Research group director:
Ph.D. (Sociology), Academy Professor Pertti Alasuutari
Pertti Alasuutari is interested in the cultural aspects of social life and especially in their links to power and politics. His areas of specialization are everyday life and identity construction, media reception and audiences, cultural dimensions of globalization, social and cultural theory, and methodology of social research. In his research project "the Moderns" he develops a theoretical framework for the domestication of global trends and conducts empirical studies related to different aspects of domestication. In his other project dealing with the domestication of ubiquitous communication he is interested in the ways in which new communication technologies become routine parts of people's everyday lives and how that changes both individual lives and technology.
For more information, see http://www.uta.fi/~sspeal/index.html
(email addresses are in the form firstname.lastname@example.org)
MSSc (Geography), MA (Urban Design) Laia Pi Ferrer
Laia Pi Ferrer is a doctoral student in Social Sciences (Sociology) at the University of Tampere. In her doctoral research, she studies how the national policies in Portugal and Spain were re-thought and discussed during the period of the recent economic crisis (2008-2013). In addition, she seeks to determine whether and how these new policies and reforms are synchronized with each other, and to discover whether and how the international community plays an important role in them. The majority of the data consists of policy documents, particularly floor debates analysed by using quantitative codification methods and different qualitative methods—such as discourse and rhetorical analysis—with a new institutionalism-oriented perspective. This study aims to contribute new insights into the theoretical approach of world society theory, epistemic governance and domestication of global trends.
Apart from her doctoral project, Laia is involved in other projects and papers with the Tampere Research Group for Cultural and Political Sociology (TCuPS). She is also responsible for teaching the seminar GTS2 Making sense of globalization—Theorizing beyond the nation-state from the Masters Programme in Global and Transnational Studies at the University of Tampere. Before moving to Finland, she earned a degree in Geography and an MA in Urban Design: Art, City and Society at the University of Barcelona. She has working experience in GIS, citizen participation, urban planning and local development in Barcelona, Lisbon and Brussels. Her studies and working experience have provided her with a theoretical and practical vision about the society as well as the territory.
Ali Qadir's research centers on global & transnational sociology, as well as sociology of religion (especially Islam). He has recently been studying global social change through epistemic governance in modern world society, and the role of morality in politics. He has also been working on transnational religion, including radicalization and hereticization amongst modern Muslims, and the social relevance of religious images. Additionally, he has also written on social justice and development movements. He teaches and supervises students in the Master's Degree on Global & Transnational Sociology. Besides his scholarly research and teaching, Dr. Qadir has over a dozen years of experience in social, political, and environmental development in international civil society. He has also published two-dozen works for general and professional communities, including briefs for policymakers. Dr. Qadir is an active member of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Global & Transnational Sociology as well as various associations for sociology and for sociology of religion. He is also Honorary Fellow of the Center for the Study of Gender & Culture, Pakistan, as well as member of the Editorial Boards of the European Journal of Cultural & Political Sociology, and the European Journal of Cultural Studies. For a full list of publications see the SoleCris system here and his Research Gate page here.
Hanna Rautajoki works as a postdoctoral researcher in Pertti Alasuutari’s Academy Professor project Epistemic Capital in the Synchronization of National Policies, at the Tampere Research Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (TaSTI), University of Tampere. She has done her PhD in sociology (2014) on the strategies of societization in political television discussions, investigating the tools for community building and actor identifications in political discourse. Her expertise is in the ethnomethodological studies of institutional interaction, moral discourse and membership categorization analysis. Rautajoki has extensive experience in interdisciplinary collaboration, ranging across a variety of fields from political science to media studies, public health, psychology and literature studies. In her current project she analyzes the deployment of epistemic capital in the contemporary rhetoric about the European Union.
Dr.Soc.Sc. (Sociology) Marjaana Rautalin
Dr. Marjaana Rautalin is Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tampere.
Dr. Rautalin’s research centers on global and transnational sociology, as well as sociology of education. In her PhD dissertation, titled Domestication of International Comparisons: The Role of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in Finnish Education Policy, she examined the ways in which PISA was invoked by different Finnish stakeholder groups when debating about the national education system. After her PhD, her research has focused on parliamentary rhetoric, especially on how the global community is invoked in justifying new legislation in different nation-states and in various policy sectors. She has addressed this theme both in contemporary debates as well as historically.
Her current project (starting September 1, 2017), funded by the Academy of Finland, continues the same line of research. The work examines the mechanisms by which policy models and recommendations promoted by international organizations rise and spread. The role of OECD will be studied as an example of this process.
Dr. Marjaana Rautalin is a permanent member of TCuPS (Tampere Research Group for Cultural and Political Sociology). She has several joint research projects within TCuPS, for instance studying the global spread of the national independent children’s rights institutions (ICRIs), domestication of European Commission’s policy initiatives (especially the SES initiative) and other processes related to power and governance in contemporary societies.
Dr. Rautalin is a board member of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Global and Transnational Sociology. In addition, she has duties in various associations for sociology and sociology of education. During 2014-2015 she served as a junior member in the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. She is also a member of the curriculum development group of the Master’s Degree Programme in Global and Transnational Sociology at the University of Tampere, where she also teaches and supervises theses. During Fall 2017, Dr. Rautalin will serve as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Graduate School of Education.
PhD (Sociology) Petri Ruuska
Petri Ruuska works as a researcher in the TCups-project Synchronization of World Politics. His current research asks how the talk about morality is involved in epistemic governance in parliaments of several countries. He has published books and articles on globalization, nationalism, Finnish history, identity criticism, and teaching. Ruuska has been a postdoctoral researcher of the Academy of Finland (2007-2009), a research fellow in the University of Tampere Institute for Advanced Research (2006 & 2011), and an assistant professor teaching sociology, cultural studies and scientific writing in the University of Tampere.
Jukka Syväterä is a postdoctoral researcher in the project Epistemic Governance in Policymaking. His research interests include global and transnational sociology, sociological institutionalism, and interpretive policy studies. In his doctoral dissertation he studied the creation and domestication of global model of the national bioethics committee. He has published in the European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, and Critical Policy Studies. His current research focuses on organizations as epistemic authorities and the uses of scientific authority in policymaking. More information here.
Ph.D. (Social Policy) Leena Tervonen-Gonçalves
Leena Tervonen-Gonçalves works at the National Institute of Health and Welfare. In her PhD thesis she studied the interpretation of European public health policy initiatives in Finland and Portugal from the 1970s onwards. During the analyzed time period international organizations, namely World Health Organization and European Union, have put forward a series of new concepts, principles, and programs to promote public health in their member states. In order to be able to monitor and evaluate the spread and influence of the suggested policies different comparative practices have been created. In this study the numbers, categories and labels provided by these comparative practices and common discourses are not taken as a mere description of reality. Instead they are understood to construct the reality by conditioning the processes of agenda-setting and identity formation. These soft methods of governance are analyzed by combining a comparative approach with discourse theoretically oriented perspective. Majority of data consists of policy documents (e.g. government programs, public health strategies) from Finland and Portugal as well as from WHO and EU. In addition, newspaper articles and majority churches programmatic texts on health promotion are analyzed.
Laura Valkeasuo’s PhD thesis (sociology) is on European science policy and studies diffusion of global models and ideas. She conducts empirical research based on interview and document data. Her research is motivated by the mystery of national compliance without evident reason such as compulsion: Why do nation-states adopt the exact same models, leading to globalization, without anyone’s strict orders? To study this question European science policy serves as a perfect example. The adoption of common science policy models across nation-states cannot be explained by coercive politics. Instead, science policy is based on the subsidiarity principle and is thus in the hands of the nation-states themselves. Although the EU offers information and sets common goals (OMC), taking part in the EU activities and applying them on a national level is voluntary. Nevertheless common ideas and practices are spread and adopted. Valkeasuo seeks to know why and how this happens, and approaches the phenomenon from the identity point of view. She studies how national actors adopt and apply both local (national) and global (universal) identity categories in their work, and how this enables furthering national interests in universal contexts but also contributes to the harmonization of national policies. The work is based on World Society Theory, but seeks to make a contribution to it by recognizing the role of actorhood, agency, and interests in global policy isomorphism.
Dr.Soc.Sc. Valtteri Vähä-Savo. Postdoctoral researcher, TaSTI.
Valtteri Vähä-Savo is a postdoctoral researcher at the Tampere Research Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (TaSTI), University of Tampere. In his PhD dissertation Sektoritutkimuksen genealogia (Genealogy of Sectoral Research) he traced the conceptual and institutional genealogy of “sectoral research” from the establishment of the first governmental research institutes in Finland during the 19th century to the birth of sectoral research in the late 20th century. His study analysed how exogenous institutional models for organizing research were introduced into the field of national political debate and made to appear nationally relevant. Vähä-Savo also examined how a group of diverse research institutes were gradually tied together by novel categorizations – such as sectoral research – and were made to look like a unified group of organizations, which should be governed and evaluated using a uniform set of precepts.
Currently Vähä-Savo is working in a project funded by the Academy of Finland. The project studies the role of international governmental and non-governmental organizations in the synchronization of national policies from the viewpoint of epistemic governance. Vähä-Savo focuses especially on the global diffusion of science and technology parks (STPs) and the international organizational ecology around the STPs. Vähä-Savo also participates in the teaching given in the Master's Degree Programme in Global and Transnational Studies at the University of Tampere.
D.Soc.Sc. (Sociology) Li Wang.
Li Wang's doctoral study is on how social media is collectively domesticated in community, with analyzing the naturally occurring text on the Internet. She has defended her dissertation in June, 2014. Before her doctoral study, Li got MA in Psychology and over four years’ working experience in marketing communication in China.