Riikka’s academic interests lie in the sociology of law, criminology, victimology, and criminal justice policy. Her research concentrates on the legal regulation and control of violence in the private sphere and within families, the position of the crime victim within the context of Finnish criminal justice policy, and sexual crimes.
She has a PhD in sociology from the University of Helsinki. The multidisciplinary study analysed the interrelationship of legal regulation and the societal recognition of intimate partner violence in Finland 1968–2010. Her postdoctoral project examines parent to child violence, particularly physical violence as a measure of parental disciplining and its ambiguous status as a legal and social problem. In addition to mapping the theoretical contours of such violence, she is conducting an empirical examination of the prohibition of violent disciplining by parents in Finland in the early 1980s, the later revisions of the legislation, and the practical consequences of implementing these laws in child protection services.