Past events

Explore the materials of the past seminars and workshops organized by INEQ.
Rights, Democracy and Equality in the Shadow of the Pandemic (webinar)

Monday, August 31, 2020
at 9am–12pm EEST, 4–7pm AEST 

Organized by INEQ Associate Professor of Law Security and Privacy Dorota Gozdecka (UH) in cooperation with the ANU Gender Institute (Australian National University).


Covid and Rights in the Private Sphere  

9 am–10.30 am EEST/4pm–5.30pm AEST 

Go Home, Stay Home: The Requisition of the Home and Gendered Relations of Care under COVID-19 

Associate Professor Fiona Jenkins, Australian National University 

Home as the place of return, and thus as the point of origin, stands both for the most intimate private spaces and for the nation as harbour of its citizens. This nexus has taken on new significance in the time of COVID as everyone is required in one way or another to go home or stay home. Home serves for a place of shelter and confinement, and as the primary site of continuance of life. My discussion explores the idea that homes have been requisitioned by the state and by employers in this time of emergency, with a legal violence that is concealed in the gendered relations of care that subtend domestic economy. 

Coronavirus and the Colonisation of Private Life 

Professor Emerita Margaret Thornton, Australian National University 

The idea of a distinction between public and private life has a long history in political thought, but the line of demarcation between them is becoming increasingly blurred, particularly as a result of technological developments. The injunction to work at home as a result of coronavirus is threatening to erase the idea of separate spheres altogether. Drawing on contemporary responses to an on-line survey, this presentation will consider the ramifications of the economy colonising the sphere of intimacy. 

Pandemic and Gender-Based Violence 

Professor Marianna Muravyeva, University of Helsinki 

The Covid19 pandemic and measures imposed by governments to contain it created a very specific situation that made lives of women much harder. The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a "shadow pandemic" alongside Covid-19. It’s thought cases have increased by 20% during the lockdown, as many people are trapped at home with their abuser. While the UN already developed the guidelines for the employers to provide safety for their employees who work remotely, the national governments have been facing a number of issues in dealing with domestic (and other types of gender-based) violence in the situation of quarantine and lockdown. In the talk, I will look at how the lockdown impacts access to justice and services for those who experienced GBV due to isolation policies.  


10.30–10.45am EEST/5.30–5.45pm AEST 

Covid, Emergency and Rights in the Public Sphere  

10.45am–11.45 am EEST/5.45pm–6.45pm AEST 

Covid as a State of Emergency and Transmission of Knowledge in Democracies 

Professor Risto Kunelius, University of Helsinki 

Covid-19 represents a systemic event—a state of emergency—that disrupts the routines of societies from the level of individuals to institutions, nations, and global interaction. Revealing the vulnerability of the intensively interconnected world suggests a juxtaposition with another systemic crisis: the climate emergency. Drawing on some key literature on the different aspects of “events”—as heightened political semiosis as (possible) transformation of social and symbolic structures and as moments where new horizons are opened—this presentation suggests three intersecting themes where reactions to Covid-19 help to sharpen the crucial questions of future journalism: the role of “knowledge” and expertise, the power of national framing, and the challenge of covering the new imperatives and possibilities of everyday life. 

Securitization of Rights in the Aftermath of the Pandemic 

Associate Professor Dorota Gozdecka, University of Helsinki 

This presentation analyses the response to COVID-19 pandemic and its overwhelming impact on human rights globally. It asks whether measures taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic comply with the emergency provisions and limitations allowed under human rights treaties and whether they will lead to permanent securitisation of the health sector. It examines What the impact of a long-lasting securitisation of health on human rights would be. Finally it attempts to disentangle the confusion around what is a violation and what is an allowed limitation of rights in the times of the pandemic. 

Concluding discussion 

11.45am–12pm EEST/6.45pm–7pm AEST 

INEQ Research Seminar (Spring 2020)



INEQ holds biweekly on Wednesdays at 14-16 an interdisciplinary research seminar Intersecting Inequalities (I2) for the Helsinki University based scholars, visitors and collaborators.

The program for the 2020 spring semester is:

15 January (Porth­ania, P545):

Director of Doctoral Studies (University of Akureyri), Docent (journalism, UH) Lars Lundsten: The "Stundin" Case – Hegemonic Censorship in Egalitarian Iceland

29 January (Porth­ania, P545):

INEQ Associate Professor of Regional and Urban Inequality Pia Bäcklund (Department of Geosciences and Geography, UH): Planning as an Investment and Politics of Regional Inequity

12 February (Porth­ania, P545):

ESSO Research Group (led by Professor Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti, social psychology, UH): The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations

26 February (Porth­ania, P545):

Professor of Social Policy Anne Kouvonen, University Researcher Laura Kemppainen, Postdoctoral Researcher Ulla Buchert, Doctoral Student Nuriiar Safarov (social and public policy, UH, Centre of Excellence in Research on Ageing and Care, DigiIN): Intersectional Inequalities in a Digitising Multicultural Society

11 March (NB! U37, 1055):

INEQ Professor of Urban Theology Henrietta Grönlund (Department of Practical Theology): Religion and Inequalities: Empirical Perspectives

25 March (Porth­ania, P545)/POSTPONED:

INEQ Associate Professor of Linguistic Inequalities and Translation Technologies Roman Yangarber (Digital Humanities; Leader of the Research Group in Computational Linguistics, UH): The spectrum of Linguistic Inequalities, the Challenges They Pose, and Addressing Them via Technological Solutions from Language Technology and Educational Data Science

8 April (Porth­ania, P545)/POSTPONED:

Associate Professor Kris Clarke (social work, UH): Protecting Our Children: Using Moral Panic to Drive the Politics of Inequality by the Neoliberal, Carceral State. An Exploration of a Case Study of Police Surveillance in an Urban Park in California

22 April (NB! Aleksandria, K132)/POSTPONED:

INEQ Associate Professor of Law, Security and Privacy Dorota Gozdecka (Faculty of Law, UH): Unequal Visually Therefore Unequal in Rights - the Link between the Idea of Justice and Visual Representation of Migrants

6 May (Porth­ania, P545)/POSTPONED:

Professor, Dean Juho Saari (Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University): Inequality, Research and Policy

20 May (Porth­ania, P545)/POSPONED:

Postdoctoral Researcher Marja Peltola & Grant Researcher Linda Maria Laaksonen (Social studies in Urban Education, Faculty of Education, UH): School and Social Inequalities



INEQ Research Seminar (Fall 2019)

INEQ holds biweekly on Wednesdays at 14-16 an interdisciplinary research seminar Intersecting Inequalities (I2) for the Helsinki University based scholars, visitors and collaborators.

The program for the 2019 fall semester is:

9 October (Porthania, P545):

INEQ Professor of Social Inequalities in Health Karri Silventoinen (Population Research Unit, Faculty of Social Sciences and Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki): Interplay between Genes and Environment behind Social Inequalities: Crossing the Border between Nature and Nurture

23 October (Porthania, P545):

Senior Lecturer Anne Macduff (ANU College of Law, Australian National University): 'All Citizens Must Obey the Law, Just Some More So Than Others': Inequality, Migrants, and the Racialised Burden of Demonstrating Obedience in Australian Citizenship Law

6 November (NB! U37, 1055):

Professor of Practical Philosophpy Antti Kauppinen (Practical Philosophy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki): From Economic Inequality to Relational Inequality

20 November (Porthania, P545):

INEQ Associate Professor of Contemporary History Johanna Rainio-Niemi (Political History, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki): From Equality to Inequality? A Historian Discusses with  Contemporary Inequality Literature (a reading diary)   

4 December: No session

18 December (Porthania, P545):

Postdoctoral Researcher Tomas Hanell (Department of Geosciences and Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki): Geographies of Quality of Life in the EU. A Quantitative Assessment of Territorial Inequality in Human Capabilities.

Debt, Wealth and Inequality (INEQ Research Workshop)

Time and place: December 9, 2019, Unionkatu 37, Faculty Meeting Room)

Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ) organizes a one day workshop brings together scholars and experts working with current questions of economic inequality. The programme offers six presentations, organized around too themes: debt and wealth. We invite all interested scholars to join us in day of conversations. What are most fruitful ways of theorizing debt and wealth? What kind of research is needed? What is – of could – be the role interdisciplinary work in these questions?

The workshop is open to all interested scholars, but due to the available space, you we ask you to assign, and we will be able to secure a place in the table. Space will be filled in order people sign up. Please send a note about your interest as soon as possible to: and

If you want to suggest a short presentation by yourself – or your research group – we can still carve out some time slots for that. Send us a short suggestion (same address)!

PROGRAMME (updated 2 Dec; minor changes possible)

9:00 Coffee served
9:15 Welcome (Risto Kunelius (INEQ research director)
Introduction of the participants

Part I:  Debt

9:30 Financialisation of the household: conceptualising debt-based forms of inequality: Johnna Montgomery, Kings College London

10:15 How does over-indebtedness differ from income poverty as a measure of economic deprivation? Heikki Hiilamo, University of Helsinki

11:00 Debt problems in Finland - a socioeconomic perspective: Karoliina Majamaa and Kati Rantala, University of Helsinki

11:45 General discussion/ Reflections

LUNCH (served)

Part II: Wealth

13:00 Wealth, Class and the Asset Economy: Lisa Adkins, University of Sydney

13:45 The Wealth Inequality of Nations: Nora Waitkus, London School of Economics

14:30 It’s slippery at the top: churn and anxiety amongst elite families: Luna Glucskberg, London School of Economics

15:15 Concluding remarks: brining wealth and debt into wider social analysis: Mike Savage, London School of Economics

17:00 Informal exchange, with snack and beverages (served)