Matti Ylönen


I am a permanent University Lecturer in World Politics (University of Helsinki), with a focus on Global Political Economy. I currently lead a research project on the influence of big tech firms in the European Union, funded by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation. In 2020–2022, I spent two years as a Marie Curie Widening Fellow at Tallinn University of Technology. There, I studied the political economy of the Estonian E-residency system, in addition to Estonian language (see publications from that project at the Review of International Political Economy and the Transnational Corporations Journal).

Much of my scholarship has addressed the role of corporate actors in politics. I have also published widely on corporate tax avoidance, tax havens, and corporate power, which were a topic of my PhD dissertation that I completed in 2018. My second research interest has been the role of various consultancies in policymaking. I have also had a long-standing interest is in issues related to global development. For example, I have published a textbook on the World Bank and the IMF (2011), a book about the European debt crisis (2013), as well as an article on the mainstreaming of the Sustainable Development Goals in the Finnish policymaking.

Before starting working on my PhD, I have worked as a freelance journalist, an advocacy officer in a civil society organization on financing for development issues, and as a researcher in research and advocacy organization Finnwatch, which investigates the global impacts of Finnish business enterprises. I am currently the chairperson of Finnwatch, a Member of the Parliamentary Development Policy Committee, and an Editor of the Finnish Review of Political Economy. I am a Non-Resident Fellow at Yale University, where I was also a Fulbright Schuman grantee in 2016.

University of Helsinki awarded its PhD prize to my PhD in 2019, and one Yale University awarded its 2015 Amartya Sen Prize to one of the articles of the dissertation. My co-authored Finnish-language peer reviewed book on Public Affairs consultants (2022) received a prize from the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation in 2024.