Leena Vastapuu

Associate Senior Lecturer

War Studies


Department of War Studies and Military History

Functions and Perspective Division

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Dr Leena Vastapuu is an assistant professor and associate senior lecturer in the area of gender, peace and security at FHS. Her research concentrates on girl and women soldiers’ life trajectories in war and its aftermath, including DDR. As a feminist researcher, Leena emphasizes research ethics in all aspects of her work, and has been among the first scholars to use auto-photography in peace and conflict research. Leena is the author of ‘Liberia's Women Veterans: War, Roles and Reintegration’ (Zed Books 2018), and the recipient of the Raimo Väyrynen dissertation prize of 2019 for the best IR PhD dissertation written in a Finnish university between 2016 and 2018.

In addition to academia, Leena has worked in the areas of development cooperation and consultancy (e.g. Plan International Finland and Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland). Most recently, she was the Planning and Reporting officer at the EU Civilian Crisis Management Mission in the Central African Republic, being a member of the core team setting up the mission.

Selected publications:

Vastapuu Leena. 2021. "Auto-photography." In: Richmond O., Visoka G. (eds) The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Peace and Conflict Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Vastapuu Leena. 2021. "Non abbastanza soldati, non abbastanza civili: la continua sotto-rappresentanza delle donne nei programmi di DDR." Human security, n. 15, May 2021. Torino World Affairs Institute.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2021. "Not Enough Soldier, Not Enough Civilian: The Continuing Under-Representation of Female Soldiers in Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Programmes." In Väyrynen Tarja, Feron Élise and Catia Confortini (toim.): Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research. London: Routledge, 231–239.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2020. Tasa-arvon edistäminen Suomen ulkopolitiikassa [How to increase Gender Equality in the Finnish Foreign Policy]. Study commissioned by Plan International Finland.

Wibben, Annick T R, Confortini, Catia, Roohi, Sanam, Aharoni, Sarai, Vastapuu, Leena & Vaittinen, Tiina. 2019. "Collective Discussion: Piecing-Up Feminist Peace Research." International Political Sociology, 13(1), 86–107.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2019. "How to Find the ‘Hidden’ Girl Soldier? Two Set of Suggestions Arising from Liberia." In Drumbl, Mark & Jastine Barret (eds.): Research Handbook on Child Soldiers. Edward Elgar.¨

Vastapuu, Leena. 2019. Megatrends in Africa. Chapters: Population growth, Migration, Technological development (with Mikael Mattlin), Urbanisation (with Emma Hakala), Summary report (with Mikael Mattlin, Emma Hakala, Petri Pellikka). Study commissioned by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2018. Liberia's Women Veterans: War, Roles and Reintegration. Illustrated by Emmi Nieminen. London: Zed Books.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2018. "Auto-Photographing (In)Securities: Former Young Female Soldiers’ Post-War Struggles in Monrovia." In Saugman Andersen, Rune & Juha A. Vuori (eds.): Visual Security Studies: Sights and Spectacles of Insecurity and War. Routledge, London.

Vaha, Milla & Vastapuu, Leena. 2018. "’My Heart was Already Cooked:’ Girl Soldiers and Situated Moral Agencies." Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 31(2), 223–238.

Vastapuu, Leena & Maria Martin de Almagro. 2018. "The legacy of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: Why ‘great aspiration’ is not quite enough." Mats Utas’s Blog & Duck of Minerva Blog. 3/2018.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2017. Hope is Not Gone Altogether: The Roles and Reintegration of Young Female War Veterans in Liberia. PhD dissertation. Turku: University of Turku.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2016. Book review. "Tasa-arvoa, mutta millä ehdoilla? Arvio teoksesta Muuttuva sukupuoli: Seksuaalisuuden, luokan ja värin politiikkaa. Leena-Maija Rossi, 2015. " Media & Viestintä, 39:3.

Vastapuu, Leena. 2015. "Review on Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security, and Post-Conflict Development by Megan MacKenzie." International Feminist Journal of Politics, 17:4.

Vastapuu, Leena [Kotilainen, Leena]. 2015. Study on the Gendered Impacts of Ebola in Liberia. Study commissioned by Finn Church Aid.

Vastapuu, Leena [as Kotilainen, Leena]. 2013. "Suojeluvastuu realistisena utopiana." Kosmopolis 43:1, 31–44.

Vastapuu, Leena [as Kotilainen, Leena]. 2011. "Suomalaisia näkökulmia suojeluvastuuseen." Kosmopolis 41:3, 27–48.

Latest publications

Leena Vastapuu Swedish Defense University Lektor, Biträdande