Learn more about our team members.
Hanna Wass

Hanna Wass (PhD, University of Helsinki) is the PI in the NATOpoll project. She is a Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki responsible for societal interaction, business collaboration, diversity, equality, diversity, inclusion and sustainability. She is an internationally recognized expert in democracy, representation and health and political behavior with 20 years of experience of survey research. Wass has been a visting research fellow at the University of California, Irvine and University of Montreal. She has led projects and work packages in national and international consortia funded by the Academy of Finland, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Kone Foundation and the European Commission. She is a founding member of the Finnish Election Study Consortium and has served as a co-PI in the 2015 and 2019 modules. Her work has been published in several leading journals such as Political Research Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, Social Forces, Political Psychology and the European Journal of Political Research. 

S. M. Amadae

S.M. Amadae is the co-PI of the NATOpoll project. She is the Director of the Global Politics and Communication Programme, and a Senior Lecturer and Docent (Adj. Professor) in Politics/World Politics at the University of Helsinki.  Amadae has held positions at the London School of Economics; University of British Columbia, Vancouver; New School University; and Central European University.  She currently holds research affiliations at Science, Technology and Society Studies at MIT, and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University, and was a Berggruen Research Fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Social and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University in 2020.  Currently she is serving as the Co-PI of and leading a pilot use case experiment in the 2.75M ERC Horizon 2020 grant called ATARCA, (Accounting Technologies for Anti-Rival Coordination and Allocation) hosted at Aalto University.  Amadae leads the pilot use case Food Futures, which investigates the use of anti-rival blockchain cryptocurrencies to measure, record, and appreciate environmentally sustainable food choices.  She has published the award winning book Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy: The Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism, and Prisoners of Reason: Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy.  Recent research builds an agent-based model to explain a possible mechanism underlying systemic discrimination associated with binary tags such as gender or ethnicity.

Jari Eloranta

Jari Eloranta has been a professor of economic history in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki since 2018. Previously, he obtained his Ph.D from the European University Institute in 2002, visited the University of Warwick in 2002-2004, and became a professor of history at Appalachian State University in North Carolina prior to moving to Helsinki. His research concerns these five themes: 1) military spending and arms races in various historical periods; 2) formation of states, welfare policies, and public debt; 3) Nordic societal and economic development in the long run; 4) innovation and patents in history; 5) cost and impacts of crises and conflicts. He has published widely in Finnish and international publication outlets, comprising almost 130 peer-reviewed publications. He is also a member of many domestic and international academic organizations and networks. He is also the recipient of two prestigious prizes, namely the Jonathan Hughes Prize for excellence in teaching and the Eino Jutikkala History Prize that recognizes research excellence.

Tuomas Forsberg

Dr Tuomas Forsberg Professor of International Relations at Tampere University. He was Director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS) at the University of Helsinki 2018-2023. He has also worked as the acting director (1998–2001) and a senior research fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs; as Professor of Western European Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (2002–04); and as Professor of International Relations at the University of Helsinki (2004–2008) before transferring to the University of Tampere. His publications include The European Union and Russia (co-authored with Hiski Haukkala, Palgrave 2016), Russia’s Cultural Statecraft (co-edited with Sirke Mäkinen, Routledge 2022), The Psychology of Foreign Policy (co-authored with Christer Pursiainen, Palgrave 2021), Russia’s Cultural Statecraft (co-edited with Sirke Mäkinen, Routledge 2022),   Debating the War in Ukraine: Counterfactual Histories and Future Possibilities (co-authored with Heikki Patomäki, Routledge, 2023)  and articles in journals such as International Affairs; Journal of Peace Research; Review of International Studies; Europe-Asia Studies; Security Dialogue and Journal of Common Market Studies.

Mika Hentunen

Mika Hentunen is a journalist, lecturer and author.

His 30 years of on-site reporting for television, radio and online span from the fall of the Iron Curtain to 9/11, and from the war-torn Sarajevo to contested US elections.

Besides his native Finland, he has lived and worked in six countries as a journalist. After covering American news in the US capital for 10 years altogether he reported on Finland’s ascension to Nato and the greater global security environment in 2022-2023. He started in his current position as the Asia Correspondent for the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, based in Beijing, in summer 2023.

Besides global security issues, Mika is interested in breakthrough of populism into the mainstream and its impact on the political system. But as a news reporter you have to be ready for anything, so Mika has left the capital for hurricanes, wildfires or ice hockey, whenever wherever the news has broken.

Besides journalism, Mika is a published author of three non-fiction books and two novels.

He has a Master’s degree from the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration.

Ilmari Käihkö

Ilmari Käihkö is an Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer of War Studies at the Swedish Defence University, a visiting scholar at Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, and a veteran of the Finnish Defence Forces. He has conducted around 3,5 years of different kind of fieldwork, predominantly on the African continent. Käihkö was previously a visiting research fellow at Yale University, where he also taught. His research interests include strategy (especially concerning the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Finnish-Swedish military experience in Afghanistan), civil-military relations, sociology of war and ethnography of armed conflict. His research has been funded by the Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders' Fellowship Fund (SYLFF), the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. Käihkö’s recent publications include ‘Slava Ukraini!’ Strategy and the Spirit of Ukrainian Resistance, 2014–2023 (Helsinki University Press 2023) and a partly autoethnographic Sotilaan päiväkirja: Kuinka rauhanturvaaminen muuttui kriisinhallinnaksi (Gaudeamus 2024). He has also published in journals like Armed Forces & Society, Comparative Strategy, Conflict, Security & Development, Defence Studies, Ethnography, Journal of Modern African Studies and Parameters. Käihkö holds a PhD in Peace and Conflict Research from Uppsala University.

Ilkka Kärrylä

Ilkka Kärrylä is University Teacher of Contemporary History at University of Turku and visiting researcher at the Centre for Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki. He specializes in political and economic thought, economic policy, labour markets and democracy especially in the Nordic countries. Ilkka is the author of the book Democracy and the Economy in Finland and Sweden since 1960: A Nordic Perspective on Neoliberalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) and has published articles in journals such as Contemporary European History, Contributions to the History of Concepts and Scandinavian Journal of History. He is affiliated with the research programme Neoliberalism in the Nordics funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

Salla-Maaria Laaksonen

Salla-Maaria Laaksonen (PhD, University of Helsinki) is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Consumer Society Research and an Adjunct Professor of Media and Communication studies at the University of Helsinki. Her research areas are technology, organizations, and new media, including political contestations on digital media, social evaluation of organizations in the hybrid media system, the organization of online social movements, and the use of data and algorithms in organizations. She is also an expert in digital research methods with solid experience in computational social science research projects and research use of social media data.

Miroslav Nemčok

Miroslav Nemčok (PhD in 2019) is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow (Assistant Professor rank) at the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo, contributing to the WELTRUST project, which focuses on Welfare State Support and Political Trust. Before joining the University of Oslo, he held positions as a Finnish Cultural Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki (2019-2020) and a Research Specialist at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic (2019-2020). His research explores the factors influencing people’s support for democratic systems, encompassing the performance of democratic institutions, welfare state policies, and the consequences of political participation. Beyond these primary areas, his interests extend to population growth models, youth political participation, adoption of postal voting, and democratic innovations, with a particular focus on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). My work has been published in esteemed journals such as Political Behavior, West European Politics, Party Politics, European Political Science Review, and Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, among others. His PhD was awarded from Masaryk University (2015-2019), including research stays at the University of Tartu in Estonia (2017-2018) and the University of Helsinki (2018).

Furthermore, his academic monograph, co-authored with Rein Taagepera, titled “More People, Fewer States: The Past and Future of World Population and Empire Sizes,” is soon to be released by Cambridge University Press.

Iro Särkkä

Dr Iro Särkkä is Scientific Advisor Board Member at NATO Poll project. She is a Senior Research Fellow for Research Programme on Finnish foreign policy, Northern European Security, and NATO at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA). Her areas of expertise include Finnish, French and Nordic security and defence policy, bilateral and minilateral defence cooperation formats, NATO and questions of political behaviour. Dr Särkkä has previously worked as a Senior Advisor of the Doctoral School for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki, as a Researcher and Special Adviser in the Finnish Defence Forces, a part-time Visiting Lecturer at the National Defence University in Finland, as well as a Politics Teacher at the University College London, UK. She holds both a PhD and Master’s Degree in political science from the University of Helsinki and is a graduate of University College London (UCL) and Science Po Lille. In her doctoral thesis, “Rhetoric of NATO in Finland’s Security Policy Debate” she focused on studying changes in Finland’s security policy and NATO during the post-Cold War period.

Åsa von Schoultz

Åsa von Schoultz is Professor in Political Science at the University of Helsinki. Her research revolves around political behavior and public opinion. von Schoultz has extensive experience of survey research. She serves as director of the Finnish National Election Study (FNES) (2021-2025), and as chair of the newly established Consortium for National Election Studies (CNES). von Schoultz is also a member of the Module 7 planning committee of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES) (2023-2027) and of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Social Survey (ESS) (2024-2027). 

Janne Tukiainen

Janne Tukiainen is a professor of economics at the University of Turku and an associate research professor at the VATT Institute for Economic Research. Previously he has been a visiting professor at the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Janne has also worked at the University of Helsinki and HECER. He has visited the Bank of Finland and several foreign universities (ECARES, LSE, Warwick, KCL, ETH Zurich). Janne is a ZEW, CESifo and Helsinki GSE affiliate. He is a member of the Turku School of Economics board. He received the ERC consolidator grant (2023-2027) for his INTRAPOL-project.

He gained his doctorate in economics at the University of Helsinki in 2009. Tukiainen’s thesis concerned industrial economics, in particular, auctions and public procurement. In recent years, he has focused on public and political economics, and political science. For example, he has studied the economic and political effects of municipal mergers, voting behaviour and its consequences. Currently, his key areas of interest include political selection and election systems, as well as public procurement. Janne has published scientific work especially but not limited to the fields of comparative politics, historical political economy, industrial economics, microeconometrics, political behaviour, political economy and public economics. He also teaches these topics.

Besides academic research, Tukiainen has written numerous reports to support policy work, for example, on municipal finances and public procurement. He has participated actively in the public debate on these themes in the media, as well as in government policy committees. He has also been a consultant and an expert witness in legal proceedings concerning antitrust cases. Janne is the editor of the Journal of the Finnish Economic Association, and an associate editor of the International Tax and Public Finance, and European Journal of Political Economy journals.

Leo Valkama

Leo Valkama is a master’s degree student at the University of Helsinki in the program of Politics, Media and Communications majoring in Political Science and in the master's program in Society and Change majoring in Global Development Studies. He is working as a research assistant at NATOpoll, responsible for media analysis and internal communication.

Isak Vento

Isak Vento, PhD and associate professor, is a researcher at the Åbo Akademi University. He is the responsible researcher for the Swedish speaking Finns citizens’ panel Barometern. He is also the Principal Investigator for a two-year project that examines the consequences of democratic innovations for a language minority group. In the NatoPoll project, he especially participates in the implementation of the citizen survey. His main research interests are public opinion and political and administrative behavior research.

Johanna Vuorelma

Johanna Vuorelma is University Researcher at the Centre for European Studies, University of Helsinki. Vuorelma’s current research projects, funded by the Kone Foundation and the Academy of Finland, examine irony in international politics, authority and trust in the pandemic age, and the relationship between militarisation and democracy. Vuorelma has chaired the Finnish International Studies Association and is the co-founder and editor of its journal Nordic Review of International Studies. Vuorelma’s recent publications include Narrative Traditions in International Politics: Representing Turkey (Palgrave 2022). Her forthcoming book Irony in International Politics (Edinburgh University Press) will be published in 2024. Vuorelma holds a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick.

Albert Weckman

Albert Weckman is doctoral researcher at the Social Science Research Institute at Åbo Akademi University. Weckman’s research interests include questions related to international security, with a special emphasis on security policy attitudes. In his dissertation, he studies security policy attitudes in Finland. This includes attitudes towards NATO, defense will and the willingness to assist allies in need.