The 4th Annual Conference for the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change and the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences, University of Helsinki.

Time: 24-25 October 2017
Venue: Metsätalo, Unioninkatu 40

More information coming soon...

See the last year´s programme below:

The 3rd Annual Conference for the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change and the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences, University of Helsinki.

Time: 27-28 October 2016
Venue: Metsätalo, Unioninkatu 40
Social and Environmental Transformations
in a Globalizing World

Keynotes by
Professor Nancy L. Peluso, University of California-Berkeley, US
Professor Bram Buscher, Wageningen University, the Netherlands

This third annual conference theme focuses upon different approaches towards globalization and environmental and social transformations. Special attention is given to the articulation between global forces and local processes in different historical, socio-cultural and political-economic contexts. We welcome analytical debates on shifting environmental-social and political-economic relationships, and the ways that connections and disconnections across different places and populations are produced and governed in a rapidly changing world.

Globalization has been associated with various processes, including increasing transplanetary integration through new technologies, information flows, migrations and expansions of capitalistic regimes of production and governance. Rather than being a monolithic phenomenon, the effects of, and reactions towards, global transformations are complex and context-specific.

The theme for this year's conference responds to a growing need to develop analytical strategies for a more profound understanding of multifaceted environmental and social transformations and their historical roots in a rapidly globalizing world.

The event will bring together PhD candidates, PhD supervisors, junior and senior-level researchers from different social-scientific oriented disciplines to participate in the current debates on similarities and differences, and continuities and changes, in global processes and environmental-social transformations in different geographical, socio-cultural and political-economic contexts.

The conference consists of plenary sessions as well as workshops in which doctoral candidates have the opportunity to present their papers and receive feedback from peers, colleagues, professors and experts in their fields.

Keynote speakers:
Nancy Peluso is Professor of Environmental Social Science and Resource Policy at the University of California Berkeley. She is highly acknowledged researcher in environmental and social sciences; especially in political ecology, anthropology, environmental sociology, environmental history and political science. Peluso has conducted extensive empirical field research in various parts of Southeast Asia. Her research on territorialization, violent environments and histories of forest and land management are widely referred in the studies on environmental governance and history. In her talk: "Remittances and Forests: Mobilities and the New Politics of Place", she will bring novel viewpoints to the politics of place and making of forests. 

Bram Büscher is Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. His publications on the political economy of conservation and development, the politics of energy and extraction, ecotourism, new media and social theory have received a wide international audience in social sciences, including sociology of development, political ecology, anthropology, human geography and political science. In his talk: “Towards Convivial Conservation? Radical ideas for Saving Nature in the Anthropocene”, Büscher will reflect different proposals of how conservation should be pursued in the alleged new phase of world history in which humans dominate the earth-system. Büscher will propose an alternative proposal, called “convivial conservation”, which centers on a critique of contemporary capitalism and concomitant ideas about (saving) nature.

Plenary sessions are open to everyone!

Please register by October 13:

Please note that the registration is binding since the conference includes serving.

Preliminary schedule:

Thursday, October 27, 2016, Metsätalo, hall 6
9:00-9:30 - Coffee
9:30-11:00 - Opening of the conference, Professor Sarah Green, Director of the Doctoral Programme in Social Sciences

Plenary session: Professor Nancy Peluso: "Remittances and Forests: Mobilities and the New Politics of Place"

11:00-12:00 - Lunch

12:00-14:00 - Workshop I: Gender and Identities in understanding social trasformations (hall 7)
Chair: Katarina Pettersson
Agnese Bankovska
Minna Lyytikäinen
Merle Wessel
Rusten Menard
Commentator: Professor Sarah Green

12:00-14:00 - Workshop II: Understanding Institutions and environmental policy (hall 8)
Chair: Jaakko Taipale
Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes
Maija Merimaa
Emma Hakala
Laura Sibinescu
Commentator: Professor Barry Gills


14:30-16:30 - Workshop III: Land, conflict and resistance (hall 7)
Chair: Minna Lyytikäinen
Maija Lassila
Jenni Mölkänen
Katono Ouma
Johanna Järvelä
Commentator: Bram Büscher

14:30-16:30 - Workshop IV: Poverty, inequality and transformations in rural/urban spaces (hall 8)
Chair: Merle Wessel
Suvi Rautio
Mika Hyötyläinen
Marianthi Antonaki
Nora Lindström
Petri Roikonen
Commentator: Eva Heiskanen

Friday, October 28, 2016, Metsätalo, hall 6.
9:00-9:30 - Coffee

9:30-11:00 - Opening words, Professor Sakari Heikkinen, Director of the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change.

Plenary session: Professor Bram Büscher : “Towards Convivial Conservation? Radical ideas for Saving Nature in the Anthropocene”

11:00-12:00 - Lunch

12:00-14:00 - Workshop V: Labour, rights and identity in transnational perspective (hall 7)
Chair: Mika Hyötyläinen
Sonja Trifuljesko
Ilona Steiler
Elena Samonova
Commentator: Anja Nygren and Anu Lounela

12:00-14:00 - Workshop VI: Trends in quantitative data analysis for social science (hall 8)
Chair: Mari Marttila
Marjoriikka Ylisiurua
Mia Malmila
Karoliina Isoaho
Commentator: Mikko Mattila


14:30-16:30 - Workshop VII: Perspectives on debates and politics (hall 7)
Chair: Marjoriikka Ylisiurua
Mark Teramae
Kristiina Silvan
Kamilla Karhunmaa
Petra Voionmaa
Commentator: Anne Holli

14:30-16:30 - Workshop VIII: Community experiences of environmental and social transformations (hall 8)
Chair: Ilona Steiler
Tuomas Tammisto
Mira Käkönen
Ivan Tacey
Liina-Maija Quist
Commentator: Nancy Peluso

16:30-18:00 - Reception

The organizing committee: Anu Lounela, Anja Nygren (heads of the organizing committee), Riikka Palonkorpi (coordinator), Minna Lyytikäinen, Mari Marttila, Katarina Pettersson, Jaakko Taipale, Merle Wessel  (e-mails: