What an exciting way to begin a new year!
(More updates on these pages will follow later on, please bear with me)

“Mari K. 532767-786406-67606492Niemi to head InnoLab research platform at University of Vaasa

Mari K. Niemi, 43, has been appointed Director of the new Innovation and Entrepreneurship InnoLab research platform at the University of Vaasa. She will take up her duties 5 January 2018.”

More on the role (in Finnish) can be read here





Some busy ten days! I participated in several panels on various topics – including the role of science in public debate, economy and Finland’s future, and political power in Finland – and co-hosted a lecture by one of the presidential election candidates (Matti Vanhanen, Centre Party), announced the top five candidates for the best Finnish non-fiction book – Kanava Prize – together with journalist Unto Hämäläinen. My review of one of the candidates, Minna Maijala’sKultakauden maanalainen vastarinta‘ was published in Kanava paper. Furthermore, our new research consortium and project Mainstreaming Populism in the 21st Century (MAPO) organised a ‘bar parliament’ to discuss the topic.

(Pictures by Topi Houni, Sini Ruohonen, Matti Välimäki, Linda Pelkonen, Saija Mahon, Milla Talassalo and Jarmo Wright.)



Our book was published – happy to promote our work!



A book on ‘Poliittinen valta Suomessa’ (‘Political power in Finland’), edited by two political science professors, Tapio Raunio and Ilkka Ruostetsaari, and myself, will be published in September 18th.



This year my visits to Finland have included attending two very exciting party congresses (The Finns Party and The Social Democratic Party), and an honour to participate a panel in the Kultaranta Talks hosted by the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö. In the Pori Suomi Areena, an annual public debate forum, I participated two panels as a discussant and chaired two more. Sometimes pictures can speak louder than words, don’t you think?





In January and February I had a pleasure to work as a Guest Researcher at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Centre for European Research, CERGU offered me a welcoming working environment, I truly enjoyed my stay! During the two months I conducted a series of interviews with experienced political journalists in Sweden, Finland and Denmark. The material benefits my current research project on the rise of populism and journalistic choices. (HS-Foundation).

In April I left Glasgow and Scotland behind after nearly four fruitful, happy years. Many thanks for all wonderful people at the University of Stratchlyde – let’s keep in touch!

From Glasgow I moved to Valencia, where I now work as a Visiting Researcher (Institute of Human Rights, University of Valencia).




Presentation on Racism, Politics and Media in Europe. Human Rights and Media: Reflections for Policy Makers, NGOs and Journalists. Glasgow Human Rights Network and Policy Scotland Present, University of Glasgow,  April 18, Glasgow.

Presentation on Researcher’s voice in Public. Freedom of Speech – An Academic Freedom? Side event of the World Press Freedom Day, May 2, Helsinki.

Panel on immigration rhetoric (with Oras Tynkkynen and Matia Turkkila);  Retoriikan Kesäkoulu 2016,  June 10, Hämeenlinna, Finland.


Paper entitled ‘Nightmare called multiculturalism’. A Case study of populist anti-immigration party’s crisis communication after entering a coalition government accepted for ECPR 2016 General Conference panel ‘Tamed, Radical or Professionalised? Populists and Power in the 21st Century’, September 7-10, Prague.


On science communication:
Gendered use of experts in the media: Analysis of the gender gap in Finnish news journalism. PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING OF SCIENCE. (.)
Hallitsematon ja houkutteleva media. Yhteiskuntatieteilijöiden näkemyksiä julkisesta
asiantuntijuudesta. [Uncontrollable yet tempting. How Finnish social scientists see their role as experts in the media.] YHTEISKUNTAPOLITIIKKA 81 (2016):1

On populism and foreign policy in Europe:
Europe’s Troublemakers – The populist challenge to foreign policy.  EUROPEAN POLICY CENTER 8 March 2016.


I started mentoring for Kuka Helsinki Oy, a Finland based startup company that states its aim as follows: “We give voice to experts and create fresh media sources. Our mission is to promote transparency and to broaden the scope of expertise used in the media”.


For The Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists ; for The Suomen Kuvalehti paper. (In Finnish)


On December 10, 2015, the Board of Helsingin Sanomat Foundation granted €100,000 for my research projcet on populist parties’ racism-related scandals and journalistic choices. The aim of the project is to establish the best practices for journalistic media regarding its challenges of reporting on racism, multiculturalism and ethnic minorities. The project begins in April 2015 and continues until the end of 2017.

The Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers has nominated Senior Researcher and Doctor of Social Sciences Mari K. Niemi as the Academic of the Year.

The nomination of the Academic of the Year is not based on a single discovery or publication but on the promotion of the culture of scientific research. Academics of the Year are persons who act in an exemplary manner to promote and make familiar science in its different forms. With this year’s nomination, the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers emphasised social influence and participation in current discussion.

The union feels that Mari K. Niemi is an excellent example of the new kind of researcher who is not afraid to take a stand on topical political discussion. Niemi is a very active user and influencer on social media. In her blogs and other writings she encourages researchers to talk about their own studies and participate in public discussion.” (Added here 30 October.)

My article on Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign to become Labour leader was published today (11 September) in Suomen Kuvalehti paper.

What a week! I have been shortlisted, among three fabulous colleagues, to The Academic of the Year in Finland. I am feeling both thankful and so very happy.

Busy weeks before and after the general election in both Finland and UK  have included a research seminar presentation at the School of Public Administration (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) on the history and future of women’s political leadership in Sweden, Scotland and Finland, an election specialist interviews for Swedish Television in Stockholm (SVT), giving an intensive course on political leadership (University of Turku, Finland), a blog for the London School of Economics on the Finns Party and Ukip, a blog and a presentation on the expertise in the media for the Finnish Association of Science Editors and Journalists, several blog entries for Suomen Kuvalehti paper (Ylämaan kettu), a conference presentation in a workshop on Women, Gender and Political Leadership (Birkbeck, University of London), a panel discussion on Scotland’s future   as well as numerous interviews including Leikola ja Lähde radio programme, Pressiklubi tv-show and newspaper interview on economic policy discources for Helsingin Sanomat.  In addition, there has been two work trips to Brussels related to my role as an expert on populism in Finland. I have also submitted my chapter to our book on Discursive Governance in Politics, Policy, and the Public Sphere, and my chapter to another book on The Changing Balance of Political Power in Finland. We have also organised the first meeting of us editors related to our forthcoming book on Political Power in Finland. Finally, two research journal articles have been submitted – two more to be submitted before the holidays!

I have become a blogger for the Suomen Kuvalehti paper: Ylämaan Kettu.
Information on our forthcoming book on Discursive Governance in Politics, Policy, and Public Sphere (Palgrave 2015, Edited by Umut Korkut, Robert Henry Cox, Gregg Bucken-Knapp and Kesi Mahendran).

An interview with Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on the differences between British and Finnish TV debates. (27.3.2015)

A column for Turun Sanomat newspaper on David Cameron’s reluctance to participate in election debates. (24.3.2015)

An interview with Reuters on  political situation in Finland (‘Opposed to EU bailouts, Finland’s populists eye power’ 17.3.2015)

An interview with Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on nomination of candidates in the Finnish general elections 2015. Several aged male candidates, but far fever experienced women.  (29.1.2015)

My election blog on the General Elections 2015 in both the UK and in Finland has been opened!  (15.1.2015)

Intervews on The Finns Party and its leader Timo Soini for the STT, published in Suomenmaa, Turun Sanomat and  Talouselämä  newspapers. (7.1.2015).

Government’s popularity nosedives. Commenting on the popularity of Finland’s government. Helsinki Times. (In English). (18.12.2014)

Column on Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership and the rise of the SNP in Scotland. Turun Sanomat Newspaper (and online): Toisenlainen tupailta. (12.12.2014.)

An interview on the first results of our Expertise in the Media project. Tutkijat valmiita auttamaan mediaa. (11.12.2014.)

Commenting the diminishing support of the Finnish government for the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. Hallituksen suosio sukelsi. (11.12.2014.)

My first English blog entry discusses women’s role in the Finnish society and media: Why Media Relies on Men’s Expertise? (3.12.2014.)

Analysis on women’s leadership for Vihreä Lanka paper:  Naisen päätöksiä ei tunnisteta johtamiseksi. (3.11.2014.)

My latest column in the Turun Sanomat Newspaper: Media tuottaa ja tarvitsee päivystäviä dosentteja. (14.11.2014.)

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