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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • dos Santos Ferreira Leandro, Ana Rita (2022)
    This thesis sets out to investigate how the ideas of what it means to be a woman and femininity are constructed and propagated through the film Raya and the Last Dragon, the latest Disney Princess film, in the form of stereotypes. Previous studies show that Disney Princess films, from The Walt Disney Company, produce effects on the behaviour and thoughts of children when it comes to gender roles. As propaganda became associated with totalitarian regimes, studies about media effects rarely coin said effects as caused by propaganda. Therefore, propaganda as a field of analysis lacks a body of literature and a consensual set of analysis rules. This thesis contributes to the establishment of propaganda as a field of analysis, by defining it under Jacques Ellul’s categorisation. The study relies on a qualitative analysis based on the propaganda analysis model proposed by Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell. The empirical material consists of the film Raya and the Last Dragon, and it is available on Disney+, the streaming service of The Walt Disney Company. The findings of this thesis illuminate how the ideas of a woman and of femininity are constructed in Raya and the Last Dragon and allow to understand, against the literature review, if these constructions have changed and evolved when compared to previous Disney Princess films. The results indicate that the film presents a world where women and men are seen as equal, leading it to break previous stereotypes associated with women and femininity. By presenting a female-centric story, with independent characters who have diverse personalities and clothing, who fight and have no romantic interests, the film subverts the trope of a passive woman in a dress waiting to be rescued by a man from a powerful evil woman. Additionally, the film rotates around the relationship between Raya and Namaari, using the patriarchal trope of plotting a woman against a woman to focus on female friendship. Yet, as the filmmakers are conditioned by their positionality, some stereotypes are still oriented by patriarchal logic and a western perspective, namely the omnipresence of a patriarchal figure that guides the protagonist. In the end, besides its contributions to the field of propaganda analysis, the thesis updates the tradition of studies done on the gendered stereotypes present in the Disney Princess films.
  • Sairanen, Juuso (2022)
    The purpose of this thesis is to investigate Japan’s last decades' significant political economy change from a critical perspective. After the decades of post-war growth and reconstruction, coming to the end of the 1980s, Japan's political economy began to overheat dangerously fast. Passing into the 1990s, the bursting of a real estate bubble accumulated by the financial sector caused the financial sector a historically extensive stock market crash. As a result, the following decades marked a major shift in past decades’ economic euphoria. This large-scale transformation in the Japanese economy and society has also been called depending on perspective, by the terms 'lost decade' or 'lost decade(s)'. One of the objectives of this thesis is thus to answer the questions: What is meant by 'lost decade(s)'? And how have different theoretical approaches attempted to explain the concept? The thesis thus examines the relevant political economy literature exploring 'lost decade(s)' through a critical perspective while answering the research questions. As one of the arguments, the thesis seeks to question the metaphorical nature of 'lost decade(s)' by taking into account the mythical role of economic growth, highlighted especially by the economic literature, which has created a strong image of Japan's 'lost' economic growth and structural coherence. As a second argument, the thesis seeks to develop an understanding of some of the major societal losses that emerged during the 'lost decade(s)', through changes in the social, political, and institutional dimensions. The basis for the first argument is being constructed through the literature and questions that utilize the role of metaphors, social imaginaries, myths, and alternative data to create the perception of 'lost' growth. The final chapter seeks to establish a holistic insight into Japan's historical transformation from a perspective of the deeper structures of society. The chapter analyzes the impacts of 'lost decade(s)', particularly on demographic development, increasing social precariousness, political instability, and Japan's changing global position. In conclusion, the thesis goes through the research results and portrays certain questions about the possible futures of Japan while reflecting the developments that occurred during the 'lost decade(s)'.
  • Kallioinen, Emilia (2022)
    Artificial intelligence (AI), as a constantly developing technology that is difficult to define, strains a society not prepared for its impact. On the other hand, AI represents the future and comes with many opportunities. The European Commission has taken both views into account in its policy for AI, the European approach to AI. The European Commission’s AI policy, that introduces a regulation-based approach to AI as the first policy initiative in the world, offers a timely and intriguing topic of study. This thesis critically examines how AI is represented as a problem in the European Commission’s policy over the course of a four-year time frame from 2018 to 2021. It uses a combined set of methods: qualitative content analysis together with Carol Bacchi’s WPR approach to inspect five selected European Commission’s policy documents. Four of these policy documents are communication papers with an additional white paper. With the help of qualitative content analysis, the main repetitive themes of AI challenges and opportunities are teased out. The WPR approach is used to examine the progression of the AI policy and analyze the problem representations found in policy. Research questions are the following: how has the European Commission’s policy on AI come about and how has AI been represented as a policy problem by the European Commission? The thesis presents the formation of the AI policy by going through policy documents over the period of four years. Additionally, the thesis demonstrates how the Commission’s AI policy is one piece of the puzzle that is EU digital politics aiming for technological sovereignty. From the Commission’s problem representation of AI, the challenges and opportunities, it is possible to analyze the implicit representations of AI in policy. Although, the policy highlights trustworthiness and competitiveness through its regulatory actions there are other aspects present as well. AI has been represented in policy through eight perspectives, including safety and security, ethical, legal, competitiveness, AI leadership, socioeconomic, ecological, and education. All perspectives rationalize ways for AI to be embraced inside the European Union borders and participate in the shaping of how AI is to be approached. The analysis of each category shows that issues related to safety and security, ethical, legal, competitiveness, and AI leadership seem to stand out whereas socioeconomic, ecological, and education matters are not as strongly stressed. Overall, this thesis has demonstrated how AI has been represented as a problem in the European Commission’s policy.
  • Smith, Adam Oliver (2022)
    Following the development of effective vaccines against COVID-19, a global access gap has emerged, with wealthier countries receiving the vast majority of vaccines and therapeutics. The governments of several lower-income countries have since identified a major cause of this gap to be intellectual property arrangements governing the development of pharmaceutical products. In response, these countries submitted a proposal within the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Council to waive specific elements of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in relation to COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. Since then, a small number of wealthy countries where most major vaccine producers are located have resisted calls to pass the Waiver, thus maintaining intellectual property restrictions and limiting access to vaccines. This thesis explores the discursive nature of the arguments put forward against the Waiver within the institutional context of the WTO TRIPS Council from October 2020 to December 2021. It applies the Critical Discourse Analysis approach to identify several discourses that characterise the nature of opposition to the TRIPS Waiver, to explain how these shape political outcomes and delimit courses of effective action and resistance. These discourses are interpreted through the theoretical lens of Achille Mbembe’s necropolitics, which posits that sovereign power is increasingly based on the ability to decide who is worthy of life and who can be subjected to death, with racism and neoliberal market logics being the twin technologies of necropolitical violence. The thesis relies on primary material sourced from hundreds of pages of meeting minutes from the TRIPS Council, where opponents to the Waiver lay out their arguments and discursively construct their opposition in ways that are consistent with the necropolitical reading of global politics and structural violence. This thesis analyses this primary material in conjunction with secondary material from the pharmaceutical industry, uncovering discursive parallels that unveil the neoliberal logics that fuel opposition to the TRIPS Waiver. This thesis concludes that opposition to the TRIPS Waiver is both a driver and a symptom of a planetary renewal of colonial relations, in which neoliberal discourses around health have served to keep lifesaving treatments out of reach to those who cannot afford them during a deadly pandemic. The implications of necropolitical discourses around healthcare access for both democracy and for the future of the pandemic are fatal.
  • Wahlsten, Johan (2022)
    Taking the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) as a case study, this thesis contributes to the understanding of how the SDP and centre-left parties more generally were neoliberalised, this is to say how they became to embrace the idea that society is best organised through markets and competition. Drawing from the work of Stephanie Mudge, the thesis focuses on party experts, those party actors oriented towards producing truth-claims of society, hence affecting the way parties conceive the world and speak. Expert’s knowledge, however, is contingent on their social locations. They are often also situated in professional fields that tend to condition which ideas count as legitimate, making their positions explanatory relevant with regards to parties’ disposition and rhetoric. Methodologically the work draws from the tradition of historical sociology and Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social fields. The material utilised consists of (auto)biographies; past historical and social scientific research; reference works; SDP’s archival documents; and historical newspaper and magazine writings and interviews. The central argument is that Mudge’s account—taken as the work’s hypothesis—of the neoliberalisation of centre-left parties in “core countries” (the UK, the US, Sweden, and Germany) is inadequate in the case of the SDP embedded in Finland’s peripheral context. Mudge asserts that a central driver in the parties’ neoliberalisation was the interdependence between the political field of the party and the field of economics, which developed as interwar economic disruption incited an intense search within economics for novel ways to control the economy via public spending and demand management. This also led to an influx of academic economists with a “Keynesian ethic” to centre-left parties. The interdependence, however, allowed for economics’ politicisation from the 1960s onwards, this then influencing the field’s reorientation away from Keynesianism and towards monetarism and subsequently leading to the emergence and triumph of new party experts possessing a “neoliberal ethic”. Relatively stable interwar economic development, the bourgeoisie’s post-Civil War dominance in the society and academia, and the Finnish economics’ “backwardness” meant that no comparable need for seeking novel solutions existed nor was there responsiveness for the ideas developed abroad. Consequently, no interdependence between the SDP and economics developed in interwar or immediate postwar years. In the 1960s economic experts did gain a central position within the party. But these experts were not connected with the academia nor did the SDP embrace “Keynesian” prescriptions, the party and its experts instead banking on the combination of economic planning and export-led growth strategy. Neither was evidence found of economics’ politicisation as a left-wing discipline. Instead, it was oft precisely the SDP’s economic experts that critiqued “Keynesian” academic economists. In sum, arguably no interdependence between economics and the SDP developed either in this period. Instead, a new hypothesis is posited as an alternative account, namely that the SDP’s neoliberalisation can be better accounted for through the interdependence that developed between the bureaucratic field’s economic institutions and the party. Conjecturally, the interdependence, owing, among other things, to the SDP’s political appointments to the state, was politicised and the ideas of economic planning and the state’s control of the economy’s important elements were discredited in the context of the 1970s economic downturn. The interdependence, however, also led to novel kinds of experts—the state economists—gaining a powerful position within the SDP and making their interpretation of the economy common sense in the party. These experts perceived that their role in politics was to advance the “general interest” of the nation and the amorphous “people”, not any segment of it. With the export businesses hegemonic in society, in effect, this meant an emphasis on their profitability, cost competitiveness, and inflation and subsequently wage repression and budget constraint. The affinities between neoliberal notions and this policy conception and the habit in the Finnish state to conceive the world in terms of “external necessities” meant the state economists possessed great responsiveness to neoliberal ideas. While gaining preliminary support from evidence this hypothesis requires further work on several counts.
  • Kari, Niina Susanna (2021)
    This thesis evaluates the utility of Stephen Gill’s concept of new constitutionalism in understanding the functioning of the European Economic and Monetary union (EMU) in 2015– 2020. New constitutionalism is defined as legally locked in rules-based market discipline. The thesis has two research questions: 1) To what extent does the concept of new constitutionalism aptly describe the economic policy space of EMU member states? That is, to what extent the EMU, with its associated rules and criteria, constrains the economic policies of its member states? 2) To what extent are new constitutionalist principles “locked in” in the EMU? That is, to what extent is new constitutionalism really constitutional in the EMU? Chapter 1 outlines Gill’s contributions on new constitutionalism in the EMU, defines the key terms and introduces the research problematic. Chapter 2 evaluates the effects of EMU membership on economic policy space. This chapter draws extensively on data on fiscal deficits and levels of public debt well as the fiscal stimulus packages implemented in the context of the corona pandemic in EMU states and other advanced economies. It is shown that although average levels of debt have been lower in EMU states than in advanced economies overall, none of the major member states have remained within the required limits for public debt in this period. This renders the applicability of the concept of new constitutionalism dubious. Similarly, although EMU states stimulated their economies less than other advanced economies in response to the corona pandemic, this was not due to pressure from EU institutions as Gill’s argument would suggest. Chapter 3 addresses the political contingency in the application of rules-based market discipline in the EMU. Most notably, beyond the extreme case of Greece in 2015, there has been a reluctance by the European Commission to discipline member states for breaking the fiscal rules. The last two sections of this chapter consider the extent to which the actions of the European Central Bank have undermined market discipline in the EMU, and the pertinent question of whether the corona pandemic has ushered in a fundamental change in economic thinking in the EU. Drawing on this analysis, it is argued that the concept of new constitutionalism most aptly described the situation faced by Greece in 2015, but its applicability has subsequently waned. Specifically, the concept of new constitutionalism fails to capture the political contingency and flexibility in the application of both fiscal rules and market discipline in the EMU. Chapter 4 is dedicated to the second research question – that is, to what extent new constitutionalist principles are constitutionalised in the EMU. This chapter analyses the practical possibilities for EMU reform. However, given the unanimity requirement between member states for fundamental reform of the EMU, it is here that Gill’s argument about new constitutionalism being “locked in” is found to have the most applicability. The overall argument of this thesis is that the original Maastricht vision of the EMU has not come to fruition. In fact, the EMU experience illustrates that attempts to impose fixed visions of order onto social systems tend to produce disorder. While the eurozone crisis itself was generated by unbalancing tendencies inherent in the EMU, it has subsequently survived only through circumvention of its rules.
  • Hattunen, Anna (2021)
    Ortodoksisten talousteorioiden mukaan kaupankäynti on luonnollinen prosessi, joka ikään kuin tapahtuu itsestään. Naiset ja heidän kokemuksensa sivutetaan usein tämän talousnäkemyksen seurauksena. Maailman Kauppajärjestöä (WTO) on esimerkiksi kritisoitu sen heikoista, sukupuolten tasa-arvoa edistävistä toimista. Yksi WTO:n sukupuolten tasa-arvoa edistävä toimi on ”Buenos Airesin julistus”, jonka tavoite on edistää naisten osallistumista maailmankauppaan. Vuonna 2017 yli sata WTO:n jäsenmaata allekirjoitti kyseisen julistuksen. Tässä tutkielmassa tarkastellaan tätä WTO:n ensimmäistä mittavaa pyrkimystä edistää naisten taloudellisia oikeuksia. Tutkielmassa vastataan tarkemmin siihen, miten Buenos Airesin julistukseen päädyttiin. Tutkielmassa tutkitaan myös, kuinka sukupuolikysymykset ja naisten oikeudet ovat muuttuneet ja muovautuneet globaalissa hallinnassa ja perehdytään erityisesti toista maailman sotaa edeltäviin vuosikymmeniin. Kun tarkastellaan sukupuolen ja vapaakaupan suhdetta, voidaan paremmin ymmärtää, miten ajan saatossa tapahtuneet muutokset ovat vaikuttaneet Buenos Airesin julistuksen syntyyn. Lisäksi tutkielmassa tarkastellaan WTO:n roolia sukupuolten tasa-arvon edistäjänä. Feminististä poliittista taloutta sekä postkolonialistisia talousaatteita hyödynnetään tutkielman teoreettisena viitekehyksenä. Vapaata kauppaa analysoidaan reformistisesta näkökulmasta. Feministisessä talousteoriassa painotetaan usein, että kauppa ei ole ainoastaan luonnollinen prosessi. Kauppa määritetään sosiaalisena konstruktiona, johon lukuisat tekijät vaikuttavat. Tutkielman analyysin perustana toimii Peggy Antrobusin teoria sukupuolten ulottuvuuksista globaalissa hallinnassa. Ajatus sukupuolten epätasa-arvosta on muuttunut, mikä käy ilmi tutkielman analyysistä. Sen lisäksi analyysissa osoitetaan, että sukupuolten tasa-arvoa koskevat kysymykset ovat lisääntyneet kansainvälisesti. Buenos Airesin julistuksen taustalla on monia vaiheita, joita globaalin hallinnan erilaiset trendit myös vahvistavat. Nykyisen hegemonian mukaan vapaakauppa hyödyttää kaikkia ihmisiä tasapuolisesti. Kriittinen tutkimus on kuitenkin osoittanut tarpeen edistää sukupuolten välistä tasa-arvoa. Näin ollen tutkielman analyysissa tarkastellaan myös WTO:n roolia sukupuolten tasa-arvon edistämisessä. Sen sijaan että WTO yrittäisi löytää ja purkaa sukupuolten epätasa-arvoon vaikuttavia juurisyitä, analyysissä selviää, että WTO pyrkii ensisijaisesti tukemaan naisten taloudellista voimaantumista ja yrittäjyyttä. Tutkielman johtopäätöksenä voidaan todeta, että globaalissa hallinnassa tapahtuvilla muutoksilla ja kansainvälisillä organisaatioilla on merkittävä vaikutus sukupuolten tasa-arvoon. Tutkielman johtopäätöksissä pohditaan myös sitä, miten sukupuolikysymykset on otettu huomioon historian saatossa. Johtopäätöksissä korostetaan lopulta luotettavan datan, valvonnan ja evaluoinnin keskeistä merkitystä vapaan kaupan sukupuolittuneiden vaikutusten tutkimuksessa.