GLASE

Bordering, identities and changing scales of encountering security challenges

Bordering, identities and changing scales of encountering security challenges is part of the research consortium Multilayered Borders of Global Security (GLASE), funded by the Strategic Research Programme of the Finnish Academy.

The research conducted in Oulu falls under the Work Package 2, which will address changes in the Finnish security environment.  The GLASE Oulu Team will approach the concept of security from the perspective of everyday geopolitics and seeks to further the understandings of how the geopolitics of fear and threat are articulated and mobilized in different communities. The construction of geopolitical discourses of threats and danger has been one focal theme in critical geopolitics and political geography. Similarly, the point of departure in international relations and ‘critical security studies’ has been to study critically how threats and the responses to them are constructed, especially in the realms of foreign policy and security politics.

We will extend our understanding and analyses beyond the state and formal security politics, and provide an understanding of how formal and popular everyday geopolitics are mutually created, yet often somewhat conflicting. We will pay attention to various kinds of mundane bordering practices and mobilities, politics of inclusion and exclusion, identity struggles, mobilization of threats, and a sense of fear and anxiety as the expressions of the geopolitics of the everyday in Finland. The research will be based on methodological triangulation, which means that different sets of materials and qualitative and quantitative methods will be employed.

The research questions are:

  • In what ways are the politics of exclusions and inclusion manifested in the border communities and virtual communities?
  • How are the geopolitics of fear and threat articulated and mobilized?

The research consists of two sub-projects:

  • The everyday geopolitics of physical and living border communities is examined in the towns of Lappeenranta and Tornio, the eastern and western border towns. By studying the perceptions of different border communities, characterized by heterogeneity and multivocality, it is possible to gain an understanding in which ways the current geopolitical events and new mobilities in the northernmost Europe impact the societal relations and the sense of everyday security at the EU’s internal and external border areas.         
  • In addition to physical communities, virtual communities provide social spaces where people interact to express their views and encourage each other. This sub-project focuses on everyday geopolitics in virtual communities of Finnish speaking discussion forums. These forums facilitate a dialogue and provide a structured platform in place and time for things to happen, and a place where everyday geopolitics are made.

The Oulu research team is led by Professor Anssi Paasi and is located at the Geography Research Unit of the University of Oulu. The members of the group are researchers Eeva-Kaisa Prokkola (PhD, docent) and Eva Kaján (PhD). The duration of the project is 1.4.2016-31.3.2019.

There are mutual benefits and synergies between GLASE and RELATE (The Centre of Excellence, The Relational and Territorial Politics of Bordering, Identities, and Transnationalization), that takes place 2014-2019 at the Geography Research Unit.

The head of the GLASE consortium is Professor James Scott from the University of Eastern Finland. The other principal investigators and heads of the research teams are Professor Laura Assmuth (University of Eastern Finland), Doctor Minna Jokela (Finnish Border Guard), Professor Pauli Kettunen (University of Helsinki) and Professor Anssi Paasi (University of Oulu).

Last updated: 5.10.2016