Siisiäinen Lauri, Yliopistotutkija/University Researcher

Siisiäinen Lauri, Yliopistotutkija/University Researcher
Valtio-oppi/Political science
Opinkivi 236.2

Research Area

I have a longstanding research interest in continental political thinking, especially in the post- World War II period (for instance Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Jürgen Habermas). Thematically, I have focused first of all on the relationship between art, aesthetics and politics. I have attempted to elaborate a novel theoretical and methodological approach to analyzing the relationship between politics and music, through a comprehensive rereading of Michel Foucault. I have also carried out research related to political theology, biopolitics and democracy.

In my research currently in progress, the central aim is to explore in a comprehensive manner the complex relationship between conductive power or biopolitics and resistance or counter-conduct, drawing on Michel Foucault’s late thinking. This line of research also goes beyond the field of Foucault studies by forging a dialogue with various other thinkers, such as Giorgio Agamben, Gilles Deleuze, Roberto Esposito, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Luc Nancy, Antono Negri, Jacques Rancière and Bernard Stiegler. Furthermore, my objective is to assess critically the topicality of the Foucauldian notion of power-resistance within the context of today’s globalised governance.

The Relevance and Benefits of my Research

I take it as somewhat self-evident that University, with its various tasks and functions, is always embedded in a broader socio-cultural and historical milieu. Hence, it is crucial to reflect – also in a self-critical manner – on the position of research and teaching in this milieu, including their various effects and impacts. In my view, this impact should be understood as the influence proper to academic research and knowledge, stemming from their unique character. This impact cannot be reduced to direct economic utility. Nor can it be assessed solely from the governmental or administrative perspective of policy-making and implementation. This notion of impact acknowledges the perspective of “ordinary” citizens and their everyday lives, as well as the angle of various collective actors, such as NGOs, not only that of governmental institutions and private business. To put it very concisely, as I see it, the social as well as cultural impact of research comprises its manner of influencing our possibilities, capacities, and resources of thinking and acting. Published research – also theoretical research – can provide intellectual tools, by means of which citizens themselves can disclose the often unnoticed limits, exclusions, marginalizations, and hierarchies that organize and condition their everyday field of choices. When such tacit rules and structures are made visible, they also become amenable to questioning and transformation. It has been a pleasure to observe that my research has also, to some extent, been read and applied as a critical tool outside Academia.