Problematizations team provides a platform for working out ways of seeing and addressing problems. Generally speaking, problematizations are not research questions, but entries to thought. It is not entirely mistaken to call our work methodological.
At the level of the whole university, Problematizations team would very much like to offer itself as 'a point where in some way the certainties all mix together, the lights go out, night falls, people begin to realize that they act blindly, and that consequently a new light is necessary, new lighting and new rules of behaviour are needed. So there it is, an object appears, an object that appears as a problem, voilà … ' (Michel Foucault, What Our Present Is?)
At the Faculty of Law, Problematizations team works in close, organic connection with the other research teams of the faculty ¬– Law, Technology and Design Thinking Team; Natural Resources Law Team; Welfare Law Team; and Procedures/Processes team. What we present below we hope to have substantiated by these other teams’ problems.
The following three problematizations are to be understood as the first steps in a longer-term work. We would provide and test them as entries to the thinking about the general problematic of the law in a functioning society. This problematic has been our faculty’s guiding idea since its establishment. Anyway, more problematizations will follow, once we get going…
First problematization. In the law faculty’s research organization into teams, we will first find that certain so-called hard sciences ¬– medicine, natural science, and engineering – appear to stand in the background of our own welfare law, natural resources law, and technology & design law. Starting from this, the first task for us would be to consider the way in which the division between nature and culture frames our ways of seeing and addressing problems. Hence, we start from the difference and interaction between human sciences and natural sciences.
Second problematization. Secondly, we consider what may be called regimes of governing that function in society respective to health, environment and technology. Traditional juridical way of considering these regimes is to have them as parts of a bigger system. The function of this bigger system is to explain away all conflicts and contradictions between the regimes. Instead of that way, we try to see the regimes as they continue encountering and negotiating with each other on a strategic field. The point is that contractions and incommensurability do not cease existing, on the contrary: they constitute the field. On that basis, the second task of the team would be to expound on the logic – the strategic logic ¬– that designates the field on which regimes encounter each other.
Third problematization. Thirdly, we should try bringing the two earlier points together. Let us assume that in certain ways, and to some extent, each of the regimes of governing mentioned a above relies on the respective type of hard-sciences knowledge. So there is knowledge involved in the exercise of power. Traditional way seeing and addressing these two is to analyze them strictly apart, to consider knowledge and power as entirely different things that should not be mixed with each other. Instead of that type of fundamental analyisis, we try open up a vision to the variety of ways in which knowledge and power do indeed mix together. Is this the most important thing designating our strategic field of regimes of governing, remains to be seen. This way, however, we could find out about something that we feel is quite interesting: the choices of value and imposition of norms that are hidden in what appears to be objective and value-neutral – in hard sciences type of knowledges.
Samuli Hurri spearheads the team. Samuli’s research fields range widely: from ancient philosophy and forensic rhetoric to human rights argumentation; from the social problem of hate to philosophical problem of the subject’s moral constitution. Samuli’s main work is a Foucauldian study on The Birth of the European Individual: Law, Security, Economy (Routledge 2014). At present, Samuli is working with Iiris Kestilä on a paper on the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the context of LGTB. His most recent work is a special number in Tiede & Edistys on hate (see here
). Samuli’s broader ongoing research project is on The Legal Language of Moral Struggle (see web page here
). Samuli’s new thing will be Legal Rhetoric: Ancient and Modern.
Iiris Kestilä co-ordinates and cares for the team’s practical functions, including its relations to other research teams in the faculty and around the campus. Iiris' interests include inter-actions and collisions of law and other social systems and therefore relationships and differences of knowledges between human and social sciences and, for example, natural sciences. Iiris' current main project is her Master's Thesis. Iiris is also working on a paper on the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in the context of LGTB with Samuli Hurri.
Tomi Tuominen is an EU law and comparative constitutional law scholar by training. A core theme in his research has been the "political" in law. Within the framework of the Problematization research team, Tomi aims to understand what is it that he has actually been researching before.
See Tomi's profile on LaCRIS portal for further information.
Matti Nojonen is the “China-guy” of the group. Matti has a background in Sinology (MA) and he gained his Ph.D. in Economics and Business Management (Helsinki School of Economics). He has been working on and in China for decades on issue ranging from Classical Chinese philosophy and strategic thinking to contemporary issues related to importance of personal relations (guanxi) in Chinese society (that is intimately related to corruption, decision making, political structure and norms), China’s foreign policy principles, norms and practices and their conflicting relationship with increasing Chinese over-seas investments, role of youth in China’s social change historically and today. Currently he is working on the role of concepts in Chinese strategic thinking and practice, how endogenic concepts guide both the cognitive / analytical abstract thinking processes and actual practices of strategy work.
Noor Jahan Punam is a Phd Candidate at the Faculty of Law and her research focuses on accommodating indigenous peoples' traditional knowledge in international climate change law with special reference to the European High Arctic and combines conceptual frameworks with indigenous traditional knowledge for the promotion of indigenous peoples' resilience against climate change. She has a Masters in Comparative and International Law from University of Eastern Finland. She majored in Environmental and Climate Change Law and her minor studies were based on European Union Law. She has completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Law from Northumbria University and she completed her Bachelors in Law from University of London.
Markku Kiikeri defended his doctoral thesis in the European University Institute 1999 and has taught and done research in European law in the universities of Turku, Helsinki and Rovaniemi (Finland) since 2000. He has been a visiting lecturer in various European universities and in UNAM/La Salle (Mexico). His specialty is European union law and legal/social theory. He is an authorized attorney. Latest productions deals with legal reasoning and EU-law adjudication. Markku´s problematization in this group is based on dialectics and negation.
Mikko Huttunen has his background in public international law and aviation law. When it comes to Problematizations, the major problem in his research thus far has been the concept of state sovereignty. As his study of sovereignty continues, Mikko hopes to uncover a systematical framework to understand the concept, highlighting among other things the intertwining of facts, politics, and law. In relation to sovereignty, Mikko is interested in questions pertaining to the self-determination and identity of individuals and peoples.
See LaCRIS for details about Mikko's research.
Juha Himanka is a philosopher of the team, and he has been working mainly within phenomenological tradition. Juha’s main work deals with the problem of how to break free from our ready-made knowledge that we are used to, and how to reach for the truth instead. This is actually well in line with Socrates' original insight of what a philosopher should do and it, indeed, brings out more problems than solutions. Juha’s latest publication (forthcoming: Phenomenology & Practice) describes how Husserl managed to overcome his own presuppositions and complete reduction on one particularly fruitful day of thinking (May 2nd 1907). Juha hopes that he will someday be as successful as Husserl on that day in overcoming his own presuppositions.
More information on Juha's webpage: http://juhahimanka.wordpress.com
Laura Tarvainen is a PhD candidate working with a project called “Construction of Vulnerability. Victims of Torture in asylum process.” Previously she has worked as a lawyer of Finnish NGO refugee advice center. She is interested in embedded and embodied vulnerability as a socially constructed and changing concept. Recently she has been working with the article on undocumented migrants as particularly marginalized and criminalized people whose marginalization, criminalization and position as vulnerable are being produced in current legal and societal systems. Her interests also include questions of how knowledge is being produced, what kind of knowledge (for example legal versus medical) is seen as relevant and valid and who has the power to make that decision in different legal processes. She has been a visiting researcher at VU Amsterdam and Lund University, where she belongs to Lund-Uppsala migration law research group, vulnerability research group and Health Law research group. At University of Lapland she belongs also to Welfare Law research group.
The team will function by way of organizing monthly seminar events open to everyone. Speakers may be members of the team, other people of the faculty, and guest speakers from elsewhere.
The main regular event that the team is responsible for is the annual Research Seminar.
On 10 September 2018, we dealt with the first problematization, nature and culture. Samuli Hurri spoke on Comte and Law: laws of social physics and juridical laws (see abstract here). Juha Himanka spoke on What is phenomenology all about? "The envisaged bridge is the bridge itself.”
On 11 October 2018, we dealt with the ways in which Foucault perhaps stands in the background of our problematizations. Professor Malcolm Voyce from Macquarie University (for his academic profile, see here) spoke on the role of law in assisting families to complete an intergenerational transfer of the farms in rural Australia, deploying Foucaldian approach on sexuality, space and how governments may ‘rule from a distance’ (see abstract here). Samuli Hurri provided comments.
On 29 October 2018, we dealt with the second problematization, strategic field and strategic logic. Matti Nojonen spoke on strategy in terms of the traditional concept of Chinese strategy work, quanmou (see abstract here). In the background of this presentation was Nojonen's broader manuscript on Chinese strategic thinking.
On 22 November 2018, we dealt with the third problematization, knowledge and power. Tomi Tuominen spoke on the role of scientific knowledge as a part of legal decision-making from the perspective of constitutional law. The title of his paper was "Knowledge as Power in the Construction of “the Many Constitutions of Europe” (see abstract here). Laura Junka-Aikio from University of Tromsø spoke on topic "Institutionalisation and neopoliticisation of Sami research in Finland: implications for research-based decision-making".
On 23 January 2019, we dealt with knowledge and vulnerability. Markku Kiikeri's topic was "Psychoanalytical approach to (legal) knowledge" (see abstract here); Laura Tarvainen's paper was "Slipping through the cracks: torture victims in asylum process and the role of medical knowledge" (see abstract here).
On 13 February 2019, we dealt with knowledge and resilience. Punam Noor spoke on "Significance of indigenous traditional knowledge in the process of ecological restoration" (see abstract here). Jukka Similä spoke on "Resilience, law and uncertainty" (see abstract here).
On 12–14 March 2019, was the faculty’s annual Research Seminar on Responsiveness and Reflectivity in Law. The event was co-ordinated by our team, but in terms of substance arranged with other teams together. For more information, see: https://www.ulapland.fi/EN/Events/Research-Seminar-in-Legal-Studies
On 27 March 2019, we dealt with indigeneity as knowledge. Julian Reid's topic was“Ensnare the Language”: Imagination and Resilience in Indigenous Arts of the Self." (see abstract here) Samuli Hurri provided comments.
Other events will be announced later.