Researcher in Spotlight: István Rytkönen

14.12.2023

The Researcher in Spotlight is a series which introduces the researchers of the Faculty of Law. We are presenting now project researcher István Rytkönen.

Position in the Faculty of Law: Project Researcher
Degrees: Master of Laws
Fields of interest: Democracy, ethics, education, inclusion, activism, religions, statistics; aimless wondering, stagecraft, meadow plants, board games, etymology, geography, cycling, floating, viennoiserie, graphic novels.

Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today?

During a lecture in 2018, we were informed that Academy Professor Johanna Niemi was looking for an assistant, and I started working for her. I did not fail too miserably, and got involved with other researchers’ work, too.

In the same corridor, professor Anne Alvesalo-Kuusi was also in need of assistants and found an excellent one – and then she found me quite soon afterwards. Anne's projects were just the right kind of goofy for me to wiggle into them. I have been involved in the Lawradar (Lakitutka) story since 2018, and, so far, there has always been a door ajar in the project, despite various adventures I have had in the meantime.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working as part of the LAWPOL infrastructure project and in the ‘Kuka säätää?’ science education project (‘Much Ado about the Law’ is what we call it in English). As part of LAWPOL, we are developing the Lawradar, and in the ‘Kuka säätää?’ project we will produce a participatory law-making simulation for 9th-grade-pupils, using Lawradar.

Project researcher István Rytkönen
István Rytkönen finds inspiration in the people in his research teams. Photo: Minna Nerg / University of Turku.

I have also begun my PhD research, the working title of which is ‘Farewell to Laws?’. I am researching people’s attitudes towards the morally binding nature of law, and their readiness to act in cases of perceived injustice.

Have your interests evolved since finishing your studies?

At least compared to the beginning of my studies they have, for sure. During my student years, I had quite a few side hustles and adventures, e.g. exchange studies, volunteering abroad, and studying mathematics. These adventures, as well as my work in the sociology of law, have significantly changed my relationship with the communities and societies in which I live.

My studies were intended to lead to some ”regular” lawyers’ work. However, my loitering in academia and activist groups, against the hegemonic ideals in this society, provided many opportunities to test my skills and imagination in much more varied environments than I had originally planned.

What would you be, if you were not a researcher?

A translator, translating screenplays. There are not many things in life that feel as meaningful and enjoyable.

What inspires you?

A luscious Sacher cake always inspires me. So does the kindness and empathy of people. In our research teams, we are often short of Sacher, but luckily there is plenty of kindness and empathy to inspire.

Created 14.12.2023 | Updated 18.12.2023