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Browsing by master's degree program "Globaalin politiikan ja kommunikaation maisteriohjelma"

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  • Pamuksuzer, Ayse Eda (2019)
    The resignation of Kazakhstan’s first and only president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has brought attention to Kazakhstan’s political regime and the political structure it maintained since its establishment. Regardless of Nazarbayev’s resignation from the presidency post, he still holds great power. Thus, this thesis focuses on Nazarbayev, still a relevant actor and a critical figure in understanding the political conditions in Kazakhstan. This thesis discusses the political structure that Nazarbayev built and maintained. In this thesis, the structure is stated to be preserved through different forms of monitoring and control, however surveillance on telecommunication channels is made the focus. Surveillance on telecommunication channels does not only allow the political structure to be preserved but also upholds the ontological security of the leader in control of the structure. This thesis introduces the changing telecommunication surveillance regulations and practices and discusses them in detail. Even though the state surveillance that targets telecommunication is justified for its security impact on the society, it can also be seen as a tool for ontological security of the people deploying it. Further exploration of telecommunication surveillance and its impacts suggests that there can occur ontological security dilemmas within the state, concerning the leader and the society. The members of society may not achieve ontological security as a result of the surveillance practices that target them, whereas the leader or the other political figures can reinforce their ontology. Although being present elsewhere, the concepts of ontological security, surveillance and ontological security dilemma are studied specifically in the context of Kazakhstan.
  • Sorila, Adam (2020)
    A professionalized climate and external expectations have caused great changes to many development organizations, including a degree of homogenization. Focusing on the identity of organizations is the best way to understand what the impact of change has been and how development organizations are able to hold on to core values and identity while innovating new ways of competitively reaching goals and milestones. The general metrics for success, profit, growth, efficiency, and productivity from within the management perspective follows a logic for which there is much theoretical and empirical evidence. However, the study of organizations and their well-being in terms of their identity in relation to their professionalism is a less researched area. Organizational identity theory can benefit from research to find how to draw direct logical outcomes which can be applied by the organizations in setting directions and goals for their future development. The main purpose for this research is to view how it can explain the differences in how or whether the core values have been affected by the professionalization of nonprofit INGO’s in Finland and how it has been adopted by development NGO’s. Is this theory validated by the phenomenological research data produced by this research? Where organizational identity theory as a framework doesn’t provide a quantitative basis by which to factor in all the variables that influence the social makeup and conceptual whole of an organization, it does provide a framework for the study of the phenomenon as a whole in a qualitative manner. It also gives conceptual paradigm for defining an identity, and how the different organizational features and attributes are related with the identity. The two INGOs chosen for this research, Fida International and Finn Church Aid, were similar enough to offer valid points of comparison by being faith based organizations, both of which have successfully grown into a significant actors in the field of development cooperation. These also offered interesting comparison of how their original organizational identities have lead into different development in organizational structures, global perspectives, and brands they wish to be known for. This kind of research can offer valuable information for NGOs in their future developmental goals. Empirical data on the organizations was gathered from different level staff as they perceived it. The hypothesis is that identity is not always aligned for the convenience of reaching the goals of the organization or even for competitive advantage, counterintuitively identity can be based on independent value decisions even if it doesn’t follow the logic of a professionalized management perspective. Results confirmed the original hypothesis in case of both the researched organizations. A strong organizational identity as is seen in Fida’s case necessitates constant re-alignment to the context, but it is a strength in safeguarding the value base and purpose of the organization; although sometimes at the expense of traditional markers of organizational success such as growth, efficiency and profit it provides a clear vision of what is worth pursuing in the long run. In the other case, the organizational identity of the FCA gives understanding of what the original purpose of the organization was, and even with big changes in its historical value base and consequent shifts in the definitions of development and its purpose, the organization has thrived to meet that challenge, the FCA has become the largest development actor in Finland in order to stay true to its identity.
  • Romero Barreto, Astolfo Alejandro (2020)
    Throughout this century, the world has experienced the emergence of upgraded technologies based on robust data-processing capacities and the expansion of internet networks. This phenomenon has become a transversal aspect linked to economic growth, development of public services, changes in the labor market, and mobilization of political activism, among many other elements influenced by high-technology. On the other hand, political parties play a significant role in shaping and approaching potential regulation and public policies concerning high-technology and digital tools. This thesis explores the implication of technological and digital shifts for political parties in Argentina, Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom over the last decade. The main research goal is to examine the salience of emerging trends in high-technology and digitalization on national political platforms, taking special consideration of the diverse set of social, political, and economic characteristics of the cases in each country. The theoretical framework will be divided into aspects linking the emerging nature of technological and digital change with political parties' activities. A conceptual frame of political parties, saliency theory, technology, and digitalization serves as the starting point of further theoretical notions of this study. Later, an exploration of ideas from the digital economy helps to identify the vital role of technology in the modern economy. Similarly, the examination of the magnitude of technological and digital change results in some grounds for justifying the relevancy of studying party policies facing the one-way journey of technology. Moreover, some notions arguing the drastic socioeconomic effects of automated technologies approach the apparent downsides of high technology. The research process eventually reveals the growing influence of technology as a vehicle for enhancing the economic and social policies. To achieve this, a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods is used to extract and classify data from party manifestos that define party stances. The results provide evidence of the marginal and growing influence of technology and digitalization as issues political parties approach on elections. In the case of the parties analyzed, this presents substantial relevancy from mainstream political parties in industrialized countries. Similarly, the results point to the intertwining of these issues with traditional themes of public policy proposed by political parties on elections.
  • Mahne, Matilda Rosalyn (2021)
    Peacemakers operate in an increasingly complex global environment. Approaches to peace, including peace mediation, also reflect these changes happening in the surrounding world. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a new Centre for Peace Mediation within the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA) was established. This thesis conducts a critical inspection of a policy’s seemingly sudden emergence by taking the Centre as its case study. With scarce policy documents, this study collected its data through conducting 10 semi-structured interviews with state and nonstate actors in the Finnish peace mediation field to analyse the way the Centre is perceived to have come about. The interviews lasted around one hour each. In this study, a novel theoretical framework is advanced through inspecting the policy’s problem representations (WPR approach), the forces which affected its establishment (policy diffusion), and the boundaries that are used to demarcate between groups (boundary work) to analyse why the Centre for Peace Mediation was established. The study finds that the Centre for Peace Mediation was not solely a result of a restructuring of MFA resources, but was affected by a multitude of forces on the national, regional, and international planes. By employing the WPR approach and the frameworks of policy diffusion mechanisms and boundary work, the study’s findings point to Finnish efforts to become a credible ‘player’ in the field of peace mediation. Studying how policies and the issues interwoven within them are framed and justified is relevant on many fronts. First, it helps understand governance processes and what groups of people are highlighted at the expense of others. The study also elucidates how civil society can partake in national policymaking. It additionally shows how intergovernmental organisations influence nations through agenda-setting.
  • Vognæs, Stinne (2021)
    The aims of higher education have always been subject to debate and opposing opinions. In an increasingly complex world with many global challenges, the aims of higher education are once more debated. Furthermore, a growing international student body is also challenging what students should be educated for. How does these factors affect the aims of higher education and how should the university prepare students for this complex world? This partly inductive, normative case study of the University of Helsinki consists of 11 qualitative interviews from across faculties with representatives from 11 different international master’s programs. Through dialogical interviews these questions were explored. Martha Nussbaum’s theory of cosmopolitan citizenship and the three abilities of critical thinking, world citizenship and narrative imagination alongside theory on political socialization and the broader scholarly debate on the aims of higher education provide the foundation for the thematic analysis. The findings indicate that the ideals of cosmopolitan citizenship are still prevalent in the interviewees’ thinking about the skills and attitudes that students need. At the same time, many of the interviewees were not sure whether these skills and attitudes were being sufficiently developed, and many said that not enough was being done. This raises questions as to whether these skills, which are often not subject-area specific, can be brushed off as ‘nice to haves’ or whether there are real consequences if not ensuring that these skills and attitudes are approached in the same manner as subject-area knowledge. Based on the alignment between the interviews and Nussbaum’s cosmopolitan citizenship, it can be argued that what makes students good professionals is also central to making them good citizens. This study argues that students need a strong ethical, moral and value-based foundation to make them both responsible professionals and citizens. It should be explicitly planned for. This might be challenged by external pressures pushing for optimization, effectiveness and seeing education as primarily fulfilling companies’ HR needs alongside incentives structures that might not encourage teachers to prioritise teaching these skills. The findings of this study indicates that the skills of Nussbaum’s cosmopolitan citizenship are valued in the program representatives’ thinking, yet there seems to be a lack of awareness as to how these skills are being developed in practice. This study encourages a more active discussion to clearly articulate what the aims of higher education should be in the 21st century and how that should be put into practice.
  • Reinola, Inka Mari (2021)
    China’s rise in the 21st century has been a widely discussed phenomenon inside and outside the academia. There is a debate on whether China is a status quo or a revisionist state and the impact its influence might have on the world as a whole. One area of China’s rise has not been widely researched in relation to these questions – technology. China’s technological development has increased during the past decades to a level where its technology competence competes with other technologically advanced countries. The fourth industrial revolution has brought about new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, 5G or cyberspace. These technologies also bring forth new questions and challenges, and they require research not only from the technological perspective but also from a social science perspective. This research investigated the Chinese technology policies by looking at materials that included five speeches, two State Council notices, one journal article, and a journal commentary. The themes of the researched materials revolved around overall technology policies, artificial intelligence, cyberspace, and data. This study employed content analysis as its method. The categorization of the social identities derived from the theoretical framework of Chinese social identity strategies which included five different social identity strategies: Globalist China, Sovereign China, Unified China, Sino-centric China, and Rising China. The materials were analyzed by combining two theoretical frameworks – the social identity theory with a particular Chinese social identity theory framework, and constructivism. The social identity theory was originally invented within the field of social psychology but has been used in the study of international relations to understand rising powers. Chinese technology policies were revealed to employ Rising China strategy as their main strategy. Three other social identity strategies – Sino-centric China, Globalist China, and Sovereign China – were also found in the materials, and these revealed interesting points concerning the overall technology strategies. China was found to be balancing between the status quo and a revisionist state status, and the technology themes and the regions they aim to influence seemingly have an impact on which strategies they employ and how these strategies are implemented.
  • Saarinen, Iina Johanna (2021)
    This thesis examines employee perspectives about the concept of employee engagement and dialogical communication’s role in enacting it. It approaches simplistic and instrumentalist views with scrutiny and explores more complex and profound understandings of the definitions, value, outcomes, and antecedents of employee engagement. Employee voice has been largely absent in engagement discourse, and both engagement and communication research have overwhelmingly ignored communication’s role in enacting engagement. To expand these narrow views, the research questions in this thesis investigate how employees understand the concept of employee engagement, the tensions or problems it may entail, and the role of dialogic communication in enacting it. A case study in a Finnish energy company consisted of semi-structured, individual interviews with 10 employees from different units. Qualitative content analysis combining data-driven and concept-driven strategies functioned as the method of analysis for the interview data. The results of the analysis suggest that in addition to genuine opportunities to influence issues in a work community, employees appreciate transparency and open communication about how their voice had an effect. The interviewees considered features of dialogic communication as important antecedents of engagement, but other antecedents were meaningful as well, such as sufficient resources, clear structures and goals, and formal and informal meetings. In addition, the role of self-determination and autonomy were present in accounts of both the definitions and antecedents of employee engagement. The interviewees recognized both beneficial and adverse outcomes of engagement. Therefore, employee perspectives of engagement are more complex and versatile than suggested by previous research or hyperbolic discourses. However, the multiple meanings attached to the employee engagement concept sustains its previous problems of vagueness and indistinctiveness. The thesis highlights the need for expanding the previously narrow views of employee engagement. Demands for dialogic employee engagement challenges organizations to balance between different priorities, such as providing both agency and guidance, and encouraging diverse views while aiming for unity and shared culture.
  • Begley, Jonathan (2019)
    A healthy democracy requires citizens to be sufficiently informed in order to be able to vote on the basis of valid information. From the perspective of a Twitter analysis of the 2018 US midterm election, this study is an examination of the relationship between social media and the concept of informed citizens. In the study a hashtag ethnographic method was applied by analysing 350 tweets from the seven days before the election day on the 6th of November, 2018. The tweets were chosen by searching for the hashtag #Midterms2018 on Twitter’s Advanced Search. Both quantitative and qualitative elements were employed in the analysis in order to evaluate whether the tweets about the US midterm election showcased that Twitter can function as a platform for the betterment of informed citizens. Based on the analysis it can be said that Twitter provides citizens many opportunities that allow them to take part in the political arena in ways that were previously unavailable to them. On Twitter citizens have the potential to reach a larger audience, challenge narratives established by traditional media, respond directly to politicians, spread their own political views and encourage others to take part in the democratic process.
  • Barre, Ahmed Saleban (2018)
    Abstract The Somali Republic (as it were before 1991) became independent nation state in July 1960. This was a result of a union between former British Somaliland Protectorate in the north and the Italian Somaliland at the south. That unification has practically ended in 1991, which is when Somaliland elders unilaterally declared withdrawal from and nullifying the union between the two entities in 1960. At present however, former Italian Somaliland is in deep turmoil, while Somaliland has been relatively stable and peaceful since 1991. I will examine throughout my thesis the reason for that stabilization and its European perceptions. I will also analyze what I called Somaliland model of state-building and following Jhazbhay (2009), will argue that, Somaliland illustrates the efficacy of internally driven, culturally rooted, bottom-up approaches to post-war [state] building, reconciling indigenous cultures and traditions and modernity. Jhazbhay (2009) contrasts this with the assumption that there need be a strong, centralized, post-colonial state. As such, my argument in this thesis is based on this premise which will argue that, the political system in Somaliland is sustained because of the interplay between modernity and tradition. Further, the EU is the largest donor to Somalia including Somaliland, therefore, based on EU documents on Somalia, I will also present the EU Perceptions on Somaliland’s state-building process. Under the EU perspective, Somaliland is perceived as a successful state building model in the Somali context that has something valuable to contribute. The EU’s perceptions of Somaliland will have positive impact on other actors’ image of Somaliland.
  • Lehtinen, Nadja (2019)
    This Master’s thesis explores sustainability indicators intended for corporations and how conceptual, policy related and methodological aspects are visible in the indicators. Sustainability has gone from being a marginal ecological idea, to a mainstream movement and can today be seen as one of the leading aspirations of the 21th century. Sustainability is apparent in political discussions, business actions and our everyday lives. One of the challenges of sustainability is that there are hundreds of definitions, the term is overused, and new indicators and measurements are created continuously. Based on the aforementioned facts, I wonder if it is even possible to measure this global concept and phenomena that has hundreds of different definitions. However, many definitions of sustainability are similar in the way that they are based on the three pillars: Economy, Environment and Society. The case study explores SDG Compass, which is a collaboration project between the international organizations United Nations (UN), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The project has gathered hundreds of business tools and thousands of business indicators in to a database that can be used by corporations. All the data included in the project are based on the framework of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations in 2015. With a mixed-methods approach I have conducted a thematic content analysis and quantitative analysis focusing on studying the conceptuality, policy relevance and methodology of the data. The aim of the study is to add to the transparency around sustainability indicators and show the complexity of a selection of indicators current indicators intended for businesses. When it comes to conceptuality the analysis showed that the three pillars Economy, Environment and Society are all visible in the data and balanced with equal amounts of indicators. When it comes to policy relevance the analysis showed that private, public and civil society institutions are all visible as indicator issuing organizations in the SDG compass. However, I argue that the role of The UN is the most relevant and powerful when it comes to sustainability indicators. When it comes to methodology the SDG compass data follows the general criterions recognized in the literature as criterions for good indicators, and the results suggests SDG compass indicators are of a high quality.  
  • Untamala, Sinituuli (2021)
    This thesis examines one of the most visible demonstrations of social exclusion: homelessness. The aim is to critically investigate the role of newspapers in constructing the discourse of homelessness. The focus of the research is on the United Kingdom, particularly England, where 4 677 (2019) people are estimated to sleep rough. The number has increased significantly during the 2010s, and the situation is likely to get worse. This paradox of a society with the world’s fifth largest economy as well as thousands of people without access to housing is an intriguing starting point for a critical analysis. Therefore, this master’s thesis analyses the role of British newspaper media in creating power, inequality and division into ‘us and them’, associated with street homelessness. When addressing social issues, such as homelessness, it is necessary to examine the role of media as it is the most important source of information for most of the people, Furthermore, it plays a crucial role in framing social issues for the public and influencing their opinions. The data was collected from three newspapers, representing both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. These newspapers are the Guardian, the Daily Mail and the Sun. Articles containing the search terms “homelessness-England” were searched from the newspapers’ online databases from 2017–2020. A total of fifteen articles were selected for further analysis. These were considered most relevant to the topic in question; that is, they discussed the way the public interacts with and how they portray the people sleeping rough in England. The methodology applied in this thesis was Fairclough’s three-dimensional framework for critical discourse analysis. These dimensions are discourse-as-text, discourse-as-discursive-practice, and discourse-as-social-practice. Four overlapping categories were identified based on how they portrayed homeless people. These categories are 1. homeless people as objects of charity; 2. homeless people as security threats; 3. homeless people as demonstrations of inequality and 4. homeless people as victims. The research shows that these discourses are promoted in the articles by certain choices of vocabulary and discursive practice. Furthermore, it is argued that these narratives promote the dichotomy between ‘us’ (the people with housing) and ‘them’ (the homeless people). Based on the results, spoken and emotional driven language was more evident in the articles by Daily Mail and the Sun. Emotional discourses was used to create both positive (sympathy) and negative (fear) emotions among the readers. Overall, the research shows that the discourse of homelessness, constructed by the British newspapers, promotes the stereotypical views of homeless people as passive objects. Indeed, the active element in the narratives was in most cases given to the other people, not the homeless person. In the news storied of people experiencing street homeless they were talked about or seen but were not given the active voice.
  • Vaarala, Viljami (2019)
    The War on Terror has been waged for almost two whole decades now. President Barack Obama pledged to end the “boundless Global War on Terror” during his tenure but there are still US troops present in Middle East and North Africa. Despite the rhetoric on ending the war, the war got even more violent in terms of air strikes and the military budget kept on rising from that of president Bush under Obama’s first term as president. Since these circumstances suggest that there was no considerable change to be perceived in the outcome of the war from Bush to Obama, there seems to exist a process of political meaning-making through which the meanings attached to the US engagement in the Middle East are altered. Thus, this study aims at analysing the underlying fantasmatic logics through which the War on Terror was legitimized to the public during Obama’s presidency. This study contributes to the study of international relations through Lacanian-Žižekian framework, which has only recently been introduced to the study of international politics. The theoretical and methodological background of this thesis is rooted in Lacanian psychoanalysis, discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe and Lacanian-Žižekian theorizations on ideological fantasies. By adapting the logics approach of discourse theory as a qualitative method, this thesis analyses 105 speeches on terrorism that Barack Obama delivered in 2009–2016. The analysis is focused at analysing discursive articulations, nodal points and master signifiers that partake in structuring the fantasies regarding War on Terror. In this thesis I will argue that it is through the fantasmatic logics that the ideological grip of Obama’s War on Terror becomes intelligible: By structuring the fantasmatic objects of desire at least on three levels, Obama succeeds at granting the illusion that the unachievable and impossible enjoyment – that the subjects of War on Terror desire – is achievable. However, Obama organizes the fantasy in a way that keeps the realization of the ultimate fantasy of lasting peace, safety, prosperity and security always at a distance. The desire is sustained by articulating enemies, such as al Qaeda, Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Assad’s regime and ISIL, as inferior objects of desire that are “forgotten” and replaced by one another in the signifying chain of enmity. In addition to this “forgetting” of inferior objects of desire, there exists a process of “reminding” or “remembering” that sustains the desire of War on Terror’s subjects. I then argue that some of these objects of desire are used to remind the subjects of what the possible enjoyment would feel like when it is finally achieved. These enemies are also articulated as “the constitutive othesr” that prevent the subjects of War on Terror to realize their fantasy of lasting peace. The results show that the signifier “terrorists” functions as a subtle epithet through which various and differential groups can be articulated as enemies.
  • Koskela, Riina (2021)
    The language we use when we talk about terrorism has an important role to play in the discursive construction of terrorism. Thus, how terrorism is perceived in the media, politics and official public discourses influences how we perceive terrorists to be. The constructive perspective of terrorism does not deny the existence of it: terrorism is real, but what it means depends on the interpretations. Counterterrorism also depends on these interpretations of terrorism. Therefore, it is argued that how states perceive ‘terrorism’ impacts their counterterrorism measures and policies. The overall aim of the study is to examine the interplay between terrorism and counterterrorism. The focus is on understanding how terrorism is perceived in the official public discourse of terrorism within the context of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy ‘CONTEST’ and contemporary terrorism since 9/11. Another layer of the argument concerns how the discursive practices constitute terrorist Other and thus, how the perceptions of terrorist Other constructed by the Self reproduce, reinforce and constitute behaviour, interests and identity of the Self. The aim is not to understand terrorist Other, but rather to analyse how Other is constructed by the Self and what effects this has on the Self. In this study, the UK occupies the role of Self, and contemporary terrorism, as perceived by the Self, represents the Other. The theoretical background of the study is on critical terrorism studies, constructivism by Alexander Wendt and securitisation theory. The research material consists of four different versions of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy CONTEST from the years 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2018. CONTEST provides comprehensive research material for this study because it sets the general agenda of counterterrorism aims, measures and policies in the UK. In the first part of the analysis, the study identifies five different perceptions of terrorist Other utilising critical discourse analysis by Norman Fairclough. The five perceptions of terrorist Other are active, different from the Self, radicalised, a non-state actor, and finally, an enemy. Based on these five perceptions of terrorist Other, the second part of the analysis then focuses on the interplay between terrorist Other and Self. The perceptions of terrorist Other are argued to reproduce, reinforce and constitute Self’s behaviour, interests and identity, and therefore influence on the counterterrorism practised by the UK. Analysing how terrorism is perceived through the construction of terrorist Other provides a broader understanding of the official public discourse of terrorism in the UK. In addition, the study argues that Self decides its actions by reflecting on the perceptions of terrorism it has created itself. Therefore, constructing terrorism as represented might partially explain counterterrorism measures and policies in the UK.
  • Ricardo, Madalena (2020)
    Portugal seems to stand out among colonial empires – besides being the first European colonizer, Portugal was the last European empire, since its decolonization process unfolded later than in other European colonies. Only 20 years after the formal end of its empire, this study exposes how Portugal discusses its own colonial past today, how colonialism is framed in the current public debate and whether certain colonial narratives are still present in this discussion. Based on the findings, this thesis also discusses the impact of the debate on racism and immigration attitudes. The theoretical basis hinges on previous studies on Portuguese colonial narratives and myths, including Gilberto Freyre’s Lusotropicalism, research on the formation of national identities and theories on the construction of racism. The goal is to contribute to the existent research on Portuguese colonialism, providing a recent account of the public debate; to serve as a base for future studies on post-colonial attitudes; and to discuss the legacy of colonialism in Portugal, particularly, on racism. A media analysis is conducted. Two Portuguese newspapers were selected, Público and Observador. Only opinion articles were analyzed, and a case was chosen to represent this public debate – a controversial proposal on the construction of a museum in Lisbon about the colonial period, in the time frame from May to July 2018. Using frame analysis, the content of the opinion articles is examined, the characteristics of the authors are discussed, and frames are identified. The findings assert that colonialism is mainly framed today in two ways: as the pride of the nation and as a shameful event for the country. Fragments of a third, mixed frame could also be identified. Predominantly, it is framed as the national pride, as a key event in the history of the country. Portuguese colonization is largely described as a soft, intercultural encounter, while the atrocities tend to be dismissed. This thesis denounces the persistence of colonial narratives, myths and stereotypes and reveals their renewal into new terms. It also exposes the usage of colonialism as the foundation of the current Portuguese national identity, constituting one of its most long-lasting legacies. Finally, the thesis reveals a connection between colonialism and the dismissal of racism today. The study discusses how colonialism, the myths and narratives serve to construct a false image of tolerance of the Portuguese, which affects racism and immigration attitudes in the country. The legacy of colonialism is discussed to impact other areas, such as electoral results and the success or failure of far-right populist parties.
  • Heimonen, Mona (2020)
    Britannian hallitus ilmoitti vuonna 2016 harkitsevansa sukupuolen juridista tunnustamista koskevan lain (the Gender Recognition Act 2004) uudistamista, minkä seurauksena julkinen keskustelu transihmisten oikeuksista on lisääntynyt mediassa. Tässä pro gradu -tutkielmassa tarkastellaan medianäkyvyyden, julkisen keskustelun ja transaktivismin kompleksista suhdetta. Tutkimuksen tavoite on tuoda esiin medianäkyvyyden ja julkisen keskustelun vaikutuksia transaktivismiin Britanniassa. Vaikka tutkielmassa tarkastellaan julkista keskustelua ja trans-narratiiveja mediassa, empiirinen tutkimus lähestyy aihetta transaktivistien näkökulmasta. Tutkielman teoreettinen viitekehys pohjautuu Emil Edenborgin (2017) kuulumisen politiikan (politics of belonging) ja näkyvyyden suhdetta käsittelevään teoriaan (the arrangements of visibility). Edenborgin mukaan hallitsevat toimijat pyrkivät joko hillitsemään tai vahvistamaan näkyvyyttä (containing and amplifying visibility), kun taas mahdollisuudet haastaa näkyvyyttä (contesting visibility) toteutuvat kontekstuaalisesti eri tavoin. Tutkimuksen lähtökohta on transihmisten olemassaolon sosiokulttuurinen näkymättömyys (Namaste, 2000), minkä seurauksena median trans-narratiivit, jotka tuovat esiin vain pienen osan transihmisten kokemuksista, johtaa trans-näkyvyyden paradoksiin (the paradox of trans visibility) (Berberick, 2018). Trans-näkyvyyden paradoksi luo pohjan tutkielman analyysille. Tutkimusaineisto on kerätty haastattelemalla viittä transaktivistia Britanniassa. Puolistrukturoitujen teemahaastattelujen tarkoitus oli tarkastella transaktivistien kokemuksia medianäkyvyydestä, julkisesta keskustelusta ja transaktivismista Britanniassa, sekä niiden merkityksiä. Tutkimuskysymys on, mitä haasteita ja mahdollisuuksia näkyvyydestä voi seurata transaktivismille? Aineisto on analysoitu teema-analyysin avulla. Analyyttiset teemat rakentuivat tutkielman teoreettisen perustan ympärille. Tutkimuksen tulokset viittaavat siihen, että kasvanut medianäkyvyys ja julkinen keskustelu on johtanut virheellisen tiedon lisääntymiseen sekä medianarratiiveihin, joissa transihmisten oikeudet kuvataan uutena yhteiskunnallisena uhkana. Haastateltavien mukaan harhaanjohtavaan mediaraportointiin puuttuminen, ilman vahvoja siteitä mediaan, on yksi transaktivismin suurimmista haasteista Britanniassa. Transfobian ja vihapuheen yleistyminen sosiaalisessa mediassa on myös suuri haaste aktivisteille. Harhaanjohtavat medianarratiivit, transfobia ja vihapuhe ovat johtaneet siihen, että monet haastateltavista eivät enää seuraa aktiivisesti mediaraportointia ja osallistuvat vain harkiten julkiseen keskusteluun transoikeuksista. Tulokset viittaavat siihen, että vihamielisyydeltä suojautuminen voi johtaa transaktivistit vetäytymään julkisesta keskustelusta. Toisaalta kasvanut trans-näkyvyys voi myös mahdollistaa cissukupuolisten ihmisten kouluttamisen, antaa puitteet vertaistuelle ja transihmisten yhteisölliselle toiminnalle, sekä tarjota mahdollisuuksia haastaa hallitsevaa medianäkyvyyttä.
  • Rosenkranz, Jade (2019)
    Social capital theory highlights the value of social networks in encouraging cooperation and facilitating change. However, research within this field rarely undertakes a communicative approach to social capital, which ignores the importance of communication in supporting understanding and connections in social interactions. The narrative paradigm is one facet of communication theory but it has considerable pertinence to this research because stories both define and connect us. When narratives are experienced they provide common purpose and action. Nonprofit organizations are another crucial element to understanding the interconnection between social capital and narratives because they provide a space for individuals to build a sense of belonging and solidarity. The primary objective of this paper is to analyze how a nonprofit organization’s narratives foster social capital. This research was a case study of the nonprofit organization HeSeta based in Helsinki, Finland. The data was collected through several in-person interviews, HeSeta’s website, HeSeta’s official Facebook page, and public organizational documents. The results indicate that narratives foster social capital by establishing reasons to connect and interact, creating basic responsibilities to one another and encouraging action together. The creation of shared goals, values, obligations, expectations, and identification helps to build norms of trust, honesty, reciprocity, which establish and sustain a social network and its narratives. The study encourages the development of more critical formations of organizational narratives in nonprofit organizations’ communication to their stakeholders and community, which prioritizes social capital, to help encourage greater interaction and collective action.
  • Liu, Xuefei Christina (2020)
    There is a saying in the disaster management field that all disasters are inherently local. Regardless of where the support originates or which body governs the emergency management, relief efforts are conducted locally to support communities in the vicinity. It follows that local and indigenous knowledge should be at the core of all disaster relief methods as indigenous people have observed and learned from their lands for thousands of years. They have studied various attributes of their environments and have passed down intimate knowledge of their surroundings. It is curious and even irresponsible therefore, that the international disaster management field largely fails to recognize the benefits of indigenous knowledge. This thesis examines the formation of government and media perception of indigenous emergency management through a post-colonial lens, applying Edward Said’s theory of orientalism. Through a comparative content analysis of legislation from both Canada and New Zealand, government produced documents and news articles, it is evident that existing models of governance and unintentional legislative oppression facilitate the inherent structures that work to marginalize vulnerable communities and keep them vulnerable. These structures are rooted in each country’s colonialist foundation and fail to adequately provide for the countries’ indigenous populations.
  • Saarnio, Tommi (2021)
    The importance of global regulation in the field of trade and investments is stronger than ever. Globalization has created a deep global integration, where capital is highly mobile, crises are more common and inequality is at unprecedented levels. Currently, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is trying to reform its operations and looking for a way forward during a period of an intense debate between the neoliberal ideology and feasible alternatives. This thesis investigates the creation and provisions of the International Trade Organization (ITO) and compares it to the WTO. It seeks to show how the ITO can provide fresh ideas and solutions to the contemporary challenges. This thesis utilizes comparative analysis to examine the investment regulation in the two organizations. More generally, this thesis is influenced by the critical realist approach to social sciences. The primary sources for the analysis are the Havana Charter, the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The comparative analysis indicates that there are major differences in the treatment of investments between the ITO and the WTO. First, the TRIMs and GATS Agreements tend to support the WTO’s main objective of liberalization, which stems directly from the neoclassical theory. In contrast, the Havana Charter appears to be a more heterodox from the perspective of economic theory. In addition, the findings suggest that the Havana Charter is more development-friendly, has more balanced regulation between investors and host countries, and regulates also private actors, such as multinational corporations. From the end of the 20th century until this day, liberalization has reigned in the trade and investment domain. It is argued that in the future, more emphasis should be put on a wide variety of issues to support sustainable and inclusive development. Furthermore, it is suggested that the ITO points towards global Keynesianism, which could serve as an adequate path towards a better governance of global trade and investments in the 21st century.
  • Niskanen, Mika (2021)
    UNICEF Finland has an extraordinary habit. The organization replies or reacts to every comment they receive on Facebook. This thesis is a case study that examines the impact of UNICEF Finland’s dialogic communication style. The impact is examined through the concept of social media capital that is seen as the stock of social media-based faith-holders. Faith-holders refer to stakeholders who trust, like and support an organization. Social media capital can be acquired via communication actions that builds trust and increases frequency of contact. Social media capital can be directly expended or converted to other capitals, such as donations. Two methods were conducted: interview with UNICEF Finland’s digital producer Petteri Numminen and an online survey with 40 viable respondents. The interview aimed to distinguish how UNICEF Finland utilizes dialogic communications and for what reasons. The online survey was conducted to examine the commenting style’s impact on trust and behaviour among stakeholders. The survey included several multiple choice and open-ended questions and a Likert-scale with 20 items. The results imply that UNICEF Finland’s commenting tactic is linked to the acquisition of social media capital. The interview shows that UNICEF Finland utilizes a dialogic communication style to build social media capital among other objectives. Results of the online survey are remarkably positive: respondents indicate that UNICEF Finland’s commenting tactic builds trust, increases frequency of contact and encourages behaviour that is beneficial for the organization. The results need to be approached with some caution: the respondent group held highly positive approach to UNICEF Finland. Furthermore, the commenting tactic is only one part of UNICEF Finland’s presence on social media; it is difficult to understand or review its standalone role. This thesis adds to the literature by developing the concept of social media capital and investigating the impact of dialogic communication on organization’s stakeholders. The concept of social media capital is seen practical – it is highly recommended that the concept is developed and studied further.
  • Hämäläinen, Mari (2020)
    Contemporary social movement leadership is a debated topic among social movement scholars. The social movements that organize action partly on digital platforms are often considered as leaderless and horizontal. However, recent research has revealed power dynamics and informal leadership within these movements. The scope of this master’s thesis is to build understanding of this informal leadership that concerns different levels and layers in the online and offline contexts. As a case study, the master’s thesis examines the yellow vests movement in France and seeks to discover what kind of similarities and differences emerge when comparing the dynamics of the yellow vests movement to other contemporary social movements. The research method was digital media ethnography that enabled efficient tracing of the phenomenon in different digital media platforms. The fieldwork that lasted for over a year concentrated on key Facebook accounts and French and English digital news media. Three key events emerging from the social media accounts were analyzed more closely to understand the dynamics of the yellow vests movement. The research findings reveal informal leadership within the yellow vests movement in France. This result supports recent research concerning the dynamics of contemporary social movements. However, informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is visible and thus differs from the leadership of anonymous social media administrators. Visibility enables new personalized communication tactics that are applied to strengthen emotional togetherness in the movement. The informal leadership of the yellow vests movement is also distributed between key figures and other participants in the movement network, highlighting collective action. Based on the research observations, it can be argued that the structure of the yellow vests movement is not horizontal, but key figures of the movement operate as central points or hubs in the network. Thus, it can be argued that the contribution and determination of the prominent figures in different contexts lay the foundation for the longevity of the yellow vests movement in France. The results indicate that informal leadership cannot be ignored in the research of contemporary social movements. Based on the findings, it is suggested that future research should concentrate more closely on how informal leadership is channeled in various ways to achieve the goals of the movement.