RISC Consortium-University of Helsinki International Conference and Doctoral School

Political, Societal and Regional Change: Conceptual and Methodological Innovations



The University of Helsinki and the RISC Consortium are proud to announce their international conference and doctoral school on “Political, Societal and Regional Change: Conceptual and Methodological Innovations.” This international conference and doctoral school provides an innovative approach to doctoral training because it integrates Ph.D. candidates in the social sciences and humanities working on social cohesion related issues into dialogues with internationally recognized scholars from different world regions working on relevant subjects, such as borders and migration, environmental governance, public health, security, risk and disasters, democracy, and international development. Rather than holding tutorials and separate sessions in which students present their research to professors, this interactive format provides doctoral students with an opportunity to engage established scholars in active discussions of issues of conceptual and methodological importance.

The international conference and training will be organized around thematically defined roundtables that discuss the state of the art of research on political, societal and regional change in different world regions. Both scholars and Ph.D. candidates will participate in these roundtables. They will discuss the evolution of conceptual and methodological debates surrounding specific research issues. The program for the event will be the following:


I.                 Wednesday 29/10, 18:00 – 20:00: Kapuscinski Development Lecture

Venue: Pieni juhlasali /Small Hall (Address: Fabianinkatu 33, 4. Floor)

Benchmarks for a truly universal Post-2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Jens Martens, Executive Director, Global Policy Forum (see lecture:


II.               Thursday 30/10: Conceptual Approaches in Political, Societal and Regional Change

Venue: Porthania PIV (Address: Yliopistonkatu 3, Ground Floor)

Welcome: 9:00 – 9:30

Sakari Heikkinen, Director, The Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change (PSRC), University of Helsinki, Finland

            Carmen Maganda, Executive Director, RISC Consortium/INECOL, Mexico

Introduction: 9:30-10:00

Harlan Koff, RISC Consortium/University of Luxembourg and Lauri Siitonen, University of Helsinki

Roundtable 1: 10:00- 12:00

Integrating Concepts of “Regional Change” from Different World Regions: Moving Beyond “North” and “South” through Regional Integration Approaches

Moderator: Deon Geldenhuys, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Participants:          Barry Gills, University of Helsinki, Finland

                             Le Bach Duong, Institute for Social Development Studies, Vietnam

                             Kathleen O’Mara, SUNY Oneonta, United States

                             Sandra Häbel, University of Luxembourg

                             Ilona Steiler, University of Helsinki


Lunch: 12:00-14:00


Roundtable 2: 14:00- 15:30

Threats to Human Security in Latin America I: Local Experiences (In Spanish, translation in English)

Moderator: Lucelly Villegas Villegas, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Participants:       Jesus Manuel Macias, CIESAS, Mexico

Juan Carlos Velez Rendon, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Edith Kauffer, CIESAS, Mexico

Maaria Seppanen, University of Helsinki (TBC)

Daniel Hinojosa Flores, University of East Finland/Universidad Autónoma de México


Coffee Break: 15:30-16:00

Roundtable 3: 16:00-17:30

Threats to Human Security in Latin America II: The Impacts of Transnationalism (In Spanish, translation in English)

Moderator:        Ludivina Gonzalez, CIESAS, Mexico

Participants:       Adriana Gonzalez Gil, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Humberto Gonzalez Chavez, CIESAS, Mexico

Jacobo Ramirez, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Emeline Nanga, University of Luxembourg


III.              Friday, 31 October: Political, Societal and Regional Change: Methodological Considerations

Venue: Porthania PI (Address: Yliopistonkatu 3, Ground Floor)

Roundtable 4: 8:30- 10:30

Methodological Considerations for Successful Cross-Regional Research

Moderator : Claudia Puerta Silva, INER, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Participants :      Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, University of Victoria, Canada

Robert Compton, SUNY Oneonta, United States

Philippe De Lombaerde, UNU-CRIS, Belgium

Elisabetta Nadalutti, University of Luxembourg

I-An Gao, University of Helsinki

Coffee Break: 10:30-10:45

Roundtable 5: 10:45- 12:15

The three “M’s” for Understanding Power Relationships in Environmental Debates: Methods, Mechanisms and Mapping

Moderator: Carmen Maganda, INECOL, Mexico

Participants:       Anja Nygren, University of Helsinki, Finland

Jeroen Warner, Wageningen University

Florencia Quesada Avendaño, University of Helsinki

Gutu Wayessa, University of Luxembourg

            Markus Kröger, University of Helsnki

Emma Hakala, University of Helsinki

Lunch: 12:15-14:15

Roundtable 6: 14:15-16:00

Policy-Relevant Research: Reaching Out to Broader Audiences

Moderator: Riikka Kuusisto, University of Helsinki

Participants:       Maria de Lourdes Dieck Assad, ITESM, Mexico

Franz Clément, CEPS/INSTEAD, Luxembourg

Jussi Pakkasvirta, University of Helsinki, Finland

Agustín Escobar Latapí, CIESAS, Mexico (TBC)

Héctor Castañón-Reyes, CIESAS, Mexico

            Cyril Fegue, University of Luxembourg

             Elena Samonova, Univesity of Helsinki


Coffee Break: 16:00-16:15


Concluding Roundtable: 16:15-17:30

Moderator: Antonella Fazio, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

Lauri Siitonen, University of Helsinki, Finland

Jussi Pakkasvirta, University of Helsinki, Finland

Carmen Maganda, RISC Consortium/INECOL, Mexico

Harlan Koff, RISC Consortium/University of Luxembourg