Hi, welcome to my personal blog.
I am a freelance writer and political analyst, currently based in Helsinki, Finland, also spending time in Central Europe and the US. I’ve been trained as a philosopher and political scientist at the University of Helsinki (M.A. in philosophy 1997, Ph.D. in Political Science in 2006), with additional academic experience from the Central European University (Budapest) and the New School (New York City). I studied the work of Hannah Arendt for my M.A. thesis in the 1990s (the thesis, in Swedish, is online: Hannah Arendt om totalitarismen), and I keep going back to her texts – born in Soviet-occupied Estonia, I strongly share her anti-totalitarian instincts. Later I focused on more recent democratic theories; my dissertation (Democratic Legitimacy and the Politics of Rights, Helsinki University Press 2006) was about deliberative democracy and the relationship of individual rights to democratic decision making. I taught democratic theory at my alma mater between 2001 and 2009. At the CEU in 1998-2000 I studied international relations and comparative politics along with political theory. That is the background that has also shaped my less strictly academic endeavours, writing essays and newspaper columns in several languages (English, Finnish, Swedish and Estonian), lecturing and consulting.
In 2010-2015 I worked in my native Estonia, first as the editor-in-chief of a monthly foreign policy magazine, Diplomaatia (a publication of the ICDS in Estonian and English), then as an academic advisor to the President of the Republic of Estonia. I returned to Finland in 2015 and now stay in Helsinki, with my mental “home in the world” also extended to Central Europe and the US, especially New York City and Kraków, Poland.
Currently working on freelance basis, I welcome new contacts and opportunities. You can best reach me via email (iamasso at me.com). Having been subjected to two major orchestrated defamation campaigns during my time in Estonia, probably for political reasons considered far more important than my modest person, I recommend that you turn to myself rather than online search engines with any possible questions about me – with more than my fair share of “fake news” out there, I’ve become an expert in infowars through first-hand experience at least as much as through theoretical knowledge.
I am politically independent and support classical liberal democratic values: universal individual rights, freedom of speech, gender equality, Enlightenment humanism. In my analysis and comments, I rely on these values as well as my experience and knowledge, rather than political ideologies, camps or labels, current trends or left-right divisions. I am happy to share my thoughts in published texts, but prefer to stay private as a person. I live on an island; I love greenery and the seaside; I jog and rollerblade and thrive in wilderness. I remain curious and ‘hungry’ in a Jobsian sense, eager to keep learning.
Thank you for visiting!
Iivi Anna Masso