• PL 54 (Unioninkatu 37)



  • PL 54 (Unioninkatu 37), 1037




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Personlig profil


Emilia Palonen (PhD and MA Essex, BA London)

Senior University Lecturer in Political Science, University of Helsinki. 

Currently Emilia is on research leave as Programme Director in Datafication at the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities and as Leader of HEPPsinki research group. She is PI of Academy of Finland project WhiKnow (2019-2022), Kone Foundation project Now-Time Us Space (2020-24), European Commission funded DRad project (2020-2023), and Academy of Finland and other Trans-Atlantic Partnership project funders' ENDURE exploring resilience in crisis (2022-2024). 

Palonen has been evaluated as fit for full and associate professor (2022). She received in 2015 a title of Docent (Adj./Ass. Prof.) in Political Science (spec. Cultural Politics), University of Jyväskylä, where has taught and collaborated in research projects.

She is an engaged scholar in media and associations: She is an Executive Committee member and chair of the publications committee of the International Political Science Association (IPSA). She served in 2018-2022 as the Chair of the Finnish Political Science Association. She is a board member of the Finnish Federation of Learned Societies (2021-2023), and Treasurer of the Society of Scientists and Parliament Members, Tutkas ry. (2019-2023).



Palonen is a discourse theorist and an expert on politics, polarisation and communication, populism and democracy, local participative governance and planning. She has been working on politics of memory in symbolic urban landscapes but also populist movements and even the far right. Besides her expertise on Hungary since 1999, she has been actively following Finnish politics and authors the EJPR Political Data Yearbook on Finland. Academically she is particularly interested in Europe but also engages worldwide.  She is an active and engaged scholar invited for talks. 

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 leads several 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, May 2021 (virtually) and June 2022 (hybridly) and the fourth one is scheduled for the end of 2023. 

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.

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 is EC member of IPSA (2021-23), and a member of the PSA UK.

Furthermore, she is a recognisable media figure, widely appreaciated for her balanced professional opinion. She speaks 6-8 languages. 

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:

  • Senior researcher in Political Science (1.9.2020-31.12.2021)
  • University Lecturer in Political Science, Faculty of Social Science, U. of Helsinki (1.9.2015-30.8.2020)
  • Researcher Academy of Finland project Asymmetries in European Intellectual Space, U. of Helsinki (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. 

Utbildning 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

Externa befattningar

Adj. professor, University of Jyväskylä


  • 517 Statsvetenskap
  • 5201 Politisk historia
  • 519 Socialgeografi och ekonomisk geografi

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete

Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.