Maria Ohisalo has served as Minister of the Interior, which is the ministry for internal security and migration, since 6 June 2019. She is Chair of the Greens of Finland since 15 June 2019. She was elected as a member of the parliament in April 2019. She has a PhD on Sociology. Title of her thesis is “Crumbs at the Bottom of a Welfare State. Charity Food Aid and Subjective Well-Being of the Disadvantaged”.

She has been the Vice-Chair of the Greens of Finland in 2015-2019 and worked as a researcher on issues related to social exclusion. She is a council member in Helsinki City Council and was a Helsinki City Board Member in 2017-2019.

Maria Ohisalo has a background in youth athletics and she is an active cyclist. She lives with her spouse in Helsinki.

Ulf Brunnbauer is Academic Director of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, Germany, and Professor of Southeast and East European History at the University of Regensburg. He earned his PhD in history from the University of Graz, Austria, in 1999, and his habilitation in Modern and East/Southeast European History from the Free University of Berlin in 2006. In 2008, he joined the faculty in Regensburg, where he also serves as one of the coordinators of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies and board members of the Center for International and Transnational Area Studies. He held fellowships in Berkeley, Paris, Uppsala, Leicester and Sofia, and did extensive research in Bulgaria, former Yugoslavia, and Russia. His most recent books are “Geschichte Südosteuropas”, written together with Klaus Buchenau (2018) and “Globalizing Southeastern Europe. Emigrants, America and the State since the 19th century” (2016), that was recently translated into Croatian. Brunnbauer’s research concentrates on the social history of Southeastern Europe since the 19th century, with a focus on problems of migration, labor, family, and nation-building. His current book project deals with transformation of labor relations since the 1970s, on the case of two shipyards in Poland and Croatia, and he is editing the Routledge Handbook of Southeastern European History together with John Lampe (scheduled for 2020). Personal website:

Marlene Laruelle, Ph.D., is Director and Research Professor at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. At IERES Dr. Laruelle is also Director of the Illiberalism Studies Program, of the Central Asia Program, and a Co-Director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia).  She has recently published Memory Politics and the Russian Civil War. Reds versus Whites (Bloomsbury, with Margarita Karnysheva), Is Russia Fascist? Unraveling Propaganda East and West (Cornell University Press), and Central Peripheries. Nationhood in Central Asia (University College London Press).

Franklin Obeng-Odoom is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science with Development Studies and the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, both at the University of Helsinki in Finland where he is the current Chairperson of the Finnish Society for Development Research. Previously, he taught at various universities in Australia, including the University of Technology Sydney where he was Director of Higher Degree Research Programmes.

Franklin's research and teaching interests are centred on the political economy of development, cities, and natural resources. His books include Property, Institutions, and Social Stratification in Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2020), The Commons in an Age of Uncertainty (University of Toronto Press, 2020), and The Political Economy of the Global Migration Crisis (Oxford University Press, 2021). Obeng-Odoom is Editor-in-Chief of the African Review of Economics and Finance and Series Editor of the Edinburgh Studies in Urban Political Economy. He serves on the Executive Council of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics and leads the Helsinki School of Critical Urban Studies. 

Madeleine Reeves is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester, where she researches the anthropology of politics, space, labour and im/mobility. She has published extensively on everyday practices of ethical and legal reasoning in contexts of migration and precarious labour in the post-Soviet space. She is the author of Border Work: Spatial Lives of the State in Rural Central Asia (Cornell, 2014), which was awarded the 2015 Joseph Rothschild Prize, and the co-editor, most recently, of The Everyday Lives of Sovereignty: Political Imagination Beyond the State (Cornell, 2021, with Rebecca Bryant). Between 2015 and 2019 she served as Editor of Central Asian Survey. Personal website:

Caress Schenk is an Associate Professor of political science at Nazarbayev University (Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan) with teaching and research expertise in the politics of immigration and national identity in Eurasia. Her new book, published with the University of Toronto Press, is called Why Control Immigration? Strategic Uses of Migration Management in Russia. Current and previous research has been funded by the American Councils for International Education, Nazarbayev University and the Fulbright Scholar Program and has been published in Demokratizatisya, Europe-Asia Studies, and Nationalities Papers, and in edited volumes published by Edinburgh University Press and Oxford University Press (some forthcoming). Dr. Schenk is a member of the Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia (PONARS Eurasia). Personal website:

Teivo Teivainen is Professor of World Politics at the University of Helsinki, where he was previously Head of Political Science Department and Research Director of the Center of Excellence on Global Governance. His academic work has been awarded internationally with Hopkins Award of the American Sociological Association and Amartya Sen Prize of Yale University. In between, he has received Academy of Finland Recognition Award, Pro Feminism Award, JV Snellman Public Information Award, and Ovet Award for advancing knowledge about Russia in Finland (a theme he sometimes explores through World Political City Walks that he organizes in Helsinki). He regularly appears on TV and radio programs, and his interviews range from the New York TimesFinancial Times or Xinhua Newsto smaller media outlets in various parts of the world. He currently leads Academy of Finland project on transnational social movements. Personal website: