Ruralia Institute

Ruralia magazine
(mainly in finnish)

Ruralian lehti

Contact information

Ruralia Institute
Lönnrotinkatu 7
Tel. +358 294 1911

Ruralia Institute
Kampusranta 9
Tel. +358 294 1911

Contact us

See the database TUHAT for a complete list of publications by the Ruralia staff!


Welcome to the Ruralia Institute!

Ruralia Institute is an independently administrated multidisciplinary expert institute at the University of Helsinki. The mission of the Institute is to improve the welfare of rural people and develop the sources of livelihood in the rural areas through research, development, education and training.

The activities of the Ruralia Institute are multidisciplinary research, education and research based innovation development. On its activities Ruralia Institute creates new operations models and innovations based on the combination of scientific competence and practical knowledge. The development activities of the Institute serve economic life, foster innovation activities and support regional development.

Ruralia Institute does regional, national and international cooperation. Our partners in cooperation are various faculties and Schools of the University of Helsinki, other Finnish and foreign universities and institutes.

Ruralia Institute constitutes of two units: Mikkeli and Seinäjoki. In total the institute has about 60 employees

Ruralia Visiting Scholars for 2017 - 2018 have been chosen


Altogether 15 applications were sent for the scholarship. The executive group of Ruralia Institute selected six scholars to research visit of one month.

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CERERE project starts!


Finland represents the northernmost European country and its particular social, economic and ecological conditions in the new Horizon 2020 project CERERE (CEreal REnaissance in Rural Europe: embedding diversity in organic and low-input agriculture, 2017-2019). The project results from long-term active networking between practitioners and researchers. As the type of this project is Coordination and Support Action (CSA), the partners include farmers’ professional and organic associations as well as universities and other research institutes.

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First announcement: Non-Timber Forest Products and Bioeconomy –conference
28.–30.11. 2017, Rovaniemi, Finland


Non-Timber Forest Products and Bioeconomy –conference 28.–30.11.2017, Rovaniemi, Finland. Call for papers open now!

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Ruralia Visiting Scholars Programme - the call for scholarship applications open 1 March - 2 May 2017


The University of Helsinki Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars Programme offers experienced scholars in the field of rural studies the opportunity to spend 1-2 months during the academic year 2017–2018 with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers while contributing to the knowledge of the Ruralia Institute.

The call for scholarship applications will be open from 1 March until 2 May 2017.

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Ruralia visiting scholars for 2016-2017 chosen


Altogether 21 applications were sent for the scholarship. The executive group of the Ruralia Institute selected five scholars to research visit of one month:

Dr. Gun Lidestav
SLU, Umeĺ, Sweden

Dr. Ifigeneia Douvitsa
Democrius University of Thrace, Greece

Dr. Murray Knuttila
Brock University, Canada

Dr. Hannah Chiswell
University of Exeter, UK

Dr. Ruta Spiewak
Institute of Rural and Agricultural Development, Poland

Ruralia Visiting Scholars Programme

New article: Felony or act of justice? – Illegal killing of large carnivores as defiance of authorities

New referee article: Felony or act of justice? – Illegal killing of large carnivores as defiance of authorities


This article examines the sociopolitical dimensions of illegal hunting in a holistic manner by categorizing the crime according to the characteristics of the hunting violator and the motives for illegal actions against large carnivores, and by examining illegal hunting as a defiance of the authorities by revealing the neutralization techniques used.

Data have been collected from District Court sentences and Police Investigation Records over a 6-year period.

New publication: Antibacterial activity of different organic honeys against food pathogenic bacterium Clostridium perfringens


Clostridium perfringens is one of the most common causes of food poisonings and is known to cause human and animal diseases. It has been reported that C. perfringens has developed resistance to antibiotics.
Antimicrobial properties of honey have been studied in order to confirm its action as a potential antimicrobial agent and also as a potential food preservative through inactivation, growth delay or growth prevention of food pathogenic microorganisms.

New publication: Customizing a Patchwork Quilt: Consolidating Co-operative Studies Within University World


Just published publication is dedicated to the late Canadian Professor Ian MacPherson (1939–2013) who was globally well known and widely respected developer and supporter of the co-operative movement.
Same time publication´s basic ideas have developed from “Osuustoiminta yliopistolliseen tutkimukseen ja opetukseen. Cooperatives – From Ignorance to Knowledge” -seminar October 2012.

New publication: successful cooperation between research, educators and entrepreneurs


In this publication the co-operation practices between vocational education, higher education/ research and rural small and micro companies in rural settings have been described. The role of small companies is significant to the economics.

Transnational Leader projects further local development


Transnational cooperation (TNC) is one of the key principles of the European Union’s Leader approach to rural development. The results of transnational cooperation are not only seen in Finland but also in other countries implementing the Leader approach. Leader transnational projects in the programming period 2007-2013 focused e.g. on youth, tourism and culture. The level of transnational activity varied by geographical area in Finland. Taken as a whole, Finland was among the most active member states in the field of TNC co-operation.

Ruralia Institute researches equality of the working life


Ruralia Institute, as a partner of a consortium project, has been granted funding from the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland for the research project "Social and Economic Sustainability of Future Working Life: Policies, Equalities and Intersectionalities in Finland (WEALL)".

The WEALL project produces scientific knowledge on how ongoing societal and organizational changes affect expectations and create new challenges to the renewal of basic services and benefit schemes in working life.

Referee article about Talvivaara mine is published


There had been a mining boom in Finland before the current recession. The most ambitious investment was the Talvivaara nickel and zinc mine in Kainuu. The operation phase began in 2008, and for three years the mine produced nickel and zinc according to expectations. Then everything changed: two accidents occurred in 2012, which had severe environmental consequences.

There was a failed attempt at corporate restructuring.The production company of Talvivaara is now in bankruptcy, and the national government is financing the mine.
Our aim is to present an evaluation of the impact these events had on the employment and population of Kainuu region.


Huge opportunities for collaborative work


As a part of the Ruralia Institute Visiting Scholars Programme, from Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) I visited University of Helsinki and its two Ruralia Institute units located in Mikkeli (Eastern Finland) and in Seinäjoki (Western Finland). The focus of my stay was on Knowledge Exchange activities and identifying opportunities for developing international collaboration between the two organisations.

Finland is one of the leading CGE modeling countries


Mark Horridge believes that CGE modeling generates useful results.

Numbers fill the room when Australian CGE modeler, Professor Mark Horridge, presents his extensive slideshow in the seminar that was held in Seinäjoki, Finland. Horridge was invited to tell about wide Australian experiences of general equilibrium modeling. In the beginning of his presentation he emphasized the Finnish know-how in this field. 

    - Finland is one of the world’s top countries in CGE modeling. Relatively to country’s population, there is more CGE modelers in Finland than in USA, says Horridge.
Seminar presentations »»

Evaluation of the finnish national policy on large carnivores,
publication is available also in english!


The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's national population management plans for the wolverine, lynx, bear and wolf are a key instrument in implementing the national policy on large carnivores. Population management plans have been implemented in an effort to meet the requirements laid out in international agreements for achieving the ecological sustainability of the species, whilst taking into account national needs for ensuring economic and social sustainability.

Presentations from non-wood forest products -conference


International conference "Non-Wood Forest Products, Health and Well-being" was held in Espoo, Finland, 12th - 13th of November 2013.