The mission of the Helsinki Group for Political Sociology (HEPO) is to carry out and promote internationally oriented research on political sociology in Finland. HEPO is based at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki and led by Docent Markku Lonkila. Our research interests include social movements, civic associations, and different forms, practices and processes of political activity. International comparisons and research on global political processes are strong on our agenda.
Starting in 2010, several group members are engaged in a joint project to study the associational activities, political practices, and public debates concerning climate change in Finland, France, Russia, and the US.
The group members include professor emeritus Risto Alapuro, post doctoral researchers Tuomas Ylä-Anttila and Eeva Luhtakallio, doctoral student Laura Lyytikäinen, and several other doctoral and post-doctoral fellows (see group members -link). In addition to the joint project, the research topics of the group members range from the comparison of political cultures in Finland, France, Russia, and Estonia to analysis of global movements and publics, local civic practices and politicization, and Russian civil society, civic activism, and social and self-help movements. Research training is provided by a weekly Master’s seminar in sociology, and the multi-disciplinary post-graduate ’Spaces of Democracy’ seminar.