Anssi Paasi

Anssi Paasi
University of Oulu · Geography Research Unit

PhD

About

254
Publications
143,560
Reads
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10,117
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on political geography/geopolitics, conceptual/empirical work related to nationalism, territory/territoriality, borders and, in general, the production of space. I am also fascinated by the theory and practice of the "region". Power-knowledge relations in the globalizing, neoliberal academy/higher education sector have also motivated my work (see my publications to learn more on my research themes and interests, and their evolution).
Additional affiliations
January 2008 - December 2012
Academy of Finland
Position
  • Academy Professor
January 1997 - July 1997
University of California, Los Angeles
Position
  • Visiting scholar
October 1996 - December 1996
Loughborough University
Position
  • Visiting scholar
Education
September 1976 - October 1986
University of Eastern Finland
Field of study
  • Geography, sociology, social policy, economics, statistics

Publications

Publications (254)
Article
Full-text available
Nationalism is frequently considered as an extreme, ‘hot’ phenomenon related to often violent nation/state-building processes. Billig's Banal Nationalism turned the attention to how nationalism is also ‘flagged’ and routinely reproduced in existing states. This article studies the mobilization of these forms of nationalism and suggests that indepen...
Article
Full-text available
The 1990s witnessed a rapid rise of relational thinking in economic, urban and cultural geography. This trend accentuated the importance of networks and connections, and challenged the conceptualizations of region in which borders are taken for granted. Relational views have become particularly prominent in the context of strategic planning, especi...
Article
Full-text available
Geographers have been arguing recently that the idea of what is 'international' in this field has been occupied by the hegemonic discourses of Anglo-American geography and journals. This paper takes this lively debate as an indicator of the global challenges facing higher education and research and provides an analysis of the changing conditions of...
Article
Full-text available
Regions and territories become institutionalized as part of wider geohistorical processes and practices in which these spatial entities accomplish their borders, institutions, symbolisms and normally contested identity narratives. The borders of bounded spaces are ever more topical today because of the mobilities of human beings (tourists, migrants...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter is an autobiographic reflection of author’s academic track, with a focus on the theory of the institutionalization of regions, outlined in the 1980s in the context of the ongoing socio-spatial theory debates in geography. The chapter discusses how working in a peripheral university positioned this research. The chapter also reflects th...
Chapter
The emphasis in this chapter is threefold. First, we will scrutinize how globalization became topical in research since the 1990s. Second, we will examine how border became a keyword in the age of globalization, and how the meaning of borders has been gradually shifting. The third aim is to problematize the relations between territories, borders, a...
Article
Full-text available
In the modern state system, territories and borders give meaning to each other in the sense that borders delimit territorialized sovereign power. Conventional political-geographic perspectives hold that territoriality — the management and control of space — is a state strategy that can be turned on and off. There is no denying that territorial prin...
Article
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This essay introduces the Special Issue of Geografiska Annaler, Series B, which contains revised articles presented initially at the Vega Symposium in Stockholm in 2021. Titled as Bounded Spaces in Question: X-raying the Persistence of Regions and Territories, the Symposium focused on the lasting significance and the challenges of regions, territor...
Article
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This paper will reexamine and reflect critically Henk van Houtum and Ton van Naerssen's paper 'Bordering, Ordering and Othering' that came out in a related theme issue in TESG in 2002. My first goal is to contextualise their paper into the debates on borders/bordering that began to flourish at the turn of the millennium and have emerged since then....
Chapter
Geography has been a highly important academic subject in the making of ideas of territorially bounded homelands and nations. Its keywords such as territory/territoriality, place or landscape bring together material and affective dimensions, often in emotional narratives related to collective identity, historical experience and remembrance. Territo...
Chapter
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Regional geography has been a major sub-area of geography since the institutionalization of this field as an academic subject in the late-19th century. Even earlier, the founders of modern geography recognized its importance. Regional geography dominated geography until the 1950-1960s, was in decline afterwards but incessantly maintained its positi...
Article
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This article studies spaces and spatial imageries in planning from two viewpoints. First, it discusses how contemporary planning paradigms contribute to a process that can labelled the ‘softening of hard spaces’. ...... Second, it discusses how new soft spaces – such as gateways, new cross-border supranational spaces and ad hoc regional spaces – te...
Chapter
Full-text available
The 1990s witnessed a major renaissance in border studies and also the rise of the borderless world thesis. The social and technological circumstances behind these phenomenona are well-known: the collapse of the geopolitical West-East divide, the development of the internet, the rise of flows and mobility, and the acceleration of globalization. Thi...
Book
The key motivation for producing this edited volume stems from the increasingly important fact that contemporary borders can be simultaneously both closed and open, and have multiple functions and even locations, as contemporary territories are not merely bounded units but also relationally constituted. This is the material and discursive basis of...
Book
Full-text available
This special issue of the Journal of Finnish Studies, Engaging the New Mobilities Paradigm in the Context of Finland, brings to the readers twelve fresh examples of research about migration and mobility in Finland. The volume is divided into four sections: Social and Cultural Experiences and Meanings of Mobility (Part I); Everyday Life and Lived Pl...
Article
Regions as well as their identities and borders are social and discursive constructs that are produced and removed in contested, historically contingent and context-bound processes of institutionalization and deinstitutionalization. This article studies the deinstitutionalization of regions in the context of municipality amalgamations and the conse...
Chapter
Region and territory have been major keywords of geographical thinking, methodology and research practice since the institutionalization of geography as an academic discipline at the end of the 19th century. But what is a region? How are they constructed? How do regions relate to territory? Are regions and territories still relevant in today’s mode...
Book
Region and territory have been major keywords of geographical thinking, methodology and research practice since the institutionalization of geography as an academic discipline at the end of the 19th century. But what is a region? How are they constructed? How do regions relate to territory? Are regions and territories still relevant in today’s mode...
Article
Full-text available
This article scrutinizes the everlasting but transforming significance of the concept of region for regional studies and social practice. After tracing the changing meanings of this category the paper highlights one characteristic aspect of the progress of the academic conceptualizations of the region: recurrent iterations of critiques regarding va...
Article
Full-text available
Nationalism is frequently considered as an extreme, 'hot' phenomenon related to often violent nation/ state-building processes. Billig's Banal Nationalism turned the attention to how nationalism is also 'flagged' and routinely reproduced in existing states. This article studies the mobilization of these forms of nationalism and suggests that indepe...
Article
This introduction considers the significance of Michael Billig's (1995) Banal Nationalism to geographers, and how this fits into broader trends of nationalism research in the social sciences. Through an analysis of Web of Science citation trends for the book, we illustrate its spatial and temporal reach in terms of the countries where it has been c...
Article
Full-text available
The articles collected here show how the terms transnational, everyday lives and citizenship inflect each other in different ways, depending on the site and context in question. In this afterword, we want to explore how these three terms change each other and the implications of ‘transnational lived citizenship’. The articles mark out important the...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter problematizes the globalization of academia, research cultures and the related existing forms of hegemony. The key focus is on the debates on the Anglo-American/Anglophone hegemony in human and political geography and on the dominance of English language that arose some 15 years ago. This debate is evaluated to shape both the roles of...
Article
Full-text available
The 1990s witnessed a rapid rise of relational thinking in economic, urban and cultural geography. This trend accentuated the importance of networks and connections, and challenged the conceptualizations of region in which borders are taken for granted. Relational views have become particularly prominent in the context of strategic planning, especi...
Chapter
Full-text available
A key concern in the debate and empirical research on the geography of regions is the evolution of the conceptualizations and practical uses of the idea of 'region'. This idea prioritizes both the intellectual and the practical development of regional studies. This book drives the discussion further. It stresses the complex forms of agency/advocacy...
Book
A key concern in the debate and empirical research on the geography of regions is the evolution of the conceptualizations and practical uses of the idea of ‘region’. This idea prioritises both the intellectual and the practical development of regional studies. This book drives the discussion further. It stresses the complex forms of agency/advocacy...
Data
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Chapter
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The international community of social scientists has become increasingly sensitive not only to the fact that language and context are crucially related in the construction of scientific accounts, but also to the forms of power (or geopolitics) involved in such relations. The role of language and the links between knowledge and power have also becom...
Article
Full-text available
This paper comments on the recent debate on the limits of the history of ideas approach in human geography. The commentary reflects firstly in general on the importance of ‘keywords’ in social life and academic cultures, before commenting on John Agnew’s article concerning the limits of a genealogical approach in the history of ideas and on the rol...
Data
Full-text available
This paper comments on the recent debate on the limits of the history of ideas approach in human geography. The commentary reflects firstly in general on the importance of ‘keywords’ in social life and academic cultures, before commenting on John Agnew’s article concerning the limits of a genealogical approach in the history of ideas and on the rol...
Article
Full-text available
This paper comments on the recent debate on the limits of the history of ideas approach in human geography. The commentary reflects firstly in general on the importance of ‘keywords’ in social life and academic cultures, before commenting on John Agnew’s article concerning the limits of a genealogical approach in the history of ideas and on the rol...
Article
Full-text available
This is an invited commentary to Mette Lovschal's article on prehistorical borders
Book
Published in association with the journal Progress in Human Geography, edited and written by the principal scholars in the discipline, this Handbook demonstrates the difference that thinking about the world geographically makes. Each section considers how human geography shapes the world, interrogates it, and intervenes in it. It includes a major r...
Article
Full-text available
Paasi A. Regional planning and the mobilization of ‘regional identity’: from bounded spaces to relational complexity, Regional Studies. Regional identity refers to the uniqueness of regions and/or to the identification of people with them. Having gained currency in planning and policy circles, the concept is increasingly related to regional competi...
Article
Kwestia granic państwowych stanowi główne zagadnienie w tradycji geografii politycznej. Granice analizowane są przede wszystkim w skali międzynarodowej, ponieważ to granice między państwami dostarczają prawdopodobnie jednej z najbardziej wyraźnych manifestacji makrostrukturalnego związku polityki i geografii. W minionej dekadzie jesteśmy świadkami...
Article
Full-text available
Universities and academic publishing cultures are transforming in developed societies around the world. This is related to the changing relations between the state and universities and to the increasingly common approval of neoliberal new public management doctrines. This has led to the adoption of diverse evaluation and ranking systems in science...
Article
Full-text available
Kwestia granic państwowych stanowi główne zagadnienie w tradycji geografii politycznej. Granice analizowane są przede wszystkim w skali międzynarodowej, ponieważ to granice między państwami dostarczają prawdopodobnie jednej z najbardziej wyraźnych manifestacji makrostrukturalnego związku polityki i geografii. W minionej dekadzie byliśmy świadkami p...
Article
Regions as well as their identities and borders are social and discursive constructs that are produced and removed in contested, historically contingent and context-bound processes of institutionalization and deinstitutionalization. This article studies the deinstitutionalization of regions in the context of municipality amalgamations and the conse...
Article
Full-text available
This article underlines the significance of context-sensitive research in understanding the historical transformations of state space that have occurred as part of wider geopolitical conditions. We trace such transformations by theorising the role of political rationalities in governance, and then by looking at how certain rationalities have surfac...
Article
Full-text available
This paper scrutinizes the challenges which scholars face when examining the interconnections between the state and geopolitics in the purported “transnational world”. By discussing the relational perspective which “opens” the traditional state-as-a-monolith centric view of geopolitics, the paper sets a foundation for the present special section on...
Chapter
This chapter scrutinizes the meaning of borders in human geography and illustrates that “border” is an important category not only for political but also for cultural geographers who have mapped and represented “bounded spaces” for various purposes at various spatial scales. It asks how critical cultural geography could contribute to border studies...
Article
Full-text available
Jones, M., Paasi, A. (2013). Guest Editorial: Regional World(s): Advancing the Geography of Regions. Regional Studies, 47 (1), 1-5. Special Issue: Regional World(s): Advancing the Geography of Regions
Article
Regions as well as their identities and borders are social and discursive constructs that are produced and removed in contested, historically contingent and context-bound processes of institutionalization and deinstitutionalization. This article studies the deinstitutionalization of regions in the context of municipality amalgamations and the conse...
Chapter
Full-text available
Regional identity' refers either to the supposed distinctive natural and cultural qualities of a region, the identification of people with such a region or both aspects at the same time. Such regions can exist on various spatial scales from sub-state to supra-state. Regional identity has become significant in academic research, policy circles and r...
Chapter
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Article
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This paper discusses current perspectives and interpretations of region and regional identity. It looks at the social and historical production and transformation of regionality and spatial meaning making. It also reflects on how discourses on regional identity are currently being exploited in various institutional contexts, such as regional planni...
Article
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‘Topological twists’ is one part of John Allen’s long project where he has profoundly examined the spatialities of (political) power and has considerably expanded our horizons. This commentary will reflect four themes related to his article (Allen, 2011). Since there are currently several challenging views on the changing forms of power, I will fir...
Chapter
IntroductionContested Histories of GeographyStratum I : Regional GeographiesStratum II : Spatial Analysis and Systematic GeographiesStratum III : Space, Region and Social PracticeGeographical Keywords and Research PracticeDiscussionReferences

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Hello,
I have been interested, actually for along time (and also published something on this topic), in a question that is certainly ever more topical in many academic contexts (departments, faculties, universities and states/national contexts) and would very much like to hear about the practices and experiences from various ResearchGate members. The topic I would like to discuss about is academic capitalism and as part of that, how research evaluation is organized in your respective contexts at various levels (depts, faculties, universities, states/national contexts). How strong are the expectations of doing things in certain ways (publishing in specific forums, brining in research money, etc.) and not in some alternative ways. I think that these issues are perpetually worth of discussing. Looking forward to hearing about your observations. I promise to summarise the debates if this work!

Projects

Projects (9)
Project
Vega Symposium was organized by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography on 17th September in Stockholm to honor the delivery of Vega-medal to Anssi Paasi by the King of Sweden. The four presentations given by Anssi Paasi, Alec Murphy, Martin Jones and Linn Axelsson will be published in Geografiska Annaler B -journal.
Project
This project is an effort to use critically an autobiographic and situation-based approach as part of the book project "Social Theory in Nordic Geography". I will focus on the making and the diffusion of the theory of the institutionalization of regions that I developed in the 1980s in the context of the then ongoing socio-spatial theory debates in geography and which has since then been relatively well-received in international geographic community which tends overwhelmingly to recognize contributions coming from the Anglophonic core rather than from peripheries. I will approach this theme by reflecting my personal life course and social relations that I was involved with when outlining and publishing this theoretical framework which I have since then re-worked towards different conceptual avenues and contexts (border studies, identity research, planning theory, etc.).
Project
This project, carried out with Kaj Zimmerbauer has continued several years and we have published some papers that have focused on the transformation of local regional spaces (municipalities) and their mergers, and on regional spaces.Local spaces were analysed in Zimmerbauer & Paasi (2013). When old and new regionalism collide. De-institutionalization and resistance identity in municipality amalgamations. Journal of Rural Studies 30:2, pp. 31-40). Regional scale studies have focused on territorial and relational spaces and what we call as penumbral borders/regions that characterize contemporary planning spaces. The first paper of this theme came out in Paasi, A & Kaj Zimmerbauer (2016): Penumbral borders and planning paradoxes: relational thinking and the question of borders in spatial planning. Environment and Planning A vol. 48 no. 1, pp. 75-93. The second paper is just now online: Zimmerbauer, K & A Paasi. Hard work with soft spaces (and vice-versa): problematizing the transforming planning spaces. European Planning Studies DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2019.1653827