Institutions in Context Workshop

The international workshop series Institutions in Context has been generously funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Fundation. It has been organized by Katri Sieberg. The workshop series met annually from 2010-2014 and from 2016-2018. Each workshop has consisted of about 50 professors and graduate students who have met for a week at Tampere University.

Institutions in Context: Gender Equality and Policy

4-10 June, 2018

Gender equality is a recurrent and relevant topic of global importance. The Nordic countries, and Finland in particular, are highlighted as most successful in terms of gender equality, however even these countries continue to see problems, such as unequal pay and glass ceilings. Through insights from experimental economics, sociology, economics, and other fields,  this workshop explores what gender equality would entail and what policies would be most likely to be successful.


workshop program 2018 (3)


Institutions in Context cfp 2018 (1)


Institutions in Context: Healthcare Institutions and Policy

5-11 June, 2017

As healthcare costs continue to grow globally, countries and governments have incentives to search for a healthcare system that offers the maximum, in terms of coverage, at a minimum price. Given the international appeal of market economics, a market-based private insurance system is frequently offered as a superior alternative to government provided coverage. This workshop will address the advantages and disadvantages of both extreme types of systems and of hybrid public-private systems from the angle of economics, political science, medicine, and other fields. The workshop will also address other issues, priorities and challenges facing healthcare in the future.


The organizers would like to thank all of the participants in the Healthcare workshop!




Workshop Program

  Call For Papers



Institutions in Context: The Role of Money in Politics

6-12 June, 2016

The Citizen’s United ruling of the United States’ Supreme Court which allowed increased corporate influence in political campaigns is but one indication of the growing influence of money in politics. Thomas Piketty’s famous book Capital in the Twenty-First Century highlights growing inequalities on a global scale. Another important issue lies in the political motivations behind austerity policies and the impacts of these policies. What impacts could the influence of money in politics create? What policies could best address these concerns?


 Call for Papers 2016


 The workshop series took a break in 2015 to focus on hosting the September conference: 10th Nordic Conference on Behavioral and Experimental Economics

conference website

25-26 September, 2015

University of Tampere



Institutions in Context: The Free Market

9-15 June, 2014


The term ‘the free market’ has become so widely used that it is commonplace. The free market model is of central importance to economics and other disciplines that use, or explore how to use, “decentralization” concepts. Topics associated with this concept range from decentralized efficiencies and the “wisdom of the crowd” to concerns of greed and exploitation. Popular zeal for the concept, however, tends to ignore both the stringency of free market assumptions and the potential human consequences involved in relying on the market. This workshop examines the free market from a number of angles. We will explore the impact of the free market model and its extensions, and free market ideology. We will discuss positive and negative impacts of the use of the model in fields ranging from economics, political science, history, sociology and media. Topics include – but are not restricted to – the vast amount of market failure, the exciting implications of how free market notions can be usefully applied elsewhere, and the exciting implications of how concepts and tools from other disciplines can be usefully applied to help us improve upon the free market model in economics itself.


Call for Papers 






Institutions in Context: Inequality

3-9 June, 2013

The organizers would like to thank all participants in the Inequality workshop! A special thanks goes to the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for funding.

Photo by Erik Sieberg

Photo by Juha Mikkonen

For exact schedule, please see our


(last updated 23 May)


Scholars from around the world come together to discuss inequality: its causes and effects, and solutions to it. Inequality is a major social, political and economic problem that has an effect on all of our lives. Come hear about it from over 40 guest speakers and doctoral students.

The workshop is open to all UTA students and staff!

You may attend any of the lectures without beforehand registrations. For lecture titles, starting times and lecture halls, see our program.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Intern Hilkka Vähänen

tel: +358 50 318 6915

e-mail: hilkka.vahanen(at)

Professor Katri K. Sieberg

tel: +358 50 318 6216

e-mail: katri.sieberg(at)

International coordinator Anna Vähämäki

tel: + 358 50 318 6639

e-mail: anna.vahamaki(at)

The workshop is organized and hosted by the North American Studies program of the University of Tampere, and funded by the Jane and Erkko Foundation.

This particular workshop also involves cooperation between the North American Studies Program and the Finnish National Doctoral Program of Work and Welfare Studies (LabourNet).

Call for papers



Institutions in Context: Dictatorship and Democracy

Tampere, Finland

4-10 June, 2012

The organizers of the workshop would like to sincerely thank all the speakers and students who participated in the workshop Institutions in Context: Dictatorship and Democracy. A special thanks goes again to the funding foundation; the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

photo by Pi-Han Tsai

Program updated 3.6. (PDF)

Map of Tampere with central locations

The Hotel, University, Bus station and Railway station are all within a 10 minute walk

Map of the University Campus

All the venues take place in the Main Building of the University

Call for Papers (pdf)



Institutions in Context: The Welfare State

Tampere, Finland

6-12 June, 2011


The organizers of the workshop would like to sincerely thank all the speakers and students who participated in the workshop Institutions in Context: The Welfare State. A special thanks goes again to the funder; the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.


Call for papers 

Participants at Museum Center Vapriikki, Photo by William Heller

Special thanks to the speakers of 2011

Barbara Barrett, United States Ambassador to Finland from 2008 to 2009, Professor Katerina Sherstyuk, economics University of Hawaii, Robin Lunge, member of the Legislative Council in the U.S. State of Vermont, Professor William Heller, political science Binghamton University, Professor Lane Kenworthy, sociology University of Arizona, Anneli Duffin, teacher and chair of Special Education Dunsten Middle School, Colorado, Professor Melissa Marshall, political science ,Rice University, Professor Montgomery Van Wart, public administration California State San Bernardino, Professor Lawrence Brown, public health Columbia University, Professor Henry Milner, political science University of Montreal, Professor Cathie Jo Martin, political science Boston University, Susan Bartlett, Special Assistant to Governor Shumlin of Vermont, Professor Hannu Vartiainen, economics, University of Helsinki, Doctor Outi Laine, Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Hematology, Tampere University Hospital, Professor Heikki Ervasti, political sociology, University of Turku, Professor Pauli Kettunen, history, University of Helsinki, Professor Arja Rimpelä, medical science University of Tampere, Professor Eero Ropo, education University of Tampere, Hannele Loponen, teacher Tammelan Koulu, Tampere, Lasse Loponen, principal of Vehmainen Koulu, Tampere, Professor Eeva Hujala, education University of Tampere, Professor Markku Sotarauta, political science University of Tampere, Professor Pertti Koistinen, sociology, University of Tampere, Professor Katri Sieberg, North American Studies University of Tampere.

Special thanks to the students of 2011

Benjamin Andrus, political science,  Binghamton University, Matthew E. Bergman, political science, UC San Diego, Courage Bobong Fon, sociology, University of Tampere, Mathias Ebot, sociology, University of Eastern Finland, Diego Fossati, political science, Cornell University, Diego Grijalva, economics, UC Irvine, Jason Hecht, political science, Cornell University, Markus Kantola, political science, University of Turku, Ryan Kendall, economics, UC Irvine, Marc-Antoine Le Page, management, University of Tampere, Matthew Maguire, political science, Boston University, Andreea Meierean, political science, Boston University, John Marshall, political science, Harward University, Tomas Masar, history, University of Tampere, Nadja Mäkelä, history, University of Helsinki, Pasi Nevalainen, political science, University of Turku, Katri Otonkorpi-Lehtoranta, sociology, University of Tampere, Sierra Powell, political science, UC Irvine, Anna Tatlock, Sociology, UC Irvine, Liina-Kaisa Tynkkynen, health science, University of Tampere, Juha Ylisalo, political science, University of Turku, Jaana Minkkinen, Sociology, University of Tampere.






Tampere, Finland

31 May – 6 June, 2010


The organizers of the workshop would like to sincerely thank all the speakers and students who participated. A special thanks goes to the funder; the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.



Call for Papers

Participants at the Estonian Parliament


Photo by W. Heller

Back row: Constantine Boussalis/CGU, Donald Saari/UC Irvine, Touko Berry/U of Tampere, Igor Logvinenko/Cornell, Andrew Little/NYU, Matthew Bergmann/Arizona State, Samantha Gassie/Arizona State, Aparna Kehr/Binghamton U, Diana Branduse/ Binghamton U, Yusuf Varli/U of Iowa, Olga Shvetshova/Binghamton U, Benjamin Fordhamn/Binghamton U

Front row: Juha Helin/U of Turku, Fatemeh Shayan/U of Tampere, William Heller/Binghamton University, Katri Sieberg/U of Tampere, John O. Ledyard/Caltech, Gregory Winger/Boston U. Laura Lucas/Boston U. Ryan Kendall/UC Irvine, Andreas Nohn/U of Hamburg, Alexander Lust Cornell