Transforming strategic cultures
in contemporary europe

About us

Transforming strategic cultures in contemporary Europe: Towards an understanding of reasons, intermediaries and processes of change (STRAX) is a research project with a novel take on analysing change in strategic cultures.

This research project takes the focus from national strategic cultures and their change to the overlap between strategic cultures in Europe, analysing the interrelations and mutual influence between them. Focusing on the impact of transnational epistemic communities, the research widens the academic lens to include exchange and evolution stemming from interaction and how these processes contribute to the development of a European strategic culture.


Dr Hanna Ojanen works at Tampere University as Research Director and is really happy to lead the STRAX consortium. Her research focuses on European security and defence, EU-NATO relations and the interface of national and collective strategic thinking.

STRAX Helwig

Niklas Helwig is a Leading Researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and an Associate Professor in International Relations at Tampere University. His research focuses on the politics, strategies and institutions of the EU’s foreign and security policy. Previously, he worked at think tanks and universities in Brussels, Berlin and Washinton DC.

Professor Tommi Koivula has worked at the Finnish National Defence University since 2004. Before joining the Defence Forces he worked as a researcher at the University of Tampere, where he defended this doctoral thesis in international relations in 2004. Tommi’s current research areas include Finnish security policy and European security institutions.

Katariina Mustasilta is a Senior Research Fellow in the European Union and Strategic Competition programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Her research focuses on countries’ internal conflicts, the EU’s external action in the realms of conflicts and threats to peace, and international conflict prevention and peace-building efforts. She holds a PhD from the University of Essex and has previously worked in various research institutes and public sector with peace and conflict issues.

Dr Antti Seppo studies and teaches strategic culture and IR theory and methodology at the Finnish National Defence University. In the Strax-project, Dr Seppo focuses on strategic culture theory and German strategic culture. His previous research includes EU-Russia relations, strategic culture and German foreign and security policy.

Anton Staffans is a doctoral researcher at Tampere University. His research focuses on the underlying strategic cultural dynamics of the UK’s Indo-Pacific security and defence policy as well as UK-Japan cooperation. Anton has six years of working experience from the Finnish Defence Forces and the Ministry of Defence.