The research focus of the Global Politics and Communication programme 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.

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 theproject, 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.

Further information

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

The project, directed by University Lecturer Sergei Prozorov, addresses the relationship between the two logics at work in contemporary global governance, democracy and biopolitics. Since the end of the Cold War, democracy has become the fundamental principle of global governance. Governance policies at such diverse sites as health care, development and environmental protection are both legitimized and contested in terms of democratic principles of participation, equality and accountability. At the same time, contemporary studies of global governance increasingly highlight its biopolitical character, oriented towards the positive management of the vital processes of the population.

These two logics clearly follow different rationalities, the universalist and egalitarian aspirations of democracy contrasting with particularistic and quasi-naturalist presuppositions of biopolitics. While the problematic character of their combination has been noted by political theorists, it has barely been addressed in empirical studies. The project aims at filling this gap by inquiring into the relation between democracy and biopolitics as rationalities of governance.

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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.

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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.

Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space is an Academy of Finland sponsored project (2013–2016) that seeks to investigate in an interdisciplinary manner intellectuals between centres and peripheries. The project is based at the University of Helsinki.

The project explores the large and complex topic of centres and peripheries from the perspective of the periphery. The project investigates small country intellectuals moving between the centres and peripheries of cultural Europe and develops a multidisciplinary approach dealing with history, literature studies, philosophy, sociology and politics.

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