Should the CIA have a Recruitment Booth at International Studies Association Conventions?

“Imagine this is your first high school reunion and nonchalantly you say ‘I work for the CIA’ and all eyes turn toward you”.

This was written on a CIA promotional leaflet distributed at an International Studies Association (ISA) convention a few years ago. Hilarious, for sure, but also disturbing.

How come an agency that systematically tortures people has been able to have a recruitment booth at the world’s largest academic gathering of international studies? I started wondering about this when packing to cross the ocean for yet another ISA annual meeting. Continue reading

Professorikokous ilmaisi selkeän vastalauseen yliopiston johdon esitykselle

Kun Helsingin yliopiston suuressa konsistorissa ilmaistiin kannatusta yliopiston johdon esitykselle dekaanien valintatavasta, yksikään professori ei ilmoittanut kannattavansa sitä.  

Helsingin yliopiston suuri konsistori piti juuri kokouksensa. Kyse on yliopiston kaikkien professorien muodostamasta elimestä, jolla ei ole varsinaista päätösvaltaa. Kokouksessa keskusteltiin yliopiston johdon tekemästä esityksestä uudeksi johtosäännöksi. Continue reading

Marina Silva’s Unclear Endorsement Capacity: Reflections on Brazilian Election Results

Is Marina Silva able and willing to endorse? Who will win the battle for signification of change? After the main text, some wild speculation on countering the right-wing momentum of São Paulo with Lula the governor and more serious speculation on the second round of the presidential election.

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Who is the Green Candidate in Brazil?

When one reads international media hype on Marina Silva’s presidential campaign in Brazil, one sometimes gets the impression she is the green candidate. The candidate of the Green Party of Brazil stands for gay marriage, abortion rights and marijuana reform. His name is Eduardo Jorge. As far as I know, Marina Silva is opposed to all these things.

Authoritarian Proposal Threatens Academic Freedom at the University of Helsinki: What is to Be Done?

A proposal to create an authoritarian decision-making model for the University of Helsinki threatens academic freedom and trust. It has just arrived from our Rector, and I first heard about it two days ago. A key change would be about the selection of deans and heads of department. According to the proposal, they would be selected top-down, rather than by the academic communities as is the case today. Continue reading

Ehdotus vääpelijohtamisesta uhkaa tieteen vapautta Helsingin yliopistossa

Kuulin juuri, että Helsingin yliopiston johto pyrkii tuomaan selvästi aiempaa autoritaarisempaa päätöksentekomallia yliopistomme uuteen johtosääntöön. Erityisesti olen huolestunut esityksestä, jolla dekaanien ja laitosjohtajien valinta halutaan siirtää pois yhteisöiltämme. Continue reading

Electoral Impact of the Tragic Death of Eduardo Campos

One of the three leading presidential candidates of Brazil, Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash today. Even if this is the time for condolences, political speculation on the impact of this tragic event is starting. This speculation can also be seen as an indicator of the importance his legacy. Let me offer some very preliminary remarks on what might happen now.

The main question that will be asked in the coming hours and days is whether his vice presidential candidate Marina Silva will take over the main candidacy. My guess is that even if there are likely to be important actors within the party of Campos who do not particularly like Marina Silva, her previously huge popularity makes her the most likely person to take over the main candidacy. Continue reading