Our PhD candidate Sakari Höysniemi received 1-year funding from Kone Foundation to finish his dissertation “Between security and sustainability: socio-technical investigations on the development of energy security in Finland”.
The grant was awarded to only 5,8% of the applicants, so we sincerely congratulate Sakari with this absolutely deserved achievement!
Our colleague, Dr. Margarita Zavadskaya, was awarded with three-year research grant for her project “Electoral Malpractice, Cyber-security, and Political Consequences in Russia and Beyond (ElMaRB)”. The grants for three-year research projects are intended for promising researchers of the University of Helsinki. The funding is aimed at supporting future research leaders in gaining independency and in establishing a research group at the University of Helsinki. Our PhD student Elena Gorbacheva will join ElMaRB research project, together with another PhD candidate Eemil Mitikka.
The recent populist turn, the revival of nationalism, and the rise of ‘fake news’ in new and old democracies spurred a number of concerns in the academic and expert communities. Are existing democratic institutions fool-proof enough to protect societies from undermining citizens’ trust in political institutions and sliding back to a more authoritarian political set-up? Transparent and uncompromised elections still remain the essential feature of any democracy and serve as the major channel of selecting political leadership in advanced and new democracies. Over the last five years, the Russian government mastered the art of rigging domestic elections to such an extent that it has recently become a major ‘exporter’ of electoral malpractice elsewhere. The extensive use of mass media and internet-technologies has brought the spread of electoral malpractice to a new level, challenging the very trust in the credibility of electoral institutions in Russia and beyond. Electoral integrity has been challenged not just by intentional malpractice, unintended technological mishaps and public misperception of electoral processes transmitted by mass media.
The proposed three-years research project deals with the following research questions: does the information about compromised electoral integrity affect citizens’ trust in political institutions in post-communist countries? If so, does it lead to lower political participation? What affects political behavior stronger: the ‘objective’ quality of elections or public perception framed by mass media? What are the ways to prevent possible adverse political effects of electoral malpractice and, more specifically, negative imagining of elections in mass media? Expected outcomes include manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals in corresponding fields, creation of open-access datasets gathered in the course of the project and organizing annual research workshops to boost the University of Helsinki’s academic visibility.
Congratulations to Margarita and the group!
Dr. Sanna Kopra was invited to visit European Commission’s Joint Research Centre site in Ispra, Italy in November 2019 as one of the top young scientists in her field.
The Joint Research Centre site in Ispra is the third biggest site of the European Commission. Although established originally as a nuclear research site, the staff of the Ispra site work today both on non-nuclear (Sustainable Resources and Transport, Space, Security, Migration, Health and Consumer Protection, Energy, Efficiency and Climate Change, Growth & Innovation) as well as nuclear (Nuclear safeguards, Nonproliferation and Nuclear security) research.
The short visit includes lectures, a shadowing programme where the visiting young scientists are hosted individually by a scientific unit close to their field of expertise, visiting tour through some of JRC’s main laboratories.
Congratulations, Sanna, on this recognition of your talent!
A member of our research group, PhD candidate Jussi Huotari was selected as project manager to Kolarctic CBC funded “Barents Region Transportation and Logistics, BRTL” project. The BRTL project focuses on producing and analysing timely information on the development of transportation corridors and logistical solutions from the regional perspective. It ponders around questions such as what is regional preparedness to adapt state-level climate targets and development of intelligent transport systems (ITS).
Source: Kainuun liitto
This is challenging but yet highly interesting project” says Huotari, “since we have 13 partner organizations from all four Barents region countries involved in the project, interests are multiple and diversified. On the other hand, the BRTL is a good test for Barents cooperation, particularly now when several states have announced ambitious climate policy goals, but the capacity and willingness to implement national climate targets in the regions varies a lot. As a project manager my goal is also to increase cooperation and dialogue between academia and public policy institutions since there is a strong demand for information in the regions. I also believe that fostering this kind of dialogue would benefit both regional authorities and universities. The project brings added value to my own research as it brings me closer to political processes at the practical level.
More information about the BRTL project.
Our doctoral student Karoliina Hurri was awarded research grant for the second year of her study project, which investigates the construction of China’s Leadership role in international climate politics. The grant is a follow-up to her 2018 “Climate, Change” –grant from the Tiina and Antti Herlin Foundation. The goal of the “Climate, Change” grants is to seek ways to provide research data to support public debate and decisions, and to find new solutions to the most alarming changes in the climate, as well as to create more ways of preventing them in the future, both at the individual and society level.
The Board’s grant decisions support several different areas of scientific research which aim to prevent the ongoing climate change, find ways of how to adapt to it or to clarify factors leading to global warming.
Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen accepted a nomination as a member of the International Panel on Arctic Environmental Responsibility for the period 2018–2019. The panel is an independent body tasked with assessing the environmental status of oil, gas, and mining companies in the Arctic. It covers companies that are involved in resource extraction above the Arctic Circle in the circumpolar north: Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden.
The purpose of panel is to promote higher environmental standards among companies involved in resource extraction in the Arctic. The results of the panel’s work will be published as an open-access ranking of companies.
Professor Tynkkynen has nominated as a Panel Member because of his expert knowledge in this field as a researcher and resident of a region affected by these industries.
More information on the Panel can be found here.
A new Finnish-Japanese Arctic Studies Programme aiming at strengthening the cooperation in Arctic research and education between Finnish and Japanese universities has been established by the University of Lapland. The project is led by Research Professor Kamrul Hossain from the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland in cooperation with Associate Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen from the University of Helsinki, Docent Ritva Kylli from the University of Oulu and Professors Sei-Ichi Saitoh and Juha Saunavaara from the Hokkaido University.
The project aims at establishing a network of scholars and advanced-level under-graduate and postgraduate students interested in Arctic studies from multidisciplinary and multidimensional perspectives. In its endeavor, the project will undertake education and research on issues related to Arctic social sciences and law. Project members will meet several times both in Japan and in Finland during 2018–2019. The activities within the project include e.g. joint seminar, summer school and guest lectures. Out of total budget of 65,000 euro, the Ministry of Education of Finland granted 50,000 euro for the successful implementation of the project.
Sanna Kopra’s postdoctoral research project “The Rise of China and Normative Transformation in the Arctic Region” received a 3-year funding from the Academy of Finland’s Research Council for Culture and Society. Sanna is one of 30 postdoctoral researchers who got the funding, while 260 people applied for it.
The main criteria for financing decisions were, according to the funding principles of the Academy of Finland, the high scientific quality of the research plan and the qualifications of the applicant. In its funding decisions, the Research Council for Culture and Society notes in particular those postdoctoral researchers whose high-quality research plans combine strong academic and societal importance and scientific innovation.
Researcher from our team Sanna Kopra received the International Studies Association English School Section’s Outstanding Research Paper Award for her work “China and international climate responsibility: Agency and Institutional Change”. Congratulations to Sanna!
Picture by Liisa Kauppila, taken from Aleksanteri Institute website.