Kris Clarke
  • PL 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 1A)



  • Yliopistonkatu 3, Porthania

    00100 Helsinki


  • Finland


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

I am a Professor of Social Work in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Originally from Fresno, California, I am an Irish citizen who has lived in Finland for over 25 years. My research has evolved from multicultural social work and care in the field of HIV towards themes related to decolonization, abolitionist social work and the social memory of HIV/AIDS. I teach courses on international and structural social work, and supervise master's theses and doctoral dissertations. 

Education information

I received my Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, USA. I have also studied colonialism and literature of the Caribbean at Howard University, and English Literature at University College Cardiff, UK. I completed a Master's of Social Science in International Relations at the University of Tampere. I received a Licentiate and Doctorate in Social Science (Social Work) at the University of Tampere.

Research interests

My research interests center on decolonization, structural social work, abolitionist perspectives on social work, as well as social memory. I have published on decolonization and social work with Michael Yellow Bird (Clarke & Yellow Bird, 2020). I have edited a forthcoming book entitled Decolonising Social Work in Finland: Racialisation and Practices of Care together with Leece Lee-Oliver and Satu Ranta-Tyrkkö that will be published by Policy Press in March 2024. I am currently working on a manuscript on decolonization and social work with Michael Yellow Bird and Michael Wallengren Lynch.

I am also interested in LGBTQ+ issues in social work. I am currently collaborating on an oral history project about HIV in Fresno, California.  I am also collaborating on a project that employs critical race analyses of the carceral state to explore how civic space and conceptions of community have been reconfigured through a case study in Fresno, California. Finally, I have developed a podcast on social work issues.

External positions

Docent, Tampere University

Fields of Science

  • 5145 Social work
  • Decoloniality
  • Harm reduction
  • Diversity, marginalization
  • Social memory and place
  • Community social work
  • Structural social work
  • Policing policy in the US
  • LGBTQ+
  • Abolitionist social work
  • HIV

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.