Jussi Pekkarinen: Maailmanluokan tarkkailupaikka. Suomen Lontoon suurlähetystön historia [A world-class observation post. The history of Finland’s London embassy]

28 September 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Maailmanluokan tarkkailupaikka. Suomen Lontoon suurlähetystön historia
[A world-class observation post. The history of Finland’s London embassy]
Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 2012. 380 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-222-365-4
€ 38, hardback

Finland’s diplomatic mission in London began its formation after the country gained its independence in 1918 and was officially recognised by Britain in 1919. The Embassy has always been important to Finland because of Britain’s leading significance for Finland and because Britain has been one of Finland’s most prominent trading partners. This interestingly written history, based on Finnish and British sources, also portrays the development of relations between the two countries. The ambassadors have been colourful and quick-tongued personalities; Pekkarinen describes some of the blunders caused by staff conflicts and cultural differences. As diplomacy is not merely representation – which in itself is a full-time job – it requires a mastery of issues relating to trade and politics. In addition to its depiction of the day-to-day work of the embassy staff, the book provides more general information about the diplomatic mission. Pekkarinen – a researcher in the Foreign Ministry covers the period up to the early 1990s, but the concluding part of the book is a review of the embassy’s situation today by the current ambassador.
Translated by David McDuff

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