The research focus of the Master's Programme in Global Politics and Communication (GPC) is especially on democracy, governance, organizations and communication, media and communication and political economy.

Below you can find some research projects of the academic staff of the GPC programme. For further details about publications, networks etc please see research profiles of our academic staff.

The Helsinki Centre for Global Political Economy

The Helsinki Centre for Global Political Economy (Helsinki-GPE) was founded in April 2020. The purpose of the Centre is to revitalise political economy – the oldest social science – and to foster trans-disciplinary research and teaching.

You can find further information about Helsinki-GPE here.

The Computational Transformation of the Public Sphere

The Computational Transformation of the Public Sphere:  How Information Technologies Transform Democracy, Markets, and Interpersonal Relationships is a book written by the MA students of Global Politics and Communication and edited by university lecturer S.M. Amadae. This edited collection of MA student articles from Global Politics and Communication celebrates the 75th anniversary of University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Social Sciences.  It offers timely explorations into the impact of digital technologies on government, civil society, and social relationships.  Participating in team research conducted in the fall 2019 course Philosophy of Politics and Communication, these MA students excelled in posing challenging questions addressing how the public sphere, markets, and interpersonal relations are transformed by information and communication technologies. 

You can find further information about the Computational Transformation of the Public Sphere here.

Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation

BIBU – Tackling Biases and Bubbles in Participation – is a research project that explores how the global flux of economic restructuring, urbanisation, and migration, changes citizens’ political capacities, interests, and emotions, and how the political system responds to these changes. The interdisciplinary consortium is composed of researchers from the fields of politics, psychology, social policy, sociology, economics, and communications.

You can find further information about BIBU here.

Communication Rights in the Digital Age

Communication Rights in the Digital Age (CORDI) is a research consortium funded by the Academy of Finland. It is based on collaboration between media and communication studies and legal scholarship at the universities of Tampere and Helsinki. The research consortium looks at the digital disruption from the point of view of citizens’ communication rights, with an aim of developing a rights-based approach to communication conceptually and in terms of its practical, legal, and regulatory implications.

You can find further information about the CORDI research here.

Whirl of Knowledge: Cultural Populism and Polarisation in European Politics and Societies

Interdisciplinary WhiKnow research project (WhiKnow, 2019-22), funded by the Academy of Finland in #mediasoc research programme. It explores the ways in which meaning-making takes place in hybrid media systems, investigating different actors (journalists, politicians and academics) and mechanisms of emotional appeal. In its first phase it has gathered social media data from the European Parliament elections 2019 from all EU member states. It theorizes hegemony for a the current social media dominated era.

You can find further information about the WhiKnow research here.

Mainstreaming Populism in the Twenty-First Century

The MAPO research consortium (MAPO 2017-21) based in the Universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Turku in collaboration between media and communication studies, as well as political science and political theory. The project will analyse how populist parties have become part of the mainstream, how other parties have coloured their policies increasingly with a populist streak and how different mainstreaming forms of populism have transformed public debate, the media and democracy in various polities.

You can find further information about the MAPO research here.

Digital Hu­man­it­ies of Pub­lic Policy-mak­ing

In 2015–17 Professor Pertti Ahonen directs a project funded by a private-sector Kone Foundation to utilize digital methods to examine public policy-making. In the project, computational methods are used to analyze political party programs, government political programs, public policy evaluation reports, and politically oriented social media contents with special reference to enhancing political deliberation.

You can find further information about the Digital Humanities of Public Policy-making project here.

Digital Youth in Me­dia City

Professor Johanna Sumiala is the leader of Digital Youth in Media City (DiMe) (2016-) research project. The project produces a new, international, cross-disciplinary (media studies, sociology, youth research, urban studies) knowledge about urban digital life trends, confrontations, and control in everyday life of young people. Research is conducted in Helsinki and Saint Petersburg.

Three main themes that guide the project’s practical research work are following:

  • Everyday metro experiences, metro life and metro sociability
  • Metro and metro stations as arenas for youth culture phenomenons
  • Institutional changes of urban spaces, participation of youth and social control.

Further information: DiMe project

Polit­ics and Num­bers: Global Governance and Policy In­stru­ments

Politics and Numbers: Global Governance and Policy Instruments is an ongoing research venture headed by Associate Professor Tero Erkkilä at the Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki. The project explores numerical objectification and its political implications in European and global governance.

The project sets out to examine different types of numbers and measurement methods; the producers, their roles, resources, motives and bases of authority; the various ways in which the governance function is played out; the political implications and regulative institutionalisation of numerical assessments.

As a result, the team members will be able not only to precisely describe the processes of production and use of global indices and rankings but also to review – with robust empirical backing – the practice’s political significance in Europe and the world more generally.

You can find further information about the Politics and Numbers: Global Governance and Policy Instruments here.

Ra­cisms and pub­lic com­mu­nic­a­tions in the hy­brid me­dia en­vir­on­ment

In 2016–2019 Professor Mervi Pantti participates in the project Racisms and public communications in the hybrid media environment, funded by the Academy of Finland. The research project aims to analyse the public understanding, practices and experiences of racism in the hybrid, digital media environment. The consortium is developing a method path from online dataset to qualitative research with rich combinations of methods from rhetoric analysis to multimodal semiotic analysis.