Research Projects at CEAS

Ongoing projects

Maritime Cooperation in Northeast Asia

Maritime Cooperation in Northeast Asia

Northeast Asia is the scene of exceptionally dramatic changes, as two major long-term developments are gradually beginning to unfold: the Northern Sea Route is opening to shipping and early signs of regional maritime cooperation are emerging in the region.

The purpose of this initiative is to conduct multidisciplinary studies on the starting points, actors, dynamics, potential and challenges of this politically and economically ground-breaking regional process. It aims to contribute to research on regional maritime cooperation and theory-building in regional studies.

Current active members

Outi Luova, Principal Investigator, Adjunct Professor

Topic "City Networks in the Japan Sea Economic Rim"

Liisa Kauppila, Doctoral Candidate,  MSocSci
Topic “Chinese Cities and Companies as Drivers of Regionalism? Arctic Cooperation among Northeast Asians”

Juha Saunavaara, Assistant Professor, Hokkaido University, Arctic Research Center
Topic: "The Northern Sea Route and Regional Development of Hokkaido”

Asia and the Northern Sea Route (NSR) project

The "Maritime Cooperation in East Asia" -initiative cooperates closely with the ‘Asia and the Northern Sea Route’ project which brings together an international team of scholars from Asia, Europe and North America to undertake a long-term, multiple dimension, inter-disciplinary comparative study of Asian interests and strategies towards the Northern Sea Route.

Outi Luova is one of the three co-directors and founding members of the project.

Conferences, workshops and panels arranged by the NSR project

2017 Conference at the University of Leeds, Spring 2017

2016 Workshop "Asia and the Northern Sea Route: Sustainability and the Arctic, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 25-26.10.2016.

2015 Panel in the Arctic Circle Assembly "Building Arctic Resilience – Asia and the Northern Sea Route: Trade, Logistics and Actors". Reykyavik, 16-18 .10. 2015

2014 Conference ”Asian Strategies towards the Northern Sea Route” at the University of Turku 10-13.12.2014

Conference and seminar presentations

2016"Asia and the Northern Sea Route: Sustainability and the Arctic,Hokkaido University

- Outi Luova gave the presentation: "Hubs of the Arctic Route in the Japan Sea Rim: Old Plans with New Vigour?"

- Liisa Kauppila gave the presentation "Hot spots of Arctic Activity in Northeast Asia"


Liisa Kauppila:
- The First Korea Arctic Academy, 17.-22.8.2015.
- Arctic Circle Assembly, Reykjavik, Iceland, 16.-18.10.2015.
- China Ocean University, Qingdao, China 8.3.2015.
- Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China, 10.3.2015. 

Related publications

Forthcoming: Outi Luova: "Cooperation patterns in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) Rim", Baltic Rim Economies, May 2017.

Outi Luova: "Co-operation in Sea-regions: The case of the Baltic Sea Region", East Sea Rim 23/2016

Juha Saunavaara: “Commercial utilization of the Northern Sea Route and regional development policy – Hokkaido as a case study”. Forthcoming in an edited volume based on symposium: The Barents and the Baltic Sea region: contacts, influences and social change. Pohjois-Suomen Historiallinen Yhdistys.

Anna Alexeeva: “Towards Interdependence? Russian – Chinese Economic Relations 1990-2014 with Focus on Energy Trade”. Pro Gradu thesis. Center for East Asian Studies, University of Turku.


Liisa Kauppila and Tuomas Kiiski: “Arktinen huominen – Suomi sivustakatsojana?” Turun Sanomat, aliokirjoitus, 25.9. 2015.

Liisa Kauppila: ”Arktinen yhteistyö rauhan edistäjänä?”​ PAX 5/2015. Also published in, 18, 11.2015.

Eveliina Kiema: “Trivial Pursuit? – Asian Antics in the Arctic, Securitization in Northeast Asian Power Struggle in the Context of Arctic Cooperation” Pro Gradu thesis. Center for East Asian Studies, University of Turku.


Kiinan miljoonakaupungit - hallinto, liike-elämä ja elinympäristö muutoksessa [China's Megacities: Administration, Business and Living Environment in Transition], Outi Luova (ed). Helsinki: Gaudeamus, 2010.


Yhdentyvä Aasia [Integration in Asia], Outi Luova & Annamari Antikainen-Kokko (eds), Helsinki: Gaudeamus 2006.

Past Projects


CEAS has developed projects also with funding from external sources such as the Academy of Finland and the Joel Toivola Foundation. The Academy of Finland awarded the Centre a grant for the years 2007–2009 for a research project entitled Governance in Urban China Charities and the Multilayered Relationship between the State and Society in the 20th Century Tianjin.

CEAS coordinated a joint doctoral training programme with Fudan University in 2013–2014 with support from CIMO​. The theme of the 8 ECTS programme was "Sustainable Cities".  The goal of the programme was 
to train specialists who can integrate knowledge and theories from several fields to find solutions that promote a sustainable change of cities.​

CEAS coordinated a national Doctoral Programme of Contemporary Asian Studies (DAS) in 2002–2013. The DAS was a multidisciplinary doctoral programme open to all doctoral candidates in Finland focusing on East, Southeast and South Asian topics in their research. Because national funding for doctoral programmes in Finland ceased, the DAS was closed after the last funding period. National cooperation in doctoral training continues within the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies coordinated by CEAS.