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Institute for Advanced Social ResearchUniversity of TampereInstitute for Advanced Social Research

IASR Lectures 2016-2017, Spring

Lecturers' power point presentations (pdf) will be added

IASR lectures from Spring 2016 and earlier lectures available in Radio Moreeni as podcasts here

Time: On Tuesdays, at 16.15-17.45, starting from 17 January 2017
Place: University of Tampere, Lecture hall Pinni B 1096, Kanslerinrinne 1, 1st fl.

Exception: Wednesday, 03.05. at 16.15-17.45, Pinni B1096
Professor Neal King: Gendered Violence by Hollywood Superheroes (Ad hoc)


Updated on 2 May 2017

17.01. Cross-border Regional Innovation Systems: Conceptual Backgrounds, Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications (pdf)

Dr Teemu Makkonen, IASR

The importance of inter-regional cooperation and innovation are widely accepted in the development rhetoric of the European Union. The highlighted importance of both themes in the context of borderlands has recently led to the coining of a new concept: “cross-border regional innovation system” (CBRIS). The concept surfaced in the literature on economic geography through discourses that emphasized the need for broadening innovation systems to cross-border contexts proposing CBRIS as a comprehensive framework for analysing regional cross-border integration. Since these early discussions, the theoretical backgrounds of CBRIS have been further elaborated through notions of proximity and related variety. However, little attention has been given to the empirical analysis of the concept, which means that the concept still rests upon and draws policy suggestions based on a thin evidence base. Therefore, an analytical framework, which can be operationalised by measurable indicators of cross-border cooperation in a regional innovation system setting, for empirically validating the concept by examining the levels of integration between cross-border regions has been proposed. The framework has been tested with illustrative empirical cases that (tentatively) demonstrate its feasibility. However, there is still a need for holistic empirical validation of the concept together with the need to understand how suggested policy measures based on CBRIS reasoning have been implemented in border regions, and their effectiveness in promoting cross-border integration.

31.01. Extreme Politics and ‘Renationalization’: Political Violence, Social Media, Solidarity (pdf)

Dr Róbert Imre, IASR

This transnational project has an intertwined focus on: i. extreme politics and radicalization; ii. new developments in nationalism; and iii. social media forms of communication in a select group of countries (some in the Baltic region).

I examine: a. how states implement anti/de/counter-radicalization strategies; b. how states and extremist movements use social media; and c. how new forms of national discourses are being produced by political leaders and their constituents using both old and new media forms.

I explore how political communication and surveillance, and political violence link to war and conflict, new nationalisms, and forced migrations. I argue in my recent work that governance strategies have stunted the capacities of individuals and groups’ challenge to the state for democratic reform. This is in part responsible for both a ‘renationalization’ as well as a push towards extreme politics. Furthermore, I examine how the in-built surveillance mechanisms of new/social media technologies create a variety of ‘new’ ways of interacting, including (but not limited to) ‘sous-veillance’ (surveillance from below), self-monitoring surveillance (self-construction of the neo-liberal self), and traditional surveillance by powerful elites and government authorities.

14.02. Wild West Frontiers: Higher Education Reform in the UK (pdf)

Professor Rebecca Boden, Research Director, New Social Research (NSR)

There is a significant degree of policy and organizational isomorphism in the global higher education reform landscape, with widespread mobility of concepts, systems and structures. This lecture looks at one of the principal origins of such reform – England. The English higher education system has been subject to accelerating, radical, neoliberal reform since 1990. It is marked by marketization, students-as-customers and financialisation as universities move from being part of the social economy to the for-profit market economy.

The metaphor of the Wild West of America is used to discuss the current phase of reform. In the 19th Wild West an open frontier land, with the promise of riches untold, encouraged a desperate race to capitalize on opportunities. Law and regulation were slow to follow the ‘pioneers’ – hence the appropriate sobriquet ‘wild’.

In the English higher education system successive governments have created the conditions necessary to open up a new, unregulated Wild West frontier in the sector. In this paper I chart these precursor actions and policies and discuss how the starting gun has been fired, setting loose a for-profit market free-for-all. Deliberate de- and non-regulation is central tenet of the government’s approach. This has begun to engender significant market adjustment and ownership/capital restructuring with, I argue, possible fundamental, adverse and extreme implications for the nature and quality of research and teaching in English universities.

28.02. Triage in Human Rights Organizations: Structures, Repertoires of Practice and the Law (pdf)

Dr Monika Krause, HCAS

This lecture examines how human rights organizations make decisions about how to allocate resources, and how to manage their commitments to specific causes, specific people, and specific territorial units. Based on an analysis of organizational reports and in-depth interviews with program managers in a range of international human rights organizations, it shows how organizational structures and themes direct resources, how a broad but still limited set of accepted practices shape what organizations do, and how perceived levers in the environment shape human rights work. The lecture contributes to our understanding of human rights by offering a reconstruction of the logic of practice of international human rights organizations. It explores how comparative work on organizations or sets of organizations more generally can benefit from asking across cases about how triage is practised. It suggests asking about triage as a way to open up empirical questions that does not make assumptions about type, goals or functions of organizations.

14.03. Time is Honey: The Psychology of Downtime

Dr Jessica de Bloom, IASR

A globalized economy, an aging labor force and ICT advancements have led to structural changes in the way work is organized, carried out and experienced. Spatial and temporal boundaries between work and non-work vanish while workload increases. This makes it increasingly difficult for employees to recover from job stress during off-job time such as breaks, evening hours, weekends or holidays. The prevailing ʻalways on, never doneʼ attitude has detrimental consequences for employee well-being, health and performance. Consequently, recovery as an antagonist of job stress plays a crucial role in occupational health and is also key to organizational success. In this lecture, Dr. de Bloom will present findings from empirical studies conducted at the University of Tampere and share insights on factors that impede or promote unwinding from work in order to achieve a healthy work life balance, preserve long-term workability and create flourishing organizations.

28.03. Problematizing Adolescent Violence: Violence against Parents in Ageing Society (pdf)

Dr Marianna Muravyeva, IASR

Violence against parents, understood as any act by children that intimidates the parents and is aimed at hurting them, is a phenomenon that has become high profile in recent years. Data from Europe, the USA and Canada reveal that between 7 and 18% of parents have been victims of physical violence from their adolescent and adult children at some time, a figure that rises to 29% in the case of single parents. The previous research also indicated that the majority of aggressors are males aged between 10 and 18, who attack their mothers; mainly one-parent families and/or where parents are older than average (Agnew & Huguley, 1989; Cornel & Gelles, 1982; Paulson, Coombs, & Lansverk, 1990; Ibabe, Jaureguizar, & Diaz, 2009; Heide & Petee, 2007). In terms of parent-killings it has been noted a prevalence of patricides over matricides (Hillbrand, Alexandre, Young, & Spitz, 1999; Granath, Hagstedt, Kivivuori, Lehti, Ganpat, Liem, & Nieuwbeerta, 2011). Many authors attribute this to current parenting styles, characterized by excessive indulgence, permissiveness and lack of boundaries, which ends up producing an imbalance in the filio-parental relationship (Cottrell, 2001; Price, 1996). Gallagher (2004) found two types of family with intra-family violence: one with a liberal-permissive, overprotective character and without consistent norms, and another with an authoritarian character. Laurent and Derry (1999) identified the third type, parental neglect or lack of supervision of the child, generally of low socio-economic class, and whose children are characterized by their high level of independence and responsibility in relation to their subsistence. Finally, one of the hypotheses currently gaining momentum is that of the bi-directionality of violence. It would appear that the violence parents commit on their children is related to violence by children against parents (Hartz, 1995; Ulman & Straus, 2003).

Current scholarship almost solely focuses on adolescent violence against parents as a retaliatory practice of abused children. In this presentation, I would like to look deeper into types of violence against parents and parent-killing to problematize such a focus and show the complexity of parent-abuse in various contexts and localities. The material used for the presentation comes from a variety of national case studies to highlight certain similarities and systematic differences in adolescent violence and parent abuse.

11.04. Growing Inequality in Basic Education

Dr Pirjo Lindfors, IASR

Finnish comprehensive schooling has been considered a success story that combines quality with equality in educational outcomes. Equality in education indicates that all students have access to high–quality education, regardless of where they live, who their parents are, or the school they attend. However, resent research results and evaluations have raised a growing concern and public debate of the decline of equality in education. Notably, the influence of the socio-economic background on learning outcomes has grown and the gap between girls and boys in school performance has widened. Furthermore, there are also concerns over socio-spatial segregation and growing differentiation between schools. In this presentation, I will discuss these crucial topics and highlight the role of health on learning outcomes. The lecture is based mostly on our research consortium’s resent results on a follow-up study among lower secondary school students in the Helsinki metropolitan area.

25.04. Policing the Private: Probation in Britain, 1900-1950 (pdf)

Dr Louise Settle, IASR

Today probation is primarily understood as a method for saving public money by punishing offenders in the community rather than sending them to expensive prisons. However, this lecture explores probation’s earlier history as a method for reforming offenders on the basis of the motto ‘advise, assist, befriend’. Whereas now the rehabilitation of offenders back into society tends to assume a secondary role, the probation service once aimed to reform offenders through providing both practical material help and spiritual and/or psychological guidance or ‘treatment’. This lecture explores the ways in which probation’s complex history, one influenced by Cristian philanthropy, social work and psychology, affected probation workers’ methods and the experiences of probationers. In particular, the lecture focuses on the use of probation in cases of domestic abuse to explore the ways in which the probation service justified its intrusion into the private sphere in the name of promoting the emotional well-being of families and ensuring the healthy development of children as good future citizens. Building on the theory of ‘penal-welfarism’, the lecture therefore examines the extent to which probation was used to care for or to control the private lives of British citizens during the first half of the twentieth century.

NB: Wednesday, 03.05. at 16.15-17.45, Pinni B1096

Gendered Violence by Hollywood Superheroes (Ad hoc)

Professor Neal King, Virginia Tech, USA

Comic-book superhero movies of the last few decades in Hollywood (1987-2017) have altered the profile of the female superhero, from sexual adjunct and relatively powerless sidekick of a male superhero, to a full protagonist independent of men. Still, feature films focused on such superwomen remain rare. This analysis of female superheroes tracks their developing roles in the protection rackets of (fictional) national governments, entangled in corruption and state violence, inflicting the large-scale destruction on the very communities for which they also provide protection. Where female heroes formerly protected small circles of loved ones, in older films, newer heroes are moving closer to the heart of state violence that once distinguished masculinity. I conclude with a discussion of the feminist politics of such violence. Do such heroes become more or less feminist as they enter the halls of state power and do more violence as state agents? Does their increasing violence make them more or less useful to feminism?

09.05. The Populist Conjuncture: Democracy, Complexity, Mediatization (pdf)

Professor Risto Kunelius, SOC, IASR

Democracy has run into trouble. This must be the one thing that ruling political elites, civic activists, as well as dictators and authoritarian politicians, agree on. The scope, depth and complexity of the problems that 21st century societies have are testing the ability of sovereign political systems to prepare rational policy choices, to make decisions, and to keep their electorates committed to long-term policies. Recent decades and the success of diverse “populist” political movements are one sign of a legitimacy crisis as are political apathy and indifference that often run parallel to them.
Populism as a repertoire. Contestation of the legitimacy of political power is, of course, the core of democratic political imagination. Historically, it has produced a series of innovations, such as national universal franchise (and mass parties), expert-driven politics of planning or the rights-oriented and identity-driven politics of today. As a form of political argumentation, “populism” is (just) one repertoire of contest, or of political communication, that mobilizes voters and re-arranges political alliances in critical conjunctures. Critical (cultural) studies, drawing from Gramsci and specific conceptualizations of discourse have produced a rich archive of analyzing this genre.
Populism as a conjuncture. Instead of asking what is populism, it asks 2) what makes populism so successful in the 2010s? Through this, it tries to 2) identify several gaps, or “broken” communication interfaces in the current conjuncture (between experts/planning, politics proper, citizenship and people’s life-worlds). Illustrations of these problems (and suggesting a research agenda) are used to argue that 3) media opens a crucial entry point to the current populist conjuncture. While the changing infrastructure, institutions and routines of public communication are not the primary cause of the ills of democracies, sharper analysis of this landscape is a necessary part of developing an innovative self-defense of the 21st century democratic political systems.


What is the IASR? – The Institute for Advanced Social Research, IASR) is the research collegium of the University of Tampere. It grants annually one- or two-year research positions for Professorial Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Research Fellows studying society to promote high-level multidisciplinary research and international interaction in the university.

What are the IASR Lectures? – The IASR Lectures is a series of Studia Generalia Lectures in the Study of Society, which the University of Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research organizes bimonthly. IASR Lectures are given by research fellows as well as distinguished guests of the institute. Please check the IASR website and bulletin boards regularly. Most doctoral students can also get 2 ECTS for attending a minimum of six IASR Lectures, altogether 6 ECTS at the maximum. These 2 ECTS for attending 6 lectures can be earned during two successive terms.


IASR Lectures 2016-2017, Autumn

Lecturers' power point presentations (pdf) will be added

IASR lectures from Spring 2016 and earlier lectures available in Radio Moreeni as podcasts here.

Time: On Tuesdays, at 16.15-17.45, starting from 20 September 2016
Place: University of Tampere, Lecture Hall Pinni B, B1097

Ad hoc lecture: Purchasing Power Disparity: Who Could Consume More Before 1914?
Wed, 26.10. at 10.15-12.00, Atalpa, Ratapihankatu 55, conference room 208, 2nd fl.


Updated on 29 November 2016

20.09. Staging Freedom in Turkish Coup: Event, Narration, People (pdf)

Dr Mahmut Mutman, IASR

The recent coup in Turkey has put the Turkish Islamism on the agenda again. The roots of Islamism go as far as the 19th century. Although it appears to be an issue of cultural and religious difference, Islamism cannot be taken in isolation from global social and economic processes. Particularly focusing on the nature of recent Turkish Islamism, this lecture argues that it brings to the fore fundamental questions of modern politics such as the concepts of people and freedom.

04.10. Capturing Life as It Is Lived: Research on Social Media Use (pdf)

Dr Christine Syrek, University of Trier

Increasingly, researchers use diary data (frequent reports on events and experiences) to better understand people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. The aim is to to analyze life as it is lived and capture day-to-day processes. In this lecture, Dr. Syrek will look at the possibilities of diary data, the main designs and their advantages and limitations. With the example of social media use at work and its questionable impact on employees' motivation (‘is it really that bad?'), we will uncover the advantages of diary methods compared to traditional designs and discuss which research questions require which.

18.10. End of Universalism – What about the Nordic Success Story? (pdf)

Professor emeritus Jorma Sipilä, IASR

A long time ago, in the U.S., I realized that I was the lucky one coming from a particularly human-friendly place in the world. This was a reason for long-standing studies on the Nordic social model. Where did it come from? Was there some real difference to other welfare models? Was it reasonable to assume that we had a state of our own?

It seems that universalism was the most essential feature of the Nordic welfare state; it was the political principle providing much for many. Thus, what happens to our human-friendly place when the nation-state will not maintain universalism anymore?

Wed, 26.10. at 10.15-12.00, Atalpa, Ratapihankatu 55, conference room 208, 2nd fl.

Ad hoc lecture: Purchasing Power Disparity: Who Could Consume More Before 1914?

Distinguished Professor of Economics Peter Lindert, UC-Davis & NBER

Economic historians’ Divergence debates since 2000 have asked a different question from that asked by Angus Maddison using the growth debates of the late twentieth century. The issue has become “when did countries’ contemporaneous purchasing powers diverge?”, not “when did countries’ productivity grow at different rates?” The two questions have answers that can differ greatly, especially before 1870. Using pre-1914 direct (contemporaneous) comparisons of real purchasing powers on five continents, this lecture sketches some historical geography of the departures of the indirect (back-casting) measures from the more relevant direct comparisons.

The underlying reason for the widening divergence between Angus Maddison’s measuring growth back from 1990 and direct historical comparisons from long ago is that before the great 1870-1914 wave of trade globalization, consumer staples were not traded over great distances, and regions specialized in narrow luxury trade. Inter-continental price ratios of non-traded goods thus departed much further from purchasing-power parity than has been true since 1870.

This lecture presents new measures of real purchasing power, relative to Britain, from the following settings: Japan 1602-1912, China 1840-1885, India 1595-1870, Western Europe 1525-1912, Poland 1578, Australia 1870, and the Americas 1700-1912.

The new direct measures open up new economic history of how cost-of-living movements depended on one’s income class before 1914. Inter-continental divergences in purchasing power were very class-specific before the 1870-1914 globalization of trade in staple products. Between 1650 and 1870 regions generally differed even more in their abilities to consume luxuries and capital goods than in their abilities to consume what the masses needed. This finding needs to be incorporated into the history of inequality, which still focuses on nominal, rather than real, income inequality.

01.11. FINLAND 101: Where Are We Going? (pdf)

Dr Heikki A. Kovalainen, IASR

In 2017, Finland will celebrate its 100 years of independence. With the anniversary approaching, however, our country is in a bad shape. In my lecture, I look into "the state of the soul" of the Finnish nation, from the perspective of contemporary culture such as manifested in the social media, in particular. Before developing my critical analysis of today's society I begin with a couple of ideas from history of philosophy. These ideas will serve as the groundwork for presenting three hypotheses on what Finnish culture has been, and arguably still is, crucially lacking.

15.11. Attributing Political Minds: Narratological Analysis of Politicians' Online Interviews (pdf)

Professor Mari Hatavara, IASR

Recently, the narratological interest in the modes of mind representation in nonfictional environments has grown significantly, and interviews have proven fertile material for analysis. This paper studies how politicians construct their political identity in interviews. Special emphasis is on the ways politicians represent and attribute the minds of others in their interviews in order to support their own position and their own claims. Attributing intentions, feelings and desires, even direct thoughts, to others is an important means to reason for and to vindicate one’s own opinions. Linguistically informed narratological analysis reveals the discursive and narrative strategies used to make sense of and to communicate ideas of democracy and the intentions of the parties involved. What is more, it demonstrates that the interviewees take liberties in the mind representation traditionally associated with fiction: they, for example, use verbs of consciousness and hypothetical direct thought quotations from others.

29.11. WHAT'S UP HEALTHCARE? - A peek into the recent trends and future challenges (pdf)

Dr Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen, IASR

Healthcare systems are in the state of constant change. The changes include fundamental reforms, small-scale structural adaptations as well as cultural changes in the organization and delivery patterns of healthcare. In this lecture, I go through the recent mega-trends in healthcare and discuss the future challenges that we are facing in Finland but also in other European countries. I will touch upon issues such as markets and private provision, patient centered care and the citizenship in the modern health care systems.

13.12. Managing Uncertainties of Health in the Age of Risk (pdf)

Dr Ilkka Pietilä, IASR

Current health promotion thinking is centrally based on the notion of risk and the scope of medical attention has broadened from the sick to healthy populations. An increased health-awareness in Western societies has resulted in proliferation of things labelled as ‘risks’, accompanied with an exponential growth of information about health. Awareness of health risks and ability to manage them has become a central norm for citizens. Norms relating to ‘lifestyle compliance’ include expectations to lead a healthy lifestyle and monitor invisible parameters of the body through medical check-ups and tests. However, people may find difficult to interpret complex likelihoods related to various risk factors and tests. In my lecture, my focus is on how individuals deal with an ever-increasing mass of information about health risks, and how this is linked with increasing skepticism towards ‘official’ information delivery, which challenges the legitimacy of health authorities in producing and delivering information about health.


What is the IASR? – The Institute for Advanced Social Research, IASR) is the research collegium of the University of Tampere. It grants annually one- or two-year research positions for Professorial Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and Postdoctoral Research Fellows studying society to promote high-level multidisciplinary research and international interaction in the university.

What are the IASR Lectures? – The IASR Lectures is a series of Studia Generalia Lectures in the Study of Society, which the University of Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research organizes bimonthly. IASR Lectures are given by research fellows as well as distinguished guests of the institute. Please check the IASR website and bulletin boards regularly. Most doctoral students can also get 2 ECTS for attending a minimum of six IASR Lectures, altogether 6 ECTS at the maximum. These 2 ECTS for attending 6 lectures can be earned during two successive terms.


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