17.5. Seminar of the HYRMY Project, "Common Ground at the Border", Joensuu

Date: 17th May 2010
Time: 9.15-16.30
Venue: University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus, Aurora AU206


9.15 Coffee served
9.30 Juha Kinnunen: What and Why Hyrmy

Conceptualising Post-National Borders and Transnational Spaces

10.00 Enrica Rigo (University of Rome 3): The Right to Territory and the Changing Order of Citizenship in Europe
10.30 Ilkka Liikanen: Recent Trends in the Study of Borders and Border Areas
11.00 James Scott: Emerging Borderlands and Post-National Space, Finnish Russian Case
11.30 Eeva Jokinen & Jussi Vähämäki: Post-National Work and Welfare?

Lunch hour 12.00-13.00

Interaction in the Finnish- Russian Borderlands

13.00 Ilmari Larjavaara: HYRMY Project Has Started a New Health Care Technology Cooperation Between Kuopio-Joensuu Region and Russian Federation
13.30 Jukka Könönen: Migrants at the Border and in the Metropolitan area
14.00 James Scott, Jussi Laine & Ilkka Liikanen: Civil Society Networks at the EU’s External Borderlands

Coffee break 14.30-15.00

15.00 Jussi Vähämäki: Back to the Factory Settings: Education as an Instrument of Governance on the Local Labor Markets
15.30 Aini Pehkonen: Welfare and Social Work as a Profession in the Republic of Karelia. The Project with the Department of Social Work at Petrozavodsk State University.
16.00 Juha Kinnunen: Synthesis and Conclusion


The HYRMY project studies questions of welfare and social change in relation to transformation of borders, border areas and cross-border interaction. The task of the project is to build up a common ground for different research perspectives and for researchers representing the different focal research traditions of the universities of Kuopio and Joensuu which at the beginning of this year formed the new University of Eastern Finland. The focus of the project is on the specific problems confronted on the border and peripheral areas, especially on the common border region between Finland and Russia known in broad terms as ‘Karelia’.

Karelia is an excellent terrain to study how the global changes in economy and in the strategies of governance affect local communities that have scarce material and human resources. Those changes can be read as anticipating the coming structural changes in whole society, in the welfare system, labour markets and institutions in general. Karelian border exhibits also many of the characteristics of transnational and post-national tendencies within a wider European context. This is partly due to increasing civil society interaction, Russian migration, tourism and general movement across the border. ‘Karelia’ as a ‘Borderland’ can be understood as a space of complex transition between societies and a region where various spatial scales of reference (European, transnational, national, regional, local) coalesce.


Enrica Rigo’s Rajojen Eurooppa ("Europe of Borders", Like 2009) is a comprehensive analysis of EU’s border policy. It offers conceptual tools for the critical discussion on migration and its role in the constitution of European Union. Book’s perspective differs radically from the popular themes that haunt current public discussion on migration: multiculturalism, fear, criminality, and governance.

Rigo analyses constitution of the European space, the institutional shape of Europe is taking, from the point of view of philosophy of right and the discussions concerning the concept of citizenship. She does not take migrants as victims or passive objects of different policy measures, but sees them as active participants in the European constitution process and in the redefinition of “Europeans”. Growing number of migrants on the European territory forces us to reformulate and rethink the complex relations between citizens and borders. It is no more possible to think the borders of Europe as simple outer borders, because more and more we see a sort of punctualization of borders, they are transforming into check points and both inside the European territory and outside of its formal borders. The borders of Europe, or Finland, do not only exclude “non Europeans”, but also create complex systems of creating differences and hierarchies inside the European territory.

Enrica Rigo lives and works in Rome, University “Roma Tre”.


Organizer: HYRMY Project, University of Eastern Finland
More information: Juhana Venäläinen, juhana.venalainen(at)uef.fi, tel. (013) 251 4831

Publishing year: 2010

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