Research Projects at CEAS

Ongoing projects

Security in China (Academy of Finland, 2019-2023)

Academy of Finland Project for Early Career Researchers 2019-2023


What is the meaning of security and what does it do in the high politics and quotidian practices of the People’s Republic of China? Is the security of the party-state any different from that of the rank and file security experts? And what socio-political consequences does Chinese security politics entail? With the current Xi Jinping administration’s ever-tightening grip on the Chinese society and the administration’s growing global ambitions, these are not mere academic questions. Yet, due to the secretive nature of the Chinese security machinery and the near-exclusive academic focus on Chinese national and military security, our knowledge of the workings of security in China at large is lacking. The Security in China research consortium led by Professor Lauri Paltemaa of the Centre for East Asian Studies and Professor Juha A. Vuori from the University of Tampere addresses precisely this lacuna. More substantively, the consortium studies concepts, technologies, and practices of security in China through three themes: 1) a conceptual history of national security in China, 2) investigation of the security logics that guide online censorship and propagation, and 3) a sociology of Chinese security experts through case studies on control of internal migration, and climate and energy security. Together these themes yield knowledge on how the security of executive politics interweaves – or doesn’t – with everyday security practices, how security functions in non-military contexts, and how the concepts, technologies and practices of security shape the Chinese society. Ultimately, the consortium seeks to unearth the ideal political community the Chinese security politics envisions and brings forth.  

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.

National ownership and South Korea’s role in development partnerships

This research project studies South Korea’s role and position in its development partnerships. South Korea’s official donor rhetoric points towards more symmetric aid relationships: an emphasis on request-based approach, notions of self-reliance and self-help efforts imply a certain respect for independent, not pre-determined development choices in partner countries. However, experiences from recipient countries (e.g. Ethiopia) show that the planning and implementation of Korean ODA remains far from respecting the principle of ownership. This contradiction calls for further analysis, and Tanzania has been selected for an in-depth case study.


This research is partly supported by the Seed Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2018-INC-2230006).

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.