We are a methodologically diverse, interdisciplinary group of researchers investigating democracy in contemporary societies.
In her article, published in the British Journal of Sociology in 2018, Eeva Luhtakallio argues that in order to analyse democracy as a pattern constantly processed in a given society, it is useful to look at activist groups’ agenda setting and recruitment principles, group bonds and boundaries, and how these actions direct and influence ways of creating the common. Based on an ethnographic study on bicycle activism in Helsinki, Finland, the article describes a local critical mass movement that was successful in promoting a bicycle friendly and sustainable city, yet dissolved due to lack of people involved, and the bicycle demonstrations stopped at a moment of high public interest.
Veikko Eranti’s article in European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 5(1-2), 2018 argues that the way the sociology of engagements is currently formulated does not sufficiently allow for analysing public participation and disputes in situations where individual interests play a crucial role in public debates. The article presents a slight reformulation of what Thévenot calls the grammar of individuals in a liberal public (sic), based on a) an understanding of how individual interests relate to the common good and general will, b) the constitution of legitimate actors within polities, and c) the separation between the levels of generality and publicity. This reformulation might be called the grammar of individual interests, clarifying and simplifying earlier terminology.
Recent News & Blog Posts
What are the next walls to fall in science and society? Led by this question, the brightest minds from the international scientific community submitted their groundbreaking projects for the prestigious Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year 2022.
Julkisuuteen noussut kohu on keskittynyt pääasiassa yhden suuren ketjuravintolan toimintakulttuuriin, mutta Lotta Junnilaisen ja Lotta Haikkolan haastatteluiden perusteella ongelmat eivät koske yksittäistä pikaruokaketjua, vaan ravintola-alaa laajemminkin.
The war in Ukraine has evoked immediate gut reactions from a distant, yet very mobilizable collective memory reserve in Finland: Russia, again. And: Are we next? We have certainly seen this one before, even though nobody wanted to see it coming this time.
CSD is engaged in multiple separate projects:
ImagiDem explores and conceptualises visual participation of young European citizens. By understanding how today's youth build political arguments, solve conflicts, build commonality, and what tools they use to politicize issues of their concern, the project aims at formulating a model of democratic practices of the 2020s.
The YCAP project studies ethnographically and computationally how young people in Finland today participate in civil society and politics, on- and offline, through four different modes: anti-/proto-politics, empowerment projects, activism, and formal politics.
In Finland, millions of people are living in the state of total democracy: all the institutions of their life are democratic in one way or another. How does this parademocratic system function as part of the democratic whole, and which cultural tools of democracy are being used in these settings?
Moral polarization means a lack of shared moral frameworks which makes it difficult to solve moral debates in the public. Polarization is detrimental to societal belonging and trust, which are important not only for stability but progress, too. The project studies morally polarized public debates to find common ground.
Read more about the project
Demokratiatekijät reinforces institutional structures within CSD, strengthens analytical ties across different research projects, and brings the center's groundbreaking research to wider audiences through multiple channels of outreach.
The RORE project studies ethnographically how activists in Finland today engage in high-risk activism. The research focuses on how these activist groups take shape, how risk affects group dynamics, and how the phenomena relates to changes in Finnish political culture.
Kaikenlaisilla alueilla syntyy jaettuja käsityksiä siitä, mikä on tavallista ja toivottavaa, mutta kuitenkin vain joidenkin alueiden normaalista tulee yhteiskuntaa määrittävä normi – ”normatiivinen normaali”. HYHY-projekti tarkastelee hyvän elämän normia ja sen rakentumista koulutetun keskiluokan asuinalueilla.