Social and Public Policy is an applied social science that explores the structure and functioning of welfare states from the perspective of social risks, such as unemployment, illness, disability, the birth of children or old age. Social and public policy delves into issues of welfare distribution and social inequality. Research in social and public policy focuses on poverty, sustainable welfare, unemployment and obstacles to employment, health differences, ageing, and social scientific disability studies.
Description of the discipline
The discipline of social and public policy investigates issues of social inequality and welfare, their distribution and related policies as well as ways to promote welfare and equality. Key research topics include social policy, urban issues, environmental policy and ageing.
Research profile and projects
Research in social and public policy focuses on poverty, sustainable welfare, unemployment and obstacles to employment, health differences, aging, and social scientific disability studies. The discipline also investigates the use of research-based information particularly during major changes in environmental policy.
- DigiIN - Towards socially inclusive digital society
- Helsinki Health Study
- Decentralizing Finland’s energy regime: The triggers and dynamics of transition (DEFEND)
(project funded by the Academy of Finland New Energy Research Programme 2015–2018)
- Potential of continuous cover forestry for climate change mitigation, wood production and biodiversity protection (CONBIO) (project funded by the Helsinki University Centre for Environment (HENVI) 2015–2018)
For more information about research and grant-funded researchers, see the University of Helsinki research portal.
- Discipline coordinator: University Lecturer Anu Katainen.
- Director for Bachelor's Programme in Social Research: university lecturer Arho Toikka
Teaching (Master and Bachelor -level courses; all courses 5 ECTS):
- Social Justice and the City
- City and Culture
- Urban Studies Reading Seminar
- Master seminar I & II (Social and Public Policy)
- Urban Studies and Planning Research Methods (available to USP Master’s Programme students)
- The Land Question and Sustainable Urban Development
Ongoing research projects:
- “Late Modern Urban Place Promotion and Its Discontents”
- “Spaces of Confinement in the Institutions of Care and Control in Finland”
- “'Us and Now': The Politics of Populism, Time and Space in Central Eastern Europe"
-Doctoral candidate in environmental policy
-Member of the Environmental Policy Research Group (https://blogs.helsinki.fi/jahukkin/research-group/) and WISE project (https://wiseproject.fi/)
-Research interests: risk and uncertainty; comprehensive security and resilience; public health threats and pandemic preparedness; simulation exercises and serious games; science and technology studies
Blogs, websites and social media channels
- Social Policy Association in Finland/Janus
- Finnish Society for Environmental Social Science (YHYS)
- International Society for Ecological Economics
- Finnish Society for Science and Technology Studies
- Expert Panel on Sustainable Development