Gutu Wayessa

Deputy chair of AfriStadi

Gutu Wayessa is a university researcher in Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher and university lecturer in Global Development Studies at the same university. He earned PhD in Social Sciences (Development Studies) from the University of Helsinki. Gutu has undertaken innovative research in political economy/ecology of displacement and resettlement, land governance, environmental-social justice, social movements, rural livelihoods, and multiple dimensions of marginalization and their intersectionality. Interdisciplinarity and mixed-methods approach, involving the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods, are the hallmarks of his research. He has published in various scientific journals, including Society & Natural Resources, Environmental Sociology, Regions and Cohesion, Land Use Policy, World Development Perspectives, Journal of Oromo Studies, and Northeast African Studies. 

In his ongoing research, Large-scale Land Deals and Local Livelihoods in Ethiopia: A Political Ecology of a Contested Scheme, Gutu examines questions of procedural and distributive justice through a theoretical framework of political ecology, complemented by analytical insights derived from the literature on environmental justice. In his current post, he explores and analyzes socio-economic factors and development indicators relevant to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), within the sociology component of a multidisciplinary AMR Center of Excellence, at the University of Helsinki.

Gutu has over fifteen years of experience in undergraduate and graduate teaching and supervision. He has conducted various courses, including Quantitative Methods, Qualitative Methods, Introduction to Society and Change, Political Ecology and Resource Politics, Current Debates in Development Studies, Mixed-Methods Research in Development Studies, Methodological Excursions, and Conflicts and Development.  

Research interests

  • Global development studies
  • Political ecology, political economy
  • Environmental justice, displacement, resettlement
  • Rural livelihoods, land governance
  • Philosophy of social sciences
  • Mixed methods
  • Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia