Faculty Profiles

As a student in the Master’s Programme in Global Politics and Communication, you benefit from the expertise of numerous inspiring scholars with solid teaching experience and broad researcher credentials.

As a student in the Master’s Programme in Global Politics and Communication, you benefit from the expertise of numerous inspiring scholars with solid teaching experience and broad researcher credentials.

If you have questions related to the admissions process, entry requirements, scholarships or application enclosures, please contact the Admission Services for guidance and support. To keep updated with the latest admission information and dates for the international degree programmes at the University of Helsinki, subscribe to the Admissions Newsletter.

If you have questions about the study content, contact the Programme Administrator by email: kruununhaka-student(at)helsinki.fi.


Programme Director

S. M. Amadae

GPC Programme Director S.M. Amadae is a Senior Lecturer and Docent (Adj. Professor) in Politics/World Politics at the University of Helsinki.  She has held positions at the London School of Economics; University of British Columbia, Vancouver; New School University; and Central European University.  She currently holds research affiliations at Science, Technology and Society Studies at MIT, and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, and was a Berggruen Research Fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Social and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2020..  Currently she is serving as the Co-PI of and leading a pilot use case experiment in the 2.75M ERC Horizon 2020 grant called ATARCA, (Accounting Technologies for Anti-Rival Coordination and Allocation) hosted at Aalto University.  Amadae leads the pilot use case Food Futures, which investigates the use of anti-rival blockchain cryptocurrencies to measure, record, and appreciate environmentally sustainable food choices.  She has published the award winning book Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy: The Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism, and Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy.  Recent research builds an agent-based model to explain a possible mechanism underlying systemic discrimination associated with binary tags such as gender or ethnicity.

Currently not available for secondary MA thesis supervision. Exceptions can be discussed individually.

Teacher Tutors

Tero Erkkilä

Professor of Political Science

Teacher Tutor for Governance, Organisations and Communication study track

Tero Erkkilä is Professor of Political Science at the University of Helsinki. His research interests include transnational governance, public institutions, and collective identities. His previous book publications include Government Transparency (Palgrave 2012), Global University Rankings (Palgrave 2013), Public Administration (Routledge 2015, together with B. Guy Peters and Patrick von Maravic), Rankings and Global Knowledge Governance (Palgrave 2018, with Ossi Piironen) and Ombudsman as a Global Institution (Palgrave 2020). He has also published in varius peer reviewed journals and acted as a co-editor of two journal special issues. His previous research project Policy Instruments and Global Governance: Concepts and Numbers analyzed numerical governance by global rankings and policy indicators. He is currently involved in an Academy of Finland funded research consortium Just Recovery from Covid-19? Fundamental Rights, Legitimate Governance and Lessons Learnt (JuRe), where he is leading a subproject on Openness and Legal Oversight.

Kari Karppinen

Senior University Lecturer

Teacher Tutor for the Media and Democracy study track

Dr. Kari Karppinen is a University Lecturer in Media and Communication studies at the University of Helsinki and the responsible teacher for the Media & Democracy track of the GPC programme. His research interests include media and communication policy, conceptions of media freedom and pluralism, theories of democracy and the public sphere, and questions about digital rights and internet governance. He has previously also worked as a visiting research fellow at the University of Sydney, Westminster University, and Fordham University. He has authored over 50 academic publications, including the book Rethinking Media Pluralism, several other co-authored or co-edited books, chapters and articles in journals like the Communication Theory; European Journal of Communication; Information, Communication & SocietyInformation Society and Javnost/the Public.

Learn more about Kari in an interview for the GPC website about his teaching and research, as well as current topics like the importance of public broadcasters and the media culture in Finland.

Currently available for secondary MA thesis supervision in following areas: media and communication policy, freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism, the public sphere, digital rights, internet governance


Faculty Members


Anne Holli

Professor of Political Science

Media and Democracy study track


Anne Maria Holli, PhD, Docent, is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Political and Economic Studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She has published nationally and internationally in the fields of public equality policies; gender equality discourses; and gender and politics. Her research interests also include the functioning of democracy and Finnish political institutions, including the Parliament and various policy-making institutions and their accessibility to interest organisations.

Holli’s recent publications include articles in Electoral StudiesSocial PoliticsEuropean Journal of Political ResearchRepresentationPolitics & Gender and International Feminist Journal of Politics; chapters on Finland in States of Gender DemocracyGender and Politics in the European Union (Routledge 2015) 

Holli took her M.Pol.Sc. in 1988; Licentiate in 1992 and PhD in 2003, all from the University of Helsinki. Dr Holli was the editor of the Finnish gender studies journal in 2004-5; has served in the editorial board of Politics & Gender, Politiikka and Naistutkimus; and been referee to numerous international journals as well as organised and chaired panels at international conferences. She was Chair of IPSA’s Research Committee RC19: Gender policy and politics 2014-16.

Emilia Palonen

Programme Director in Datafication 

Media and Democracy study track

Emilia Palonen is a Senior University Lecturer in Political Science and works as a Research Director in Datafication at the HSSH. Palonen is an expert on populism, hegemony and democracy. She has worked on local participative democracy and politics of memory in symbolic urban landscapes. She has a BAhons from SSEES/UCL University of London, and took her MA and PhD at Essex in the Ideology and Discourse Analysis programme. Palonen’s GPC course on discourse theory as a method, introducing Laclaudian takes on deconstruction, lacanian psychoanalysis and rhetoric, has run at the Faculty of Social Sciences since 2006.

Working on hegemony and political change in Europe online and on site, Palonen’s recent publications include a research topic “Performing Control of the Covid-19 Pandemic” in Frontiers in Political Science; an article in Thesis Eleven on theory of democracy and populism of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe; and book chapters on Nordic Populism using the form of populism and counterhegemonic alt-science praxis. As expert in Hungarian politics, she published on the emergence of illiberalism the currently most cited article in the Journal of Contemporary European Politics. Palonen is an engaged scholar, IPSA EC member and a sought-after speaker for diverse audiences.

Her recent publications include On the Emergence of Alt-Science Counterhegemony: The Case of the Finns Party (2022), Democracy vs. demography: Rethinking politics and the people as debate (2021), Nordic Populist Parties as Hegemony Challengers (2021), and Performing the nation: the Janus-faced populist foundations of illiberalism in Hungary (2018).

Learn more about Emilia's teaching, research and the community centre she helped creating in an interview for the GPC website.

Willing to supervise masters theses on topics related to the HEPP research hub and datafication. 

Mervi Pantti

Professor of Media and Communication Studies

Media and Democracy study track

Mervi Pantti is a professor of media and communications. Prior to joining the University of Helsinki in 2009, Pantti was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam School of Communications Research).

She gained an MA and Lic.phil. in Film and Television Studies at the University of Turku, where her research interests were Finnish media history and national film policy. She was awarded her PhD (Media and Communication Studies) at the University of Helsinki in 2001. She teaches at BA and MA levels and supervises PhDs.

Her research addresses the role the media play in the shaping of the dynamics of public life, and it has a particular emphasis on emotions, crisis, war and humanitarianism.

Heikki Patomäki

Professor of World Politics and Global Political Economy

Global Political Economy study track

Heikki Patomäki is Professor of World Politics and Global Political Economy at the University of Helsinki. He has published some 20 books and over 200 research papers, and also hundreds of popular articles and blogs. His topics include philosophy and methodology of social sciences, international relations theory, global political economy, peace research, futures studies, and, global justice and democracy. Patomäki’s most recent book is The Three Fields of Global Political Economy (Routledge 2022) and other major publications include The Political Economy of Global Security (Routledge 2008) and After International Relations. Critical Realism and the (Re)Construction of World Politics (Routledge 2002). Patomäki has worked as a full professor at The Nottingham Trent University, UK, and RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, and as a Visiting Professor at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. He is a member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences; Life Member of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge; a founding member of Helsinki GPE Centre; and Vice Chair of EuroMemo, a network of European (political) economists.

Read an interview with Heikki about the war in Ukraine and its long-term impacts.

Currently not available for secondary MA thesis supervision.

Johanna Sumiala

Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies

Media and Democracy study track

Johanna Sumiala is an Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Helsinki. In recent years her work has focused on theoretical and empirical analysis of mediations of death in the contemporary media environment. Her research on media and communications is inspired by social theory and anthropology, especially ritual studies. She is also interested in learning more about digital methods. She has been visiting fellow in Austrian Science Academy, Vienna (2019), University of Kent, Canterbury (2013-2014), Örebro University, Sweden (2011) and Goldsmiths College, University of London (2007-2008). Currently she is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Currently, Sumiala co-directs a research consortium Hybrid Terrorizing: Developing a New Model for the Study of Global Media Events of Terrorist Violence (2017-2021) in the University of Helsinki. The project is Funded by the Academy of Finland. Her previous reserach project Digital Youth in the Media City (2016-2018), was carried out in collaboration with researchers and artists in Helsinki and St. Petersburg. The project was funded by Kone Foundation. She is also currently a sub-leader of Academy of Finland research project titled Mediatized Religious Populism, and one of the founding members of a newly established Helsinki Research Hub on Religion, Media and Social Change (HEREMES).

Sumiala is author of several journal articles and books. Her most recent books include: Hybrid Media Events: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks and Global Circulation of Terrorist Violence (2018, Emerald, co-authored with K. Valaskivi, M. Tikka & J. Huhtamäki), and Media and Ritual. Death, Community and Everyday Life (2013, Routledge). Her most recent monograph Mediated Death was published in 2021.

Turo Virtanen

Senior University Lecturer and Adj. Professor (Emeritus)

Governance, Organisations and Communication study track

Turo Virtanen is an Adj. Professor (Emeritus) in Political Science at the University of Helsinki. His research focuses on public administration, governance and organisations. 

Tuomas Ylä-Anttila

Associate Professor of Political Science

Governance, Organisations and Communication study track

Tuomas Ylä-Anttila is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Helsinki. He currently leads four research projects on policy networks, communication networks and climate change politics, and chairs the 14-country comparative research effort Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (see compon.org).  His recent publications include Of devils, angels and brokers: how social network positions affect misperceptions of political influence (Journal of European Public Policy, 2022), What explains collaboration in high and low conflict contexts? Comparing climate change policy networks in four countries (Policy Studies Journal, 2021), and Polarization of Climate Politics Results from Partisan Sorting: Evidence from Finnish Twittersphere (Global Environmental Change).

Read an interview with Tuomas about why climate change is a problem of social science.

Currently not available for secondary MA thesis supervision. Exceptions can be discussed individually.


Matti Ylönen

University Lecturer (permanent) of World Politics and Global Political Economy

Global Political Economy study track

Matti Ylönen was nominated as a permanent University Lecturer in World Politics in 2020. He has published on themes ranging from evolutionary economics, corporate power, tax havens, global development and the political role of consultants and lobbyists in key journals of GPE and beyond – including Review of International Political EconomyNew Political EconomyGovernance and Public Administration. Matti completed his PhD in World Politics in 2018. The dissertation received the University of Helsinki PhD Prize, and Yale University granted its Amartya Sen Prize to one of its articles. Matti was a Fulbright-Schuman grantee at Yale University in 2016, continuing there as a Non-Resident Fellow. In 2020–2022, he was as a EU-funded Visiting Fellow at the Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance, TalTech.

Matti is a current board member and the former Chair of the Finnish Society for Political Economy Research and a co-Editor of the Society’s journal (2023–24). He is a founding board member of the Helsinki GPE Centre, and an editorial board member of the Vastapaino publishing cooperative. Beyond his academic work, Matti has published non-fiction books and reports with non-governmental organizations such as Oxfam. Matti leads a research project titled Big Tech and the EU (2023–), funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, and has recently led a project studying Public Affairs professionals.