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The Centre for Sociology of Democracy studies democracy in modern societies. Our projects deal with democracy from different perspectives and with different methods.


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Recent News & Blog Posts

Planeetan kokoinen arki

Planeetan kokoinen arki auttaa ymmärtämään, miten moninaisilla tavoilla jokapäiväinen elämä, sitä määrittävä politiikka sekä taustalla vaikuttavat ajattelutavat kytkeytyvät ympäristökriiseihin.

Making a deal with the devil? Portuguese and Finnish activists’ everyday negotiations on the value of social media

In their article, Carla Malafaia and Taina Meriluoto explore how young activists in Portugal and Finland negotiate the value of social media in their practices.

Grievable images – the war in Ukraine in visual social media

The war in Ukraine and its refugees have evoked a wave of compassion among Europeans, to an extent that has not been seen with people fleeing the war in Syria, for instance. An overview of social media content illustrating the war helps us understand how the visualisation of the war influences people’s perceptions and attitudes towards Ukrainians. By emphasising the Europeanness of Ukraine, the threat posed by Russia and the clear moral set-up of the war, the images bring Ukrainian fates closer and make them grievable.

A genealogy of democratic participation: the collective and the individual in postmaterial capitalism

In his article, Georg Boldt examines the genealogy of democratic participation.

Everyday, local, public: in search of young people’s understanding of democracy

In their article, Georg Boldt and Veikko Eranti look at a particular channel for youth participation and democracy education,
meant to provide avenue for young people to present their ideas for the development of their
surrounding society.

Topic modeling for frame analysis: A study of media debates on climate change in India and USA

In their article, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, Veikko Eranti and Anna Kukkonen examine media debates on climate change in India and the United States.

Going Overboard: How Ironic Group Style Becomes Political on an Anonymous Imageboard

A mixed-methods study by Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, Veikko Eranti and Sam Hardwick investigates politics on Overboard, a Finnish imageboard.

Social Media and the Emergence, Establishment and Transformation of the Right-Wing Populist Finns Party

In his article, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila assesses the significance of social media for the Finns Party and the related anti-immigration movement from 2007 to the present day, in light of theories on the relationship of populism and social media.

Call for Papers open for special issue on “Education and Climate Activism: Youth democratic practices and imaginations towards a common world”

The Educação, Sociedade & Culturas journal (ESC – Education, Society and Cultures) has released a call for papers for a special issue to be published in 2022, “Education and Climate Activism: Youth democratic practices and imaginations towards a common world” with guest editors Carla Malafaia (ImagiDem, University of Porto), Maria Fernandes-Jesus (University of Sussex) and Eeva Luhtakallio (ImagiDem, University of Helsinki).

Karine Clément: Le rond-point de Saint-Avold

The book is the result of a co-writing process between Karine Clement of ImagiDem and dozens of yellow vests from the roundabout of Saint-Avold, where she has conducted her fieldwork since November 2018.

Snapshots of 21st Century Citizenship: New Approaches to Young Citizens’ Political Practices (12–13 Dec)

Two-day seminar, Tampere University

Seth Doyle / Unsplash

Sign up here by 2 December! Program below.

Linna Building, Kalevantie 5, Ground Floor, Lecture Hall K103 

Keynote speakers: 

Associate professor Eeva Luhtakallio (Tampere University) is a sociologist and an ethnographer interested in the practices and processes of democracy, politicization, political (dis)engagement and citizenship, drawing on pragmatic social theory. Luhtakallio leads the Centre for Sociology of Democracy (CSD) and the research project Citizens in the Making. 

Professor Laurent Thévenot (EHESS), Director of Studies at EHESS, is a sociologist and economist noted for his grounding work on critical pragmatic sociology as a comparative, methodological and theoretical framework for studying how personal attachments and concerns become translated into public issues when taking part in a community and communicating disagreement or difference. 

Associate Professor Isaac Reed (University of Virginia) is a historical and cultural sociologist noted for his work on the questions of interpretation and explanation in the social sciences and the social theory of power and transitions to modernity. He is particularly interested in how acts of power are interpreted, and the multiple ways in which authority can render itself legitimate. 

Professor Gianpaolo Baiocchi (New York University) is a sociologist and an ethnographer interested in the questions of democracy, inequalities, politics and culture, critical social theory and cities. His work focuses particularly on the instances of actually existing civic life and participatory democracy. 

The Centre for Sociology of Democracy organises a two-day seminar offering in-depth analyses of and new approaches to understading young citizens’ participation in Finland and beyond from a pragmatist perspective.

Citizenship in 21st-century is marked by several simultaneous developments in civil society which change the conditions of participation: digitalization, polarization, and marginalization. These processes take place in public, local and online, digital and physical spaces, and give reason to expect that young people who grow up in today’s civil society will come to practice citizenship differently from previous generations.

The Citizens in the Making research project (funded by the Kone Foundation) has, since 2015, been studying these developments and what they mean for 21st-century citizenship in the Finnish context. This seminar publishes the results of that work and engages in discussion other scholars and stakeholders interested in 21st-century citizenship. The research of Georg Boldt, Veikko Eranti, Maija Jokela, Lotta Junnilainen, Eeva Luhtakallio and Tuukka Ylä-Anttila paint an image of young Finns’ civic imaginations: of their different conceptions of what it means to be a citizen and to act as part of society. These conceptions are explored in everyday social action of young people in urban spaces, formal politics, activist engagements as well as online debates. The findings suggest, among plenty of other insights, that young people approach political participation as individuals rather than collectives; that technocratic top-down systems of participation tend to breed technocratic bottom-up practices; and that empowerment without actually sharing power tends to breed shallow engagement.

This research effort now reaching its final stretch has been marked by an ambition to build further the theoretical background of pragmatically oriented cultural sociological conceptualization of politics, and the making of the common world.

The project has also had a methodological ambition: combining levels and types of data and methodology in order to build a holistic, multi-dimensional understanding of the future of political cultures. In particular, the project has taken on the challenge to combine computational and ethnographic methodology in order to both grasp the vastness of online data and the precision of the ethnographic eye.

Apart from discussing the results of the project work, we will widen the debate towards theoretical implications, different political contexts, and further empirical landscapes with keynote lectures by professor Laurent Thévenot (EHESS), professor Isaac Reed (University of Virginia), and professor Gianpaolo Baiocchi (New York University).

Sign up here by 2 December!


December 12, 2019 

10.00 Welcome address – Kalle Korhonen, The Kone Foundation

10.15 –11.15 Keynote by Professor Eeva Luhtakallio: 21st Century Citizens in the making: Towards a pluralism of engagements and projects?

11.15–12.45 Citizens in the Making: What we learned I

Veikko Eranti: Individualists in the making – Civic action, societal participation and the individualistic style of doing politics

Lotta Junnilainen: Place, Poverty and Political Participation – Imagining the future with young people living in disadvantaged neighborhoods

Georg Boldt: Citizens in Training – Notes on commitment and the resonance of style

12.45–14.00 Lunch

14.00–15.00 Keynote by Professor Laurent Thévenot (EHESS): The Trying Art of Taking Part

15.00–15.30 Coffee

15.30-16.30 Keynote by Professor Isaac Reed (University of Virginia): Pragmatics of Delegation: The King’s Two Bodies and its Afterlives

December 13, 2019

9.15 Coffee

9.30-11.30 Panel on Mixing methods: new innovations and insights into studying youth participation
Chair: Professor Anu Koivunen
Panelists: Veikko Eranti, Salla-Maaria Laaksonen, Minttu Tikka & Tuukka Ylä-Anttila

11.30-12.30 Citizens in the Making: What we learned II

Tuukka Ylä-Anttila: Going Overboard: Politicization in an anonymous online community

Maija Jokela: Social media affordances for activism: individual or collective action?

12.30-13.45 Lunch

13.45–14.45 Keynote: professor Gianpaolo Baiocchi (New York University)

14.45-15.30 Discussion

Sign up here by 2 December!