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Kaisa Raitio

Kaisa Raitio
I am Associate Professor in Environmental Communication. My primary task is to carry out research related to conflicts, democracy, indigenous rights and social change in natural resource politics and planning. I also act as a supervisor and teach on undergraduate and graduate levels.


My work focuses on the politics of natural resources, in particular on conflicts around mining, forestry and indigenous peoples' rights in Sweden, Finland and Canada.

Currently my research revolves around two issues: deepending our understanding of the constructive potential of environmental conflicts for social change, and exploring ways for implementing the internationally recognised indigenous peoples rights of the Sámi in natural resource policies and practices.

Previously my research has looked at the limits and potential of collaborative planning in managing environmental conflicts (with focus on forest conflicts in Finland and B.C., Canada), the drivers behind such processes, and the role formal and informal institutions play in enabling/hindring collaborative problem-solving. My research combines theories from the fields of conflict studies, political science, planning theory and legal analysis, and in increasily based on action research methodology.   


I teach in  conflict theory and analysis, collaborative planning, conflict management in NRM, environmental governance, forest policy and environmental regulation on undergraduate and graduate levels.


On-going projects

Constructivity and destructivity in NRM conflicts - An analytical framework and methodology for understanding the role of communication and institutions in transforming conflicts (Project leader, Formas 2015-2021, together with Lars Hallgren)

Indigenous Rights and the Global Politics of Resource Extraction: The Case of Mining in Sápmi (co-applicant, Formas, 2014-2021, together with Rebecca Lawrence/Stockholm U (project leader) och Christina Allard/LTU)

Decolonizing Land use Planning: Reimagining Sami-state relations in Sweden and Finland (RE-LAND) (Project leader, Formas 2019-2021 together with Rasmus Klocker Larsen)

Mistra - Environmental Communication (Research programme Mistra 2019-2023 collaboration with Uppsala University) 

Earlier projects

Sustainability trade-offs and the politics of bioeconomy in Finnish forest policy (2013-2017, funded by SLU)

Regulatory regime of integrated forest governance – Reconsidering the role of hard law, 2011-2013 (University of Eastern Finland, Academy of Finland, co-applicant)

Integrated governance of forests – a comparative study between Finland and Sweden, 2010-2012 (post doc)

Conflict over Consensus—The Potential and Limits of Collaborative Environmental Management (CoCo), 2008-2011 (Finnish Environment Institute, co-applicant)

Legitimacy of environmental governance, 2005-2009 (University of Eastern Finland, co-applicant)


Associate Professor in Environmental Communication, 2014, SLU

PhD in Environmental Policy and Politics, 2008, Joensuu University, Finland

MSc in Environmental Science and Policy, 2000, Helsinki University, Finland


Main supervisor 2020: Martin Westin, PhD in Environmental Communication. Rethinking power in participatory planning - Towards reflective practice.

Co-supervisor 2016: Nícia Givá, PhD in Environmental Communication. Parks with people? Action Research in Brindging Conservation and Livelihoods

Selected publications

Publications and citations i Google Scholar

Articles in international peer reviewed journals and books 

Pölönen, I., Allard, C., Raitio, K. (2020). Finnish and Swedish law on mining in light of collaborative governance. Nordic Enviromental Law Journal 2/2020: 99-134.

Österlin, C., Raitio, K. (2020). Fragmented Landscapes and Planscapes—The Double Pressure of Increasing Natural Resource Exploitation on Indigenous Sámi Lands in Northern Sweden. Resources 9, no. 9: 104.

Raitio, K. Allard, C. & Lawrence, R. (2020) Mineral extraction in Swedish Sápmi: The regulatory gap between Sami rights and Sweden's mining permitting practices. Land Use Policy. Volume 99, December 2020, 105001.

 Joosse, S., Powell, S., Bergeå, H., Böhm, S., Calderón, C., Caselunghe, E., Fischer, A., Grubbström, A., Hallgren, L., Holmgren, S., Löf, A., Nordström Källström, H.,  Raitio, K., Senecah, S., Söderlund Kanarp, C., von Essen, E., Westberg, L. & Westin, M. (2020) Critical, Engaged and Change-oriented Scholarship in Environmental Communication. Six Methodological Dilemmas to Think with, Environmental Communication, DOI: 10.1080/17524032.2020.1725588

Hadaway, N.R., Cooke, S.J., Lesser, P, Macura, B., Nilson A.E., Taylor, J. J. & Raitio, K. (2019) Evidence of the impacts of metal mining and the effectiveness of mining mitigation measures on social–ecological systems in Arctic and boreal regions: a systematic map protocol. Environmental Evidence 2019 8:9

Larsen, R. K. and Raitio, K. (2019). Implementing the state duty to consult in land and resource decisions: perspectives from Sami communities and Swedish state officials. Arctic Review, 10. 4–23.

Givá, N. & Raitio, K. (2017) ‘Parks with People’ in Mozambique: Community dynamic responses to Human Elephant Conflict at Limpopo National Park. Journal of Southern African Studies 43(6):1199-1214.

Larsen, R., Raitio, K., Stinnerbom, M. & Wik-Karlsson, J. (2017) Sami-state collaboration in the governance of cumulative effects assessment: A critical action research approach. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 64: 67–76.

Kröger & Raitio (2017). Finnish forest policy in the era of bioeconomy: A pathway to sustainability? Forest Policy and Economics 77:6-15.

Lawrence, R. & Raitio, K. (2016) Academia and activism in Saami research: negotiating the blurred spaces between In: Drugge, A-L. (Ed.) Ethics in Indigenous Research: Past Experiences - Future Challenges. Umeå University, Vaartoe Centre for Sami Research. Pp. 117-136.

Raitio, K. (2016). Seized and missed opportunities in responding to conflicts: constructivity and destructivity in forest conflicts management in Finland and British Columbia, Canada. In: Peterson, T.R., Ljunggren Bergeå, H., Feldpausch-Parker, A. M. & Raitio, K. (Eds): Environmental Communication and Community. Constructive and destructive dynamics of social transformation. Routledge Earthscan. Pp. 229-249.

Peterson, T.R., Ljunggren Bergeå, H., Feldpausch-Parker, A. M. & Raitio, K. (2016). Social transformation and sustainability: communication and community construction/destruction. In: Peterson, T.R., Ljunggren Bergeå, H., Feldpausch-Parker, A. M. & Raitio, K. (Eds): Environmental Communication and Community. Constructive and destructive dynamics of social transformation. Routledge Earthscan. Pp.269-275.

Bohman, A. & Raitio, K. (2014) How frames matter - Common sense and institutional choice in Ghana's water sector. Journal of Environment & Development 23(2):247-270. doi: 10.1177/1070496514525405

Raitio, K. & Harkki, S. (2014) The disappearing chain of responsibility: Legitimacy challenges in the political governance of Finnish Forest and Park Service. Land Use Policy 39: 281-291.  DOI:

Sandström, C., Eckerberg, K. & Raitio, K. (2013) Studying conflicts, proposing solutions - Towards multi-level approaches to the analyses of conflicts. Guest editorial to the Special Issue: Forest land use and conflict management: global issues and lessons learned. Forest Policy and Economics 33:123-127.

Saarikoski, H. & Raitio, K. (2013) Science and politics in old-growth forest conflict in Upper Lapland. Nature and Culture 8 (1):53-73.

Saarikoski, H., Raitio, K. & Barry, J. (2013) Explaining ‘success’ in conflict resolution – Policy regime changes and new interactive arenas in the Great Bear Rainforest. Land Use Policy, 32:271-280.

Raitio, K. (2013) Discursive institutionalist approach to conflict management analysis – The case of old-growth forest conflicts on Finnish state-owned land. Forest Policy and Economics 33:97-103. DOI:

Raitio, K. & Saarikoski, H. (2012) Governing old-growth forests: The interdependence of actors in Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. Society and Natural Resources 25 (9):900-914. DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2011.642462

Raitio, K. (2012) New Institutional Approach to Collaborative Forest Planning: Methods for Analysis and Lessons for Policy. Land Use Policy 29(2):309-316

Hanna, K., Pölönen, I. & Raitio, K. (2011) A Potential Role for EIA in Finnish Forest Planning: Learning from Experiences from Canada. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 29 (2):99-108.

Kyllönen, S., Colpaert, A., Heikkinen, H., Jokinen, M., Kumpula, J., Marttunen, M., Muje, K. & Raitio, K. (2006c). Conflict Management as a Means to the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources. Silva Fennica 44(4): 687-728.

Hukkinen, J., L. Müller-Wille, P. Aikio, H. Heikkinen, O. Jääskö, A. Laakso, H. Magga, S. Nevalainen, O. Pokuri, K. Raitio and N. West (2006b). Development of participatory institutions for reindeer management in Finland: A diagnosis of deliberation, knowledge integration and sustainability. In:  Forbes, B.C., M. Bölter, N. Gunslay, J. Hukkinen, Y. Konstantinov, F. Müller and L. Müller-Wille (eds), Reindeer Management in Northernmost Europe: Linking Practical and Scientific Knowledge in Social-Ecological Systems, Ecological Studies 184, Berlin Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. p. 47-71.

Hukkinen, J., Heikkinen, H., Raitio, K. & Müller-Wille, L. (2006a). Dismantling the barriers to entrepreneurship in reindeer management in Finland. Int.J.Entrepreneuship and Small Business 3(6): 705-727.


Raitio, K. (2008) “You can’t please everyone” – Conflict  management practices, frames and institutions in Finnish state forests. University of Joensuu Publications in Social Sciences No 86. PhD thesis

Edited books

Peterson, T.R., Ljunggren Bergeå, H., Feldpausch-Parker, A. M. & Raitio, K. (Eds): Environmental Communication and Community. Constructive and destructive dynamics of social transformation. Routledge Earthscan.

Jalonen R., Hanski I., Kuuluvainen T., Nikinmaa E., Pelkonen P., Puttonen P., Raitio K. & Tahvonen O. (Eds) (2006) Uusi Metsäkirja [The New Book on Forests] (2006) Gaudeamus, Helsinki. (Received Finnish State Award for Public Information, 2007)


Researcher at the Department of Urban and Rural Development; Division of Environmental Communication
Telephone: +4618672696
Postal address:
Inst för stad och land, Box 7012
Visiting address: Ulls väg 27, Uppsala