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Dr Leila Hamalainen (nee Thorp)

Job: Senior Lecturer

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Address: The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8222




Personal profile

Ethnicity, faith, identity and representation, active citizenship, social capital, community cohesion, new migrants, empowerment, participation, local democracy, engagement, community, regeneration, governmentality, social constructivism, ethnography.

Research group affiliations

Local Governance Research Unit

Publications and outputs

Click here to see a full listing of Leila Hamalainen's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

AHRC Connected Communities Scoping Project:  ‘Conceptualising community as a social fix, argument and persuasion in health, housing and local governance.  A review of the literature’ with Dr Kathryn Jones.  Available at:

Lowndes, V and Thorp, L, (2011) ‘Interpreting ‘community cohesion’: modes, means and mixes’, Policy and Politics, Vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 513-32.

Research interests/expertise

Focused on Public Policy I’ve looked at community participation, active citizenship and empowerment in the areas of: Community Cohesion, Preventing Violent Extremism, regeneration and new migrants.  I am interested in questions around community power within local democracy and engagement and representation in relation to identity.

Areas of teaching

Governance, citizenship and civil society, politics and identity.

Qualifications: PhD Political Sociology, University of Nottingham (2007), MA Slavonic Studies, School of Slavonic and East European Studies (1998), BA Hons Modern European Studies, Loughborough University (1995).

Courses taught: Governance POPP2402 (module leader), Seminars on Politics in Business POPP1405.

Membership of external committees

AHRC College Review Panel Member for the review of funding applications.

Membership of professional associations and societies


Professional licences and certificates

Cambridge / RSA Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) Pass, Grade ‘B’ (1999).

Conference attendance

Hamalainen, Leila (2011) ‘Understanding Community as a Social Fix’, DMU ‘Community as a Social Fix and The Big Society’ AHRC Practitioner Event.

Thorp, Leila and Chapman, Rachael (2008) ‘Faith and community cohesion: Away from ‘secular’ instrumentalism, towards the post-secular society?’ Presented at ESRC seminar series on Faith and civil society at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge (Feb.). An updated version was presented in April 2008 at the AAG International conference in Boston, MA.

Lowndes, Vivien and Thorp, Leila (2007) ‘Four Modes of Understanding Community Cohesion’. Presented at the conference: Europe and its Established and Emerging Immigrant Communities: Assimilation, Multiculturalism or Integration?, De Montfort University, Leicester (Nov.). An updated version was presented in 2008 at: PSA Annual Conference, Swansea (April).

Consultancy work

£30,000 PVE Pathfinder Action Research Evaluation (2008) with Prof. Vivien Lowndes from three local authorities and one government office.

£75,000 PVE Rapid Evidence Assessment, Department of Communities and Local Government with Profs. Pratchett and Lowndes.

£50,000 Faith and Volunteering (2009) for Volunteering England (with Centre for Social Action, DMU). 

Current research students

Demelza Hall (full time) – Second Supervisor (with Jason Wood (1st supervisor). 
Demelza Hall is part of Mile2 project and Sue Westwood (2nd Supervisor))

Externally funded research grants information

£37,000 PI for AHRC Connected Communities Scoping Project: ‘Conceptualising community as a social fix, argument and persuasion in health, housing and local governance.  A Discussion Paper’ with Dr Kathryn Jones (Co-investigator).

Professional esteem indicators

I have been a reviewer for Political Studies and on a full funding application for the ESRC.

Hamalainen, Leila (2009) ‘Interpreting Community Cohesion.’ Invited presentation at Huddersfield University, seminar for centre for citizenship and cohesion.

‘Is there scope for self-governance in Polish civil society?: An analysis of the culture of everyday life in housing. Invited presentation at: Institute of Sociology, AMU-Poznan, Poland (30th May 2007)

Invited presentation: (2007) Using Translation in research and considering cultural meanings. University of Nottingham Postgraduate Colloquium.