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Press release

Press release

Doctoral Thesis on Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion of Minority Groups Using Structured Democratic Dialogue as a Tool

Hasan Habes.
Hasan Habes

M.Soc.Sc. Hasan Habes’ doctoral thesis in Developmental Psychology will be put forth for public defence at the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies at Åbo Akademi University.

The thesis is titled Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion of Minority Groups Using Structured Democratic Dialogue as a Tool: Examples from Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia.

A public defence of the doctoral thesis takes place on 10 June 2024 at 1.15 PM. The defence can be followed live online. Docent Joám Evans Pim, Center for Global Nonkilling, Hawaii, will serve as opponent and Docent Karin Österman, Åbo Akademi University, as custos.


The aim of the thesis was to enhance understanding of the social integration of minority groups in the Swedish-speaking Ostrobothnia region in Finland. The Structured Democratic Dialogue as a participatory methodology was utilized to identify challenges of integration faced by migrants, ethnic and racial minorities, refugees, and the LGBTQ+ community, and to generate solutions by developing action plans.

First, the thesis revealed the various challenges faced by these groups. The barriers to integration, from subtle racism to insufficient involvement of native Finns, which hinder the integration process were discovered. Second, concrete action plans were presented to include more native Finns in the integration process. For instance, strategies such as ensuring all community projects are inclusive, and encouraging balanced representation of all communities in political parties were proposed to create a more welcoming and inclusive society. Third, the specific challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community were addressed. It was highlighted how societal attitudes could be reshaped and a more accepting atmosphere fostered through education, media representation, and legal protections.

Overall, the present study highlighted the importance of social connections, inclusive policies, and balanced political representation in facilitating successful integration. It also illustrated the importance of active and inclusive participation in the integration process by all members of society. Moreover, it demonstrated how structured dialogues could bridge gaps among various community groups, and facilitate the development of practical strategies and specific action plans that enhance social cohesion and inclusivity.

Hasan Habes was born in 1981 in Famagusta, Cyprus. He can be reached by email hasan.habes@abo.fi.

The doctoral thesis can be read online through the Doria publication archive.

Click here for a press photo of the doctoral student.


Instructions for following the doctoral defence remotely:

To follow the defence, you need the Zoom software or the Google Chrome browser. You do not need to create a Zoom account to follow the defence. If you install the application, you participate by clicking on the meeting link, after which you should allow the link to open in the Zoom app.