The Centre for Sociology of Democracy studies democracy in modern societies. Our projects deal with democracy from different perspectives and with different methods.
Recent News & Blog Posts
Activists participating in the environmental movement Elokapina see the sharing of images and videos in social media as a tool to tell people about daily protest activities, challenge the perceptions that people have of demonstrators and reach a wider audience for their message than would be possible through physical demonstrations. However, the personal nature of social media may also give rise to feelings of inadequacy and expose activists to strong negative attention.
Citizens in Training: How institutional youth participation produces bystanders and active citizens in Finland
In his dissertation Georg Boldt identified four individual level outcomes of youth participation.
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 explores how young activists in Portugal and Finland negotiate the value of social media in their practices.
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.
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
In their article, Tuukka Ylä-Anttila, Veikko Eranti and Anna Kukkonen examine media debates on climate change in India and the United States.
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.
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Organizing natures : justification and the critique in the development of organic agriculture in Finland
In his dissertation, Tomi Lehtimäki examines organic agriculture and the attempts to transform agricultural systems into more ecological and sustainable forms.
The thesis is situated into the discussion concerning the values of organic agriculture. Previous discussions, most notably those rooted in political economy, have conceptualized the development and institutionalization of organic agriculture as a process where values are gradually replaced by economic incentives. Instead of being able to bring in alternative values, such as ecology, care or fairness, organic agriculture is seen as becoming increasingly market-driven. Not only is this development seen to make organic agriculture similar to conventional production in terms of principles and values, but also in its material composition, as organic products, for example, become only slightly different from their conventional counterparts.
The approach applied in this thesis challenges this view and aims to reverse this setting. Instead of taking organic agriculture as the value-driven alternative (and examining how it either loses or maintains these values), the various analyses examine how the value(s) of organic agriculture is constructed. From this perspective, the debate concerns whether organic agriculture offers a meaningfully different alternative, through which the sustainability of food systems can be achieved. Therefore, using the pragmatic sociological approach, the development of organic agriculture is not examined only as economization, but as shaping it according to various forms of worth.
The thesis examines various conflict situations, where organic and conventional agriculture are set against each other, and where actors need to justify either alternative. The construction of these justifications is then analyzed as processes of sense-making, where actors shape organic agriculture according to different “orders of worth.” The thesis is based on four research articles, that examine the development of organic agriculture between the years 1980–2015. The data used consists of newspaper discussions, documents such as committee reports, policy papers, strategies, as well as studies on organic agriculture. Through these materials, the thesis examines how organic agriculture has been debated and how it has gradually institutionalized into a part of agricultural policy and markets.
The dissertation is available here.