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We are a methodologically diverse, interdisciplinary group of researchers investigating democracy in contemporary societies.

Recent Publications

Visual bodies, ritualised performances: an offline-online analysis of Extinction Rebellion’s protests in Finland and Portugal

In their article, Carla Malafaia, Jenni Kettunen and Eeva Luhtakallio explore the function of bodies as tools of visibility in ritualised online-offline performances. By analysing performative protests, the authors shed light on the importance of paying attention to non-verbal levels of political action and argumentation.

Education and climate activism: Youth democratic practices and imaginations towards a common world

In this editorial Carla Malafaia,Maria Fernandes-Jesus and Eeva Luhtakallio discuss the diverse ways young generations have become mobilized in new ways to tackle the climate crisis and picture ways towards a common world and practices.

The Pepe the Frog Image-Meme in Hong Kong: Visual Recurrences and Gender Fluidity on the LIHKG Forum

Using a combination of a computational big data analysis and a qualitative analysis, Katrien Jakobs, Degel Cheung, Vasileios Maltezos and Cecilia Wong examine how activists used the Pepe the Frog image-meme to make statements about Hong Kong politics, gender and democracy during the 2019 Anti-Extradition Bill and Law Movement.

Recent News & Blog Posts

Social media platforms as a tool for Elokapina’s activism

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.

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.

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).

Our Projects

CSD is engaged in multiple separate projects:

Imagidem

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.

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YCAP logo

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.

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Totaalidemokratia logo

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?

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moral_polarization_logo_white

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.

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Demokratiatekijät logo white

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.

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RORE logo white

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.

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HYHY logo white

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.

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Read more about the project (in Finnish)