Research projects 3

The project provides theoretically innovative and empirically new and valuable knowledge of the complex dynamics between governance and resistance in the context of the dominant, neoliberal development paradigm. It studies social and political struggles in three countries in South Asia - Nepal, Bangladesh and India - by examining social movements that fight against forced displacement and slum demolitions - all caused by development projects. The project engages critically in the debate on neoliberal development by analyzing problems related to it, charting possibilities for addressing hem, and offering alternative visions for socially, culturally and politically more sustainable models of development.


This doctoral research investigates different aspects of "favela media activism". How do young people who live in the Brazilian kinds of slums use different forms of media to enact citizenship? What are their motivations and objectives to do what they do? The research explores the multidimensional and complex process of civic engagement in and through media among young favela dwellers in Rio de Janeiro.


Leonardo Custódio (own PhD research)

  • 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