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

Recent Publications

Social movements

In their chapter for the Concise Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics in the Social Sciences, Taina Meriluoto and Eeva Luhtakallio discuss the specificities of ethical questions when studying a political topic, in particular social movements and activists in stigmatized or risky positions.

Visual politicization and youth challenges to an unequal public sphere: conceptual and methodological perspectives

By discussing current youth’s democratic practices and introducing the concept of visual politicization, Eeva Luhtakallio, Taina Meriluoto and Carla Malafaia argue for a reconsideration of what we understand as political action and propose new methodological tools for analyzing it.

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.

Recent News & Blog Posts

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).

Suomalaisissa USA-vaalianalyyseissa unohdetaan kansalaisyhteiskunta

Demokratia ei ole yksilölaji, vaikka kaikilla äänestäjillä onkin vain yksi ääni. Yhdysvaltain presidentinvaalien tulokseen iso vaikutus oli myös kansalaistoiminnalla, kuten Black Lives Matter -mielenosoituksilla ja vapaaehtoisilla, jotka auttoivat ihmisiä rekisteröitymään äänestäjiksi.

The actions of Extinction Rebellion Finland showcase new visual forms of politicisation

Images play an increasingly large role in social participation. Protests, demands and even entire processes of politicisation may take a purely visual form. In this text, we analyse paired photographs that went viral immediately after the civil disobedience actions of Extinction Rebellion Finland as a form of politicisation. Images are a powerful means of communication – indeed, it is revealing that the social commentary in Finland has revolved intensely around a handful of smartphone snapshots.

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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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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Paljas logo

PALJAS-project investigates how the social media -driven norms of authenticity and personal exposure impact the possibilities of political action among the margins. The ethnographic project follows activists in diverse marginalised positions to understand what, when and how they share about themselves, how this is mobilised as a political tool, and what new possibilities and barriers for political action emerge as a result.

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Uutta: Demokratian paikat -podcast!

Demokratian paikat on sarja, jossa puhutaan demokratiasta arkisissa ympäristöissä. Jokainen meistä elää erilaisissa demokratian tiloissa, joita löytyy niin sosiaalisesta mediasta, toreilta kuin kodin seinien sisältä. Miten demokratian normeja pitäisi laajentaa, että yhä useampi ihminen voisi kokea osallisuutta yhteiskunnassa?