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Project description

G LASE (Multilayered Borders of Global Security) research project examines changes in the global security environment, assesses the societal challenges posed by these changes, and develops ways to respond to these challenges.

The research project covers questions about the EU’s and Russia’s actorness and changing roles of states as producers of security changes. We are also interested in changes within the welfare state, immigration and integration policy, and concepts of threat and security in everyday life.

The aim of the project is to analyse today’s challenges to the Finnish societal resilience, and look for practical solutions to these challenges. We want to improve knowledge about threats in the contemporary world and offer insight about the internal and external security threats that are increasingly interwoven.

The consortium is led by Professor James Wesley Scott (University of Eastern Finland). Research teams are led by Anssi Paasi (University of Oulu), Ilkka Liikanen (University of Eastern Finland), Laura Assmuth (University of Eastern Finland), Pauli Kettunen (University of Helsinki) and Minna Jokela (Finnish Border Guard). Each team has researchers representing different universities and disciplines, such as Geography, Sociology, Political History, Public Policy and Law. Communication with partners is managed by a separate team led by Professor Kimmo Rentola (University of Helsinki).

The GLASE project in funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland.

What are the internal and external security challenges of the post-Cold War Europe? How are these challenges interwoven, and how do they reflect on the political, social and cultural borders in today’s Finland and Europe?

Research Themes

1. Changing scales of global security

Overview

The research team led by Professor Antti Paasi analyses the post-Cold War era changes in the Finnish security environment and the way these changes are reflected on the Finnish state borders and border regions.

Key questions of the theme include:

  1. Border management. What changes of the global security environment influence the Finnish security and practical border management?
  2. Global migration patterns. How do patterns of global migration impact Finnish, EU, and Russian border management?
  3. Geopolitics of threat and fear. How is geopolitics of threat and fear articulated, and how does this mobilise different societal groups in Finland?
Theme description

The research team led by Professor Antti Paasi analyses the post-Cold War era changes in the Finnish security environment and the way these changes are reflected on the Finnish state borders and border regions.

The aim of the research is to recognise those elements of today’s international order that produce or might produce crisis situations or security threats in Finland or Europe. We suggest that the reaction capacity of the Finnish society should be based on a thorough understanding of today’s complex risks.

In addition to Professor Anssi Paasi, the members of the research team include researchers Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola and Eva Kaján (University of Oulu, the Centre of Excellence in Research on the Relational and Territorial Politics of Bordering, Identities and Transnationalisation (RELATE)), Tiina Sotkasiira, Jaana Palander and  Joni Virkkunen (University of Eastern Finland), Aappo Kähönen (University of Helsinki) and Minna Jokela (the Finnish Border Guard).

2. Security environment of Finland, the EU and the surroundings

Overview

The research team led by Professor Ilkka Liikanen examines the political impacts of the recent changes in border relationships. The geographical focus is on the EU, EU’s neighbourhood, Russia, and the countries of the Former Soviet Union.

Key questions of the theme include:

  1. EU & Russia. How has the EU’s and Russia’s actorness developed in the post-Cold War era?
  2. Migration. How are Eurasian migration patterns reflected on the borders of Finland and the EU?
  3. Media. What kind of a relationship do Finland’s Russian-speakers have with Russian, Finnish and European media?
Theme description

The research team led by Professor Ilkka Liikanen examines the concrete political impacts of the recent changes in border relationships in the EU, Russia, and the countries of the Former Soviet Union. The European neighbourhood is seen as a place of multilayered interaction. Therefore understanding the structures of the region’s security calls for a multiform approach.

The overall security environment is not just a question of interpreting wider geopolitical concerns but is also defined by interconnected political, social and economic factors.

Our aim is to challenge the popular threat images based on media that suggest an almost Cold War-like scenario of confrontation and antagonism, and to offer alternative approaches to the securitization, typically associated with cross-border mobility.

In addition to Professor Ilkka Liikanen, members of the research team include Professor James Schott (University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Research Centre) and researchers Joni Virkkunen, Minna Piipponen, Teemu Oivo, Pirjo Pöllänen, Olga Davydova-Minguet (University of Eastern Finland), Aappo Kähönen, Veera Laine (University of Helsinki) and Minna Jokela (Finnish Border Guard).

3. Migration and everyday security

Overview

Migration, Everyday Security and the Resilience of Finnish Society. The research team led by Professor Laura Assmuth examines security from the perspective of migrants and their families.

Key questions of the theme include:

  1. Everyday security. How is the everyday security of individuals and families constructed locally?
  2. Security and migrants. How do authorities and civil society actors construct or challenge security of migrant individuals and families in the everyday life?
Theme description

The research team led by Professor Laura Assmuth examines security from the perspective of migrants and their families. We are interested in practices that individuals and families of migrant origin adopt in order to create and maintain their everyday lives in a changing,  fragile, and greatly unpredicatable world.

We focus our analysis in everyday security issues and factors improving security that emerge at different levels in a variety of forms.

The research material is collected at different sites in Finland using the methodology of development studies.

In addition to Professor Laura Assmuth (University of Eastern Finland) the research team includes researchers Jaana Palander, Pirjo Pöllänen, Tiina Sotkasiira, Ville-Samuli Haverinen (University of Eastern Finland) and Saara Pellander (University of Helsinki).

More information available on the web page of the University of Eastern Finland.

4. Institutional preparedness of the Finnish society

Overview

The research team led by Professor Pauli Kettunen examines institutional security challenges of cross-border mobility, as well as responses to them.

Key questions of the theme include:

  1. Equality. How can we recognise mechanisms creating societal inequality and exclusion in the world of cross-border mobility? How can we prevent security threats created by divisions within the society?
  2. Citizenship rights. How do the citizenship rights of a Nordic welfare state meet universal human rights in the immigration and adaptation policy?
  3. Third sector. How can civil society and third sector actors do to promote inclusive societal cohesion free from discrimination?
Theme description

The research team led by Professor Pauli Kettunen examines institutional security challenges of cross-border mobility, as well as responses to them. Our underlying assumption is that new threats are created when various societal divisions develop into mechanisms of inequality and discrimination. These mechanisms reinforce perceptions of threat and weaken the society’s ability to respond to threats.

Institutional resilience is needed to break this vicious cycle. This resilience is produced by policy approaches that recognise cultural diversity and pay attention to the interwoven nature of different divisions within the society.

This is also how we can prevent temptations of both fundamentalist terrorism and racism and xenophobia. Succesful policy choices require both a good level of coordination between political parties, different level decision-makers, and actors; as well as knowledge produced by up-to-date research.

In addition to Professor Pauli Kettunen (University of Helsinki) the members of the research group include Professor Laura Assmuth (University of Eastern Finland) and researchers Saara Pellander (University of Helsinki), Jaana Palander, Pirjo Pöllänen and Tiina Sotkasiira (University of Eastern Finland).

Partners

Project is supported by various stakeholders:

Glase / People

GLASE Consortium

Please contact members or our core team if you have any questions.

  • James W Scott
    James W Scott Consortium PI.

    James W. Scott is a Professor of Regional and Border Studies at the Karelian Institute at the University of Eastern Finland.

    tel. +358 50 366 0653
    james.scott (a) uef.fi
    website >

  • Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola
    Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola Consortium Deputy PI

    Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Regional Policy and Regional Development at the University of Oulu.

    tel. +358 50 556 8241
    eeva-kaisa.prokkola (a) oulu.fi
    website >

  • Kimmo Rentola
    Kimmo Rentola Media and Stakeholder Interaction

    Kimmo Rentola is a Professor of Political History at the Department of Political and Economic Studies at the University of Helsinki.

    tel. +358 50 448 8625
    kimmo.rentola (a) helsinki.fi
    website >

  • Minna Piipponen
    Minna Piipponen Consortium Coordinator

    Minna Piipponen is a researcher at the Department of Human Geography at the University of Eastern Finland.

    tel. +358 50 442 3347
    minna.piipponen (a) uef.fi

  • Janne Riiheläinen
    Janne Riiheläinen Communications specialist

    Janne “Rysky” Riiheläinen works as the consortium’s communications specialist.

    tel. +358 50 567 5233
    jviriihelainen (a) gmail.com
    Twitter: @veitera

Universities

A total of 24 researchers contribute to the project from 5 universities.

University of Eastern Finland, Department of Social Sciences

University of Eastern Finland, Karelian Institute

University of Oulu, Department of Geography

University of Helsinki, Department of Political and Economic Studies

The Finnish Border Guard, Border Guard and Coast Guard Academy

The Scientific Board

Members of the Scientific Board of the consortium:

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