Ella Alin

Researcher info


University of Helsinki


Department of Political and Economic Studies

Contact information

+358 44 500 9025

activism citizenship civil society ethnography friendship Gender generation life-stage political engagement political participation revolutions social age social justice social movements transitions World Social Forum youth

Research projects

  • Project date 1.8.2012
  • Head of research Elina Oinas and Leena Suurpää
  • Language n/a

The research project focuses on contemporary societal changes in contexts where the rapidly growing majority of population is young, and where questions of political participation, citizenship, livelihoods and frustrations require urgent attention. It draws on empirical research in Egypt, Somalia, Tunisia, Zambia, Kenya and South Africa and reveals different aspects of what ‘politics’ may mean in unstable contexts. They differ in terms of state formation and democratic structures, post-conflict developments, NGO involvement, donor funding and global connections. The ethnographic case studies focus on forms, contents and experiences of political engagement in the everyday lives of young people – including potential de-politication, professationalization, consumerism and struggles for mundane livelihoods – in different contexts of contemporary Africa.


Elina Oinas, Leena Suurpää, Sofia Laine, Eija Ranta, Henri Onodera, Petri Hautaniemi, Tiina-Maria Levamo, and Ella Alin