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

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  • Tammi, Saara (2020)
    Terrorism reporting is a contradictory practice for the media: terrorist events are inherently newsworthy but disseminating information about attacks defined as terrorism also provides attention to perpetrators. Without a universal definition terrorism is a pejorative term that can be used for political effect. In public discussion, whether an act of violence should be defined terrorism or not is a common debate in the aftermath of an incident. While the interplay of terrorism and the media have been examined from various perspectives, less attention has been given to the journalistic and editorial practices that precede content. The aim of this thesis is to gain insight into how Finnish journalists perceive the roles and responsibilities of the media in terrorism reporting. The approach of the study is qualitative and empirical, and the thesis follows the discursive and social constructionist understandings of terrorism. The theoretical framework builds on literature about terrorism as a social construct, the interplay of terrorism and the media, critique on terrorism coverage and frames, framing as the interaction of journalists and sources, and the professional values and self-perceptions of journalists. The research material consists of 9 semi-structured interviews. Interviewees are Finnish journalists and editors that take part in terrorism reporting in national media. The interview material is analysed using qualitative content analysis. Based on a theory-bound analysis of the interviews, four roles and three areas of responsibility are designated for the media: the roles of the reporter, explainer, transmitter and analyser and responsibility for attention, context and balance. The findings of this thesis illuminate how journalists perceive the practical tasks, leeway and autonomy of the media in terrorism reporting. In addition, they explain previous findings about, for instance, the media’s dependence on official sources, conventional frames and prevalent terrorism narratives. The roles and responsibilities indicate that the journalists perceive contextualising, independent reporting, confronting authorities and initiating discussion as important duties. However, these aspects are discussed conditionally, and during the early stages of reporting the media disseminate information and transmit official interpretations of events. A contradiction lies in how journalists value the status of the media as the public’s source of information but find that circumstances preclude fixing issues identified in terrorism reporting. In sum, the journalists are aware of the issues but do not have the necessary means or mindset to tackle them. Journalists need sufficient knowledge about terrorism, initiatives to define the phenomenon more broadly and coherently, and guidelines to support practical work. The thesis concludes that approaches that hear out the actors in terrorism reporting are called for in order to deepen terrorism and media scholarship.
  • Pylvänäinen, Laura (2020)
    This thesis studies the discourses of power and anti-violence activism related to feminicides in Mexico. Feminicides are defined as killings of women because of their gender. Although feminicides have existed throughout the history of Mexico, the issue became a focus of attention among the masses nearly 30 years ago because of the wave of violence in Ciudad Juárez. Today, according to the official data of the State, three women are victims of feminicides in Mexico daily. However, the number is most likely substantially higher given the underreporting of feminicides and that some states still do not distinguish them as separate crimes from homicides. It is estimated that approximately ten women are killed as victims of feminicides in Mexico every day. The theoretical framework for this study is rooted in the Foucauldian scholarship of power. More precisely, Michel Foucault’s theory of power as relational or productive and the idea of power being everywhere but nowhere, in particular, imposes the principal understanding of how violence is implicated in multiple structures of power relations. The study was conducted in the form of semi-structured interviews, with data being gathered by interviewing six feminist activists who are working against feminicides in Mexico. After this, the interviews were analysed with methods of discourse analysis. The study finds the total of five main discourses with their sub-discourses: 1. Structures (Patriarchal culture and Deficient understanding), 2. The State (Politics and Impunity), 3. Truth (Bending truth and Clash of genders) 4. Pervasive violence, and 5. Women’s networks. The results of the analysis suggest that the power related to violence against women comes indeed from everywhere: power comes from structures of the society, from education, from the State and the law (and impunity), from the truth (or what we accept as truth), from non-State agents such as criminal organisations and women themselves. They are all connected so that even criminal organisations and politicians are interweaved in the same network of power, and in the case of Mexico, not even very far from each other. Women themselves exercise power through relations, networks and cooperation and this is the dimension of power that women consider their most important asset. To keep themselves secure in a potentially hostile environment, activist women maintain a set of safety rules and regulations that they follow in their everyday lives. In conclusion, power influencing violence against women is located deep in the patriarchal structures and practices in Mexico. This is why it is challenging to tackle the problem of continuing gendered violence in Mexico: it does not have any centre. This means that also globalised networks of organised crime, as well as the overall patriarchal culture, influence on discourses that power and gender-based violence are given. Also, it is noteworthy that power should not be considered only oppressive or dominating as that interpretation would give women only the role of passive victims. Women also possess power that they exercise through social relations and collective activist networks. In sum, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of feminicides and violence against women in Mexico. Furthermore, through the unique interview data, the results collect valuable information on all the main challenges that are hampering the activists’ work against violence.
  • Uimonen, Jenni (2020)
    This thesis studies Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s discourse on connectivity in the context of Free Basics. As a specific focus, this paper looks at a Facebook connectivity initiative called The initiative was launched in 2013 and it aims at connecting all of the world’s population to the internet. As a part of, Facebook developed a smartphone application called Free Basics. As mobile data can be costly in many less developed countries, Free Basics provides free internet access to a limited number of websites. These usually include categories such as Facebook, news sites, job listings, weather and health information. As of 2018, the application was active in over fifty countries around Asia, Africa and Latin America. The method used for analysing the data set is framing analysis. The data, which consists of 54 text documents published between 2013 and 2018, is collected from a single source, an American database called The Zuckerberg Files. This thesis finds that Zuckerberg frames connectivity and Free Basics in three different ways. The first frame, Free Basics as altruistic philanthropy, shows how Zuckerberg focuses on downplaying any possible business benefits that Facebook might have from Free Basics. He stresses the charitable nature of the connectivity initiative and claims that Facebook simply acts on the deep belief for their mission: connecting everyone in the world. The only possible economic profit, according to Zuckerberg, could be for the partnering telecommunications companies. The second frame, Free Basics for universal benefits, displays Facebook’s global outlook on the connectivity issue. In this discourse, Zuckerberg imagines Free Basics as an all-encompassing solution for the five billion people who are currently unconnected. He also argues for universal benefits from increased connectivity by referring to the “global knowledge economy”, where even the already connected people can gain from the new ideas that can now be shared through the internet. The third and last frame, Free Basics accelerating development, looks at Zuckerberg’s statements on how Free Basics can help people in developing countries improve their lives. In comparison to the second frame, here Zuckerberg uses individual people’s stories to give examples on all the areas Free Basics can be helpful in. These stories tie into themes of development, such as health and education, and Zuckerberg frames Free Basics and connectivity as simple, first-step fixes to a variety of issues. In conclusion, the results of this study seem to be in line with the previous studies on Zuckerberg’s discourse. Many elements discussed in the literature also occurred in my data: Facebook’s desire to appear neutral, the debate on net neutrality as well as the giant technology companies and their profound belief in technological determinism in development have been widely discussed earlier. By critically studying Zuckerberg’s argumentation, we gain a better understanding of the company’s actions and motives. This research is valuable because it uses a unique data set to provide an outlook to the way in which Zuckerberg frames Free Basics, as well as connectivity in general.
  • Tikkanen, Aino (2020)
    This thesis sets out to investigate what frames are used in the U.S. media to discuss responsibility for climate change. Particularly, the study seeks to identify what frames are used to discuss action for climate change mitigation. The normative framework for analyzing responsibility is established by the social connection model by Iris Marion Young, which presents a forward-looking approach for addressing responsibility for issues of structural injustice. The theoretical framework of this thesis derives from existing literature on climate change, the media, and media framing. The study was conducted using a qualitative method of frame analysis. Data for the study was collected from the digital contents of three popular news media outlets in the United States: CNN, Fox News Channel, and The New York Times. The data consists of news articles that were published online in December 2019. The results of the study indicate that responsibility for climate change mitigation is rarely approached directly in the media. Rather, it is implied through discussions about what actions should be taken. The study identifies four main frames of responsibility. The first frame emphasizes the conflict between the younger and older generations and deems that collective efforts are required to address the situation. The second frame accentuates the political division over the issue of climate change by casting blame upon Asian nations while downplaying the respective responsibility of the United States. Similarly, the efforts of the Democratic party are ridiculed. The third frame emphasizes consumer action through practical efforts but does not promote buying less as a possible solution. Lastly, the study identifies a frame, in which corporate responsibility is approached in two ways: to hold highly polluting industries accountable and to promote green business as a solution. The study finds that the framing employed by Fox News Channel emphasizes the economic disadvantages of climate change mitigation and sees it as an issue of causal responsibility for Asian nations. On the other hand, the findings of the study suggest that the media coverage of the youth protests against climate change often yield notions of collective responsibility and frame the issue of responsibility in a more contextualized setting. The findings of the study support existing research of how media frames the issue of climate change and how polarization affects the framing. Through the application of the social connection model, the findings of this study contribute to the literature of news framing of climate change by demonstrating how the issue of responsibility is framed.
  • von Pfaler, Lauri (2020)
    This thesis investigates the history and consequences of the post-WWII naturalisation of capitalism. It draws centrally on social history of political thought, an approach to intellectual history developed by Ellen Meiksins Wood and Neal Wood, and situates the transformations that turned economic history into neoclassically-oriented historical economics ‒ the most fundamental example of naturalisation in the period under investigation ‒ in their wider socio-political context. The aim is to understand the politics of concept-formation and discipline reconstruction. The thesis presents the commercialisation model, the central naturalising account of the origins of capitalism. It equates capitalism with trade, markets, and towns, and explains its emergence circularly by capitalist phenomena and dynamics. Capitalism becomes universal, a naturalised and expected development that is only impeded by political or cultural fetters. In contrast, the thesis claims that capitalism is a historically specific arrangement of social relations, norms, and practices. The characteristics that are both specific and have been historically central to it are account for by a brief history of their unintended emergence as a result of class conflicts in the medieval English countryside. The thesis then considers the absence of capitalism as an analytical and historical concept in the specialised discipline of the economy. Thereafter, it presents the building blocks of historical economics: an abstract concept of the market as an information processor, reified notions of information and choice, and mathematics. All emanate from post-WWII economics, and the origins of the first three are traced to the twentieth-century struggle against collectivism and Marxism. Next, the thesis situates the construction of historical economics, a universalising and increasingly ahistoricist field, in the socio-historical context from 1950s onwards, emphasising important similarities with neoliberal thought and Friedrich Hayek. Two disciplinary developments are shown to be crucial. The first, cliometrics, is constituted by the direct use of neoclassical economics to study history. The second, new institutional economics (NIE) is a product of the 1970s. NIE claims to be more realistic and historical than neoclassical economics, but shares its naturalising impulses with the former. It is actually a more powerful tool of naturalisation because its framework allows the explanation of the social in terms of the economic. The transformations had profound implications for the understanding of capitalism. The theoretico-methodological framework ensures that historical economics projects aspects that are historically specific to capitalism onto non-capitalist historical contexts. Consequently, the latter is portrayed as qualitatively similar to the former in a way that re-embraces and refines the older commercialisation thesis: markets and private property are naturalised; relative price changes become the motor of history; and capitalism ‒ or a variant of its conceptual ‘place-holders’ ‒ is argued to only have alternatives that end in tragedy. Finally, the policy implications of naturalisation are assessed.
  • Dande, Tichaona (2020)
    Militarised politics remains a single danger to democracy. Coups and military interventions accounts for 75% of global democratic failures and mark transitions to military rule. Against this background, this study investigates the unconstitutional November 2017 military-assisted political transition in Zimbabwe that resulted in the ouster of Mugabe from power to understand the ramifications of the succession process, outcomes and impacts on democratic governance. The study examines the inherent political conflicts between the military and civilian leaders where the military seek to secure dominant control in the political society despite constitutional obligations that the military remains apolitical. The principal objective of the thesis is to interrogate the growing decisive role and influence of the military in Zimbabwe’s contemporary politics. The study starts by critiquing the colonial historical aspects to understand the institutions that created the military dimensions. Mugabe shaped the governance political and electoral systems based on militarised colonial structures that further advanced his political monopoly instead of building effective political institutions based on the rule of law. Three broad research questions examined whether the military is undermining a democracy based political system in favour of authoritarianism, explores the domestic, regional and international factors that motivated the transition and the impacts and implications on democratic governance. The political transition and objective civilian control theories are deployed to expand the understanding of the complex military role in politics. In analysing the strategic interaction of authoritarian regimes and their opponents, the thesis noted that the military acted as a bureaucratic socio-political system rather than a professional institution in national politics. The findings concluded that military practices and actions in the distribution of power, intervention or meddling in internal domestic politics, governance and representation under authoritarian regimes has cross-cutting effects on the broader concept of democratic governance. There is substantial evidence that highlights that the military and political elites have remained leading actors in political life that sustains and maintains authoritarian structures. The thesis also observed that as an instrument of power transfer, the military establishment’s active participation strengthens the military as an autonomous political actor against Huntington’s objective civilian control, strengthening ZANU PF power retention to protect the institution’s strategic interests at the expense of national interests and human security, value systems, national progress and sustainable development. The empirical analysis reflects that militarized politics is a threat on democratic governance principles hence the need for ambitious institutional, political, legal and security sector reforms based on a model that strengthens human rights and guarantees the protection of civilian society from external threats and from the military institution itself.