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Browsing by master's degree program "Euroopan ja Pohjoismaiden tutkimuksen maisteriohjelma (European and Nordic Studies)"

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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.
  • Baker, Liv (2023)
    In response to the increasing need for an effective method to compare student performance on the international scale, the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) launched the Program for International Student Assessment, better known as the PISA, in 1997. As such, PISA not only establishes an internally agreed upon framework between countries, but it also binds the commitment of OECD member states to regularly assessing the impact of educational systems on student performance. According to the first published PISA results, PISA “aims at providing a new basis for policy dialogue and for collaboration in defining and operationalizing educational goals— in innovative ways that reflect judgment about the skills that are relevant to adult life.” In simple terms, PISA seeks to evaluate how well 15-year-olds are prepared for the challenges they will face in life. Finland has ranked among the top countries since the first administration of the triennial PISA in 2000. Despite measuring well against its OECD counterparts, Finland, which once topped the PISA ranks, has since experienced a relative decline in performance. The mediation of PISA results has undeniably affected Finland’s image of education. This media discourse analysis uses major American newspaper outlets to unearth how Finland’s image has been affected by PISA results. These newspapers’ presentations of Finnish PISA performance further reveal how the US understands its own academic system. Ultimately, PISA asserts that academic institutions can make a profound difference on the individual, country, and global levels. Since PISA results can influence the academic decisions and policies of a given country, then the assessment must also make a difference on the individual, country, and global levels. Since the OECD drives forward the PISA, then the OECD also has an influence on the beforementioned levels. Thus, the OECD not only shapes representations of countries, but it also hinges on media as a vehicle by which to deliver these representations internationally. Although commonly overlooked, the OECD is a relevant and power-wielding actor because its PISA index reinforces and challenges narratives of academic exceptionalism, as exemplified by the case of Finland in this study. Does the OECD’s positioning as an overlooked actor magnify its power?
  • Ristikangas, Vilma (2023)
    The institutional history of the Finnish Rescue Services dates back to the establishment of volunteer fire brigades in the 19th century, when Finland was a part of the Russian Empire. Throughout the 20th century, the rescue services have been institutionalized as public services. As of 2023, the Rescue Departments have been relocated to a new political and administrative context in the Wellbeing Services County reform. This recent structural reform of the rescue services on a public administrative level has inspired this thesis to explore the role of the Finnish Rescue Services personnel in public administration and policy process. The thesis investigates the applicability of street-level bureaucracy theory and politics-administration dichotomy in the rescue services personnel’s strategy implementation. While there is some research about the societal and cultural significance of the Finnish rescue services, its political and public administrative dimension has received only little attention in the scientific literature. The thesis is conducted as survey research. The research method is quantitative data analysis and theory-driven analysis. The questionnaire data measures the rescue services personnel’s features as classic public administrators and as street-level bureaucrats, and evaluates the personnel’s willingness to implement central strategies of the rescue services. It is argued that the FRS personnel’s involvement in public discussion as street-level bureaucrats is playing a decisive role in realising the rescue services-related strategies. The findings indicate that the rescue services personnel embody ideal-type bureaucratic features and street-level bureaucratic features. However, only the street-level bureaucratic features are dominant in explaining the variation in the personnel’s willingness to implement strategies. It is suggested that the personnel’s stronger participation in political discussion and policy process would result in better strategy implementation level. This thesis contributes to the development of the political and administrative position of the Finnish Rescue Departments and strengthens their role as active partakers in the public sphere.
  • Treumuth, Getter Kristen (2022)
    This thesis focuses on the case study of the Estonian diaspora in Abkhazia, the breakaway region of Georgia, and their claim to the Estonian citizenship by birth. This claim is based on the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty Article IV, that allowed people living on both sides of the signing parties (the Russian Soviet Federative Republic, and the newly independent Estonian Republic) to obtain the citizenship of either countries. Focusing on the way the Estonian citizenship policy has impacted the process of obtaining citizenship by birth for the descendants of the optants, the study is based on the role of securitization in the matter. The thesis makes use of televised interviews and written news reports on the case study by Estonian news reporters. Moreover, the sources are analysed with qualitative methods, particularly political and critical discourse analysis, and discourse-historical analysis. The information is gathered by using qualitative methods. Furthermore, securitization theory, societal security and constructivism are used as the base the study. The key findings of the thesis are that distrust towards the optants and worries for security are presented in the media by state officials. However, opposing arguments in support of the Abkhaz Estonians often brush over the matters of security altogether, highlighting the ‘absurdity’ of the situation and the valid claim of citizenship by these individuals. These findings could prove beneficial for those aiming to understand the phenomena better and serve as basis of further research, especially in media analysis.
  • Castrén, Olli Severi Juhananpoika (2023)
    This thesis examines the role of markets in speeches made by Ministers of Finance Iiro Viinanen and Jyrki Katainen in the plenary sessions of the Finnish parliament in 1991-1994 and 2007-2010. The aim of this study is to analyse political discourses in speeches made about state budget proposals during two economic crises, the depression of the 1990s and the Global Financial Crisis. The thesis employs Bob Jessop’s Cultural Political Economy approach to view crises as moments of contestation for hegemonic discourses and ideologies, and an opportunity to examine political and social change in the age of neoliberalism through speech. Both crises were also characterised by the contestation of the relationship between Finland and the EU, first centred around accession to the EU and in particular the role of EMU convergence criteria in designing economic policy, and in the second crisis on the nature of centre-periphery relations amid the Eurozone crisis. The purpose of this research has been to uncover the way in which ministerial speeches reflect the neoliberalisation of Finland through a specific national context, which is characterised in particular by the relationship between the state and individual, the moral nature of economic decision-making, the increasing influence and power of the civil service on decision-making through the Ministry of Finance, and the gradual replacement of defence policy by economic policy as the defining factor of Finland’s independence and sovereignty. The thesis explores these concepts through the use of Theo van Leeuwen’s conceptualisation of discourse as the recontextualisation of social practices, analysing the speeches using a comparative and thematic perspective. The analysis finds that while the Ministers of Finance did not draw on discourses of legitimation by authority with regards to the Ministry of Finance, the consistent themes during both periods drew heavily on themes of absolute necessity, responsible decision-making, moralistic attitudes towards the Finnish citizen, and constructions of unity of the Finnish people. Both Ministers also referred to market forces, investor confidence, and trust as existential questions for the sovereignty of the nation and emphasised the need for permanent changes in Finland towards the direction of a neoliberalised market economy. Similarly, the Ministers appeared to draw on paternalist understandings of the state as a shepherd of its people, a guardian of a small nation against predatory international forces, and yet a reasoned disciplinarian of an irresponsible child. The study concludes that in particular the discourses on which the Ministers draw that rely on moralistic and paternalistic articulations of the relationship between the state and the individual can be seen as indicative of the national context of neoliberalisation in Finland. Furthermore, the extent to which the crises are framed as learning opportunities varies, though both Ministers consistently refer to the permanence of the changes (structural in particular) to be made to the Finnish economy, and in differing ways envision a new age in Finland, nonetheless one of credibility, responsibility, and a stable market economy. The study also offers new avenues for research, particularly for the wider debate in parliament and crisis construals therein, in addition to using the theory and the methods of this thesis to analyse other crises, perhaps non-economic in nature, such as the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, the thesis also suggests that further research could be conducted on the paternalistic and moralistic aspects of ministerial politics in particular.
  • Vänttinen, Johannes (2023)
    This thesis examined the role of China as a factor in the European Union’s enlargement policy towards Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. In relation to the Belt and Road Initiative, these five Western Balkan countries (WB5) have received substantial investments and other forms of financial input from China in 2013–2021. Characteristic for this is that large parts of this cooperation has been forged away from the public eye. Meanwhile, the relationship between China and the EU has turned dubious, causing the EU to increasingly “riskify” inbound Chinese investments. While the existing academic literature has highlighted the problems that these investments have caused for the region’s enlargement prospects, the extent to which the EU has responded to this phenomenon has received only slight attention. The purpose of this research has been to discover what concerns the EU has expressed over China, to analyze how these concerns are reflected in the EU’s enlargement policy towards the Western Balkans, and uncover the concrete measures through which the EU has mitigated China’s influence in the region. The results have been discussed in conjunction with the theoretical framework to provide new empirical literature on how the EU’s structural foreign policy, arguably the primary form of enlargement policy, functions in a contested setting, and how norms are diffused through the enlargement process. The research problem was addressed by employing framework analysis to an extensive body of official documents that have been produced by the European Union in 2013–2021. The analysis indicated that the EU’s concerns over China, primarily in relation to cooperation causing non-alignment with the EU’s rules, the neglect of economic and environmental sustainability and the distortive effects of state ownership and subsidies, have been reflected in the enlargement policy from 2018 onwards. After this the phenomenon has featured in multiple strategies and other official documents, albeit in an implicit fashion where China has only rarely been mentioned by name. The analysis showed that the EU has sought to re-assert its leadership by focusing especially on increased political steering and engagement, regional integration, connectivity and other infrastructure, public procurement legislation, and the environment and energy. By imposing various conditions to the fields where China-WB5 cooperation has been prevalent, the EU has achieved that the relationship has become largely subordinate to the EU-China relationship and the space for independent Chinese actions has narrowed. From a theoretical point of view, the thesis concludes that the new EU-norm – China and its investment activities constitute a potential risk – was embedded in the EU’s enlargement policy and that the EU has sought to enable the conditions through which alignment with this norm is possible. In a contested setting, the EU’s structural foreign policy appears to have placed emphasis on the structures rather than the sustainability of such. In such a context, it is a rather flexible mode of conducting foreign policy due to its adaptability to new realities. The EU’s structural foreign policy equally demonstrated an absorption capacity due to the successful combining of different objectives into coherent policies.
  • 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.
  • Scicluna, Cathia Ann (2023)
    Dialogue on the definition of Europe is often dominated by geopolitical undertones. However, since the dawn of the Enlightenment era, it has been recognised that such a definition of Europe is insufficient in formulating a comprehensive meaning of Europe which encompasses the wide regional diversity which exists within the continent. This argument gained new relevance during the interwar period, where discourse on Europe as an idea that goes beyond the strict geopolitical implications of the continent, started to emerge. Select interwar studies shone a new light on the idea of Europe as they allowed for the founding of unity amidst diversity; an endeavour which cannot be considered within the geopolitical realm. Additionally, reflecting on the turmoil and crises of the interwar period, the resulting idea of Europe was said to have emerged from a major schism in intellectual trends of the time. In this regard, the formulation of Europe as an idea borne out of crisis and reinvention was perfectly demonstrated within the works of Edmund Husserl and Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi. Both authors recognised the limitations of adopting only a geopolitical definition of Europe, and thus presented their own theories on what could constitute an all-encompassing idea of Europe. Husserl determined the core of Europe to lay within abstract factors such as universalism. Coudenhove-Kalergi considered concrete politics to be a tool which can bring Europe under the main locus of tolerance. While Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi took different routes in tackling this question, their respective answers can be said to highlight the interdependence between philosophical considerations of the former and the latter’s pragmatic solutions to the idea of Europe. At first glance, the only commonality between Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi seems to be their time-period. However, the works and theories of these two authors experience a sense of complementarity; while taking on very different approaches, the respective views on idea of Europe of Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi could point to a new perspective on the topic of study. While both have their limitations, the side-by-side study of their different views on Europe allows for a unique perspective in which one makes up for the other’s shortcomings in terms of thoroughness and applicability. Such is the benefit of examining and comparing Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi; much like their standing on the idea of Europe, their diversity only adds to the credibility of their review.
  • Ahola, Ansa (2023)
    Climate policy is contentious by nature bringing forth global environmental concerns, challenging the economic structures, and emphasizing the role of humans in anthropogenic climate change. In Europe, at national levels of governance, right-wing populist and nationalist actors have been identified as climate hostile articulating skepticism of the overall issue, how it is governed, and how it impacts the people. With the rise of populism in Europe right-wing populist actors are organizing in the European Parliament (EP) where the similarities and differences in climate hostility come to play in the transnational decision-making forum. The right-wing populist and nationalist parties from the Member States of the Union are represented on a transnational level in the European Parliament by Members of Parliament in a political group called Identity and Democracy. This thesis deploys the method of post-foundational discourse analysis to analyze how the political group of Identity and Democracy uses the elements of right-wing populism in the climate policy discourse at the European Parliament. A distinct medium of communication by the political group is plenary booklets, which will be used as material in the analysis. The second aim of the research is to use the chosen method to assess the impact of the political group in the climate policy discourse. The scope of the thesis and the angle of approaching climate hostility through the political groups of the EP set the research apart from previous research. The key research outcomes show how anti-elitism, people’s sovereignty, and skepticism create patterns that consist of counter-hegemonic articulations aiming to reshape the meaning of Eurocentric climate policies. This formulates the climate policy stance of the political group. This stance is limited to only criticizing the climate action of the EU and does not offer any substantial contribution to the policy debate. However, it does manage to create an antagonism in the discourse where the climate action is juxtaposed as harmful to people and industries in the EU Member States. In conclusion, this study sheds light on how Identity and Democracy as a right-wing populist group actively shape the discourse on climate policy in the European Parliament with counter-hegemonic acts aiming to reshape the meaning of Eurocentric green growth. This thesis successfully addressed two research questions that pertain to how a single political group can influence climate policy discourse.
  • Syrjänen, Ella (2023)
    This thesis analyses the global role of the European Union (EU) as a crisis and conflict manager from the viewpoint of the launch of the European Peace Facility (EPF). The European integration has often been pictured as a peace project and in fact, in 2012 EU was even awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize. However, recent changes in EU’s policies pose question on whether the role of EU in international arena is changing. This thesis focuses especially on the EPF, which is EU’s new off-budget funding instrument that was officially launched in March 2021. The EPF is used to fund EU’s external actions with defence and military implications. The decision to launch EPF was a historical one because it for the first time provided the EU an opportunity for the provision of lethal military equipment, including weapons. Especially this aspect of the EPF was strongly criticised by civil society organisations before, and after, the launch the facility. The EPF is very topical, because in year 2022 the EU used the change to send weapons to support Ukraine because of the Russia’s attack. However, research on the EPF and especially on its impact on the EU’s role is so far very limited. The main idea of this thesis is to research, whether the launch of the European Peace Facility is an example of the EU’s role changing towards a more military and a less civilian role in international arena, especially in the realm of crisis management. The thesis analyses the way that the EU justifies and frames the EPF and the role conception that the EU has of itself on global arena. Besides, the thesis analyses the role expectations of other actors, more specifically civil society organisations, towards the EU and on their views on the possible impact of the EPF for the EU’s role. The theoretical and conceptual base of this thesis is role theory and the concept of civilian power since the EU has often been referred as a civilian power. From role theory especially the concepts of role conception and role expectation are relevant for this thesis. The analysis is conducted by using qualitative document analysis. The data consists of documents produced by the EU, for example press releases and a speech, and documents of NGOs, mainly joint statements, and letters of groups of NGOs. The analysis of the data shows that for the EU the creation of the European Peace Facility was part of the discourse of making the EU a stronger security actor. The EU’s role conception of its role is not merely a civilian actor or an actor focusing on soft power. However, the EU still highlights its normative values as well as conflict prevention. The role expectations that the civil society has towards the EU, however, are more in line with the traditional civilian power role conception. The civil society expects the EU to have a role of a peace actor. To conclude, the analysis shows elements of a role conflict between the role conception of the EU and the role expectations posed towards the union. The NGOS see more military instruments as a threat for the role they expect the EU to have. The EU, however, tries to balance between soft normative values and a stronger military emphasis.
  • Sultana, Tamanna (2024)
    Gender equality and human rights have been foundational values of the European Union (EU) from the beginning however, it has initiatives to integrate the Women, Peace and Security agenda at all EU levels (including local, national, regional, and international level). Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda recognizes the need for systematic inclusion of gender perspectives, women empowerment and gender equality in peace and security, specially in the EU’s external action and foreign policy. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the EU’s WPS policies and discover how efficiently the WPS agenda is implemented in EU’s Advisory Missions (EUAM). This thesis follows the qualitative case study methodology to identify whether there is any difference between policy and practice. EUAM Iraq and Ukraine were analyzed as case studies to understand the research purpose. Case studies were examined based on the information available at EUAM Iraq and Ukraine and WPS agenda conceptualization is done by assessing EU policy documents (Council Conclusion 2018, Action Plan on WPS 2019-2024). For analysis ‘women empowerment framework’ and ‘social relation approach’ are used as analytical tools. The analysis suggests women's empowerment is not only the increase of numbers but also vertical participation (equal presence in leadership, decision-making process, policy-making and in programme execution). In addition to that, lacking at structural level reproduces and institutionalizes masculinity and inequality. The research concludes that women’s participation is increasing in peace and security sector however, by positional aspect women are far behind than men because fewer women are seen in leading and managing positions. Moreover, for an effective and meaningful implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, a good synchronization between WPS policy and mission mandates is needed. From a theoretical point of view the thesis identified the EU is a gender norm leader but it promotes gender equality from certain perspectives and goals. EU advocates gender equality in external actions and foreign policy to establish an image of gender-equal actor but in practice, EU missions do not demonstrate equality in positions. Moreover, images published in EUAM Iraq and Ukraine portray EU men and women are superior to host countries' men and women. However, for effective and meaningful implementation of the WPS agenda women's empowerment needs to be at both ends so that the progression can happen equally.
  • 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.
  • Willis, Grant (2024)
    Finnish national identity in defense policy is a concept that is often less emphasized in academic research. By utilizing the historical research method to evaluate 8 Finnish security policy documents from 2001-2022, this thesis seeks to uncover how the idea of national identity is used within the documents. There is an extensive historical background which covers wars and foreign relations of Finland to note the formation of a national identity and its variations over time. Constructivism as an approach to international relations and history in a narrative format is used as a theoretical background to investigate these issues. National identity is found to have some influence upon action taken in Finnish defence policy and can prescribe a range of options for maneuver.
  • Tanttu, Aleksi (2023)
    This master's thesis conducts a qualitative, single-case thematic research on Finland’s revised security policy from the spring of 2022, when security environment of the whole Europe changed remarkably, as Russia launched its offensive in Ukraine. The data which this thesis examines consists of a government’s report, and a parliamentary debate from the plenary session where the report was presented. In addition to organising the data thematically, this thesis creates and employs a theoretical framework of neorealism, consisting of the works of Kenneth Waltz, Stephen Walt and Joseph Grieco. In the analysis, this theoretical framework is applied to the developed themes to produce a neorealist reading of Finland’s new security policy and its parliamentary debate. Additionally, this thesis endeavours to explore the extent to which neorealist theoretical literature can be applied to current phenomena, and seeks to fill a gap in previous research, which is the lack of application of realist theory to Finland’s security policy in contemporary times. The analysis produces five main themes, which focus on major change and unpredictability, strong and sovereign Finland with independent interests, Russia as a threat and adversary, international aspects to peace and security, and NATO membership as a security solution. Additionally, contested and disputed role of the European Union as a security provider, memory of war, and broad conceptualisation of security arose as additional findings, outside the main themes. The findings are to a large extent aligned with previous research. The selected neorealist theories interpret and explain the data rather well with a focus on sovereign security and survival interests, alliance-formation as well as cautious and attentive characteristics of a small-state. However, the focus on international law in the data turned out somewhat difficult and ambiguous to interpret with neorealist theory. From a theoretical perspective it is concluded that neorealist literature has potential value in explaining a present-day security policy, but equivocally. Further studies incorporating competing theories, such as those of a liberal nature, are encouraged to further address this dilemma. Moreover, to move from a single-case design to examine multiple case longitudinally or cross-sectionally in a future study, could prove useful here.
  • Buzyte, Kristina (2020)
    Belarus migration instrumentalisation attempt created unprecedented crisis at the Easters European borders. With increasing numbers of migrants at the borders, Lithuania found itself facing a possibility of larger scale conflict. Measures have been implemented to stop migrants at the border and prevent new migration route to Europe from forming. Theoretically, the thesis places itself between the fields of migration and international relations. We look into the theory of securitization and investigate the aspects upon which migration is perceived as an issue of security and how it can be framed as one by the governing bodies. On the other hand, we try to understand the elements that enable migration instrumentalisation. To use migration as a tool, host country is needs to be susceptible to such attempts either from societal perspective, such as assigned ethical expectations or through its international obligations. This thesis implements Robert M. Entman’s definition of framing into analysis on how the common frames of migration securitization have been used in Lithuanian political debates during the migration instrumentalisation attempt. A total of 5 frames have been drawn from theory and their presence in the discussions have been identified. These frames have been used to portray the migration as a threat to security to legitimize the implementation of securitizing measures. The analysis supports the existing approach that migration framing is dependent on geographical factors. Being the country to experience first-hand migration influx, Lithuania frames migration as a threat and issue to the border security. Parliamentary discussion framed increase of immigration firstly as an instrument used by Belarus to destabilize situation in Lithuania as well as Europe.
  • Kuisma, Jenni (2022)
    This study examines the way in which four key European social partner organisations - ETUC, BusinessEurope, SGI Europe and SMEunited – frame the issue of platform work, shedding light on the differences and similarities between the employer and employee organisations. The context of the study is the European Commission legislative proposal “Directive on Improving Working Conditions in Platform Work”, published in December 2021, following several national court decisions and intense political debate. Recent policy initiatives taken by the Commission have increasingly paired the regulation of digital platforms with the wider social policy aims of the EU and simultaneously granted a central role for the European social partners, whose positions on digitalisation have not been much researched. This thesis aims to contribute to filling this research gap and extend our knowledge on social partners’ positions on platform work, digitalisation and employment. The data consists of 35 policy documents, collected from the websites of the four organisations. Through frame analysis, four key frames on platform work were identified. “Platform work as historical continuation of precarious work” -frame, employed by the employee side, constructs platform work as precarious work, and its digital aspects as inherently exploitative. “Platform work as flexible work” -frame, used by the employer side, constructs platform work as a personal choice of the self-employed workers. “Platform work as not a separate category” -frame, is employed by both employer and employee organizations, employers using it to support their position on the self-employed status of the workers and the employee side opposing it. Last, “platform work as new type of work” -frame presents platform work as inherently innovative line of business ultimately benefitting everyone, if the potential is not hampered with regulation. The social partner organisations bring forward competing understandings on digitalisation and its implications for labour, which supports the conception of platform work regulation as an extremely contested area of political action. The contestation between the organisations highlights the role of framing as a political act. The organisations are not only competing for platform work to be understood in a certain way, but also for the future arenas on which the policy discussions on platform work are held.
  • Semberg, Satu Eveliina (2024)
    Finland and Estonia have been displaying contrasting views on dependence on Russian energy. Finland, echoing Germany’s Ostpolitik, regards mutual dependency as key to peace and prosperity. In contrast, Estonia, along with the Baltic states and Poland, views Russia’s gas monopoly as a threat to European security. The aim of this study is to examine the language used in discussions about Russian energy and dependence on Russian energy in the parliamentary debates of Finland and Estonia. Discourse theory is utilized as a methodological tool to examine securitization narratives on Russia and Russian energy. The research covers two distinct time frames: February 1 to December 31 of both 2014 and 2022, representing the immediate aftermath following the Russian annexation of Crimea and the subsequent Russian invasion of Ukraine. The findings reveal differences in the securitization discourses of Russian energy. In 2014, the Finnish parliament actively resisted securitization in a context of already desecuritized energy policy environment, while Estonia engaged in securitization during the same period. By 2022, Estonia continued to emphasize the threat posed by Russian energy, whereas an evident change can be seen in Finland. The long line of Finnish Russia policy, trusted neighborly relations, is told to have come to an end, signaling a shift towards securitization. Both countries prioritize renewable energy as a means to reduce reliance on Russian energy. An essential finding in both of the time periods is that in Estonia the origin of the imported energy is problematized, landing securitization on Finland as Russian energy transit country. Estonian discourses advocate for transparency in cross-border energy trade, a discussion notably absent in Finnish data. Overall, the study underscores the divergent approaches of Finland and Estonia towards Russian energy and security. However, the gap between security perceptions on Russian energy between said countries has converged.
  • 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.
  • Dejeanne, Thibault (2024)
    A few weeks after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia on 24 February 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron warned against ‘the temptation of humiliation’ of Russia in order to negotiate the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian war. This statement sparked a lot of discussions among allied partners, and raises the question of the place of France in the Western support to Ukraine, as well as in the EU and NATO. While France had reclaimed its role as an exemplary ally in the Euro-Atlantic space, Emmanuel Macron’s statements came at an important political and reputational cost. This thesis addresses the origin and relevance of Macron’s humiliation narrative drawing from the literature on the role of emotions and status in international relations, as well as the history of French foreign policy, in particular towards Russia. It analyses the French response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine by examining three dimensions of policy change: modes of action, institutional commitments, discourses. This thesis demonstrates that, while Macron’s cautious stance about Russia can be explained by the domestic political context in France, his discursive practices contradict the French efforts to support Ukraine, and harm the Eastern allies’ perception of France as a reliable provider of security. This has notably led Macron to toughen his position on Russia in 2023.
  • 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.