Personal profile

Research interests

Timo Kivimäki is Professor of International Relations at the University of Bath (UK) and Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Sejong Institute (Seoul, Republic of Korea). Professor Kivimäki joined the University of Bath in January 2015. Previously he has held professorships at the University of Helsinki, University of Lapland, and at the University of Copenhagen. Professor Kivimäki has also been director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (Copenhagen) and the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Helsinki.


In addition to purely academic work Professor Kivimäki has been a frequent consultant to the Finnish, Danish, Dutch, Russian, Malaysian, Indonesian and Swedish governments, as well as to several UN and EU organizations on conflict and terrorism. Professor Kivimäki has been advisor to Finland’s former President, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari in peace processes in Indonesia’s Aceh and Papua, and in Myanmar. President Ahtisaari has publicly praised that Professor Kivimäki’s advises in Aceh Peace Talks were “vital for the success of the process” and that his help in peace processes in Indonesia and Myanmar were “worth gold.”


In his new books Protecting the Global Civilian from Violence: UN discourses and practices in fragile states (London, Routledge 2021) and Failure to Protect. The Path to and Consequences of Humanitarian Interventionism (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019) Professor Kivimäki revealed new patterns in contemporary warfare, and made sense of them by looking at political discourses and cases of unilateral humanitarian intervention and UN peacekeeping. His conclusions on unilateral pattern of humanitarian intervention are damning: humanitarian interventions contribute to the increase in the number of fatalities among civilians and to the weakening of state capacity to contain violence. At the same time UN peacekeeping is much more successful. UN's respect for local solutions, interest in facilitating dialogue rather than enforcement of its own solutions, and the focus on the poverty-related threats to human security have all been associated with the reduction of fatalities of organized violence and the strengthening of state's ability to regulate political and economic competition and contain violence. In his forthcoming project he looks at the success and failure of regional actors in their intervention into organised violence in their own region.


Kivimäki's book Paradigms of Peace (London: Imperial College Press, 2016) assesses the contribution of various social scientific paradigms to peace research and peace and sets an agenda for constructivist pragmatist peace research. The Long Peace of East Asia by Kivimäki (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014) offers a constructivist understanding of the relative peace of East Asia since 1979. Kivimäki's book, Can Peace Research Make Peace. Lessons in Academic Diplomacy (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012), was nominated for the prestigious Best Book Prize by the Conflict Research Society in year 2014. Kivimäki's recent articles on peace and conflict topics were published in the Chinese Journal of International Relations, Pacific Focus, the Pacific Review, Social Sciences, Journal of Refugee Studies, Global Society, Journal of International Peacekeeping, International Relations of the Asia Pacific, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of International Relations and Development, Asian Security and the Middle East Policy.

Willing to supervise doctoral students

Dissertations on the relationship between state fragility and conflict, as well as on the international efforts at protecting civilians in fragile and predatory states. 

Dissertations on the theory of deterrence, and the failure of deterrence in Europe (Ukraine) and Korean Peninsula (North Korea's development of nuclear weapons). 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Professor of World Politics, University of Helsinki

1 Jul 201431 Dec 2014

University Lecturer in World Politics

1 Feb 201330 Jun 2014

Professor of International Relations, University of Copenhagen

1 Jan 201031 Jan 2013

Acting Director, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

1 Sept 200131 Dec 2001

Senior Researcher, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

1 Jul 199931 Dec 2009

Professor of International Politics, University of Helsinki

1 Jul 199630 Jun 1999

Professor of International Relations, University of Lapland

1 Sept 199530 Jun 1996

Acting Director, Institute of Development Studies, University of Helsinki

1 Mar 199531 Jul 1995

Senior Assistant Professor, University of Turku

1 Jan 199531 May 1995

Assistant Professor

1 Jul 199231 Dec 1994


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