Research projects

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (2017-2019)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie (INWELCHAV) project intends to provide insight into this conceptual distinction of ”other”, which is seldom mentioned in studies on populism and welfare. Joining the team of Dr David Paternotte (from the Atelier Genre(s) et Sexualité(s), Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences / STRIGES, ULB Institute for Human Sciences), I intend to explore and examine the (de)construction of cultural identity and the issue of national belonging through the discourse of radical populist right-wing parties (in Finland, Romania, and Sweden). I will also analyze how issues related to national identity and welfare in the selected countries are approached in their respective parliaments, as well as in the context of the EU, especially in the European Parliament.

Postdoctoral research project (2014-2017)

I have concluded a postdoctoral research project aimed to widen the scope of my previous doctoral project (radical right populism) from a European perspective (while maintaining a comparative framework and focusing on several specific countries, preliminarily selected: Finland, Romania and Sweden) on matters pertaining to the ideological conceptualization of the European project (with a specific gender-aware research agenda) (EUPOPCOM).  My interest is examining the populist radical right parties’ campaigning in the two most recent European Parliamentary elections in 2009 and 2014, and the national parliamentary elections these parties have participated in during the period covered by the study. The aim is to cast more light on the specific places of resistance against equality efforts, and against the processes of EU integration. I pursued my postdoctoral research project as an Affiliated Researcher, in the Center for Research on Ethnic Relations and Nationalism (CEREN), University of Helsinki, and I was a quest researcher in the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University (2014-2015); and the Department of Government, Uppsala University (2016-2017) (Sweden).

Postgraduate research project (2004-2014)

I undertook my PhD research at the Department of Political Science, University of Helsinki (January 2007 – January 2014). My research project pertained to issues of gender studies/gender equality and democracy and had initially entailed a cross-country analysis of the extremist masculinity ideals developed and promoted by the means of nationalistic discourses in several countries: Finland, Romania, and Sweden. The subjects of my feminist endeavor are the True Finns (“Perussuomalaiset”/“Sannfinländarna”) in Finland, the Greater Romania Party (“Partidul Romania Mare”) in Romania, and the Sweden Democrats (“Sverigedemokraterna”) in Sweden. Eventually I have been constrained (for financial and time reasons) to focus only on the manifestations of radical right populism in Romania and Sweden. However, the aim has remained unchanged, i.e. to cast more light on the specific places of resistance against gender equality, and against the processes of EU integration. This notwithstanding I have continued collecting empirical material and writing articles and research pieces on the Finnish case.

The said research project was an inter-disciplinary dialogue. It drew its resources from scholarship focusing on the study of masculinity and the feminist performativity; at the same time, it was firmly anchored in political sciences, with a special sensitivity to the outburst of rightist extremism within the wider European context. The research project aimed to contribute to the political and scientific goals of cultural diversity as well as democratic equality.