The researchers of the DEMOPOL project have their backgrounds in the fields of education, philosophy and political philosophy.

All researchers of the project are affiliated with the University of Helsinki.

Anniina Leiviskä

Anniina Leiviskä (PhD, Education) works as a university lecturer at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. Her research focuses on theories of democracy and global justice and democratic and global citizenship education. In her research, Leiviskä has particularly addressed issues related to the normative foundations of democratic education, the different understandings of “the political” in theories of democracy, and the relationship between education and the current political phenomena of contemporary democracies, including political polarisation and identity politics. Leiviskä’s current work continues the line of research of her Academy of Finland funded postdoctoral research project, “Democracy, Education and the Challenge of Inclusion: Reconstructing a Theory of Citizenship Education for Contemporary Democracies” (2017–2020). In addition to research, Leiviskä has taught various courses at the University of Helsinki on philosophy of education, philosophy of educational research and the social and cultural contexts of education. Leiviskä is the principal investigator (PI) of the DEMOPOL-project.

Iida Pyy

Iida Pyy (PhD, education) is a Postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. Her research addresses the expanding discussion on the relevance of political emotions in democratic politics and education. In her doctoral dissertation, Pyy focused on Martha Nussbaum’s political philosophy in the context of education. Pyy’s research interests include education for social justice, philosophy of education, qualitative methodology, human rights education, and the Capabilities Approach.

Prior to her PhD studies, Pyy studied in the University of Oulu and in the University of Melbourne majoring in intercultural education. Outside of academia, Pyy has worked as a bilingual classroom teacher, as a special education classroom teacher and as a trainer for UNICEF Finland. She is currently also working as an advisor in a social impact enterprise that provides women with immigrant backgrounds the first avenue to working life in Finland.

Pyy worked in the project until 31.1.2023. Read Iida Pyy's dissertation Evolving emotions: The relevance of Martha Nussbaum's theory of political emotions in education.

Tarna Kannisto

Tarna Kannisto (M.Soc.Sci, Philosophy) is a PhD candidate in the Doctoral Programme of Philosophy, Arts, and Society, University of Helsinki) whose research examines how the notion of justice should be interpreted within educational institutions that intersect various public and private interests and societal spheres. Kannisto has specialized in political philosophy, philosophy of education and social ontology with special interest in gender equality, children’s rights, and justice in social institutions. Kannisto is also an experienced teacher of Philosophy and Ethics, pedagogy and didactics, critical thinking, social organization and decision-making who has taught various Bachelor and Master courses in social sciences and education. Prior to academia Kannisto has taught at professional, high and middle school, community college, vocational, as well as in various NGO and grassroot settings. 

Tuija Kasa

Tuija Kasa (M.Soc.Sci, Philosophy) is a PhD candidate in the School, Education, Society and Culture Doctoral Programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. She has a subject teacher qualification in philosophy, psychology and secular ethics and has specialized in moral philosophy. Her PhD focuses on human rights education from a multidisciplinary perspective combining critical theories, human rights law, educational sciences and moral philosophy. She is interested in ethics, philosophy of education, human rights research and ways of deconstructing inequalities in education. Kasa has diverse working experience in the field of human rights education in cooperation with non-governmental organizations, governmental organizations and universities.

Ivan Zamotkin

Ivan Zamotkin (MA) is a PhD candidate and doctoral researcher in the Faculty of Education, University of Oulu. His research intersects philosophy of education, democratic education, and Hannah Arendt’s philosophy. In his dissertation he particularly addresses the possibility of philosophical reclaiming of democratic education from a perspective of Arendt’s separation between politics and education. Additionally, the research includes theoretical engagement and justification of current political activism practices in education. Zamotkin completed his master's studies in Philosophy at Moscow State University and is engaged in the philosophy of education community internationally, including the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain (PESGB).