YHYS colloquium: Sustainable Welfare

States and capabilities of transformation.

Sustainable welfare: States and capabilities of transformation

Welfare societies have evolved to pursue progress, distribute wellbeing, and build up institutional capacities to regulate and steer social development. Sustainability concerns present a double bind for such societies. While the key conditions of the development of welfare societies erode, including rampant acquisition of natural resources and rapid economic growth, crisis escalate and transformational sustainability challenges amount. In between such pressures, sustainability pursuits call for a broad constituency, new visions of welfare and wellbeing and creative articulation of transformational pathways to sustainability.

In the YHYS 2021 colloquium, we highlight particularly the following aspects of sustainability transformations: 

  • Institutional lock-ins and the capacities of the welfare state 
  • Novel ideas about the actors, key processes, and structures in a welfare state context
  • How environmental and social crises punctuate and build momentum for transformations
  • Legitimacy, inclusiveness, and acceptance of sustainability transformations
  • How global perspectives infuse in and inform societal change from personal and local to national processes

Conference fee:

  • No fee for members of YHYS (membership fee is 25€ and 12€ for undergraduate and Master’s students) or for online participation
  • 50€ for non-members
  • 30€ for students, including PhD students
  • To be paid by 18.11.2020 to YHYS with a reference 'YHYS colloquium 2021' (Danske Bank FI9580001770440726)


Programm overview see PDF below

Book of abstracts password is sent with confirmation of registration

COVID instructions

Important COVID-related precautions include the following measures :

1) If you have any symptoms or if you are not vaccinated please opt for online participation.

2) All participants should register. This is particularly important for on-site participation.

3) Onsite participants are required to wear a mask in all occasions apart from giving talks 

4) The Colloquium dinner will be accessible only for people with a COVID passport (



Dr. Shane Epting is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (USA). He researches transportation, infrastructure, and urban futures. Dr. Epting is a founding member and Codirector of the Philosophy of the City Research Group. He is also the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association. His upcoming book, The Morality of Urban Mobility: Technology and Philosophy of the City, will be released on July 15 (Rowman and Littlefield International).


Julia Steinberger is a Professor of Ecological Economics at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Her research examines the connections between resource use (energy and materials, greenhouse gas emissions) and societal performance (economic activity and human wellbeing). She is interested in quantifying the current and historical linkages between resource use and socioeconomic parameters and identifying alternative development pathways to guide the necessary transition to a low carbon society. She is leading a research project 'Living Well Within Limits', investigating how universal human well-being might be achieved within planetary boundaries. She is Lead Author for the IPCC's 6th Assessment Report with Working Group 3.


Dr. Susan Chomba is the Director of Vital Landscapes for Africa at the World Resources Institute (WRI). She leads the institution’s work on Forests, Food systems and People which includes forest landscape restoration, sustainable agriculture/food systems and thriving rural livelihoods in Africa. Susan is a scientist with over 15 years of research and development experience in Africa. She previously led the Regreening Africa Programme at CIFOR-ICRAF, whose primary objective was to restore degraded lands by scaling up proven and cost-effective technologies and practices across eight countries in Africa. She is a member of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and an associate editor for political ecology for the international journal, Frontiers in Human Dynamics. She holds a PhD in forest governance from the university of Copenhagen, Denmark, a double MSc. in agricultural development and agroforestry from the university of Copenhagen and Bangor university respectively; and a BSc. in forestry from Moi university in Kenya.


Lauri Rapeli works as the Director of Research in the Social Science Research Institute (Samforsk) at Åbo Akademi University since 2016. Political scientist by training, Rapeli has also worked at the University of Turku and the University of Helsinki. He is currently one of three principal investigators in the Finnish National Election Study and the responsible researcher in several large-scale research projects. He is the vice director of Future of Democracy: A centre of excellence in public opinion research, financed by the Åbo Akademi University Foundation. In addition to elections, Rapeli’s work focuses on the political behavior of democratic citizens and elites, and more broadly, on how representative democracy functions. In more recent work, Rapeli with colleagues have examined why Finnish democracy performs so well as a particularly future-oriented system. His work has previously been published in journals such as the European Journal of Political Research, Party Politics and Electoral Studies.

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