Doctoral Studies at CEAS

It is possible to pursue a doctoral degree in East Asian Studies under the auspices of the Centre for East Asian Studies, supervised by the CEAS academic staff.

Admission takes place through the Doctoral Programme of Social and Behavioural Sciences of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

About the Doctoral Programme

CEAS offers studies on the doctoral level leading up to a doctoral thesis and Doctoral Degree in Social Sciences (East Asian studies).

To complete a doctoral degree in social sciences, doctoral candidates are required to complete 240 credits (ECTS) of work, consisting of a dissertation (180 credits) and academic courses and other work worth 60 credits. See the Image removed.list of credit categories  in  doctoral studies (xlsx).
The 60-credit courses and other work can be taken in the following form:

  1. Obligatory studies
    • Postgraduate studies exam or equivalent course (15 credits)
      The content and method of completion is agreed with the thesis supervisor or professor.
    • Active participation in the discipline’s or faculty’s research seminars
    • Courses in the philosophy of science and research ethics provided by the University of Turku Graduate School or equivalent studies
  2. Other studies
    • A presentation at a national or international academic conference on East Asia (2 credits)
    • An approved lecture (1–2 credits)
    • Classes:
      • a comprehensive exam (5 credits)
      • a bibliographical essay/literature review (5 credits)
      • advanced academic English writing and/or East Asian language studies (Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) (20 credits maximum)
      • pedagogical studies (5 credits)
    • Publications: an article of 6,500 words published in an refereed academic journal (10 credits)
    • a book review (2 credits)
    • an article featuring the prospective student's research expertise published in a non-academic journal, magazine, or a major newspaper (2 credits)​
    • academic studies organised by doctoral programmes
Doctoral seminars at CEAS

Doctoral candidates are required to present their research plan and findings to the Centre's doctoral seminar. CEAS research seminars are multidisciplinary, and doctoral candidates from all disciplines of human sciences at the University of Turku are welcome to attend and present their research.

These PhD seminars are aimed at doctoral students from all UTU faculties in human sciences. The objective is to get together a critical mass of people who are writing their thesis about East Asia (China, Japan, Korea), and to foster a multidisciplinary research community in East Asian Studies at UTU.

PhD students will earn 3 ECTS for ten attendances and the presentation of a seminar paper. Papers to be presented and discussed in the seminar will be made available in advance in the CEAS-research mailing list.

For more information and for giving a presentation in the seminar, please contact Professor Lauri Paltemaa (


Lauri Paltemaa
Professor, Director of CEAS
+358 (0) 29 450 3059, +358 (0) 50 326 5014

Doctoral Dissertations at CEAS

The following doctoral candidates are currently registered at CEAS to pursue doctoral studies.

Pia Eskelinen

Dissertation topic: Rural women's experiences of urbanization in peri-urban communities.​

Research interests: 

  • Rural population
  • Rural women
  • Hukou system
  • Urbanisation


  • Eskelinen, Pia: "China’s Economy and Hukou: How About Rural Women?" 8/2014, Gender Studies Network.
  • Eskelinen, Pia: "Hukou 戶口 Women Hold Up Half the Sky. Does the Chinese Hukou System Treat Rural Women Unequally?" 4/2015, Gender Studies Network.

E-mail: pia.j.eskelinen(a)

Suik Jung

Disssertation topic: Integration of North Koreans in South Korea: The Role of Social Capital of Defectors in Employment, Housing, Education, and Health

Katri Kauhanen

Dissertation topic: The women's movement re-examined: The Korean National Council of Women in authoritarian South Korea, 1959–1989

Research interests:

  • Contemporary Korean history and society
  • History politics in East Asia
  • Gender history
  • Transnational histories of the Cold War
  • Publications:

  • Kauhanen, K. (2016). "Amerikkalaisten lähetystyöntekijöiden havaintoja länsimaisuudesta 1900-luvun Koreassa." [Notes on the 'West' by American missionaries in Korea at the turn of the 20th century]. Länsi: Käsite, kertomus ja maailmankuva [The West: Concept, Narrative and Worldview]. Jukka Jouhki and Henna-Riikka Pennanen (ed.) Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura.
  • Kauhanen, K. & Veikkola, S. (2014). Etelä- ja Itä-Kiinan meret aluekiistojen ja valtakamppailun näyttämönä. Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu, Strategian laitos, Julkaisusarja 4: työpapereita No. 50 (a working paper on territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas, in Finnish)

Conference papers:

  • "Survival of the women's movement under the authoritarian state in the Cold War South Korea: Standpoints, possible sources and further questions." The 13th Korean Studies Graduate Students Convention in Europe, University of Copenhagen, September 2016
  • "Collaboration for survival? Women's organizations and conservative empowerment in authoritarian South Korea." Doctoral Seminar at the 6th Asian Studies Days, University of Jyväskylä, August 2016
  • "Mobilized women and mass dictatorship in the Cold War South Korea." The 10th Conference of the Nordic Association of Japanese and Korean Studies (NAJAKS), University of Stockholm, August 2016
  • "Ordinary (wo)men or ordinary Koreans? Women's movement, militarism and collective memory in South Korea from 1960s to 1980s." Korean History Workshop for Overseas Doctoral Students, hosted by the Korea Foundation Seoul, July 2015

Email: katri.kauhanen(a)


Liisa Kauppila

Dissertation topic: China Shakes and Remakes the Global System? Multi-Level Regionalisation in the High North 

Research interests:

  • Political economy of China 
  • Northeast Asian and Arctic regionalisation 
  • Multi-disciplinary approaches and theories of regionalisation
  • Futures studies
  • Intersections of art and science


  • Kauppila, L. (2017) "Maailmanpoliittinen epävarmuus ja Kiinan vaikutusvallan kasvu leimaavat Suomen puheenjohtajakautta Arktisessa neuvostossa" Horisontti-kirjoitus. Kansan Uutiset 27.5.2017 [An article on the Finnish chairmanship in the Arctic Council, Arctic geopolitics and the rise of China in a popular left-wing newspaper, in Finnish]
  • Kauppila, L. and J. Kelju (2017) "Arktis globalisoituu" PAX Summer/2017. [An article on the futures of Arctic security in an annual paper edition of a popular pacifist online publication, in Finnish]
  • Kauppila, L. (2015) "Arktinen yhteistyö rauhan edistäjänä?" PAX 5/2015. [An extensive article on Arctic collaboration and its contribution to world peace in a popular pacifist online publication, in Finnish]
  • Kauppila, L. T. Kiiski (2015) "Arktinen huominen - Suomi sivustakatsojana?" Aliokirjoitus. Turun Sanomat 25.9.2015. [A short expert article on the Arctic futures in the local newspaper of the Turku region, in Finnish]
  • Kauppila, L. and C.T. Chan (2014) "Kumpi voittaa väsytystaistelun, punainen lohikäärme vai Aasian tiikeri?" Aliokirjoitus. Turun Sanomat 25.11.2014. [A short expert article on China-Hong Kong economic ties in the local newspaper of the Turku region, in Finnish]
  • Kauppila, L., Kotilainen I., Lehtinen K., Nikkari K. and S. Puroila (2014) A-Sanomat – Juhlajulkaisu 2025. Kolme skenaariota Suomen liikenteen tulevaisuudesta vuonna 2025. Liikenneviraston julkaisu. Nykypaino: Vantaa. [Finnish Transport Futures in 2025, a publication of the Finnish Transport Agency, in Finnish and English]
  • Kauppila, L. (2014) "Väylien Visionäärit ja liikkumisen uusi aika: Kohti sosiaalisen liikenteen vallankumousta." Rautatietekniikka 3/2014.  [​An article on the future of Finnish transport and mobility, published in a Finnish transport magazine, in Finnish]
  • Kauppila, L. (2014) "Väylien Visionäärit ja liikenteen uusi aikakausi." Liikenteen suunta 1/2014.  [​An article on the future of Finnish transport and mobility, published in a Finnish transport magazine, in Finnish]

Conference papers and talks:

  • ​​"International Society in Transformation: China and the Construction of Arctic Risks and Responsibilities." The International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS IX), Umeå, Sweden, June 2017, with Doc. Soc.Sc. Sanna Kopra.
  • "China Shakes and Remakes the Global System: Multi-Level Regionalisation in the High North." Doctoral seminar, The 13th Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association of China Studies, Aarhus, Denmark, June 2017
  • China and the Construction of Risks and Responsibilities in the Arctic." The 13th Biennial Conference of the Nordic Association of China Studies, Aarhus, Denmark, June 2017, with Doc. Soc.Sc. Sanna Kopra. 
  • "Changing Geopolitics of the Arctic Region: Yamal LNG Project as a Case of Functional Regionalisation?" The 5th China-Nordic Arctic Research Centre Symposium, Dalian, China, May 2017, with Professor Rasmus Bertelsen. 
  • "Tackling the Risks of East Asian Newcomers: Chinese Multilevel Actors in the Arctic." Arctic Frontiers, Tromsø​, Norway, January 2017
  • "Futures Studies at the Crossroads of Art and Science?” Art Meets Science –Lecture Series, B-Galleria Turku, Finland, November 2016
  • "Hot Spots of Arctic Activity in Northeast Asia.” Asia and the Arctic –Public Expert Seminar, Sapporo, Japan, October 2016
  • "Breaking the Ice in Front of Northeast Asian Cooperation? Chinese Subnational Actors and Companies in the Arctic." European Association for Chinese Studies, St. Petersburg, Russia, August 2016
  • "Chinese Companies and Cities as Drivers of Regionalism – Arctic Cooperation Among Northeast Asians." Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, China, March 2016
  • "Chinese Companies and Cities as Drivers of Regionalism – Arctic Cooperation Among Northeast Asians." Department of Politics and Law, China Ocean University, Qingdao, China, March 2016
  • "Arctic Opportunities as a Driver of Regionalism in Northeast Asia? Chinese Visions and Strategies for Supranational Maritime and Energy Cooperation." The 3rd Arctic Circle Assembly, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 2015
  • "Arctic Opportunities as a Driver of Northeast Asian Regionalism?” Doctoral seminar, Asian Studies Days, Vaasa, Finland, October 2015
  • "Arctic Opportunities as a Driver of Northeast Asian Regionalism?" The 1st Arctic Academy, Korea Maritime Institute, Busan, South Korea, August 2015

E-mail: liisa.kauppila(a)​

Kristian Kurki

Dissertation topic: A Narratological Study on Metaphorical Constructions of the North Korean Threat in Japan

​E-mail: kristian.kurki(a)

Shingo Masunaga

Dissertation topic: The Pre-War Japanese Military Intelligence Activities against the Soviet Union in Northern Europe 1919-1939

Research interests:

  • Military History
  • Espionage
  • International Relations


  • Masunaga, S. (2017). The Inter-War Japanese Military Intelligence Activities in the Baltic States: 1919-1940. New York: Lulu Publishing.
  • Masunaga,S. (2017, July 10th). "Ouka-no-Gotoku Rekishi no Uzu ni Kieta Riga Rikugun Bukan-shitsu." (Like a Cherry Blossom: The Riga Army Office). Japan Military Review.
  • Masunaga, S. (2016). "Japan As Number One: The Return of the Mercantile Realism." Lodz, Poland: University of Lodz.
  • Masunaga, S. (2016). "Emerging Japanese Nationalism and Its Correlations with the Collapse of Japan as a Family Nation." Northridge, CA, the United States: California State University Northridge.
  • Masunaga, S. (February 9, 2015). "Is an Asian NATO on the Horizon?"
    Prague, Czech Republic: NATO Information Centre Prague.
  • Masunaga, S. (2015). LEAM Discussion Paper No. 1(6): Security Cooperation between Japan and the Visegrad Group. Lodz, Poland: University of Lodz.

E-mail: shingo.masunaga(a)​​

Eevamaria Mielonen

Dissertation topic: The Concept of Fazhi/Rule of Law in Civil Servant Training in the People's Republic of China

E-mail: eevmie(a)​​

Alexandra Jingsi Ni

Disssertation topic: A systematic deconstruction of the China Threat: the emerging international orders in a multi-polarizing world

Research interests:

  • China-related International relations and political economy
  • Chinese politics and institutional transformations in China (from pre-modern time to the present moment)
  • Corporate and national competitiveness
  • Social critiques and critical theories

Pilvi Posio

Dissertation topic: Community rebuilding, place and social capital in post-tsunami Tohoku

E-mail: pilvi.posio(a)

Mary Hyunhee Song

Disssertation topic: Food Nationalism and Local Development in East Asia: Regional Politics, National Culture, and UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy

Apply to the CEAS Doctoral Programme
Application Procedure

Admission into the doctoral programme of the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS) takes place in accordance with guidelines and regulations of the University of Turku Graduate School (UTUGS) and the Faculty of Social Sciences. For details, please visit these sites.

Applications to the right to conduct doctoral studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences are submitted to the Doctoral Programme of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Prospective students also need to make arrangements with the Professor of East Asian Contemporary History and Politics. The final admission decision is made by the dean, based on the recommendation of the faculty board after consulting the department. The results are announced approximately two months after the application period.

Application periods

There are normally two rounds of applications to the Doctoral Programme of Social and Behavioural Sciences each academic year, one in September and the other in March. The most recent or announced application periods are given in at the website of the doctoral programme.


For details on eligibility requirements, please see the website of the doctoral programme. For more information on eligibility related to East Asian studies, please get in touch with Professor Lauri Paltemaa to discuss your eligibility.


Prospective doctoral candidates are encouraged to seek funding from multiple sources. For funding opportunities, see this Image removed.Grant Chart (pdf) compiled by the Centre for East Asian Studies.