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

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  • Saul, Alana (2022)
    Far and wide, multilateral cooperation is championed as a principal response to a volatile global landscape characterized by transnational challenges, complexity, and turbulent great power relations. At the same time, many lament multilateralism to be amidst a paramount crisis of identity. New actors and powers are keen and increasingly capable of challenging the norms underpinning the traditionally Western-led, liberal international order and multilateralism adhering to it. Some argue that an era of unipolarity, and thus U.S. hegemony, is drawing to a close. China has come to depict itself as a fundamentally multilateral actor and is actively envisioning the design of multilateralism from its own normative stances. Rising powers, such as India, are increasingly eager to convey their views on how cooperation ought to be compiled and whom it should benefit. This thesis analyses the strategic narratives on multilateralism and the international order as put forth by China’s and India’s foreign policy statements. Three research questions were posed to direct and frame the analysis: How are the concepts of international order and multilateral cooperation described in foreign policy statements delivered by China and India? What kind of values or norms emerge as salient for China’s and India’s strategic narratives on multilateralism and the international order? How are these values and norms connected to China’s and India’s historical narratives of themselves on the international arena? Strategic narratives (Miskimmon et. al, 2013) provide a lens through which to examine how political actors construct shared meanings of the past, present, and future of international politics, in order to sculpt the behaviour of domestic and international actors. Examining the research questions via the lens of strategic narratives enables scrutiny into the themes of intentionality, communication as persuasive power, and the role strategically reconstructed concepts can exert on reality. In the case of China, three strategic narratives were identified: 1) a narrative of China’s origin story, depicted as a basis for both its future glory and its benevolence as a partner 2) a vision of “true” multilateralism, compiled of the three pillars of the existence of distinct civilizations, hegemony as antithetical to multilateralism, and sovereignty as a key value in multilateralism 3) a narrative of China being “ahead of times” and “on the right side of history”. In the case of India, three strategic narratives were identified, as well: 1) the narrative of insiders and outsiders, entailing an interplay of domestic and foreign policy 2) a vision of “temporal balance”, depicted as unique and inherent to the Indian civilization 3) a vision of the desirability of the diffusion of power, viewed to lead to justice and greater democracy in international relations. While the analysis primarily illuminates upon the strategic narratives on multilateralism and the international order as posed by China’s and India’s foreign policy, the results of this thesis also expand into future research themes such as emerging conceptualizations of democracy on the level of international relations, the persuasive power of fuzzy concepts, as well as the manner in which concepts may travel and assume novel, localized versions.
  • Bellomo, Octavio Augusto (2022)
    This thesis is an investigation of the explanatory capacity of dependency theory in the context of the Argentine Republic from the start of the 20th Century to the COVID-19 pandemic. Explicitly, the research question is: to what extent, if any, can dependency theory explain the evolution of Argentine economic history? The core of the thesis is based on discussion concerning dependency theory as put forth by various scholars, especially dos Santos, Prebisch, and Tansey and Hyman. Argentina is a case study wherein dependency theory can be evaluated, as the country has had struggles developing and industrializing, and has utilized policy prescriptions encouraged by dependency theorists, such as import-substitution industrialization. Dependency theory is explained and analyzed using four tenets central to the theory as outlined by Tansey and Hyman. The theory’s explanatory capacity is tested/evaluated first quantitatively through empirical research, regressions, and a search for statistically significant correlations, then qualitatively through an analysis of Argentine economic history in the 20th and 21st Centuries. Empirical data were also utilized to supplement the qualitative analysis. Empirical findings demonstrated little evidence to support some dependency theory claims, such as negative impacts from conspicuous consumption, and showing meager negative correlations between dependency and economic development. The qualitative analysis suggested that dependency theory has some explanatory power for the reality and struggles of the Argentine economy in the earlier half of the 20th Century, but struggles to explain Argentina's reality in a more modern context. Overall, the Argentine experience does not reflect what dependency theory would expect. The growing importance of international capital, capital markets, and financialization has left dependency theory seemingly outdated. A narrow focus on the core-periphery dichotomy seems to hold the theory back from providing a functional explanation of the Argentine economy today. This thesis has also allowed for insight into the historical and contemporary flaws of the Argentine economy and its weak industrialization, including economic mismanagement, political strife, and a damaging pursuance of import-substitution industrialization.
  • Kapanen, Miro (2022)
    Tutkielma käsittelee kiertotaloutta ja maailmantalouden keskinäisriippuvuuksien vaikutusta sen kehittymiseen globaalilla tasolla ja etenkin Euroopan Unionin kontekstissa. Tutkielmassa päähuomio kohdistuu Kiinan keskeiseen asemaan useiden merkittävien raaka-aineiden, erityisesti harvinaisten maametallien louhinnassa sekä tuotannossa. Kiinan keskeisestä asemasta on tullut riski muille maille, sillä muut maat ovat riippuvaisia Kiinasta kyseisten raaka-aineiden suhteen ja riskit osittain aktualisoituivat 2010-luvun alussa Kiinan asettaessa rajoituksia raaka-aineiden viennille. Tutkimus yrittääkin havainnollistaa pystyykö Kiina käyttämään muiden riippuvuutta raaka-ainetoimituksista ’aseena’, toisin sanoen käyttämään raaka-aineita geoekonomian ja geopolitiikan välineenä. Tutkimuksen toinen keskeinen huomio koskee miten Kiinan toimet, ja maailmantalouden keskinäisriippuvuudet ovat toisaalta nopeuttaneet kiertotalouden kehitystä etenkin EU:n kontekstissa. Tutkimuksen ensimmäinen puolisko esittelee keskeiset konseptit kuten kiertotalouden sekä keskinäisriippuvuuteen liittyvät kansainvälisen politiikan teoriat. Kolmannessa osiossa esitellään maailmantalouden kehittymistä ensimmäisen maailmansodan jälkeisestä ajasta nykyiseen globaaliin talouteen ja huomio kiinnittyy varsinkin kehityskulkuihin, jotka johtivat keskinäisriippuvuuden syntymiseen ja Kiinan aseman vahvistumiseen. Neljäs osio käsittelee Kiinan asemaa raaka-aine louhinnan ja tuotannon keskuksena ja pohjustaa kuudennen osion analyysiä siitä, että käyttikö Kiina vientirajoituksia ’aseena’. Neljännessä osiossa käsitellään myös Kiinan tuontikieltoa muovijätteelle, mikä on osaltaan vauhdittanut kiertotaloutta muilla alueilla. Tutkielman viides osio esittelee EU:n kiertotaloutta ja arvioi kriittisesti EU:n teknologiakeskeistä lähestymisnäkökulmaa kiertotalouteen. Kuudes osio kokoaa aiempien osioiden havainnot yhteen ja pohtii toimiko Kiina strategisesti vientirajoitusten kanssa ja voisiko se toimia tällä tavoin tulevaisuudessa. Seitsemäs osio on lyhyt katsaus kiertotalouden potentiaalisista globaaleista talousvaikutuksista. Tutkimuksen keskeisiin havaintoihin kuuluu epävarmuus Kiinan toimien strategisuudesta, jota on vaikea todentaa. Keskinäisriippuvuuden kasvu ja siirtymä hiilineutraaliin tulevaisuuteen kasvattavat useiden raaka-aineiden kysyntää, joiden kauppaa Kiina hallitsee. Tutkimus havaitsi kyseisestä Kiina-riippuvuudesta irtoamisen olevan haastavaa, jolloin Kiinan keskeinen asema tuskin olennaisesti muuttuu lähitulevaisuudessa. Kiristyvät suurvaltapoliittiset jännitteet tekevät riippuvuuden Kiinasta haastavaksi muille. Loppuhavaintoihin sisältyy myös kiertotalouden välttämättömyys globaalin materiaalikulutuksen kasvaessa. Tutkimuksen kantava teema on myös kiertotaloudesta käytävän keskustelun monipuolistaminen käsittämään myös kansainvälisen politiikan teorioita, joiden määrä on toistaiseksi vähäinen.
  • Nikarmaa, Pilvi (2022)
    Anti-gender movements that oppose women’s and LGBTQI+ rights have gained more support and visibility in Europe during the last ten years. These movements pose a threat to human rights as well as liberal democratic values as they depict feminist policies and the promotion of gender and sexual equality as a threatening “gender ideology”. Understanding how anti-gender discourses are constructed and employed is essential to addressing their influence in society. This Master’s thesis tackles this issue in the Finnish context. This study provides a nuanced understanding of how the notions of gender and sex are discursively constructed in the texts of a Finnish anti-gender organisation, Aito Avioliitto. Moreover, this Master’s thesis examines how the distinction constructed between gender and sex differs from the one made in feminist theory. The empirical material of this study consists of a sample of texts published on the website of Aito Avioliitto. Critical Discourse Analysis, which focuses on the relationship between language and power, is applied to analyse these texts. Moreover, the social constructionist theory of knowledge and feminist theories of gender and sex provide the theoretical framework for the analysis. The results of the analysis are categorised into three discourses: the discourse of “natural sex”, the discourse of “ideological gender” and the discourse of “deviant transgender”. Through these discourses Aito Avioliitto constructs sex as a purely biological, binary and permanent category; gender as an ideological and threatening notion that is used for immoral purposes; and transgender as deviance from normal, caused by “gender ideology”. These discourses disregard and oppose feminist theorising which has for decades problematised naturalistic attitudes concerning sex and explored the variety of sex and gender. The findings of this Master’s thesis propose that the anti-gender discourses employed by Aito Avioliitto reproduce and enforce unequal gender relations in Finnish society. Through the identified discourses, Aito Avioliitto positions people in unequal relations depending on their gender identities. Moreover, Aito Avioliitto’s discourses relate to current social struggles, such as the trans law reform. By depicting “gender ideology” and transgender as a threat to society, Aito Avioliitto legitimises neglecting trans rights in Finland.
  • Smolander, Miro (2021)
    Tutkielma pyrkii analysoimaan demokratian rapautumisen vaikutuksia eriarvoisuuteen ja eriarvoistumiskehitykseen modernissa Erdoganin ja AKP-puolueen hallinnoimassa Turkissa. Tutkielma hyödyntää monipuolisesti alan kirjallisuutta, erityisesti turkkilaisten tutkijoiden omia näkemyksiä ja tulkintoja demokratian tilaan maassa, joka on vähitellen ajautunut kohti presidentti Erdoganin yksinvaltaa ja yksipuolue järjestelmää. Tutkielman tavoitteena on valottaa prosesseja ja voimia, jotka vaikuttavat demokratian rapautumiseen Turkissa. Tämän jälkeen tutkielman pyrkimys on analysoida demokratian ja tuloerojen välistä suhdetta ja edellä mainitun kehityksen vaikutusta eriarvoisuuteen Turkissa. Tutkielma valottaa alkuun lyhyesti historiallisen analyysin kautta taustaa niihin lähtökohtiin, joiden päälle Turkin demokratia 2000-luvulla on pitkälti rakentunut. Tätä taustaa vasten käsitellään AKP-puolueen ensiaskeleita ja 2000-luvun turkkilaista demokratiaa. Seuraavaksi tutkielma analysoi epädemokraattisia voimia ja tapoja, joilla demokratia Turkissa rapautuu käyttäen alan kirjallisuutta ja vertaisarvioituja artikkeleita. Siten tutkielman on mahdollista analysoida turkkilaista poliittista järjestelmää ja demokratiaa kokonaisuutena. Tutkielma vertailee eri poliittisia järjestelmiä, jotka usein seuraavat demokratian rapautumista. Tutkielman tavoite on välittää viesti, että Turkin kohtelu puhtaan autoritäärisenä valtiona on ennenaikaista, sillä vaaleilla on Turkin järjestelmässä edelleen keskeinen rooli. Lopuksi tutkielma keskittyy talousjärjestelmään ja eriarvoisuuden ja demokratian väliseen suhteeseen ja siihen millainen talousjärjestelmä Turkin kaltaisessa maassa vallitsee demokratian rapautumisen seurauksena. Lopuksi tutkielma päätyy yhteenvetoon, jossa keskeisimmät tulokset tiivistetään yhteen. Tutkielman keskeiset tulokset ovat, että Turkin demokratia on viimeisten kymmenen vuoden aikana rapautunut merkittävästi. Keskeinen havainto kuitenkin on, että vaalien voittamisella on edelleen oleellinen vaikutus Turkin poliittiseen järjestelmään. Tästä esimerkkeinä käy vuoden 2015 parlamentti, ja vuoden 2019 aluevaalit. Tästä on johdettu tutkielman toinen keskeinen havainto, että Turkki sijaitseekin demokratian ja autoritäärisyyden välisellä harmaalla alueella, jossa se ei ole oikein kumpaakaan. Tutkielman viimeinen keskeinen tulos on, että demokratialla ja eriarvoisuudella on olemassa keskeinen yhteys. Tutkielma ei kuitenkaan pysty vetämään yhteen konkreettisesti millainen tämä yhteys on, vaan keskittyy siihen, miten edellä mainittu yhteys ilmenee kompleksisuudestaan huolimatta. Tutkielman johtopäätökset noudattavat tulosten linjaa. Ensiksi Turkin demokratiakehitys noudattaa pitkälti globaalia trendiä, jossa liberaalidemokratia on järjestelmänä ollut puolustuskannalla. Toisaalta Turkin järjestelmä on hybridi, joka muistuttaa jonkin verran esimerkiksi Venäjää. Demokratian ja eriarvoisuuden välillä vaikuttanee olevan läheinen suhde, mutta sitä on globaalissa mittakaavassa vaikeaa asettaa teoreettiseksi malliksi, jota voisi soveltaa laajempaan globaaliin kontekstiin. Lopuksi tutkielma toteaa aiheen laajuuden keskeiseksi haasteeksi tyydyttävän vastauksen saamisessa.
  • Tamakoshi, Mio (2019)
    Background: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for most cervical cancer cases. In Japan, the HPV vaccination coverage has dramatically fallen since the government suspended proactive recommendations for the vaccines in 2013, following sensational media reports on alleged adverse reactions. The suspension has not been lifted till today. The government has been criticized by medical establishment for lacking evidence-based policymaking. Grounded on the constructivist approach to scientific knowledge, the study examines how scientific knowledge has been enacted, interpreted, translated into policies by the government and the pro-vaccine institutions throughout the HPV vaccine crisis in Japan. Method: The study analyses the minutes of the governmental expert committee, as well as the proceedings, statements, and publications of three pro-vaccine and pro-resumption institutions. The analysis is conducted using the qualitative content analysis method. Results: The study shows that the government suspended recommendations based on an etiological uncertainty instead of epidemiological calculations and has prolonged the suspension based on the framing of HPV vaccination as an individual’s protection by choice in contrast to seeing it as a public health issue to be promoted in a national effort. It also shows that there is ample heterogeneity among the pro-vaccine and pro-resumption institutions in terms of grounds of arguments and scientific evidence they use to call for an early resumption of governmental recommendations for the HPV vaccines. Conclusions: The study shows a way to understand the Japanese government’s HPV vaccination policy over the past eight years, beyond criticizing it as lacking evidence that supports their policy. This analysis highlights the complexity of scientific knowledge, thus how contingently scientific knowledge come to be enacted as a basis for policy decisions, depending on the values and purposes the decision makers believes in.
  • Suutarinen, Janne (2022)
    The thesis assesses ethical problems pertaining to a scenario of a mandatory vaccination program against SARS-CoV-2 (“Covid-19”) in Finland, as the epidemic situation stood in the early 2022. The initial research question is whether this kind of a program would be ethically justifiable. The conclusion to this question is reached by describing the epidemic situation, presenting basic ethical norms of public healthcare, and making a synthetizing ethical analysis on their basis. The concluding answer no comes as the result of analyzing the Finnish scenario from the perspectives of eight criteria of ethical justification that would need to be adequately met in order for a mandatory vaccination program to be an ethically sound public health measure. The eight criteria are formed by examining literature of public health ethics and vaccination ethics as well as strong ethical arguments in favor and against mandatory vaccinations, and by combining a ground of shared prerequisites guiding ethical considerations on the topic. The analysis reveals numerous ethical problems present in the Finnish scenario. The mere existence of so many unsolved issues makes the potential mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program an unethical option. The thesis calls for better public discussion on public health ethics, so that the ethical imperatives of protecting public health security and protecting individual bodily autonomy are realized also in emergency situations.
  • Ligi, Mirjam (2022)
    In the 2020s, environmental degradation and human rights issues in the context of globalized economy and trade have turned sustainability and responsibility into a trend in politics and business. In the context of trade, the EU portrays itself as a global leader in fair and sustainable trade through its ‘new generation’ free trade agreements (FTA) which include commitments on environmental and labor rights. This thesis studies the role of values, norms, and ideas in the EU’s trade policy, particularly in the EU’s ‘new generation’ free trade agreements. The main research question seeks to answer how the EU promotes its fundamental values in its trade policy with third partners. The sub-questions offer the scope for the research problem: How does the EU diffuse its founding normative values in trade agreements? Which other values and norms does the EU promote in its trade relations? How does the transference of norms appear in trade relations with the EU? The research problem is placed in the constructivist tradition in international relations and global political economy, followed by the discussion of Normative Power Europe (NPE) which explores the EU’s non-coercive power to influence norms and values globally. The methodology is focused on explaining-outcome process tracing in which evidence from the case of EU-South Korea FTA is analyzed through a theorized explanation of norm diffusion as a causal mechanism. In addition to the original FTA document, academic literature about the FTA and the final report of the FTA’s panel of experts procedure were used to examine the theorized explanation. The main findings show that in the case of the EU-South Korea FTA, the EU prioritizes economic and political interests over its fundamental values of human rights and environmental issues in its FTA strategy, negotiations, and the final agreement. Business groups have had a stronger influence on the EU’s policy positions during FTA negotiations compared to non-business organizations. There is also a discrepancy between the EU’s communiqués about its leading role in sustainable trade and the legal capacity of the final agreement: the sustainable development chapter of the EU-South Korea FTA includes commitments on multilateral agreements instead of EU-specific rules, a weaker dispute settlement system compared to its trade-related chapters and a civil society mechanism which in practice has received criticism due to its ineffectiveness in environmental and labor rights questions. Competition with the US could also have influenced the modest normative demands for the FTA. Ultimately, combining an agenda of sustainable development with the management of the EU’s trade relationships is a balancing act between political and economic interests over normative interests. If a normative agenda is not set in the center of the EU’s trade policy, it is likely to remain as a tool for communication for domestic audiences.
  • Simula, Maria (2022)
    Companies are facing increasing pressure to communicate more transparently of their social and environmental impacts. People expect companies to improve the social and environmental wellbeing of the societies they operate in. This way companies can gain acceptance and legitimacy, which is important for their survival. Because of the normative pressure, companies have started to incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication into their communication strategies. The thesis will study what kind of CSR communication are fast fashion brands doing on Instagram and what kind of sustainability themes are the brands bringing up. The chosen brands are H&M, The North Face, Timberland, C&A, and Vans, who are the forerunners of transparent CSR communication on their websites. Thus, it will be interesting to study the level of their CSR communication on social media. The time frame of the study is one month, and the method of the research is qualitative content analysis. The data will be analysed with the help of the concept of CSR. While CSR is a highly researched topic, the CSR communication on social media has not been studied extensively. Brands’ CSR communication can be considered controversial, since the demand for more transparent communication is increasing but brands that bring up their CSR activity get easily criticized. The results of the study show that fast fashion brands are not doing CSR communication extensively on Instagram. The sustainability themes of the five fast fashion brands’ CSR communication on Instagram are 1. Reuse, Repair, and Recycling, 2. Sustainable Materials, and 3. Equality. Brands are eager to share sustainability issues but not linking it to their own operation, and thus it is not considered CSR communication.
  • Ristikangas, Gabriella Rachel Victoria (2022)
    The aim of the study is to examine the interplay between foreign direct investment (FDI) and host nation-state income inequality. The particular topic of interest is extending the understanding of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its potential relationship to the developing world’s income inequality. This study is relevant, because of the continuous and unquestionable rise of China. The research question is whether there is a correlation between an increase in Chinese FDI and an increase in income inequality. The hypothesis is that as FDI increases, income inequality increases. Theoretically, the research relies on critical global political economy. The chosen research method is empirical quantitative research, including both descriptive and inferential statistics and an expert interview. An unbalanced dataset of 50 BRI nation-states between the years 2010 to 2017 was used. This secondary data came from a variety of sources, including the UNDP, World Bank, World Inequality Database, and AidData. This thesis conducted a variable ranking and three different types of statistical correlation calculations. The results of this study are largely inconclusive. The correlation coefficients in all cases that included FDI inflow data do not provide empirical support for the hypothesis of an increase in Chinese FDI being positively correlated with an increase in income inequality. Even when lagging the income inequality variables with a variety of delays, no statistically significant relationships were found. This is largely explained by the non-linearity of the FDI flow data. Therefore, this thesis estimated FDI stock variables to test the relationship between more linear data with the income inequality variables, which are by nature more linear. At last, with the estimated FDI stock statistically significant relationships were found. It is noteworthy, however, that the results were also inconsistent; as there were both positive and negative correlation coefficients. Providing support not only for the initial hypothesis but also against it. Despite the inconclusiveness of the results, the majority of the relationships lean towards the null hypothesis. Regardless, it is important to realize, that despite the FDI inflow calculations not providing statistically significant results, it does not necessarily indicate that the Chinese FDI project is without potential serious implications for the income inequality of host nation-states. The results of this study are important for policymakers and researchers alike. As such, this thesis concludes that more research is needed to draw more decisive conclusions about the relationship between FDI and income inequality.
  • Juusola, Anni (2022)
    To mitigate the economic and social damages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Council agreed to adopt a recovery plan in July 2020. Before the recovery plan could be implemented, every member state had to ratify the European Council’s decision. However, when the recovery plan was associated with the deeply politicized issue of European integration, this ratification procedure threatened to become difficult. This thesis investigates a decisive plenary debate of the Parliament of Finland, which preceded the ratification of the European Council’s decision in May 2021. The thesis studies how European integration became a topic of discussion in this particular plenary debate. More specifically, the thesis aims to answer how and by which political parties the recovery plan was framed as an integration-related issue. Theoretically, the thesis places itself on the field of political communication. The theoretical framework of the thesis is based on Robert M. Entman’s definition of framing, which also guides the method of the thesis, namely qualitative frame analysis. Framing affects how most people perceive political issues, i.e. political parties use it as a political tool to promote particular interpretations of matters. The research material consists of 52 legislative speeches by Finnish representatives held in the plenary debate. The analysis found one dominant frame and five sub-frames that establish a link between the recovery plan and European integration. The frames present the recovery plan as an integration-related issue by highlighting Eurosceptic, economic, and constitutional perspectives. In the plenary debate, the frames were mostly employed by the Finns Party, which is known for its anti-integration stance. In addition, the Centre Party and the National Coalition Party used some of the frames. Based on the analysis, it is concluded that these three parties introduced the topic of European integration into the debate. The findings indicate that the issue of European integration is politicized also in Finnish politics. They accord with earlier evidence that the established parties seem to avoid debates on European integration, whereas the Finns Party takes advantage of the politicization of the integration process. By framing the recovery plan as an integration-related matter, the Finns Party was able to own the issue and promote its political agenda. If the established parties remain silent on integration-related matters, debates on European integration threaten to become one-sided. This is problematic both from the perspective of voters and the established parties whose silence may be detrimental to their political success.
  • Nuuttila, Sakari (2022)
    The counterintuitive relationship between Finland/Finnishness and coloniality – traces of colonialism in contemporary society and culture – is an expanding area of academic research. This thesis contributes to the field by reflecting on this relationship with a focus particularly on manifestations of issues of coloniality in public debates on social media. On these platforms, contrasting political groups engage in discursive struggles over the construction of memory and identity narratives. The context of the research is the international wave of protests that started in the summer of 2020, which attracted vast popular attention to racism and inequality, and the colonial power structures lying behind them. The social movements began in North America and expanded to Western Europe, where the history of imperialism and colonization is apparent – but the debate also reached Finland, a country that has, until recently, rarely been associated with questions of colonialism and coloniality. This thesis aims to shed light on Finland’s relationship to coloniality as a periphery-of-the-center space, which retains a share of colonial complicity, but also distinct differences vis-à-vis traditional colonial centers. The approach of the study is interdisciplinary, synthesizing features of postcolonial/decolonial theory, discourse theory and memory studies. The research identifies three of the dimensions in which coloniality is involved in discursive struggles in Finland: acknowledgement, reconciliation, and cosmetic decoloniality. In the research, these dimensions are represented, respectively, by three case studies: the Afrikan tähti boardgame, the public apology by MP Pirkka-Pekka Petelius to the indigenous Sámi people, and the rebranding of traditional consumer products exhibiting stereotypical orientalist names and imagery. Each case study includes an analysis of a social media discussion thread related to it. A central analytical framework is provided by Laclau’s discourse theory applied to populist movements, which emphasizes the convergence of attitudes and values within a group following equivalential logic, and the construction of antagonistic frontiers between different groups. By means of qualitative analysis, the thesis reflects on these processes particularly as they pertain to discursive struggles related to coloniality in Finland on social media, where such polarizing features can be identified. Finland is, in its own way, embedded in coloniality, and issues related to coloniality are an increasingly contentious topic in Finnish public debate. Negotiations and struggles over narrative and identity construction can be seen to follow ideological lines to some extent, but there is plenty of nuance in the re-negotiation of Finnish identity in the comparatively novel context of coloniality. Further, more detailed and broader study of discursive struggles related to coloniality and decoloniality is in order, as these issues become ever more prevalent in Finland.
  • Knebler, Judith (2022)
    Ever since the 1980s, political parties have used commercial marketing agencies to conduct their election campaigns. The use of these agencies resulted in what Nicholas O'Shaughnessy has coined political marketing, the marketing of a political product through commercial marketing techniques. This thesis evaluates the normative dimension of this technique, evaluating how it may impact party diversity through the case study of the past three German federal election cycles. To come to a conclusion on the normative dimensions of the utilisation of political marketing the thesis references both O'Shaughnessy's political marketing theory and Otto Kircheimer's catch all party theorem to evaluate the impact political marketing has on party representation. This thesis argues that the political marketing theory and catch all theorem intersect theoretically, making the point that political marketing can both be a symptom and cause of parties transforming into catch all parties, thus constituting a threat to democratic diversity. As its method the thesis uses an audiovisual analysis using the method of iconography. Through it analyses the audiovisual communication of German parties in the past three election cycles by looking at their election advertisement videos. This thesis concludes, through its theoretical framework, analysis of the case study and interpretation, that the advertisements show two main features of a catch all parties defined by Kircheimer: A homogenisation of stylistic means of parties not ideologically affiliated, and de- ideologisation and personification. This means that according to this thesis the German pluralistic party system turning into a system of catch all party system is exemplified and exarcebated by the utilisation of political marketing techniques, a process that is illuminated by the election advertisements of the main political parties.
  • Oinas, Waltteri Juho Joonatan (2022)
    A prevalent narrative associated with contemporary academe in the current era of globalisation is one of constant and increasing mobility. This narrative is acutely modern and tends to obscure the ancient character of academic mobility as a phenomenon. This Master’s Thesis seeks to address a knowledge gap in existing literature by considering the development of intellectual networks in ancient Greece and analysing the movement of Hellenistic philosophers in a prosopographical study of academic mobility utilising an interdisciplinary approach, combining theories and methods of both social sciences and history. Does academic mobility as a phenomenon occur in the context of Hellenistic period, specifically relating to the philosophical schools of that era? Why did Athens become the centre of intellectual activity and philosophical mobility for most of the Hellenistic period? The theoretical framework draws from the study of mobilities, network theory, concept analysis, and (to a lesser extent) human geography. An analytical concept of academic mobility is constructed to enable historical analyses and evaluation of potential historical occurrences of academic mobility. The primary data gathering method employed is an applied form of prosopography, a micro-biographical approach to the study of socio-historical phenomena. The lives of ten Stoic philosophers are summarised in ten case studies, which help illustrate the mobility and social networks of Hellenistic philosophers by providing examples of philosophical movement and career paths. The entries are subsequently analysed in conjunction with research literature to generate answers to the research questions. The study shows that while some of the movement of Hellenistic philosophers indeed meets the criteria for academic mobility, it nonetheless constitutes only a fraction of the mobility exercised by philosophers as a part of their profession and lifestyle. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that the pre-eminence of Athens as the centre of Hellenistic philosophical activity was predicated on a self-perpetuating process of social capital accumulation, as the presence of several prominent thinkers and organised schools of thought engaged in an intense dialectic attracted philosophically inclined individuals from all over the Greek world. The study concludes that the existence, development, and transformation of higher education networks is historically contingent and often affected by forces and factors external to the network(s), highlighting the need to examine occurrences and conditions of academic mobility on a case-by-case basis and suggesting further avenues of research to the study of historical academic mobility.
  • Karttunen, Kristiina (2021)
    The premise of this thesis is that neoclassical economics as a particular theory of justice explains the justification of water privatisation. Hence, the aim of the study is to describe how and why water privatisation is justified by asking three research questions: What problems are distinguished in relation to access to safe drinking water? What privatisation measures are proposed as solutions? How are these water privatisation measures justified? These research questions are contextualised by providing a comprehensive account on the history and present status of water privatisation within the neoliberal project and examining the normative basis of neoclassical economics via the concept of Pareto optimality. This is done by analysing 25 Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) that were published by 25 low-income countries under the guidance of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during 2010-2014. These PRSPs are examined through content analysis and frame analysis in a largely qualitatively manner. In the analysis of PRSPs, the thesis found, first, that although the problems in relation to access to water were highly varied, the uneven and unequal access to water was more prevalent than physical water scarcity issues. Secondly, three strategies of privatisation measures were identified in PRSPs: strategy of privatisation, strategy of commercialisation and strategy of liberalisation of governance. Finally, the study found four principal frames justifying water privatisation in PRSPs. These frames were development frame, economic good frame, anti-government frame and right frame. The results suggest that water privatisation measures increasingly blur the distinction between ‘public’ and ‘private’. This implies that the ‘public’ is largely guided by the market logic, and thus the difference between water privatisation and public sector control is increasingly irrelevant. These privatisation measures are justified by drawing on neoclassical economics as a theory of justice that is based on Pareto optimality. This way, international financial institutions (IFIs) and states can paradoxically allow for privatisation measures in water supply systems since it can ideally create the conditions for perfect competition whereby water resources become allocated in the most efficient, and thus in the most just way.
  • Gathuo, Monica (2022)
    Women of colour across the globe have played key roles in leading resistance to oppressive regimes, across time and space. Beginning with the anti-slavery freedom movement in the colonial era from the 16th century onwards, and into the digital spaces of the twentieth first century, women of colour’s activism has been pivotal to securing social justice. While this phenomenon has gained momentum in international scholarship, there is very little research on the women of colour digital activism in Finland. This study seeks to answer the following research question: How do women of colour in Finland use digital media to raise their voice[s]? The notion of raising one’s voice signals the need to move from an abject silenced position to take up space in public discussion. For the purpose of this thesis, digital media platforms and spaces represent potential or actually powerful routes for forging solidarity, spreading awareness, advocacy and campaign work in pursuit of social justice. In this thesis, the notion of raising one’s voice has a second implication: it refers to activism aimed at supporting those who are not heard to amplify their voices in public spaces. The study was conducted in the form of 19 semiconstructed interviews with women of colour living in Finland who engage in activism in digital platforms. The data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings, based on data derived from a thematic content analysis of the interviews, suggest that women of colour in Finland use digital media platforms as a resource to facilitate their participation and amplify their voices in public conversations from which they would otherwise be silenced.
  • Schatz, Lili (2022)
    In 2020 and 2021, the Finnish news media covered violent youth crime extensively. Not because it had increased significantly, but due to a handful of exceptional cases that shook Finnish society. Several brutal and severe cases that took place in a short period seemed to generate a media narrative around a new crime wave that posed a threat to Finnish society. The theoretical basis for this research focuses on the intersection of media studies, criminology, and sociology. Youth violence is often disproportionately covered in the news. Cases, in which adolescents commit violent crimes, are often written about in more depth and more extensively than those committed by adults since the pairing of the innocence of children with horrendous acts of violence manifests a more newsworthy phenomenon. However, since media portrayals have the power to shape public perceptions, they can create distorted views of the prevalence of crime and spark fear in audiences. This Master’s thesis aims to gain an understanding of the nature of news narratives around violent youth crime in Finland. This study takes on a qualitative and empirical approach. The underlying assumption behind the research is that the concept of youth violence is a social construction and that news narratives play a role in the discursive creation of the phenomenon. This Master’s thesis focuses on the Finnish news coverage of three cases of homicide that happened in 2020 and 2021. In each case the perpetrators were adolescents. The methodological approach of this thesis is a qualitative content analysis of coverage in 137 news articles found online. The research focuses on how adolescent offenders are described, and how the reasons and solutions to youth violence are portrayed in the news. The results of the thesis suggest that violent youth and the threat they pose to society are covered in the news media as a paradox; on the one hand, only evil sadists are capable of such violent acts, yet on the other hand, society has failed its children if they resort to violence. The discussion around youth violence is populated by a plethora of individual actors, such as perpetrators, their peers, child service workers, the police, politicians and ordinary citizens, and everyone plays a role in how the phenomenon of violent youth crime is discursively constructed in the news.
  • Salminen, Emilia (2022)
    This thesis will investigate how in transnational media outlet Politico Europe Europeanness is framed in relation to LGBT rights. The concept of Europeanness is highly contested and is largely shaped by the framed context in which it is studied. The concept of Europeanness in the context of this thesis is understood as a set of ideas that are relational and temporal. This allows the thesis to investigate how the concept of Europeanness is framed in contemporary settings and in relation to LGBT rights. The theoretical focus of the thesis is how an internal sexual Other is constructed in relation to Europeanness. This Othering process in constructing Europeanness and in relation to LGBT rights is often studied through the notions of Rainbow Europe and Freezer Europe. The case in point for the thesis is what is referred to as the Hungarian anti-LGBT law of 2021 that was adopted by the Hungarian government on the 15th of June 2021. The empirical material consists in total of 18 online newspaper articles of Politico Europe. The data collection method was performed through random sampling. The data is organised and coded using MAXQDA software. The method that is used to analyse the data is qualitative frame analysis method (FA). After analysis of the empirical material, the main frames that create the notions of “Rainbow Europe” and “Freezer Europe” are organised into two categories. “Rainbow Europe” notion is framed through fundamental rights frame, tolerance frame, and backsliding frame. “Freezer Europe” notion is framed through temporality frame, backwardness frame, and intolerance frame. The main results are that Europeanness in relation to LGBT rights is framed in Politico Europe through the notions of Rainbow and Freezer Europe, with the creation of a temporal difference in Hungary post-2010. Europeanness is framed as essentially LGBT friendly, and the framing of Rainbow Europe notion heightens this construction of Europeanness. Hungary is framed through the notion of Freezer Europe, which renders it as not European “enough” to be considered part of Europeanness in relation to LGBT rights. The thesis contributes to the understanding of contemporary framings of Europeanness in relation to LGBT rights in transnational news media.
  • Suvikas, Saska (2022)
    This thesis aims to offer a critical analysis of the phenomenon of a global debt crisis and possible mechanisms that may cause them. It starts with a hypothesis that the concept of a global debt crisis is too vaguely defined and relies too much on the idea of excessive debt being the root cause of the crisis. Instead, the thesis will argue that a global debt crisis must have a systemic nature where the crisis threatens the existence of the entire global monetary system. For the purposes of the argument, the different interpretations of debt are examined, the relevant features of our global monetary system are determined, and a systemic crisis theory of Jürgen Habermas is utilized. The thesis has its theoretical background in Critical Realism, which will help distinguish social mechanisms with real causal powers that may contribute to forming a global debt crisis. The thesis uses abductive and retroductive reasoning to assess different mechanisms brought forward in the relevant literature of whether they are capable and necessary to cause a global debt crisis. Furthermore, the thesis will approach the debt from the perspective of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which emphasizes the state’s role in managing money and debt relations. Specifically, the thesis will apply the frameworks of sectoral balances and monetary sovereignty to determine the differences of the global debt network in contrast to sovereign or private debt. Based on these frameworks, the argument is that the same mechanisms cannot cause a global debt crisis as a sovereign debt crisis. In the analysis part, the thesis focuses on two possible mechanisms that frequently appear in the academic literature as a cause for a global debt crisis: global imbalances and global debt deflation. The case for global imbalances relies on the fears of the U.S. dollar collapsing, which the frameworks of MMT indicate to be highly implausible due to the total U.S. monetary sovereignty. On the other hand, the case for global debt deflation rests on an increasing accumulation of private debt, which is shown to be more dangerous globally. However, despite its sound systemic causal mechanism, the assessment finds that global debt deflation is alone an insufficient cause to create a global debt crisis. In conclusion, the thesis emphasizes the role and significance of political decisions as a necessary cause behind most debt crises, especially a possible global one. The relevance of debt-controlling institutions are considered briefly, but the ultimate responsibility for preventing a global debt crisis is put into the hands of currency-issuing states. Political decisions will be shown to function as both a capable and necessary cause for a global crisis. Furthermore, the thesis also considers the limitations of using MMT to examine global debt relations and gives preliminary suggestions for further research.
  • Kornow, André-Maurice (2022)
    Parties in federal states are active on multiple levels. While attention has been given to multi-level parties and the multi-party system in general circumstances, less research has been done on how these parties act during campaigns. One of the latest trends in political campaigning is the so-called grassroots campaigning. Grassroots campaigning takes the party members at the center of the campaign and uses them as facilitators of the party’s political message in various ways. The party Alliance 90/ The Greens in Germany embraces this grassroots democracy principle and is, therefore, the optimal case to analyze. The unit where most of the party members accumulate in the German party system is the district association. To see how grassroots campaigning works within a multi-level party, this thesis aims to examine the interactions between the Greens district associations with the federal association's campaign during the federal election campaign 2021. The research data consists of six semi-structured interviews with campaign managers of the Greens parties’ district associations who were active during the federal election campaign 2021. The interview transcripts are analyzed by using a qualitative content analysis method to gain knowledge of prominent and reoccurring categories of the campaign managers' experiences during the federal election campaign. The analysis showed that the campaign managers' district associations primarily focused on the mobilization of party members as well as the localizing of politics. Furthermore, the data showed that the campaign managers do not see any influence from their side on the federal election campaign besides the formal influence through assemblies. However, they experienced different forms of autonomy which is in line with the theoretical construct of grassroots campaigning. Last, of all, the data revealed a lack of transparency from the federal campaign side. The outcomes of this study indicate the main tasks of the district associations as mobilization of members and localization of politics. Additionally, the district association seems to have a rather high amount of autonomy within the federal campaign, but on the contrary, the side might not be able to influence the federal association's campaign as such. Nevertheless, this study provides the first research on the aspect of multi-level campaigning and thereby addresses the gap in the literature on political campaigning.