Research projects 5

Access to schooling and higher education are considered as primary means to empower marginalized groups and enhance sustainable development in the Global South. In Ecuador the intercultural bilingual education programme that affirmed the fundamental importance of integrating diverse local languages knowledges and pedagogical practices in education was established already in and later amended based on the community-centric ecologically-balanced and culturally-sensitive philosophy of sumakkawsay (buenvivir). However the programme is still only partially applied and thus education typically follows homogenized standards and fails to include specific cultural realities.

Team

Johanna Hohenthal

  • Head of research Anja Nygren
  • Language n/a

The project analyses the ways that fragile cities are dealing with societal security, environmental vulnerability and representative justice in the spaces of multi-scale governance. The dimensions to be analysed are: 1) governance of insecurity and creation of accountable institutions; 2) authoritarian legacies and political-representation efforts; and 3) governance of environmental vulnerabilities and claims for justice. The research aims to develop a revised theory of urban political ecology and urban justice to better understand the interlinkages and scalar complexities of societal security, environmental vulnerability and representative justice.

Team

Anja Nygren, Florencia Quesada, Mauricio Romero, Elisa Tarnaala, Kjell-Åke Nordquist

This project focuses on how urban governments and social stakeholders in China’s cities engage with major environmental risks and how they tackle the long overdue transition towards cities becoming more green, liveable and sustainable. The research findings will be published in 2017 as: "China’s Emerging Green Urban Governance - Tackling environmental and sustainability challenges at the city level" Editors: Jørgen Delman, Yuan Ren, Outi Luova, Mattias Burell, Oscar Almén

Team

Jörgen Delman, Oscar Almén, Mattias Burell, Ren Yuan

Impact assessments used by large-scale development projects are often portrayed as neutral tools providing objective and value-free information to decision-makers. However, scholars widely agree that impact assessments are inherently biased, political, and distorted by power dynamics. Using a forthcoming natural gas project in Mozambique as case study, my ethnographic field research provides important baseline study of the social, relational, and place-bound aspects of wellbeing, often overlooked in impact assessment processes.

Team

  • 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.

Team

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