• PL 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 3A)



  • PL 54 (Unioninkatu 37), 1037




Research output per year

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Personal profile

Curriculum vitae

Emilia Palonen (PhD)

University Researcher in Political Science, University of Helsinki, Leader of HEPPsinki research group, PI of Academy of Finland project WhiKnow and Kone Foundation project Now-Time Us Space, University of Helsinki (2020-24). 

Title of Docent /Adj. Prof. in Political Science (spec. Cultural Politics), Universit of Jyväskylä

Engaged scholar in media and associations: Chair of the Finnish Political Science Association, board member of Finnish Federation of Learned Societies, Treasurer of the Society of Scientists and Parliament Members, Tutkas ry.



Palonen is an expert on populism, democracy, local participative governance and planning - as well as politics of memory in symbolic urban landscapes. Academically she is particularly interested in Europe but also engages worldwide. She was trained as an East Europeanist and BA SSEES, and then for the MA and PhD at Essex in Laclaudian discourse theory in the Ideology and Discourse Analysis programme. She was a student of the political theorist Ernesto Laclau whom she visited as a postdoc also in Northwestern University. Her current research interestes link to this: hegemony and political change in Europe. She is an active and engaged scholar invited for talks worldwide.

She leads two major research projects: an Academy of Finland funded project in the #mediasoc programme: Whirl of Knowledge (WhiKnow) studies knowledge and communcation in hybrid media systems across Europe through social media big data, experimental analysis and theory of hegemony. Kone foundation funded Now-Time US Space focuses on populism, past and community-building in virtual and physical urban landscapes in Central and Eastern Europe. 

Her research team HEPP, Helsinki Hub on Emotions, Populism and Polarisation has a dozen active researchers. The first HEPP conferences took place in August 2019, next one with Juha Herkman's Mainstreaming Populism project is scheduled for May 2021 and the third one for the Autumn 2022. 

She has taught from 2006 methods course at the University of Helsinki and leads a Helsinki Summer School course in Rhetoric-Performative Post-foundational Analysis attended by students across the globe.

Besides her expertise on Hungary since 1999, she has been actively following Finnish politics and authors the EJPR Political Data Yearbook on Finland. She has (co-)supervised seven PhD theses so far, with focus on the UNESCO, the Zapatista Movement, participatory urban projects, Polish-Lithuanian school book past, Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, Euromaidan Ukraine, and populism in Turkey (to be defended). Several of the scholars have pursued successful postdoc careers. Her active PhD students work on e.g. the following topics: academic capitalism, Czech celebrity politics, Chino-American conspiracy theories, Hungarian nativism and populism, and masculinity in Hungary and Austria.

She is active in academic societies and the Chair of the Finnish Political Science Association (FPSA), vice-board member for Finnish Federation of Learned Societies and the former Chair of Finnish Association of Scholarly Publishing. She promotes open access publishing, and has worked with success since 2009 to get all the FPSA publications OA, also serving as the founding editor of Politiikasta. She is a member of the Human Rights committee at the Council of Finnish Academies. She also was the founding chair for Finnish Society for Cultural Policy Research. She represents the Nordic political science communities at the ECPSA, and is active in IPSA and NoPSA, and a member of the PSA UK.

Furthermore, she is a recognisable media figure, widely appreaciated for her balanced professional opinion. 

She has worked in several research projects and held personal scholarships in Finland and abroad. Her teaching career covers besides Discourse Theoretical Methods, Political Thought and Comparative Politics, also Cultural Politics and Adminsitration and Public Organisation Studies.

  • Previous positions: Researcher Academy of Finland project Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space, Helsingin yliopisto (1.3.2014-31.8.2015)
  • Researcher, Academy of Finland project Populism as Movement and Rhetoric, University of Jyväskylä (October 2013)
  • Maternity leave (27.4.2013-29.2.2014)
  • University Lecturer in Political Science, public administration and organisation studies, University of Helsinki (1.11.2010-30.7.2013)
  • Postdoc reseracher Finnish Cultural Foundation and Emil Aaltonen Foundation (SKR, EAS 2010)
  • Senior Lecturer in Cultural Policy (1.12.2008-31.12.2009)
  • Academy of Finland Funded Visiting Researcher, Northwestern University, Ill. (Fall 2008)
  • Postdoctoral researcher Finnish Cultural Foundation (SKR) 2008.
  • Postdoctoral researcher in Academy of Finland project  Nations and their Others: Finns and Hungarians  (1.3.2007-31.12.2007) Visiting Fellow, Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advanced Study, Summer 2009;  and May – August 2008; Visiting Fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2007–08
  • DAAD Junior Visiting Scholar, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany, Institute for European Ethnology & Department of Urban and Regional Sociology, May – June 2006
  • Junior Visiting Fellow, Collegium Budapest, Institute for Advance Study, Budapest, Hungary, September 2005 – April 2006
  • Körber Junior Visiting Fellow ‘History and Memory in Europe’, Institute for Human Sciences – Institute for Advanced Study, IWM, Vienna, 1 March – 31 August 2005
  • ESRC, UK, scholarship for doctoral studies (fees) at University of Essex 2001-2004. 

Education information

PhD in Ideology and Discourse Analysis, University of Essex, D. of Government 20 January 2006
MA in Ideology and Discourse Analysis, University of Essex, Dept. of Government, 2001,

BA (hons) in Contemporary East European Studies, University of London, 2000
University College London (UCL), School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES).

Bauhaus Certificate, Bauhaus Kolleg, Dessau, programme on EU Urbanism 2006–2007

External positions

Adj. professor, University of Jyväskylä

Fields of Science

  • 517 Political science
  • 5201 Political History
  • 519 Social and economic geography

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.


Performing the nation: the Janus-faced populist foundations of illiberalism in Hungary

Palonen, E., 25 Jul 2018, In : Journal of Contemporary European Studies. 26, 3, p. 308-321 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Open Access

Jätkät & jytkyt: perussuomalaiset ja populismin retoriikka

Translated title of the contribution: Lads and the landslide: The Finns Party and rhetoric of populismPalonen, E. & Saresma, T., 30 Oct 2017, Tampere: Vastapaino. 365 p.

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology or special issueScientificpeer-review

The city-text in post-communist Budapest: street names, memorials, and the politics of commemoration

Palonen, E., 2008, In : GeoJournal. 73, 3, p. 219-230 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Political Polarisation and Populism in Contemporary Hungary(1)

Palonen, E., Apr 2009, In : Parliamentary Affairs. 62, 2, p. 318-334 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Populism on the loose: seminal perflections on the condition of differentiality

Kovala, U. & Palonen, E., Apr 2018, Populism on the Loose. Kovala, U., Palonen, E., Ruotsalainen, M. & Saresma, T. (eds.). Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto, Nykykulttuurin tutkimuskeskus, p. 13-26 14 p. (Nykykulttuurin tutkimuskeskuksen julkaisuja; no. 35).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Open Access



Populism on the Loose: From Demography to Democracy

Emilia Palonen (Keynote speaker)

10 May 201811 May 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

The 17th Thesis Eleven Forum Annual Lecture ‘Populism and Democracy in Contemporary Europe’

Emilia Palonen (Keynote speaker)

31 Jul 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Provincializing Populism

Emilia Palonen (Speaker: Keynote)

4 Sep 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars


Tieteellisten seurain valtuuskunta (TSV) (External organisation)

Emilia Palonen (Board member)


Activity: Membership typesMembership or other role in national/international committee, council, board

Press / Media

ABC National Radio in Australia interviews on Hungarian Politics

Emilia Palonen


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

TV debate on populism in Europe: A-studio, A-talk

Emilia Palonen


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

A-Studio: Talk: Yhdysvaltain vaalit

Emilia Palonen


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

Tieteen avoimuus pulassa - suuret tiedekustantamot haluavat rahastaa

Emilia Palonen


1 Media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media