Who is Heikki?


I am a 60-year-old social scientist and civic and political activist. I did my matriculation exam in Kuopio and studied economics, politics and philosophy in Turku, where I received my PhD for Critical Realism and World Politics in 1993 (having spent one year also at the University of Kent at Canterbury in preparing it).

Today I am a Professor of World Politics (Global Political Economy) in Helsinki and a Docent at the Universities of Lapland and Turku. I have worked as a full professor also at the Nottingham Trent University, UK (1998-2003); at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia (2007-10); and as a visiting professor at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan (2012). In addition, I am a Member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters (2018-) and Life Member of Clare Hall at the University of Cambridge (2020-). I am also a a founding member of the new Helsinki Centre for Global Political Economy (Helsinki-GPE) that was established in April 2020 and Vice Chair of the EuroMemo network for 2021-25.

Over the years, I have participated in many movements and organizations. In the late 1980s, I was involved for instance in the endorsement of the Green Party, but did not become a formal member and, over time, grew increasingly disillusioned about the Green Party line of economic policy.

In the early 1990s, I took part in founding Radical Democracy, which was subsequently – by the end of the decade – transformed into NIGD (Network Institute for Global Democratisation ), one of the founding organisations of the International Council of the World Social Forum, amongst other things. I was also involved in the inaugural meeting of International Attac in Paris in December 1998. I have served as the chair of Attac Finland in three occasions, including in 2016.

In Spring 2014, I was running for the European Parliament, getting 3628 votes (no:6 on the Left Alliance list, and no:60 on the national list). In Spring 2015, I stood as a candidate for the Finnish Parliament, with the result of 1608 votes from the Helsinki district.

Currently, while a member and supporter of the transeuropean movement-party DiEM25, I am actively advocating the idea of world political party. Since Winter 2022, I am involved in global transformations also as an Associate Fellow of Tellus Institute.

For a list of academic publications and short CV, please see the University of Helsinki TUHAT-page. For a 92-pages long interview published in 2023 in Journal of Critical Realism covering all the main activities, themes, and works of my academic career, see Part 1 (since 1980s to 2006) and Part 2 (since global financial crisis).