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Marjaana Rautalin

University Instructor
Tampere University
phone number+358401901548
City Centre Campus

About me

Marjaana Rautalin’s research centers on global and transnational sociology, as well as sociology of education. In her PhD dissertation, titled Domestication of International Comparisons: The Role of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in Finnish Education Policy, she examined the ways in which PISA was invoked by different Finnish stakeholder groups when debating about the national education system. During her two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR), she continued her research on political reassurance work by examining how the global community is invoked in motivating new legislation in the national context as well as how policy advice organizations (international and national) have been built and maintained in the pursuit of influencing domestic policies. In her postdoctoral research project funded by the Academy of Finland (2017-2020), she examined factors explaining the intensification of policy recommendations in international policy advice. This question was scrutinized from the perspective of how recommendations acquire legitimacy in the national parliamentary rhetoric and how the OECD has promoted these in its flagship reporting. 

In her present post as postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, she studies how IOs react to changes in their institutional environments by rearranging their activities and what role exogenous shocks (such as pandemics) play in such processes. She also studies how IOs establish their scientific authority and how the reseach conducted by formal organizations receives agency in national parliamentary debates. Her other research focuses on national political rhetoric and how nation-states justify their official corona strategies.

Dr. Rautalin is a Coordinator of the European Sociological Association’s Research Network on Global and Transnational Sociology (RN15). In addition, she has duties in various associations for sociology and sociology of education. During 2014-2015 she served as a junior member in the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. She is also a member of the curriculum development group of the Master’s Degree Programme in Global and Transnational Sociology at Tampere University, where she also teaches and supervises theses. During Fall 2017, Dr. Rautalin served as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Graduate School of Education.


Senior Research Fellow

Teacher responsible for the course (SSR.GTS.040) Designing Research in Global and Transnational Sociology (5 ECTS), Tampere University  

Fields of expertise

Main positions of trust

Co-coordinator of the European Sociological Association's Research Network 15 (Global, Transnational and Cosmopolitan Sociology)

Member of the curriculum development group of the Master’s Degree Programme in Global and Transnational Sociology at Tampere University

Junior Member, 2014-2015, Finnish Academy of Science and Letters 

Referee, 2009-, International Sociology, Journal of Education Policy, Educational Research, European Journal of Cultural Studies, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, Globalization, Societies and Education, and Kasvatus [In Finnish: Education]

Chair of the organizing committee, European Sociological Association (ESA) RN 15 Midterm Conference 2022, Global Sociology: theory and practice in the 21st century, 5-6 May 2022, Paphos, Cyprus

Chair of the organizing committee, European Sociological Association (ESA) RN 15 Midterm Conference 2021: Global Social Change – Ideas, Beliefs, Interests, 26-27 May 2021 (online)

Research topics

global governance

international organizations

epistemic governance



evidence-based policymaking

political rhetoric

synchronization of national policies

world society

world culture

Research unit

Tampere Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

Research fields


Policy research

International relations studies

Media research


Academy of Finland

Selected publications

Rautalin, M., Syväterä, J., & Vento, E. (2020). International organizations establishing their scientific authority: Periodizing the legitimation of policy advice by the OECD. International Sociology, 1-22. doi:

Alasuutari, P., Rautalin, M., & Tyrkkö, J. (2018). The Rise of the Idea of Model in Policymaking: The case of the British parliament, 1803-2005. European Journal of Sociology, 59(3), 341-363. doi:10.1017/S0003975618000164

Rautalin, M. (2018). PISA and the criticism of Finnish education: justifications used in the national media debate. Studies in Higher Education.

Alasuutari, P., Rautajoki, H., Auvinen, P., Rautalin, M. (2018) Shattering the Single European Sky: Argument from authorities in dealing with the SES initiative. European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology. doi: 10.1080/23254823.2018.1449661

Rautalin, M., Alasuutari, P., & Vento, E. (2018). Globalisation of education policies: does PISA have an effect? Journal of Education Policy. doi: 10.1080/02680939.2018.1462890

Alasuutari, P., Rautalin, M., & Syväterä, J. (2016). Organisations as Epistemic Capital: the Case of Independent Children’s Rights Institutions. Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 29(1), 57‐71.

Rautalin, M., & Alasuutari, P. (2015). Kyouiku taikoku de nariyuku fukyouwaon [Discordant voices in the land of education]. In N. Furuichi & T. Toivonen (Eds.), Kokka ga yomigaeru toki: motazaru kuni de aru Finrando ga nandomo saisei dekita riyuu [When nations revive: Why Finland has been able to reinvent itself time after time], in Japanese (pp. 88‐102). Tokyo, Japan: Magazine House [In Japanese] 

Rautalin, M. (2014). The role of PISA publicity in forming national education policy: The case of the Finnish curriculum reform. In P. Alasuutari & A. Qadir (Eds.), National Policymaking: Domestication of Global Trends (pp. 95‐110). London: Routledge.

Rautalin, M. (2013). Domestication of international comparisons: The role of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) in Finnish education policy. Academic dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Social Sciences. Academic Dissertation, School of Social Sciences and Humanities. University of Tampere, Tampere.

Alasuutari, P., Mikola, E., Rautalin, M., Syväterä, J., & Valkeasuo, L. (2013). Globaalien kehityslinjojen luominen ja kotoistaminen [The Creation and Domestication of Global Developmental Trends]. In M. Lehtonen (Ed.), Liikkuva maailma: Liike, raja, tieto [The Fluid World: Movement, Boundary, Knowledge] (pp. 33‐53). Tampere: Vastapaino. [in Finnish]

Rautalin, M., & Alasuutari, P. (2009). The Uses of the National PISA Results by Finnish Officials in Central Government. Journal of Education Policy, 24(5), 2009‐2556.

Rautalin, M., & Alasuutari, P. (2007). The curse of success: The impact of the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment on the discourses of the teaching profession in Finland. [Research Article]. European Educational Research Journal, 6(4), 348‐363. 

Alasuutari, P., & Lampinen, M. (2006). OECD ja suomalaisen projektiyhteiskunnan synty [the OECD and the birth of Finnish project society]. In K. Rantala & P. Sulkunen (Eds.), Projektiyhteiskunnan kääntöpuolia (pp. 56‐68). Helsinki: Gaudeamus. [in Finnish]

For more publications and expert tasks see SoleCris Research Information Database