Story behind the research: Meet Emilio Del Pupo!

February 20, 2023

The new DocNet member, Emilio tells us about his experience in conducting research in Latin America and in analyzing participatory structures in governmental organizations. Emilio also shares his insights regarding the role that academia should play in societal impact and what inspires him the most.

My name is Emilio Del Pupo and I am a 25-year-old vegan Brazilian/Italian researcher at the University of Helsinki. I have always pictured myself being an academic, ever since the start of my bachelors’. I always saw it as the natural path my career was to follow. Nowadays I think less of academia as being an end in itself, and more as a means of developing a career of impact, where I am able to engage with governments and civil society organizations.

Emilio Del Pupo

When I think of me and my research, I think of Latin America, and what it means to be a citizen of South America and Brazil. I am currently researching the modes of Brazilian civil society participation in the face of the negotiations for a free trade agreement between MERCOSUR and the EU. I aim to highlight a decades-long effort and struggle, the stories of those social actors engaged in contesting the expansion of free labor, either from within MERCOSUR or from the spaces they have created for unofficial participation. I believe participatory structures in governmental organizations (be they national, regional or global) need to be critically and empirically analyzed, and we must move beyond lamenting the democratic deficit in these institutions.

I really enjoy singing and have been affiliated to different university choirs in Finland. I also play the bass, am a casual gamer, and enjoy jogging in summer and spring.

I am inspired by the love and support of those close to me. I am also inspired by those who are willing to share their stories and struggle, and to trust a young scholar to make their voices heard in a great contribution to the furthering of science.

I see activism as a part of who I am. Animal welfare, LGBTQI+ rights, and the environment are causes personally dear to me. Living as an activist drives me to investigate, analyze, and disseminate the stories and struggles of organized civil society.

I try to keep myself updated by the traditional means, by constantly updating the relevant journals and databases for any new articles. I also try to constantly engage different academics in the field of Latin American and IPE studies and listen for their suggestions on research old and new.

I listen to a lot of podcasts. They are mostly news or political commentary. I subscribed to a few that are specific to Latin American affairs, such as “Latin America in Focus” or “The Americas Quarterly Podcast”. I also listen to podcasts exclusively related to Brazilian politics (in Portuguese), such as “O Assunto”. South American integration, civil society struggles, and trade have all been discussed in these media at some point or another.

Besides Portuguese and English, I also speak a good amount of Spanish and French. I studied Swedish for a couple of semesters, and I dabble in Finnish when needed. Mostly when ordering a large suodatinkahvi to go.


Thank you, Emilio, for introducing yourself and sharing your thoughts with our community. We are always inspired by those who promote research and societal impact.

Follow Emilio on Twitter and LinkedIn and get involved with his job.

Story behind the research is a blog series dedicated to highlight and showcase UniPID DocNet members and their research.

What is next? If you are a PhD researcher and have not joined us yet, do not hesitate to register as a DocNet member here. UniPID will continue promoting a more responsible academia through different events this year. Make sure you hear the latest news via our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), website, and mailing list.

Photo credits: Giulia May, 2021 on UnSplash.