Ongoing projects

A-BRAIN – Addiction in the Brain: Ethically Sound Implementation in Governance

The A-BRAIN (2018-2021) project concerns the implementation of the Brain Disease Model of Addiction (BDMA) and its possible implications for policy and practice.
Funding: ERA NET ELSA-NEURON, Academy of Finland, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Fonds de recherche Santé, Quebec
Partners: Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, Centre de Recherche, CHU Ste-Justine, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Helsinki (UH)
Participants from Finland: Matilda Hellman (PI), Anna Alanko, Michael Egerer, Petteri Koivula, Susanne Uusitalo

Brain Based Addiction: Implications for Views on Agency (AGENCY, 2018-2022)

The study inquires into how agency of people with addictions materializes in the implementation of the Brain Disease Model of Addiction (BDMA) in general epistemic and popular constructs; in policy, media and practice and treatment settings. AGENCY-project is entangled with the A-BRAIN consortium.
Funding: Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation
Partners: Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, Centre de Recherche, CHU Ste-Justine, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Participants: Petteri Koivula (doctoral dissertation project)


Political Economy of Gambling – Circulation of value and vested interests (PolEG 2018-2022)

Gambling creates revenue to public purses, operators and other beneficiaries through taxation, direct contributions, fees and by creating employment and investment. Offshore and cross-border operators attempt to enter the lucrative markets, while established gambling providers seek to safeguard their acquired market positions. This study focuses on the circulation of value from gambling to different beneficiaries, and different types of vested interests that may influence these processes.
Research questions: How much value is generated through gambling in European countries, how it is circulated between stakeholders, and what kind of vested interests are involved.
The questions will be answered by comparing the political economy of gambling in seven European countries, using econometric data, official documentation and key informant interviews. The results will inform on the importance of gambling funds to European economies and the kinds of vested interests that may hinder effective policies.
Funding: Academy of Finland
Research lead: Pekka Sulkunen
Participants from Finland: Janne Nikkinen, Virve Marionneau, Sébastien Berret
Partners: ECLECTICA (Italy)


The Political and Economic Contexts of Casino-type Gambling in Finland, France and Hungary – A Comparative Analysis (2018-)

The research analyses and compares the Finnish, French and Hungarian casino-type gambling markets since the 1970s in order to get a better comprehension of their economic and political contexts and impacts, at the national and local level.
Research question: What are the economic and political implications of casino-type gambling in Finland, France and Hungary?
The objective is to provide analysis and information on the economic and political implications of the Finnish, French and Hungarian casino-type gambling markets and how they influence the structure of this industry since the 1970s. The circulation of value from casino-type gambling to beneficiaries is also analyzed by focusing on the underlying vested interests in each context; and the political competition between these groups.
Funding: The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies (ATS)
Participant: Sébastien Berret (doctoral dissertation project)
This research is connected with the ongoing project “Political Economy of Gambling: circulation of value and vested interests” (PolEG).

The Role and Function of PAF Gambling Operator in Åland Islands (2019-)

The Åland Islands is an autonomous region consisting of a group of islands situated between Finland and Sweden in the Baltic Sea. Another exception that Åland has as an autonomous region in Finland is its own gambling monopoly, Penningautomatföreningen (PAF).
In this project the role and function of PAF in the Ålandian society is analysed. The material of the research project consists of interviews, document analysis and media material. This study is a first investigation of how PAF as a societal actor in the Åland Islands materializes as a socio-cultural phenomenon in public speech.
Funding: Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Participants: Tuulia Lerkkanen, Matilda Hellman


Gambling as Part of a Regional Experience Economy Concept: A Socio-spatial Evaluation of the New Tampere Casino (2019-)

The study focuses on the Tampere casino project and its social, economic and political expectations by different stakeholders.
Funding: The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies (ATS)
Participant: Paula Jääskeläinen (doctoral dissertation project)


The public image and function of gambling provision in Finland: Scrutinizing a policy system (2017-)

Acronym: PUBFUNC
The study conducts a qualitative analysis of the views on the Finnish regulation of gambling as a parallel track to the broader survey study. Qualitative approaches enable the project to gain access to a more profound data on the meanings and understandings of how the citizens view the Finnish gambling monopoly and the activity of gambling. The first research report of the focus group interviews was published 14.12.2018.
Funding: Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
Participants: Matilda Hellman (PI, HY/THL), Johanna Järvinen-Tassopoulus (THL), Michael Egerer, Anna Alanko, Tuulia Lerkkanen


Online marketing of alcohol (2017-2020)

The project Online marketing of alcohol (OMA) is concerned with online marketing of alcohol in Finland and in Sweden. It consists of two integrated parts:
A) Regulation of online alcohol advertising: Is it possible and is it relevant from a public health perspective? (2017-2018)
In an international part materials from Finland and Sweden are compared with the main objective of studying whether restrictions of online marketing of alcohol is possible and relevant in a public health perspective.
Funding: Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies, Systembolagets forskningsråd
Participants: Matilda Hellman (PI), Mikaela Lindeman, Anu Katainen, Emmi Kauppila, Johan Svensson (CAN, Karolinska), Anna Raninen (CAN)
B) Affecting adolescents’ images of alcohol use (2017-2020)
The Finnish part is a research and evaluation project in which the same question is studied and developed additionally in terms of practical tools and policy consequences in tight collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and with the The Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention (EHYT). The topic of the research is an evaluation of the online alcohol marketing strategies and the impact of the new Finnish Alcohol Act.
Funding: Academy of Finland (key project funding)
Participants: Anu Katainen (PI), Matilda Hellman, Emmi Kauppila
Researchers in alphabetical order: Matilda Hellman (HU, Fin), Emmi Kauppila (HU, Fin) Anu Katainen (HU, Fin), Mikaela Lindeman (ATS, Fin), Anna Raninen (CAN, Se), Johan Svensson (CAN, KI, Se).
International collaboration: Thomas Babor (University of Connecticut, USA), Jonathan Noel (University of Connecticut, USA), Peter Anderson (Newcastle University, UK), Sally Casswell (Massey University, NZ).
Project lead: Matilda Hellman (INT) and Anu Katainen (FIN)
Project institutions: The CEACG / University of Helsinki, The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs (CAN), Karolinska Institutet (KI), the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies (ATS).


Exposure of children to marketing of unhealthy foods (2018-2019)

The aim of the study is to get more insight on the exposure of children to marketing of foods high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) in the EU countries, and thereby to assess whether current marketing regulations are sufficient to protect children and to prevent childhood obesity. The study also examines the content of HFSS advertisements and the ways in which these advertisements address children.
Research questions: How much is an average EU child exposed to commercial communications and online marketing of HFSS foods? What type of (online) marketing and commercial communication of HFSS foods does an average child see in the EU? Are children especially targeted? To what extent is (online) marketing and commercial communication of HFSS foods appealing to children and how?
Funding: European Commission, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE)
Participants: Anu Katainen, Emmi Kauppila
International collaboration: Ecorys Nederland, University of Helsinki, prof. Carolyn Summerbell (Durham University, United Kingdom), prof. Bas van den Putte (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), prof. Gerard Hastings (University of Stirling, United Kingdom), dr. Emma Boyland (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom), dr. Bridget Kelly (University of Wollongong, Australia), dr. Stefanie Vandevijvere (University of Auckland, New Zealand), dr. Frans Folkvord (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands), dr. Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva (Open Evidence and Open University of Catalonia, Spain), dr. Tim Smits (KU Leuven, Belgium) and dr. Mimi Tatlow-Golden (The Open University, United Kingdom).

The new gambling monopoly (2016-)

Funding: STM
Topic: Cooperation project together with the THL. The project looks into (a) political/ structural changes and (b) the position of the new monopoly in society.
Participants: Matilda Hellman, Janne Nikkinen, Michael Egerer, Virve Marionneau, Pekka Sulkunen, Tuulia Lerkkanen, researchers from the THL
Survey: gambling habits and attitudes to gambling 2016-
Funding: STM, THL
Topic: Cooperation project together with THL, Statistic Finland. Survey on gambling habits, harm, policy
Participants: Hannu Alho, Anne Salonen, Matilda Hellman, Jani Selin


A Finn Always Wins – A Qualitative Analysis of the Public Good That Gambling Policies Create (2015-)

In Finland, the profits of the gambling monopoly are distributed to the various non-profit organizations as the form of the state grants. This dissertation project studies the governance and justification of these grants. The project especially focuses on the position of the welfare promoting non-profit organizations as the receivers of the grants.
Funding: The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies
Participant: Veera Kankainen (doctoral dissertation project)


“For some other reasons?” – An ethnographic study of an international outlaw motorcycle club (2015-)

Funding: (Finland) Kone Foundation
Topic: The study examines collisions between legislation and an outlaw motorcycle subculture, and particularly reasons for these which are difficult to perceive clearly from the viewpoint of legislation.
Participant: Jussi Perälä (post doc project)