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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gärkman, Heidi (2021)
    One of the key characteristics of the Nordic sense of affinity and cohesion is the idea of a shared and common language community. The Nordic language community is based on the concept of inter-Nordic language comprehension, meaning that all members of the community ideally rely on the use of a Scandinavian language when in contact with one another, either as a first or a second (foreign) language. Another feature of this sense of community is the common Nordic efforts in language policy and planning, which, since the establishment of the Nordic institutions, have manifested themselves through various political endeavours, all with the aim to preserve and promote the use of Scandinavian as a lingua franca in Norden. Using a motivational, discursive, intertextual and interdiscursive approach to language policy and planning research, the purpose of this study is to uncover the motivation (goals, attitudes and motives) behind as well as the policy discourses (and their potential connections and discrepancies) used in the formulation of two central Nordic language policy agreements: the Nordic Language Convention, signed in 1981 and ratified in 1987, and the Declaration on a Nordic Language Policy, signed in 2006. In doing this, the study relies on the underlying assumption that language policy and planning is a socio-cultural construct of both explicit and implicit character. The analysis further explores how the uncovered motivational and discursive elements might mirror the linguistic complexities and diversities of the Nordic language community. The temporal range of this study is determined by the two selected language policy agreements, dividing the analysis into two historical eras of official Nordic language policy and planning which represent the socio-political, -cultural and -historical context of each respective language policy agreement: the early era of 1971–1987 and the late era of 1988–2006. The analysis suggests that there was no marked motivational or discursive ideological shift between the two language policy agreements. The narrower national language discourse of the Convention, motivated by early era socio-political issues of linguistic integration and freedom of movement, was somewhat expanded upon by the broader multilingual and democratic discourse of the Declaration, in turn motivated by the late era need to define the Nordic language community in and for the 21st century global community. Yet, the power, ideological and normative pendulum of both agreements still shifted towards the Scandinavian languages and the idealistic vision of effortless inter-Scandinavian communication in the region – forming the very basis of the symbolic integration of Norden through the concept of Nordic ideology.
  • 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.
  • 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.