Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Dr. Soc. Sci. / PhD

Professor of Area and Cultural Studies, Department of Cultures, 2015-

Vice Dean, Head of Department of Cultures, 2018-2021

President of CEISAL, 2016-2019 (European Council for Latin American Social Research)

Professor, Head of Department of Political and Economic Studies (University of Helsinki, 2010-2015)

Vice Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences (2012-2015)

Senior Scientist, Academy of Finland (2009-2010)

Associate Visiting Professor at the University of Costa Rica (Doctoral Program in Central American History)

Adjunct Professor in Political History, University of Helsinki (1998-)


Research interests: 

  • History of ideas and theoretical study of nationalism
  • Cultural interaction
  • Interdisciplinary methodologies
  • Latin American and Spain
  • Globalization of pulp and paper industry
  • Tourism industry & environmental conflicts

I have a PhD in political sciences/political history. Since 1990s I have  participated actively in the international academic debate in Europe and  in Latin America. 

I was nominated a Docent (adjunct professor) of political history at University of Helsinki in 1998. Since 2000 I also have worked as Associate Visiting Professor in the Doctoral Program of Central American History at the University of Costa Rica ( and, and as a Professor in the AMELAT-program (internet-based European master program in Latin American Studies). 

In my scholarly publications I have analyzed media and cultural movements in Latin America, as well as social movements, environmental issues and current political and economic topics. My particular interest throughout the 1990s has been the issue of cultural interaction as evidenced in the books I have edited on implications of the conquest of America (1992) and on the relations between Finland and Latin America (1998). During the last years, I have analyzed the globalization of  pulp and paper industry (books 2008 and 2010). My latest project Citizen Mindscapes (Aademy of Finland Consortium, 2015-2019) analyzes Social Media &  big data.

Since 1991 I have visited and worked in many foreign universities and research centers in the field of Latin American Studies. Outside Finland and Central America, I have done research or taught, for example, in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Spain, United States, Russia and in Germany. 

My international scientific activities have  included a membership in the academic council of EU’s ALFA program (2000-2005). In addition, I am member of editorial boards of several international journals. 

In Finland I have worked extensively in the field of Latin American Studies from the beginning of the 80’s including numerous chairmanships and positions of trust. My contribution in the development of the Ibero-American Center at Helsinki University was crucial. 

In these positions I have gained extensive academic experience - not only in research or teaching but also in the administration. Besides the normal administrative work I have also negotiated and executed exchange programs with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), University of Costa Rica, Peruvian universities (Católica and San Marcos) and the University of Rafael Landívar in Guatemala. Because of this kind of openings the University of Helsinki now has active relationships with many Latin American universities. 

As I feel that Latin American Studies in the Nordic Countries should be part of the general debate within social sciences and the humanities I have actively promoted this field of study on many forums. I regularly give academic presentations and act as critic and commentator in the media.

Fields of Science

  • 6160 Other humanities
  • Latin American Studies
  • Area and Cultural Studies
  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Area and Cultural Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • 5201 Political History
  • 517 Political science
  • 5203 Global Development Studies
  • Latin America