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Browsing by study line "Social Sciences"

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  • Tiensuu, Elisa (2022)
    Tämän pro gradu- tutkielman tarkoituksena on tarkastella turvapaikan turvallistamista niin sanotun ’maahanmuuttokriisin’ aikana vuonna 2015, analysoiden Helsingin Sanomien samaisen vuoden julkaisuja. Tutkielmassa keskitytään siihen, miten turvallisuusdiskursseja kehystetään yleisölle, ja mitä mahdollisia taustalla olevia logiikoita pelon synnyttämiseen liittyen voidaan tunnistaa. Aluksi tutkielmassa esitellään analyysin teoreettinen tausta, turvallistamisteoria ja diskurssiteoria, sekä aiheeseen liittyvä historiallinen ja sosiopoliittinen tausta, jotta tutkielmassa voitaisiin paremmin ymmärtää, kuinka turvallistamisdiskurssit esitettiin yleisölle. Tämän jälkeen tutkielma käsittelee turvallistamista maahanmuutto- ja turvapaikka-asioiden kontekstissa. Tutkielmassa esitellään myös median rooli turvallistamisprosessissa ja tarkastellaan, miten rasistiset ja ksenofobiset logiikat usein vaikuttavat tähän prosessiin. Kirjallisuuskatsaus Pohjoismaissa tehdyistä turvapaikan turvallistamista koskevista tutkimuksista antaa lisätaustaa turvapaikan turvallistamiselle ja esittelee, miten tutkielma osallistuu olemassa olevaan aihetta koskevaan kirjallisuuteen. Tutkielman analyysiosa esittelee tammi-joulukuun 2015 välisenä aikana Helsingin Sanomissa julkaistujen artikkelien analyysin havaintoja. Näitä käsitellään erillisessä keskustelukappaleessa, joka pyrkii vastaamaan johdantoluvussa esitettyihin keskeisiin tutkimuskysymyksiin. Analyysin tulokset osoittivat, että tiedotusvälineet osallistuvat turvallistamisprosessiin tuottamalla ja toistamalla uhkaa ja pelkoa aiheuttavia diskursseja, usein ilman empiiristä tietoa, ja jättämällä huomiotta turvapaikanhakijoiden kokemukset. Analyysi päättelee, että seitsemän toisiinsa kietoutuvaa diskurssia vaikutti pelon ja toiseuttamisen luontiin HS:n artikkeleissa, ja nämä olivat juurtuneet rasistiseen ja ksenofobiseen logiikkaan.
  • van Bruggen, Merijn Adriaan (2021)
    In the past decades, sanctions have become a vital part of the European Union’s (EU) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). To better understand decision-making within the CFSP, this work focuses on how the EU sanctions against Russia are upheld. It does so through the lens of the Netherlands and Finland, two small countries in the EU. The study concentrates on the way small countries participate in sanctions regimes, which is important due to the required unanimity for upholding sanctions. Both domestic dynamics for participating in sanctions as well as attitudes towards European cooperation are taken into account. By conducting a Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) on parliamentary debates in Finland and the Netherlands from 2016, the study compares the interests and focus of national politicians when sanctions are under discussion. The material consists of approximately 170 units of coding per country, which originate from around 15 debates throughout the year. The results offer new insight into some of the factors affecting decision-making of small states in sanctions. The data shows that the Netherlands has a stricter stance towards upholding sanctions on Russia, whereas Finnish politicians highlight the impact of sanctions on Finland. In general, both the Netherlands and Finland are in favour of upholding sanctions, but strongly differ domestically in the way they go about the sanctions. In conclusion, this study finds that small EU countries present themselves as strongly supporting EU unity when sanctions are in place. Nevertheless, these countries differ significantly in domestic preferences, meaning that they participate in sanctions regimes through different means.
  • Vanhanen, Katja (2019)
    For long energy trade has been viewed as an important element of EU– (Soviet) Russia relations. The West European energy engagement with what was then Soviet Union that emerged in late 1960s over the next decades evolved into an important strategic partnership in between the European Union (EU) and the Russian Federation (Russia), with considerable degree of interdependence surrounding their energy ties. Although the EU-Russia energy relations are, in general, concerned with both oil and natural gas, in the present research the author narrowed down the notion of energy to natural gas assigning this commodity a unique importance in the analysis of energy politics between the two. This is given the difference in the structural and economic terms of its trade when compared to other types of fossil fuels, which leads to path-dependent nature of energy relations between the actors involved. The disruptions of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe in 2006 and 2009 as a result of Ukraine-Russia gas disputes already contributed to concerns in regards to security of Russian energy supplies and corresponding natural gas demand from the side of the EU in the light of long-standing interdependence of the energy trade between the two. That being said, the subsequent 2014 Ukrainian crisis involving Russia’s annexation of Crimea and yet another Ukraine-Russia gas dispute can be seen as a turning point in the EU-Russia relations in the context of energy trade. The present study drew from previous research on the topic and, using a securitization theory coined by Copenhagen School of Security Studies as an analytical framework, deploys discourse analysis as a methodological tool in order to examine series of political rhetoric over the years 2014-2017 pertaining to the issue of EU-Russia relations when it comes to security of energy supplies. The analysis of the content of both EU’s and Russia’s energy securitization discourses revealed a presence of some cross related key themes that demonstrate certain similarities as well as differences in actors’ interpretations of their mutual energy trade and the implications of such for each of the party’s respective energy securities. It may be argued that over the years 2014-2017 Russia has been going through the process of de-securitization of its energy relations with the European Union. That being said over the same period the EU has been going through the processes of securitization of its relations with Russian Federation.
  • Zhou, Hanxiao (2019)
    The linkage between the import prices and the exchange rate is an important topic in the open economy macroeconomics. However, there is a few literature focusing on the elasticity of the import prices with respect to the exchange rate especially in Finland. The aim of this study is to estimate the Exchange Rate Pass-through (ERPT) on the aggregated Finnish import prices. With the time series of Finnish Import Price Index, the aggregated foreign Producer Price Index and the aggregated foreign exchange rate index from 2001 to 2017, the analysis suggests the short-term ERPT on Finnish import prices is 36.3% and the long-term ERPT is 70.7%. Finland’s domestic demand has little impact on the short-term ERPT on Finnish import prices, while it likely reduces ERPT by 1 to 5 percentage points in long term.
  • Heikkinen, Juulia (2021)
    Enlargement is the most important foreign policy tool of the European Union. Beyond changing the geographical borders of the Union, enlargement also concerns EU’s self-other relations, bringing to the fore the definitions of “European” space, values and norms. Recent, critical approaches to European and EU studies have called scholars to pay attention to the colonial roots of the EU, arguing that EU as an agent in the global arena and its neighbourhood cannot be understood outside or separate from colonial discourses. Drawing from this perspective as well as from the rich literature on the Europe’s historical relation to East and the current accession states in the Balkans, this thesis asks (how) is the EU’s enlargement policy postcolonial. To explore, understand and critically assess the normative assumptions that are embedded in enlargement policies, this thesis uses post-structuralist discourse theory (PDT) and the logics approach by Jason Glynos and David Howarth (2007) that offers a more specific application of the PDT in empirical analysis. The analysis approaches four most recent EU enlargement policy papers from three angles: what is taken as granted (social logic), what is challenged or institutionalized (political logic) and how the policies are argued for (fantasmatic logic). The analysis in this thesis brings the postcolonial theoretical concepts into the context of enlargement policies and demonstrates the diversity of the forms in which colonialist assumptions in enlargement policy can play out in practice. Enlargement and the EU’s relation to the Balkans emerges from the material as paradoxical and contradictory, producing ambivalence on the Western Balkan’s standing in relation to Europe through a discursive double move of simultaneous inclusion and exclusion.
  • Yamazaki, Wataru (2019)
    The legacies of WWI often have central position in shaping national memory and in many occasions create national myth that shapes historical understanding in certain ways. The issues often trigger heated debate on how to interpret history in national and transnational context. Such is true for Finland. The history of the historiography of Finnish participation in WWII is a process of national interpretations being challenged from outside, notably researchers from Anglophone regions. The debate surrounding such challenges made from external perspectives are still topic of debate in the current context and calls for deconstructing the national myth to incorporate national history into European context are made. While the details of the Anglophone challenges are found in previous literature, how other researchers outside of Finland explained Finnish history of WWII are not well documented. To expand the landscape of the Finnish history research in other regions, this research will focus on the history writing of Japanese historians on Finnish WWII history. The literature that will be analysed are those published in Japan between 1951 and 2017, which includes works aimed at academic and public audience. Analysis will be made using conceptual history approach to understand the text “as they were written” through comparing them with the context within which it was written. The context includes both historiography of the Finnish WWII in available literature in English by Finnish and Anglophone authors, as well as Japanese sociopolitical and historiographical context of seiyōshi (Western History). Through the analysis, several findings were identified. Key findings include the shift in the nomenclature of the wars from wartime names, Soviet Finnish War, to translation of Finnish names, shift in the “problem space” of the Finnish history in Japanese literature, both of which originates to the clarification of the niche by the contributions from early historians. Another feature was relatively quick presentation and acceptance of Anglophone interpretations regarding the origins of the wars, though with variations between historians. This is most likely due to external perspective they share with those from Anglophone regions. The central finding of this research was the very strong emphasis on the small state in virtually all Japanese literature. While the notions appear in Finnish and Anglophone literature, the genre trope of the Western History research resonates strongly in the literature, especially the notions to “learn from the Occident”.
  • Mut-Tracy, Senni (2022)
    Integration in the field of defence and security policy was long regarded unlikely by integration theorists, but the European Union’s competences in the policy area have gradually expanded. The recent launch of the European Defence Fund (EDF) illustrates an ambitious supranational policy being put forward under the Commission’s political leadership. This study investigates why Member States decided to accept the proposal for establishing the EDF and transfer sovereign powers to a supranational institution. To understand their decision, I analyze the negotiations and decision-making process from the perspective of three different Member States: Germany, Greece, and Sweden. This thesis provides an empirical contribution to the study of EU defence–industrial integration and follows a limited number of studies in addressing the question of why such integration is welcomed by Member States. Prior research has suggested that economic gains were the primary motive for accepting the EDF’s precursor program ─ the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) ─ and building on these findings, I explore whether cost-benefit calculations also led Member States to accept the EDF. The explanatory power of another logic of political action will also be considered, namely that of rule following. This perspective allows for analyzing the significance of the institutional context and rules guiding appropriate behavior. In order to build a case study tracing the decision-making process, I gathered data through semi-structured interviews with government officials involved in the process and researchers familiar with national negotiating positions. Additional material used for this study includes Council meeting documents related to the EDF, European Council conclusions, Commission press releases and communications, as well as other official statements on the EDF. The case study shows that all the studied countries entered the negotiations with different expectations and that their motives for accepting the EDF differed. A key finding of this study is that Member States did not collectively accept the EDF proposal because of an expected economic benefit. In comparison with the PADR, which Member States perceived as ‘extra funding’ given that the funding came from both unallocated and reallocated funds in the EU budget, the EDF’s funding was separately negotiated in connection with the MFF for 2021-27. Economic motives did inarguably constitute an important reason for many countries including Greece and Germany, but economic rationality cannot explain why Sweden decided to accept the initiative despite the possibility that it could create a 'gap' in the state budget. Sweden’s vote in favor of the EDF can rather be explained through its adherence to community norms and self-identification as a pro-European country supportive of joint research efforts. These findings are significant because they point to a need to expand our understanding of the reasons for why Member States support integration in the policy area.
  • Osipow, Matias (2022)
    This master’s thesis examines how foreign-language-speakers’ view the impact of linguistic skills in their prospects in the Finnish labor market. The research also aims to map out the experiences such workers have had of Finnish workplaces and Finnish trade unions. The thesis assesses the prospects foreign-language-speaking workers have for participation in the workplace, trade union and the Finnish labor market. The thesis uses a mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods. The first round of data was collected via an online survey produced in cooperation with the Service Union United (PAM) during the author’s traineeship with the Union. Based on the survey data two rounds of interviews were conducted and a total of 12 foreign-language-speaking members of PAM interviewed. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. In the analysis, Bridget Anderson’s concepts of the ‘Good Citizen’ and the ‘Migrant’ in contrast to the former are employed. Joseph Gumperz’s concept of the ‘Speech Community’ is utilized in the analysis of what is the role of linguistic skills on a worker’s prospects in the Finnish labor market. Additionally, Pierre Bourdieu’s forms of capital are used as rough measurements of an individual’s ability to make use of one’s social and cultural resources. The findings in this thesis suggest that linguistic skills have an impact on a workers’ prospects in the Finnish labor market. Linguistic competence is suggested to form a barrier between the native-speaking and the foreign-language-speaking workforce in Finland. The results suggest that lack of linguistic skills is perceived to have a negative impact on a workers’ attempt to find work, to participate and to belong to the ‘Speech Community’ of the workplace and the trade union.
  • Hardy, James (2022)
    Using a comparative case study analysis of the 2014 and 2021 IIHF World Championships, that are supplemented with a geopolitical code assessment, this thesis demonstrates that as of 2021, Belarus has entered a new pro-Russian stage of the cyclicality of Belarus-Russian relations following the pro-Western stage that had been observable since 2014. However, given the lack of a geopolitical narrative in Belarusian politics, this thesis analyses how the cyclicality of Belarus-Russian relations can be seen via the politicisation of sport. As such, this thesis addresses the research question of 'how the Belarusian regime, led by Aliaksandr Lukashenka, has used sport for political ends?' This includes how the regime have used mega-events to promote its political agenda of forming international partnerships, nation-building, and regime survival, all while preserving Lukashenka's style of adaptive authoritarianism. This thesis concludes that how the political agenda is carried out varies depending on the stage of the cyclicality of Belarus-Russian relations in which the regime finds itself. Consequently, during a pro-Russian stage, the Belarusian regime will use sport to develop Eastern partnerships that will be dominant within Belarusian policy, promote a nation-building process that incorporates the Russkiy Mir concept, and ensures regime survival through suppression of the domestic opposition. However, during a pro-Western stage of relations, the Belarusian regime will use sport to construct dominating Western partnerships, a nation-building process centred on Rzeczpospolita, and assures regime survival through economic investments to strengthen public support.
  • Árnason, Ragnar (22)
    Political landscapes or the political scene in the Nordic countries is often regarded of being very similar, whether it is the party system, voters’ behaviour, or political discourse. Since the formation of the political party system in Norden, three party types have been the ballast of the Nordic party landscape. These are in each country a social democratic party, a conservative party, and a centre-agrarian party. Those parties were identified by Jan Sundberg as the Nordic “pole parties”. In the last few years these parties’ support has been waning and these parties do not have as much combined electoral support as they once did. In this thesis three different variables will be analysed to determine if they have affected the support towards these pole parties. The variables in question are party identification, trust towards politicians, and voter turnout. National election studies and formal turnout figures will be used to determine whether these variables affect the support of towards Nordic pole parties. The methods used are quantitative binary logistic regression analysis and coefficient correlation analysis. The key findings in this thesis are that all three variables play a certain role in the waning support of pole parties in Norden, however, all in a different way.
  • Nukarinen, Mira (2019)
    The unity of the Realm is the political construction comprising of Denmark, Faroe Islands and Greenland. In 2013 the Danish Parliament decided to establish an annual debate dedicated entirely to the discussion of matters concerning the Danish Realm – a unique opportunity for politicians to gather and discuss the Realm in its entirety, not just Greenlandic or Faroese matters respectively. The analysed material consists of five parliamentary debates, one from each year from 2014 to 2018 since the establishment of the annual debate. This study looks at what topics were discussed during these debates and how the Danish Realm was understood and contested in different ways. The first part of the study covers the debates and the most occurring topics that arose from the material. Using critical discourse analysis, the second part analyses how the main concepts and terminology was used, how the politicians used language in different ways and how different aspects of the Danish Realm were framed. The findings show that similar topics occurred throughout the debates, and that there was no significant difference in what the parties deemed as important topics. The Danish Realm was discussed and framed in very different ways and it was evident that the concept of the Realm means very different things to all of its three members. These varying ideas of what the Realm is, and should be, were contested in the discussions. The proportionately large focus on the independence question and the Arctic, as well as the findings from the discourse analysis demonstrate that Denmark wishes to maintain the Realm as it is to be able to continue its role as an arctic actor, to which especially Greenlandic independence could possibly be a hindrance. The Faroese and Greenlandic politicians displayed discontent with the way the Realm is constructed today and pointed out the need for structural changes.
  • Journet, Axelle (2022)
    The goal of this thesis is to better understand the role and the impact of the DiscoverEU initiative. It allows 18 year-old EU citizens to travel and explore Europe for up to a month by giving them a free Interrail pass. The Interrail programme however, was not created by the EU but is being used as a tool by the latter to promote European solidarity, their vision of a European identity and to further a sense of belonging. To conduct this study, I used Instagram to gather the participants’ posts and captions. All the data I gathered was public and the participants remained anonymous throughout my thesis. I proceeded with qualitative content analysis to analyse my data in order to observe what kind of narrative was being created online by the participants. European identity, the significance of travel and the decision to target the younger generations were topics of particular interest throughout this thesis. DiscoverEU aims at providing a shared experience these young people can relate to and bond over so that the EU becomes something concrete in their mind, something they can identify with and support later on in their life as well. This thesis finds that the EU is using DiscoverEU as a tool to promote European identity in numerous ways. The participants are sharing mostly positive experiences but only a few European statements about European identity. However, criticism towards the better off was also raised.
  • Glad, Henna (2021)
    Nordic welfare states are globally admired success stories with the happiest people, high level of education, and equal redistribution of resources. Change in the welfare state’s ethos since 1980s and the recent crises in the contemporary world have left their imprints to these northern countries and the strong welfare states have been claimed to be in decline. This thesis is analysing if the welfare state and its ethos have started to fade away or are they still resilient and stabilising actors in the society. The aim of this study is to evaluate the Nordic welfare state from the perspective of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela, and evaluate the argument of the declining welfare state by the people, who are working in one of the most visible welfare producing institutions in Finland. The Nordic welfare model is compared with other European welfare regimes, based on Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s classic “Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism”. As any of these models are impeccable, the critique of the Nordic model is also presented in this research. Another main theory used in this research is liquid modernity by Zygmunt Bauman, which argues that modernity today is liquid by its nature and a system that is forgetting issues, such as community and trust towards each other in the society. Replacing security and feelings of commonness with neoliberal and market-oriented welfare policies is causing the declination of the welfare state and alienation of people from each other. These neoliberal ideas have also their effects on Kela. In addition, Kela’s role in the Finnish welfare state will be analysed in this research. Eight qualitative interviews are constituting the empirical data for this research. Theory-guided content analysis is being used to analyse the interviews, which were conducted in spring 2021. Interviews done with Kela’s customer service specialists are being contrasted with the theoretical framework. This research argues that the declination of the welfare state is caused by the fluidity of modern society which is causing unpredictability and insecurity to people’s lives even in the safe havens of the Norden. The results show that the concerns of the contemporary welfare state are real, and according to the professionals interviewed worry for the future. Polarisation, fragmented employment relationships, and social exclusion were seen as threats to the welfare state. On contrary, acting as a nanny-state and saving people with money, and increasing benefits’ levels were not seen as solutions to the eternal problem of the Nordic welfare state. What is a sufficient level of activation on behalf of the society and what is the role and responsibility of an individual? All in all, the Nordic welfare state is seen as an institution, which guarantees security to its residents and acts as a safety net, if needed. Welfare-producing institutions, such as Kela, are a part of this safety net, and replacing them does not seem likely in the future. Instead, combining the unpredictable future and the competitiveness society with the welfare state is seen as a problem, to which the welfare state needs to find answers in the future.