Teivo Teivainen

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Teivo Teivainen
Teivo Teivainen.jpg
Teivo Teivainen in 2013.
Born Helsinki, Finland
Occupation Professor
Website http://blogs.helsinki.fi/teivaine/

Teivo Teivainen is professor of World Politics at the University of Helsinki. Having received his PhD in 2000 at the University of Helsinki, Teivainen became the founding director of the Program on Democracy and Global Transformation at the National University of San Marcos, in Lima, Peru in 2003.

In 2006, Teivainen was nominated as a full professor of the University of Helsinki. In his inaugural presentation on 30 May 2007, Teivainen demanded for open and analytical debate on the relationship between capitalism and democracy. He emphasized the problematic nature of capitalism analysis in Finland, which he saw partly as a result of the geopolitical position of Finland. In addition, he characterized the discipline of World Politics as a field that should take seriously the political nature of non-state actors such as transnational corporations and social movements.


Teivainen's career has been both international and transdisciplinary. In Saint Mary's University in Canada, Teivainen has held the position of Distinguished Visiting Professor in development studies.

In Peru he has served as a visiting professor at the department of economics in the Catholic University and at the department of sociology in the National University of San Marcos. His first significant academic position was as a visiting scholar at the sociology department of the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1988. Later he served as a visiting researcher at the Fernand Braudel Center of the same university. Teivainen has visited universities in dozens of countries for research and academic presentations. During 2001-2007 he worked as a researcher for the Academy of Finland.

Teivainen has also served in the Governing Council of the International Studies Association,[1] which is the most important association for International Relations and as the chairperson of International Political Economy Section of the ISA. He has held different positions in other international scholarly organizations such as the Latin American Studies Association.

At the University of California Riverside Teivainen forms part of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Research on World-Systems. He is also international board member of academic journals such as Critical Sociology and Globalizations.

Teivainen has also worked as expert and consultant for various organizations. In 2006 he worked as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the European Union Election Observation Mission in Bolivia. Teivainen participated in the EU's election observation missions as legal expert in Ecuador in 2002 and Nicaragua in 2001. In addition, he served as a field observer during the two rounds of the Peruvian elections in 2001.

In South Africa, Teivainen was team leader of an evaluation project of the Democracy and Human Rights Fund of the Finnish Foreign Ministry in 1998. He has held several expert positions also in Nicaragua, Peru and Brazil. In addition, Teivainen has evaluated projects for the Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland in Colombia and the Dominican Republic. In the early 1990s Teivainen co-ordinated a project organized by the Student Union of the University of Helsinki in El Salvador.


American Sociological Association rewarded Teivainen's doctoral research with Terence K. Hopkins Award as the best doctoral dissertation about the world-system in 2000. In 2007, Teivainen was invited as a Presidential Panelist at the Association's annual meeting in New York.

In 2007 Teivainen was granted a recognition award by the Academy of Finland.[2] The award is granted to a researcher who has in a significant manner made his/her research known and increased interest in science and participated as a researcher in public debate.[3] Teivainen was the first social scientist in many years to receive the award.

In 2008, Teivainen was given the Pro Feminism award of the Finnish organization Left Women.[4]

In 2011, the University of Helsinki gave him the J.V. Snellman Public Information Award.[5]

Research interests and political activity[edit]

Teivainen's research focuses on global political economy, human rights, transnational social movements, global democracy and the contradictions of capitalism. At the moment he works on democratic theory, social movements, the future of the world-system and truth commissions in Latin America. Teivainen is also leading a research project on property rights. The project is linked to the Centre of Excellence on Global Governance Research at the University of Helsinki. Teivainen is board member and since January 2011 Research Director of the Centre.

One of Teivainen's main publications is Enter Economism, Exit Politics,[6] published in 2002. In the book, based on his dissertation, Teivainen analyses the transnational expansion of economism and its implications for democracy. Teivainen paid special attention to transformations in the boundaries between the political and the economic as well as between the inside and the outside.

Articles dealing with similar topics include Towards a Democratic Theory of the World-System: Democracy, Territoriality and Transnationalization.[7]

Teivainen's research interests also include the pedagogy of global power. In 2003 he published a book on the topic in Spanish. Teivainen has also published many articles on global democracy and cosmopolitanism together with professor Heikki Patomäki. In 2003, Patomäki and Teivainen published a book called A Possible World. Democratic Transformation of Global Institutions (Zed Books, London and New York). The book was originally published in English and later translated into Finnish, Arabic and Spanish.

Teivainen is also known as an active public commentator. He has served in many civil society organizations dealing with alternative globalization, above all at the Network Institute for Global Democratization – NIGD. Teivainen has played an active role in the World Social Forum.In 2001 Teivainen, in representation of NIGD, was one of the founding members of the International Council of the World Social Forum and has since then participated in many activities of the Council.

Selected books[edit]

  • Democracy in Movement: The World Social Forum as a Political Process (London: Routledge, forthcoming)
  • A Possible World: Democratic Transformation of Global Institutions, Heikki Patomäki & Teivo Teivainen, Zed Books 2005
  • Pedagogía del poder mundial: Relaciones internacionales y lecciones del desarrollo en América Latina, Cedep 2003
  • Enter Economism, Exit Politics: Experts, economic policy and the damage to democracy, Zed Books 2002
  • Global Democracy Initiatives: The Art of Possible, Heikki Patomäki, Teivo Teivainen with Mika Rönkkö, NIGD Working Paper 2/2002, Hakapaino 2002
  • Un dólar, un voto: Economicismo transnacional en el Perú, Desco 2001
  • Fujimorin Peru: Uusliberalismi, likainen sota ja kehitysyhteistyö, Hakapaino 1999


External links[edit]


  • HY: Uudet professorit -tiedote 18.7.2006