Lauri Paltemaa

Centre for East Asian Studies CEAS

The Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) is the only academic research centre in Finland that focuses on contemporary East Asia from the perspective of social sciences in both research and teaching. CEAS was established in 2006 but the minor programme in East Asian Studies has been offered since 1998.

CEAS has research and teaching expertise especially in politics, sociology and contemporary history of the region with a focus on China, South Korea, North Korea and Japan. CEAS offers three different study programmes (minor, master's and doctoral level) and also coordinates the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies (Asianet).

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News and Events

Korean Speech Contest 2023 / 2023년 한국어 말하기 대회

The Centre for East Asian Studies of the University of Turku invites all students of the Korean language to participate in the 2023 Korean Speech Contest in Turku on Friday, 1st December 2023. There will be Korean snacks and drinks for all participants and the audience after the contest, so welcome everyone! All participants receive a prize!

  • Date: Friday, 1 December 2023, 13-15.30 pm
  • Venue: Lecture Hall Edu2, Educarium building, 2nd floor, Assistentinkatu 5, 20500 Turku

More information here.

Kiinan poliittinen järjestelmä -kirja on ehdolla vuoden tietokirjaksi!

Book on China's political system nominated as the Scientific Book of the Year by the Finnish Association for Scholarly Publishing. CEAS' professor Lauri Paltemaa is one of the authors together with Prof. Mikael Mattlin and Prof. Juha A. Vuori. 

Kiinan poliittinen järjestelmä -kirja on ehdolla vuoden tietokirjaksi!

CEASin professori Lauri Paltemaa on yksi Kiinan poliittinen järjestelmä -kirjan kirjoittajista yhdessä tutkimusprofessori Mikael Mattlinin ja professori Juha A. Vuoren kanssa.  

Suomen Tiedekustantajien liitto arvioi kirjaa nimityslausunnossaan näin: "Perusteellinen, loogisesti etenevä kokonaisuus, joka toimii hyvin paitsi oppikirjana myös tieteellisenä yleisteoksena. Kirjassa on tiivistetty erinomaisesti Kiinan historiallinen ja ideologis-poliittinen tausta, joka on luonut maan poliittisen järjestelmän ja muokannut sitä. Teos kuvailee Kiinan hallintorakenteen ja sen kehityksen yksityiskohtaisesti, mutta selkeästi. Järjestelmän nykytilan ja tulevaisuuden haasteiden jäsennelty kuvaus tuo Kiinan lähemmäs suomenkielistä lukijaa." Kirjan on kustantanut Vastapaino. 

Lue lisää:

Kiinan poliittinen järjestelmä -kirjan kansi

Applying for Master's Degree Programme in East Asian Studies

The application period for the 2023-2025 EAST degree programme has ended. The next application period will be in January 2024.

More information:


The Nordic Asia Podcast - Always well-informed about Asia

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a podcast series co-hosted by Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in Copenhagen and its partners in the Nordic countries, including the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Turku. Experts join us in every episode to share their insights about timely topics within Asian Studies.

Check out the latest episodes of the Nordic Asia Podcast here:

CEAS podcast spotify       CEAS_NAPodcast_Apple


2023 Asian Studies Days Conference: At the Crux of New Europe-Asia Relations, 1 Nov 2023

2023 Asian Studies Days Conference (hybrid)

Date: 1 Nov 2023 (Wed)

Venue: EDU 2, University of Turku and Zoom

Recent geopolitical events and macroeconomic earthquakes have underscored the urgency of reevaluating the relationships between European and Asian countries. The rivalry between the US and China has exposed smaller European and Asian states to critical security and economic vulnerabilities over which they have limited control. Meanwhile, China is strategically positioning itself on the global stage to assume a leading normative role.

In Europe, it becomes imperative to grasp the regional dynamics in Asia and understand Asian countries better to chart a course that safeguards both our values and interests. With a wealth of outstanding scholarship in Asia, Asian Studies Days 2023 aims to delineate the key dynamics shaping current changes and pinpoint the essential areas requiring our attention.

2023 Asian Studies Days Doctoral Seminar, 31 Oct. 2023

Asian Studies Days' Doctoral Seminar

Date: 31 Oct (Tue), University of Turku (onsite, no online participation)

This doctoral seminar provides an outstanding opportunity to meet other young researchers whose doctoral thesis focuses on Asia, and to receive feedback from senior researchers who have a profound knowledge of the region. The seminar is arranged in connection with the annual Asian Studies Days.

Finland-Korea symposium, 12 Oct 2023

At the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Finland and the Republic of Korea, CEAS in co-operation with Suomi - Korean Tasavaltayhdistys (Finland-Republic of Korea Association) organises a half-day symposium on 12 Oct 2023 (13-17hrs).

The programme is published here.


Supported by


Otto Malm logo           KF logo 

Visiting Lecture: Democratization and Economic Development of South Korea: benefits and costs of traditional values, 5 Oct.

Democratization and Economic Development of South Korea: benefits and costs of traditional values 

Professor Youngtae Shin

Date: 5 Oct. 2023 (Thu), 12-14hrs

Venue: EDU3 (hybrid:; Meeting ID: 687 7824 7335; Passcode: 547173)

South Korea’s economic and political success received much attention from scholars of various disciplines and their approaches tend to vary depending on their disciplines. For instance, economists usually credit it to the government’s astute economic policy capitalizing Korea's comparative advantage of abundant cheap labor force in its early stage of development while political scientists focus on the successive authoritarian military regimes that enabled it to keep the cost of products lower in the world market. While I recognize the importance of their contributions, I would like to look at other aspects of Korea’s success by exploring Korea’s traditional values and its contributions to Korea’s success. In this talk, I will discuss the bearer of the culture and their role in making Korea politically democratic and economically robust. To this end, I will discuss young female factory workers in Korea’s march toward success of the export-oriented development and the older female agent who sustained the brunt of the political oppression of their families. At the end of my presentation, I will briefly discuss the erosion of the traditional cultures that the older generation of Koreans lament about.    


Youngtae Shin received her PhD in political science at the University of Washington, Seattle WA in 1992. Since then, she taught at the University of Central Oklahoma as professor in Political Science and simultaneously directed Asian Studies minor until her retirement in July 2023. She published three books (one in Korean) and many articles in areas of women and politics (politics broadly defined). Her current scholarly interest is to study the relationship between women’s political success and their role in promoting nationalism. She makes a distinction between internally oriented nationalism and externally directed expansionist one and postulates that there is a close relationship between the nature of nationalism and the degree of women’s success in domestic politics. She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Turku studying Finnish women’s political involvement in national politics. She hopes to explore the relationship between nationalism and women’s political success holds true in the Finnish women’s success in politics.  For this purpose, she intends to immerse herself in Finnish culture and its recent history. In her spare time, she likes to learn international folk dances (very interested in learning Finnish folk dance) and sings in her church choir. She is also writing her memoir for her grandchildren so that they will have some knowledge about their Korean roots from their maternal side even though they do not have Korean last names.   

Visiting Lecture: Taiwan, China, and the Cold War Refugees: Hong Kong, Dachen Islands, and Southeast Asia, 28 Sept.

Taiwan, China, and the Cold War Refugees: Hong Kong, Dachen Islands, and Southeast Asia

Visiting lecture by Professor Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang 楊孟軒, Associate Professor of East Asian History, Department of History, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA

Date: 28 Sept. (Thu), 12:45-13:30hrs

Venue: Pub499

Visiting Lecture: The Uses of Cuteness: Gender, Identity Politics, and Elections in Taiwan, 28 Sept.

The Uses of Cuteness: Gender, Identity Politics, and Elections in Taiwan

Visiting Lecture by Hsin-I Sydney Yueh 岳心怡, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Communication, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA

Date: 28 Sept. (Thu), 12:15-12:45hrs

Venue: Pub499

Visiting lecture (hybrid): Global China on the Ground: A Civil Society Perspective, 6 April 2023

Title: Global China on the Ground: A Civil Society Perspective

Speaker: Dušica Ristivojević, Senior Researcher, University of Helsinki

Time and venue: 6.4.2023, 12:00-14hrs (EEST), Pub150 or

China's Zijin Mining Group is one of the world's largest mining groups and aims to become one of the world's top three mining companies. In recent years, it has made significant investments in Serbia to extract and process gold and raw materials like copper. Under the leadership of strongman Aleksandar Vučić, Serbia's mining sector is expected to grow from its current 2% to 5% of its total GDP over the next decade. Yet, controversies surrounding environmental issues and the lack of transparency of the Serbian government and its Chinese partners are mobilizing local activists. Based on fieldwork data, the speaker will address how China's global advancement looks on the ground and the dynamics of ever-increasing Chinese influence in this region of Europe undergoing a slow accession process to the EU. 


Visiting lecture (Zoom): The impact of Russian invasion of Ukraine on Japan's policy concerning the Arctic and North, 30 March 2023, 10-12 EEST

Juha Saunavaara, Associate Professor at Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center

30 March 2023 (Thu), 10-12 EEST (Zoom), Meeting ID: 630 3014 3883, Passcode: 339975

Russian invasion of Ukraine has had significant spillover effects on the Arctic causing turbulence in international relations and posing challenges to the structures of Arctic governance. Japan as a state is connected with the Arctic governance and cooperation through institutional bonds (such as the observer status at the Arctic Council) and policy commitments. Similarly, various Japanese stakeholders ranging from private companies and NGOs to universities and subnational governments have invested resources, built networks, and committed themselves to the long-term engagement and collaboration with a wide spectrum of Arctic actors. The ongoing crisis forces all of them to reconsider their attitude toward the Arctic cooperation and evaluate their present and future interaction with their Arctic partners. Besides describing the development of Japan’s interaction with the Arctic and North and the more recent changes caused by the war, this presentation elaborates the linkages between Japan’s Arctic and marine and energy policies, for example. In addition, it provides insights concerning the possible structures and issues of future cooperation.

Bio: Juha Saunavaara is an Associate Professor at Hokkaido University Arctic Research Center. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes representing various fields ranging from Arctic and Asian studies to history, geography, international relations, and tourism. His current research focuses on interactions between the Arctic and non-Arctic actors, telecommunication and transport infrastructure in the Arctic, regional development, non-state actors’ international cooperation and sustainable tourism.

CEAS' MOOC "Introduction to East Asia" is Course of the Year 2022

The CEAS' Finnish language MOOC Johdatus Itä-Aasiaan (Introduction to East Asia) was selected course of the year 2022 at the University of Turku!

Congratulations to Silja Keva and her team! The University of Turku (UTU) and the Student Union of the UTU selected the MOOC-course Johdatus Itä-Aasiaan (Introduction to East Asia) as the course of the year 2022. The course is produced by the Centre for East Asian Studies for the national Finnish University Network for Asian Studies.

The selection arguments highlighted the inspiring and versatile study materials of the course, the varied and flexible assignments and their good interplay with the course text book. The course received excellent student feedback.

Johdatus Itä-Aasiaan is a Finnish-language MOOC-course that is free of charge and open to everybody. The course introduced the key issues and challenges of East Asian (China, Japan, South and North Korea) countries in politics, economy, social issues and regional relations. 

See below how to sign up to the course (for Finnish speakers)!


Johdatus Itä-Aasiaan -MOOC-verkkokurssi on Turun yliopiston vuoden 2022 opintojakso!

Turun yliopisto ja Turun yliopiston ylioppilaskunta valitsivat Itä-Aasian tutkimus- ja koulutuskeskuksen ja Yliopistojen Aasia-verkoston -verkkokurssin “Johdatus Itä-Aasiaan” vuoden opintojaksoksi 2022. 

Valintaperusteita kuvattiin näin: ”Johdatus Itä-Aasiaan -MOOC-verkkokurssi oli innostava, kaikille avoin itseopiskelukurssi. Kurssilla oppimista tukivat omassa aikataulussa suoritettavat pienet ja vaihtelevat tehtävät, joiden yhteyteen oli merkitty arvioitu kesto. Erilaiset tehtävät nivoutuivat kurssin oppikirjaan ja monipuoliseen verkkomateriaaliin. Kurssisivuston visuaalinen ilme lisäsi motivaatiota. Opiskelijapalautteet kurssilta olivat kiittäviä.”


Johdatus Itä-Aasiaan on kaikille avoin ja ilmainen massaverkkokurssi. Tällä kurssilla opit ymmärtämään Itä-Aasian yhteiskuntien avainpiirteitä ja keskeisimpiä haasteita, jotka määrittävät alueen maiden (Kiina, Etelä-Korea, Pohjois-Korea ja Japani) nykypolitikkaa, talouksia ja maiden välisiä suhteita.


Kurssi perustuu oppikirjaan nimeltä Lohikäärme, tiikeri ja krysanteemi – johdatus Itä-Aasian yhteiskuntiin. Erilaiset verkossa suoritettavat tehtävät tukevat ja täydentävät oppikirjaa ja auttavat opiskelijaa soveltamaan ja pohtimaan oppimaansa. Kurssi on kokonaan suomenkielinen.


Kurssille kirjautuminen: Syksyn 2022 kurssille voi kirjautua 3.10 -20.11.2022 aikana. Kurssia voi suorittaa ajalla 3.10-18.12.2022.

Kirjaudu kurssille osoitteessa

Tervetuloa mukaan!


Visiting lecture: Historicizing Taiwan’s Role in Global Health: from Colonial Period to Post-Covid Times, 8 Nov 22

Historicizing Taiwan’s Role in Global Health: from Colonial Period to Post-Covid Times

Time: Tuesday 8 November, 14:15-15:45

Venue: ARC270, Arcanum (close to Publicum, see map )

This is an EAST lecture passport event.

Entering the post-pandemic era, historians of medicine have found themselves much more critical in informing current global health theories and practices. For example, Cueto et al. (2019) have recently examined political and historical processes of the World Health Organization, in which international organizations discovered their role caught up within shifting power of international relations. Charters et al. (2021) proposed to study environmental, societal, historical, logistical, and diplomatic factors countering the conventional linear narrative of pandemics. More recently, the field of Global Health Humanities (Hassan et al., 2022) have surfaced to invite more disciplinary approaches to examine how developing knowledge of health and diseases are impacted by various global health priorities, social systems and cultural expectations. In this presentation, I draw examples from my previous research to position Taiwan in these emerging critics. These examples include Taiwan’s function in Japan’s colonial health governance, its arm’s-length participation in the World Health Organization after World War II, its decades-long tradition in health diplomacy, and its efforts to demonstrate healthcare capacity along the newly fangled New Southbound Policy. I offer different perspectives to reappraise Taiwan’s role in the history of global health against the backdrop of disorganized world order and the tortuous East Asian geopolitics. Such understanding will become pivotal for global health practitioners in “the world” to outstrip their constrained imagination about Taiwan, and for those from Taiwan to contribute to the global effort to alleviate human suffering.

About the speaker
Harry Yi-Jui Wu is a historian of medicine. He was trained in medicine in Taiwan before obtaining DPhil in modern history at the University of Oxford in 2012. His research projects mainly focus on the transnational histories of mental health. Harry’s first book, Mad by the Millions: Mental Disorders and the Early Years of the World Health Organization, was published by MIT Press in 2021. Before becoming Associate Professor at National Cheng Kung University, he taught at Nanyang Technological University and the University of Hong Kong between 2013 and 2021, where he convened medical humanities programs for two schools of medicine. In 2020, he was elected Early Career Fellow of Hong Kong Academy of Humanities. Currently, he is jointly appointed by the Cross College Elite Program and the Department of Medical Humanities & Social Medicine at NCKU. Besides, he is Co-Editor of the Journal of Social History of Medicine.

EU Horizon Grant: New Research Project 'ReConnect China'

CEAS together with a European consortium secured a four-year, four-million Euro EU Horizon grant to collaborate on ReConnect China, a path-breaking research project to address the lack of China knowledge in Europe and the urgent need to upgrade and promote independent European knowledge on contemporary China. There were more than a dozen applications for funding under this Horizon call, and ReConnect China consortium involving CEAS is one of only two selected. Starting from November 2022, the project aims to clarify in which domains the EU’s cooperation with China is desirable, possible or impossible. Ghent University in Belgium will coordinate the work of 14 universities and knowledge centres in 12 European countries, of which UTU is the only Nordic University.

According to Professor Lauri Paltemaa, in the current geopolitical situation, China is increasingly identified as a rival, so it’s imperative to carve out a fair, balanced, and mutually beneficial European policy vis-à-vis China. This task will be supported by a tailor-made database collecting data from government sources both at national and local levels. Professor Lauri Paltemaa also emphasised the importance of getting a better understanding of what’s going on beyond Beijing, in provincial cities and villages. The project breaks new ground by linking this new digital repository with computational methods of data collection and analysis. Paltemaa ensures that CEAS researchers are well prepared to utilise the collected data to their full, as CEAS has in a pioneering manner initiated training for students and staff members in computational research methods.

CEAS will also co-lead one of the consortium’s work packages aiming to produce Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) for European students. University lecturer Outi Luova, who is in charge of the development of the MOOC courses, describes this as an extraordinary opportunity to contribute to the development of Chinese studies in European universities. Based on the robust experience of CEAS in four much-praised MOOC courses via the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies, the aim of ReConnect is to provide introductory courses in Chinese politics, society and economy that are easily accessible. Outi Luova points out, that the excellent scalability of the MOOC courses, and their efficient ability to mainstream China-knowledge among university students and the general public, was one of the key aspects that secured the funding.

In addition to creating and disseminating knowledge about China for Europe and its citizens, Senior researcher Hermann Aubié with researchers from CEAS and the ReConnect Consortium will deliver policy briefs, podcasts and workshops to inform the strategic priorities of the European Union and the Commission in key EU-China issue areas such as green and digital technology, human rights, geoeconomics, global health, development financing, foreign aid, and the nexus between China’s domestic politics and international relations. As China researchers are often scattered all over Europe, this project also intends to bring them together, with policy experts, students and other key stakeholders through a new Europe-China Knowledge Forum. To sum up, the five main outputs of the ReConnect China project are:

1. Providing an independent understanding of China and its overall defining social, cultural, political and economic characteristics.

2. Identifying the EU’s current strengths and urgent needs within the new global narratives on China.

3. Developing a database of online open sources enabling day-to-day insights into policies, narratives, and public discourses in China.

4. Mainstreaming knowledge on China within the EU to help offset the stagnating number of European students in Chinese studies while enhancing awareness on China among the general public and youth.

5. Contributing fact-based knowledge in four key policy fields: Science & Technology, Economy & Trade, Domestic Politics, and China in the World.

CEAS is very much looking forward to the official kick-off of this highly interesting new research endeavour in the company of excellent European partners!

ReConnect China Logo

New Book on China's Political System by Lauri Paltemaa, Mikael Mattlin and Juha A. Vuori

This book authored by Mikael Mattlin, Lauri Paltemaa and Juha A. Vuori offers a comprehensive analysis of China's political system (in Finnish).

Based on the latest research, the book provides its readers with a key terminology to understand Chinese politics. It deals with relations between the state and society, the role of the state in the economy and China's foreign policy. The book also presents the key political institutions of the People's Republic of China, their historical backgrounds and functional features.

Kiinasta on muodostumassa globaali poliittinen mahtitekijä, jonka vaikutus näkyy myös Suomessa.

Kiina on vaurastunut ja voimistunut, mutta Kiinan autoritaarinen poliittinen järjestys ei muistuta länsimaiden toimintatapoja. Siksi on oleellista ymmärtää Kiinan poliittisen järjestelmän perusteet ja sen toimintaperiaatteet.

Kiinan poliittinen järjestelmä on ainutlaatuinen yhdistelmä keisarillista menneisyyttä, leninististä (jälki)totalitarismia ja nykyaikaisia julkisjohtamisen oppeja. Sen toiminnassa korostuvat sekä muodolliset puoluevaltion instituutiot että epämuodolliset poliittisen kulttuurin piirteet.

Kirja tarjoaa lukijalleen uusimpaan tutkimukseen perustuvan keskeisen käsitteistön Kiinan politiikan ymmärtämiseksi. Siinä käsitellään valtion ja yhteiskunnan välisiä suhteita, valtion roolia taloudessa sekä Kiinan ulkopolitiikkaa. Kirjassa esitellään myös Kiinan kansantasavallan keskeiset poliittiset instituutiot, niiden historialliset taustat ja toiminnalliset piirteet sekä tutkimuksessa käytetyt keskeiset käsitteet.

Kirjoittajat ovat Kiinan tutkimuksen asiantuntijoita: Mikael Mattlin on Turun yliopiston valtio-opin professori. Lauri Paltemaa on Turun yliopiston Itä-Aasian oman aikamme historian ja politiikan professori sekä Itä-Aasian tutkimus- ja koulutuskeskuksen johtaja. Juha A. Vuori on Tampereen yliopiston kansainvälisen politiikan professori.

Saatavilla myös e-kirjana.

Second revised edition of "Lohikäärme, tiikeri ja krysanteemi" at UTU Shop

The second revised edition of "Lohikäärme, tiikeri ja krysanteemi - - Johdatus Itä-Aasian yhteiskuntiin", the Finnish texbook for studying contemporary East Asia, is now out!

You can purchase the electronic and printed version of the book from Utu-shop.


LOHIKÄÄRME, TIIKERI JA KRYSANTEEMI – Johdatus Itä-Aasian yhteiskuntiin

Kirjoittajat: Silja Keva (toim.), Annamari Konttinen, Kristian Kurki, Lauri Paltemaa ja Sungju Park-Kang

Lohikäärme, tiikeri ja krysanteemi tarjoaa johdatuksen Kiinan, Etelä-Korean, Pohjois-Korean ja Japanin historiaan ja näiden tämän hetken polttavimpiin yhteiskunnallisiin ja taloudellisiin haasteisiin. Kirjassa käsitellään mm. nopeasti ikääntyvän väestön vaikutuksia Japaniin, Kiinan politiikan ja hallinnon erityispiirteitä, ja Koreoiden tilannetta. Lisäksi kirjassa valotetaan tämän yhden maailman dynaamisimman alueen keskinäisen yhteistyön ongelmakohtia, joita historialliset jännitteet edelleen vaikeuttavat.

Kirja sopii kaikille kansainvälisistä aiheista ja Itä-Aasiasta kiinnostuneille ja Itä-Aasian opintoja aloittaville opiskelijoille.

Kirjoittajat toimivat tutkijoina ja opettajina Turun yliopiston Itä-Aasian tutkimus- ja koulutuskeskuksessa, joka on Suomen ainoa Itä-Aasian nyky-yhteiskuntia yhteiskuntatieteellisestä näkökulmasta tutkiva akateeminen yksikkö.

Kirja on jo myynnissä e-kirjana Turun yliopiston UTUShopissa 10€ hintaan.

UTUShopissa on myös myynnissä painettu teos 15€ hintaan.

Statement by AKSE and EAJS on Racism in COVID19 Times

Concerned East Asian Studies Scholars on Racism in COVID19 Times :

Statement adopted by the councils of AKSE (Association for Korean Studies in Europe) and EAJS (European Association for Japanese Studies):

"Since the start of the COVID19 pandemic, Europe has witnessed a growing number of incidences of anti-Asian violence. East Asians are being physically assaulted on European streets, yelled at, subjected to verbal attacks and to a variety of discriminatory treatments including abrupt cancellation of rental contracts and denial of essential services, medical treatment included.

In Germany, the South Korean Embassy had to warn its citizens of the growing danger of anti-Korean racist violence and urge caution outside. Recently, a South Korean student couple in Berlin, having been assaulted, were told by the police that they should not ‘defame’ the perpetrators by referring to them as‘racists.’ In Italy, there are reports of vandalized Chinese shops in the cities of Brescia and Varese. In Britain, in a high-profile incident, a Thai tax consultant was physically assaulted on a street in broad daylight by a gang of ruffians yelling ‘Corona!’ at him. Every new day brings fresh news about violent incidents, verbal assaults, and victims traumatized by the experience of violent racial exclusion. The victims come from a variety of national and ethnic backgrounds comprising most East, South-East, and South Asian societies.

Of course, the anti-Asian violence of the recent months did not emerge out of the blue. For most non -Europeans living in Europe, quotidian lives involve regular battles with an array of problems ranging from denigrating stereotypes and social exclusion to outright verbal or physical violence. It was against this backdrop that COVID19 pandemic and the responses of the European decision- and opinion-makers to it further exacerbated the situation, paving a way towards making Europe’s resident Asians into one more object of xenophobic baiting.

We know very well that the root causes of racism are complex, and the same applies to the anti-Asian racist wave which the current pandemic triggered. We are also aware that patterns of racist exclusion are at work in other continents as well, also in East Asia – the virus is always conceived of as the virus of other ethno-national groups, not of ours. Yet, there is an identifiable connection between the explicitly or implicitly xenophobic discourses produced and disseminated by the politicians and mass media, and the rise in violent xenophobia on the streets. While hardly any country in the world can escape blame for making mistakes while countering the COVID19 pandemic, singling out a particular East Asian country as supposedly ‘fully responsible’ for the current disaster is a recipe for social disasters. The racist bullies on the streets do not distinguish between the governments and the people whom they govern, nor do they distinguish between the migrants from different Asian societies. While media’s duty to critically analyse the COVID19 response by any government, domestic and foreign, is to be fully acknowledged, responsible journalists should be able to draw a line between legitimate critique and xenophobic agitation. Regrettably, in these critical hours, European media repeatedly fail in this crucial task. Referring to COVID19 as ‘Chinese virus’ serves as excitement to xenophobia. Routine references to the supposed ‘authoritarianism’ of Asian societies (despite the fact that a number of them, typically South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, are full-fledged parliamentary democracies) in European media mislead the public while holding alive the prejudices and paternalistic attitudes dating back to the age of imperialism and colonialism.

We, representatives of Europe-based experts in East Asian Studies, urge Europe’s decision- and opinion-makers, politicians, journalists and educators included, to be aware about their duty to ensure personal safety and equal treatment to all minorities, including the minorities of Asian origins, inhabiting the European continent, and refrain from any utterances or statements which may serve, explicitly or implicitly, as incitement to racial hatred and xenophobic violence. Furthermore, we urge them to spare no efforts in educating our European co-citizens about the importance of minorities’ rights and unprejudiced perceptions of diverse ethno-national groups, thus not conniving at but developing an antidote to the rampant racial exclusion and violence we are unfortunately witnessing now."


25th May 2020

Asian Studies Days on October 26-27, 2022

Asian Studies Days 2022   “Time of Reassessments”

Oct 26-27,  University of Turku

Registration is now open for participation!

To register, please fill out the registration form

-> Participation onsite at the University of Turku. Registration closes on Thursday 20 October.

-> Participation online via zoom . Registration closes on October 26.

Asian Studies Days 2022 challenges the participants to approach Asian Studies in new ways. Firstly, there is a growing movement in universities in “Global North” towards casting off West-centrism and coloniality in research on Asia. While these debates are developing in various directions, this conference focuses on the “politics of knowledge and the analysis of power within academia itself” (De Jong et al. 2017). The question is how to identify and abandon long-standing patterns of power structures that for example define criteria for academic performance and knowledge production. Along with being orientalised, Asia is also exceptionalised and seen as something that can be understood in isolation from the rest of the world. The two keynote presentations help us to work towards de-westernized and non-hierarchical approaches of Asia.

Secondly, the past three years have forced us to rearrange educational programs in unexpected ways. This has accelerated new thinking and innovation in education. On the one hand, we will explore ways to protect non-local students’ well-being. On the other hand, we will address practices that have been found feasible when launching cooperation with Asian partners in online education.

Preliminary Programme:

Wednesday October 26, Hybrid
Venue: Calonia, CAL1 (map)
Online attendance via zoom.

Morning session:
Chair: Professor Lauri Paltemaa, Chair of the board, Finnish University Network for Asian Studies

11:00 Welcoming words
Louis Clerc, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Turku

Keynote presentations

11:10 – 12:00 “Political Deification: Building theory from Asia”
Moumita Sen, Associate professor, Culture studies, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society
Presentation given via zoom.
Discussant: Yoko Demelius, University teacher, Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku

It has been clear from the decades of subaltern studies and other postcolonial scholarship, and more recently decolonial critique, that we need to build theory from the global South.

One of the problems facing us in understanding the wave of rising religious nationalisms and authoritarian politics globally is the separation of ‘religion’ and ‘politics’ as analytical categories. This particular analytical construct which stems from European enlightenment, while being repeatedly critiqued, still poses a challenge to scholars of the global south working on so-called religio-political phenomena.

For example, across Asian political communities, political leaders are transformed into deities, and worshipped or treated like supernatural beings. This occurs in various religious and national contexts in Asia and has been understood as instances of messianism, custodianship, sacred kingship, martyrdom, pacification, and charismatic authority among others. These concepts travel, intersect, and imbue the different political systems in Asian countries. Political deification, which borrows a South Asian popular phrase, is an overarching theory that explains how political legitimacy is strengthened by different religious affects, institutions, and actors.

By relocating the situated place of theories of political theology from Christology and Europe, this theory builds towards a pluriversal conception of power.

12:00 -12:50 Global China as Method: Situating Contemporary China within Global Capitalism
Nicholas Loubere, Senior lecturer, Department of East and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Lund
Presentation given onsite.
Discussant: Liisa Kauppila, Senior researcher, FORAC project, University of Turku

 Is China part of the world? Based on much of the political, media, and popular discourse in the West the answer is seemingly no. Even after four decades of integration into the global socioeconomic system, discussions of China continue to be underpinned, bound, and framed by a core assumption—that the country represents a fundamentally different ‘other’ that somehow exists outside the ‘real’ world.

Using a number of illustrative examples, this talk will examine how the othering of China functions in contemporary discourse and argue for a shift in perspective that recognises the ways in which the country and people are entangled in the global capitalist system.

12:50-13:30 lunch break

Afternoon session
Chair: Outi Luova, director, Finnish University Network for Asian Studies

13:30-13:40 Introduction to GINTL China  (Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning, GINTL), coordinated by the University of Helsinki
Olli-Pekka Malinen, University lecturer, Regional Expert (China)

13:40-13:50 Introduction to the EU-funded Horizon consortium “ReConnect” in which the Centre for East Asian Studies of the University of Turku CEAS is one of the members.
Lauri Paltemaa, Professor, Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku

13:50-14:30 COVID-19 and Well-Being of Non-local Students: Implications for International Higher Education Governance
Padmore Adusei Amoah, Assistant professor, and Weiyan Xiong, Assistant professor, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Discussant: Suvi Jokila, postdoctoral researcher, Dept of education, University of Turku

Non-local students have been one of the worst affected groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them live in foreign countries/regions with limited social and economic support. This presentation examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its control measures on the well-being of non-local students globally. It also examines the effectiveness of university support for the well-being of non-local students. Data were derived from a global survey on non-local students’ experiences and well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

A significant proportion of the students had low well-being. We found that being worried about COVID-19, perceived disruption of academic activities, perceived disruption of social activities and feeling lonely were negatively associated with the students’ well-being. However, informational support from universities was positively associated with their well-being.

These findings will be discussed in the context of higher education governance, policies and practical changes necessary to protect non-local students’ well-being during and after the pandemic.

14:30-14:45 Presentation of a survey on Finnish-Asian online education cooperation during the pandemic
Ville Sava, project researcher,  Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku

14:45-15:00 coffee / tea break

15:00-16:00 Panel on new practices for online education cooperation with Asian universities

– Maritta Välimäki, Professor, Health sciences,University of Turku – case: online courses on career development, with Chinese partners
– Jari Porras, Professor, Software engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology – case: Online hackathons, with Malesian partners
– Johanna Lampinen, International education, University of Oulu – case: Blended Intensive Study Programme in Pune (India) and Oulu
– Olli-Pekka Malinen, University lecturer, Regional Expert (China), Global Innovation Network for Teaching and Learning (GINTL) Coordination, University of Helsinki

16:00  Closing remarks

Thursday October 27, Onsite only

9:00-15:00 Doctoral seminar. Registration closed.

Visiting lecture (Zoom): From the N-P’o Generation to the God-Saeng lifestyle: The Drive Towards Renunciation and Rejection of Long-term Life Goals among South Korean Young People, 2 Nov

Grazia Milano, PhD candidate, L'Orientale University of Naples

2 Nov (Wed), 12-14hrs (Zoom)

Renunciation of marriage, a house, childbirth, and other long-term normative life goals is a rising trend among today’s South Korean young people. The phenomenon fuels critical social changes, some of which are already in motion in the peninsula such as the concerning aging of the population. The question is why do so many Korean young people gravitate toward it? Also, what may this entail for Korean social values and the concept of Koreanness? So far data from 144 interviews and 561 surveys with South Koreans in their twenties and thirties collected between 2021 and 2022 exposed how the current neoliberal structure pressures participants to prioritize their fight for risk control, putting their own present individual well-being before sociocultural normativity and long-term oriented goals.

Visiting lecture: Authoritarian Successor Parties, Supporters, and Protest, 13 Oct

Dr. Myunghee Lee, NIAS

13 Oct (Thu), 12-14hrs (hybrid), Pub 4

Are authoritarian successor party (ASP) supporters more likely to protest? Authoritarian successor parties (ASPs) are the parties that were founded during the authoritarian period and survived democratization. In this study, Dr. Lee argues that ASP supporters are less likely to participate in protests because of their lack of protesting resources. Dr. Lee compares two South Korean mass movements, the Candlelight Movement and the Taegeukgi Rallies to unpack the relationships between ASP supporters, protest resources, and mobilization. This study reveals authoritarian legacies among post-democratization citizens through ASP supporters’ protesting behavior., Meeting ID: 661 5081 7427, Passcode: 035913

Visiting lecture: Fight for nostalgia: authoritarian legacies, collective identity, and the far-right protest in South Korea, 12 Oct

Dr. Myunghee Lee, NIAS

12 Oct (Wed), 12-14hrs, Pub299

In this talk, Dr. Lee will discuss the rise of far-right activism in the form of the Taegeukgi Rallies in South Korea. This movement is puzzling since the literature on mass mobilization does not provide good explanations about the movement’s timing, demographic composition, and protest agendas. With the in-depth interviews with rally participants and non-participants, Dr. Lee suggests an alternative explanation that the collective identity shaped by authoritarian socialization and strengthened with authoritarian nostalgia plays a significant role in mobilizing rally participants.

CEAS - Lingnan University: China and Regional Studies Joint Webinar Series, 11 February -29 April 2022

China and Regional Studies Joint Webinar Series

Online registration required 

Medium of instruction: English

* Zoom webinar link for each seminar will be sent to participants before the seminar.


Date: 11 February 2022, Friday

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)

Topic 1: Diversity, Fluidity, and Work-life Balance—Contemplating social sustainability from the labor participation perspective, Dr. Yoko Demelius, Researcher, Centre for East Asian Studies, the University of Turku, Finland

Topic 2: Skills, Life Satisfaction, and the Japan Paradox: A Puzzle for Multidisciplinary Research, Prof. Satoshi Araki, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong


Date: 18 February 2022, Friday

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)

Topic 1: The Spatialities of Extended Infrastructure Landscapes: The Case of Malaysia’s Melaka Gateway Project, Dr. Creighton Paul Connolly, Assistant Professor, School of Graduate Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Topic 2: The ‘Partnership’ Conundrum: Japanese Government, NGOs and Development Aid, Dr. Kamila Szczepanska, University Lecturer, Centre for East Asian Studies, the University of Turku, Finland


Date: 18 March 2022, Friday

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)

Topic 1: China’s Overseas Economic Regions in the Making – Insights from the Arctic Case, Ms. Liisa Kauppila, Doctoral Candidate, Centre for East Asian Studies, the University of Turku, Finland

Topic 2: China’s Relations With Its Neighbours: New and Old Issues, Prof. Kar-ming Yu, Director, Lingnan Institute of Further Education, Hong Kong


Date: 25 March 2022, Friday

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)

Topic 1: Massification and Privatisation of Higher Education in East Asia: Critical Reflections on Graduate Employment from Sociological and Political Economic Perspectives, Prof. Joshua Ka-ho Mok, Vice-President and Lam Man Tsan Chair Professor of Comparative Policy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Topic 2: The Potential Effects of Social Capital on the Employment of North Korean Refugees in South Korea, Mr. Suik Jung, Doctoral Candidate, Centre for East Asian Studies, the University of Turku, Finland


Date: 22 April 2022, Friday

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)

Topic 1: Economy of Anticipation in the Sea of Japan Rim, Dr. Outi Luova, University Lecturer, Centre for East Asian Studies, the University of Turku, Finland

Topic 2: Exporting Cities from East Asia: Another Growth Engine or Illusive Dream?, Dr. Do Young Oh, Research Assistant Professor, School of Graduate Studies, Lingnan University, Hong Kong


Date: 29 April 2022, Friday

Time: 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm (Hong Kong time, GMT +8)

Topic 1: Sino-Indian Relations in the Post-COVID Era, Prof. Shalendra Sharma, Associate Vice-President (Academic Quality Assurance and Internationalisation), Lingnan University, Hong Kong

Topic 2: Rethinking Beijing's "humanitarian aid" diplomacy during COVID-19's first wave: insights from a novel dataset, Dr Hermann Aubié, Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for East Asian Studies, the University of Turku, Finland

Workshop: Computational Methods in Contemporary Chinese Studies, 28-29 April

Application period for the workshop: March 7-20, 2022


Ever wanted to learn computational methods in contemporary China studies, but have no idea on how to get started? Join the hands-on workshop to learn basics in computational methods.

Time: April 28-29, 2022

Venue: Nordic Institute for Asian Studies NIAS, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Organizers: China in Europe Research Network CHERN; Nordic Institute for Asian Studies NIAS, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Centre for East Asian Studies CEAS, University of Turku, Finland.

This training is a continuation to the CHERN training webinar (November 2021) that introduced basic issues and tools in computational methods for contemporary Chinese studies. Now, a twoday hands-on training workshop will be arranged at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen on April 28-29.

The participants will learn basics in topic modelling and semantic network analysis. This will be done step-by-step, guided by experienced trainers and a technical assistant. There will be preprepared English and Chinese language datasets so that the training can kick-off smoothly. The datasets are collected from the Chinese news site Xinhuanet. Trainees work in small groups of 3- 4 persons focusing on one research task. The workshop is complemented with two webinar presentations on Chinese digital materials.

More information here:

Nordic Korean Studies Days: 7-11 March 2022

The 2022 NKSD will be held in Copenhagen. The intensive course (5 ECTS) with teachers and students from four Nordic countries is supported by Nordplus. 

The online lectures are open to the public, welcome all! Join via Zoom (all times: UCT+1):

7 March (Mon), 12:45-13:30

Naomi Hyunjoo Chi (Hokkaido University): “Voices of the Voiceless People-The Underclass and Social Inclusion in South Korea”

8 March (Tue), 09:15-10:00

Seongnae Kim (Sogang University): “Shamanic Epics and Narrative Construction of Identity on Cheju Island”

8 March (Tue), 12:45 -13:30

Jocelyn Clark (Pai Chai University): “When ‘Music’ is not a ‘Universal Language’: Listening to the “Scattered Melodies” 散調of Jeolla

9 March (Wed), 09:15-10:00

Soo Ryon Yoon (Lingnan University): “Making Space for Afro-Asian Methods: Koule Kan's Burkinabe Performance in South Korea”

9 March (Wed), 12:45 -13:30

Amos Farooqi (University of Copenhagen): “Regional hip hop and the Seoul Metropole: A case study of underground hip hop in Gwangju”

10 March (Thu), 09:15-10:00

Mikyoung Kim (Pukyong University): “In the shadows of K-culture: Korea's Sex Industry”

10 March (Thu), 12:45 -13:30

Farrah Sheikh (Ewha Women's University): “Recycling European Narratives in South Korea's 'Refugee Crisis': Islamophobia, #MeToo, and Yemeni Refugees on Jeju Island” 

11 March (Fri), 09:15-10:00

Hannes Mosler (University Duisburg-Essen): “The 2022 Presidential Elections and the Future of Democracy in South Korea”

11 March (Fri), 12:45-13:30

Javier Cha (Seoul National University): “Big Data and the Future of the Korean Humanities”


Academy of Finland Research Project "Security in China"

We are delighted about the Academy of Finland's decision to fund the Security in China research consortium led by CEAS Professor Lauri Paltemaa and Professor Juha A. Vuori form the University of Tampere. More information on the project webpages:
Security in China (in English)
Turvallisuus Kiinassa (in Finnish)