2012a). Can Peace Research Make Peace. Lessons in Academic Diplomacy. Ashgate, Adlershot.
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2012b). “Sovereignty, hegemony, and peace in Western Europe and in East Asia.
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2012c). “The ASEAN Charter and the De-Securitization of Interstate Disputes in Southeast Asia” Asian Security 7(2).
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2012d). “Democracy, Autocrats and U.S. Policies In the Middle East”, Middle East Policy, Vol. XIX, No. 1, Spring, pp. 64–71.
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2011a). “East Asian relative peace and the ASEAN Way” International Relations of the Asia Pacific Vol 11, 2011b, 57–85.
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2011b). Security and Peace in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific. Asian Security, July.
  • Kivimäki, Timo (2011c). What Price Democracy? How the West Could Learn From East Asia. Global Asia, December 2011.
  • Kivimäki, Timo; Väyrynen, Paavo, eds. (1997). Kansainvälinen yhteistyö Pohjois-Kalotilla. University of Lapland. ISBN 951-634-589-1.