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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.
  • Salvesen, Theodor (2020)
    Populist has become a label thrown at politicians and parties, by media professionals, political opponents or in popular discourse. At the same time, cases like Boris Johnson’s Brexit campaign and Donald Trump’s US presidency have showed a potentially new form of populism, emerging from established political parties, with no discernible populist past and over a century of institutional history. When these two trends are present at the same time, academic enquiry into such cases of labelling established parties as populist is warranted. This study examines such a case. By taking a discursive-ideational approach to populism, I assess what elements of populism are present in the Facebook communication of Norwegian party Senterpartiet leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, in the year running up to the September 2021 parliamentary election. The party’s agrarian roots, rural voter base and historical opposition to centralisation and urbanisation means the objective is to specifically establish traits that can be traced to the agrarian populist tradition, where the urban/rural divide and conflict over centralisation and the emergence of urban values sit at the centre. This thesis relies on data material sourced from Trygve Slagsvold Vedum’s public Facebook page in the 12 months running up to the election. Following a constructionist theoretical approach and utilizing a discourse analytical framework to analyse texts and images posted on the page, I establish elements which constitute discourses, in order to assess the political antagonism in the data material for articulations of a populist antagonism. I conclude that there are several elements found within the data that constitute a populist antagonism, establishing meanings and demands which articulate a people and elite in opposition to each other. There are also clear elements which show the frontier between these two groups is predominantly created by conflict along the urban/rural divide, such as centralisation, the emergence of urban values and foreign influence. There is however contrary evidence which suggests the case subject cannot be called a populist movement, even if there are strong elements of populism present in the discourses.
  • Stempel, Katja Elke (2023)
    Examples of so-called “cancel culture” are allegedly numerous, but very often the withdrawal of support, the cancelling, has in fact not taken place. In the summer of 2022, public debate in Germany was temporarily dominated by discussions about precisely this, the putative cancelling of two cultural artefacts, a children’s book and a pop song. Albeit being far more complex cases that, strictly speaking, do not classify as incidents of “cancel-culture”, the discursive existence of the term reveals far-reaching and politically relevant insights about the construction of antagonistic identities on the digital platform Twitter (now X). This thesis seeks to assess dynamics of affective polarisation and antagonistic identity-construction in discussions about the aforementioned cases using the discourse theory by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe combined with Jacque Lacan’s reading of Freudian psychoanalysis. For this aim, 8 tweets, 4 for each case, were selected whose discussion threads in the form of replies commented in response to the initial tweets constitute the object of study. These replies amount to a total of 1631 examined tweets. Key concepts, such as floating signifiers, chains of equivalences and fantasmatic constructs, thereby guide the analysis of the research material. The findings provided by this thesis demonstrate how antagonistic identities, collective as well as individual, are constructed in debates on two controversial, cultural topics. The formation of polarised blocks of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ happens primarily on an affective level presenting opinions in their relation to ‘the other’. As exemplified in the chains of equivalences articulated in this study, the analysed phenomenon of polarisation is in fact not confined to the field of culture. Instead, it refers to a polarisation of social realities incorporating a wide range of different kinds of topics for which “cancel-culture” is not irrelevant, yet merely the impetus for debate. This thesis therefore points towards a lack in academic literature by studying affective polarisation of differently lived or experienced realities as opposed to common classifications of polarising dynamics. The affective component of constructing antagonistic groups of Twitter users is thereby centred. This study furthermore corroborates the applicability and usefulness of Laclaudian discourse analysis and Lacanian psychoanalysis for research within the field of social sciences. It encourages to conceive polarisation and social antagonism as innate to the democratic system and, thus, acknowledges the value of radical pluralist democracy as theorised by Mouffe.
  • 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.
  • Hole, Olivia Katariina (2021)
    This study aims to analyze the abortion debate in the United States by examining the Senate’s debate over ‘The Women’s Health Protection Act 2022’. The ‘Women’s Health Protection Act. 2022’ pursued to codify Roe v. Wade in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft planning to overrule the constitutional right to abortion. This study analyzes the values the Senators use in their arguments for and against abortion, and thus proceeds to identify the worldviews behind their abortion stances. The debate around the ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ occurred in May 2022 and the focus is on the Republican and Democrat Senators’ rhetoric. This study answers two research question about the values and worldviews represented in the Senators’ speeches during the debate’s first day. New rhetoric, a theory on argumentation and a tool for its analysis serves as the study’s method in identifying the values used by the Senators. The study’s theoretical framework combines Lakoff’s framing theory with theories of political polarization. The theoretical framework allows for critical assessment of the values the analysis identifies. Lakoff’s framing theory pursues understanding of contemporary American politics through the concepts that constitute people’s thoughts and shape their worldviews. Political polarization aims to explain growing fundamentalist political positions and the lack of effective negotiations and compromise in the 21st century. The ‘Women’s Health Protection Act 2022’ debate is the object of the analysis and 35 speeches from the two-day debate’s first day serve as this study’s data. The speeches vary in length from approximately 210 words to 2500 words. The speeches were analyzed according to Perelman and Olbrecths-Tyteca’s new rhetoric by coding the values with ATLAS.ti. The analysis identified 34 different values and the most used values per party were defined as the party’s core values within the debate’s context. For the Republican Senators these values were human life, the rights of healthcare practitioners, safety, legitimacy, the rights of the children and unborn, and science. The core values of the Democrat Senators were women’s rights, freedom, safety, legitimacy, and health. The study found the Senators’ most prominent values to resemble Lakoff’s theory on the Republicans and Democrats’ worldviews. The only contradiction was found in the Republican Senators demonstrating empathy towards women. The application of political polarization to the study’s findings showed signs of a polarized Senate and a polarized debate. The study was able to provide an account of what the Democrat’s rhetoric and frames in abortion debate may look like, as previous research mainly focuses on the Republicans. Furthermore, the study demonstrates the need to study the dynamic between the Senate and the electorate, as the findings suggest the Senate may enforce more extreme abortion legislation than the public wants.
  • Noschis, Emilia (2024)
    The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has globally exploded in recent years. While AI brings numerous benefits, it is crucial to understand its negative effects to address them effectively. One significant concern is the presence of discriminatory biases within AI, leading to phenomena that affect various groups unequally. Recently, many official bodies have expressed concerns about the adverse impacts of AI on gender equality. The goal of this thesis is to identify the most central phenomena and the main reasons that lead to phenomena created by artificial intelligence that negatively affect gender equality. The study employs thematic analysis to examine the content of the expert interviews and compares these insights with existing research. By analyzing the interviews, this research aims to identify the most frequently mentioned phenomena to effectively address the research questions. The participants include seven experts based in Finland with expertise in AI and/or technology and gender equality. The study is framed through the lenses of technofeminism and intersectionality participating in the feminist technoscience field. The research identifies several AI-generated phenomena that negatively impact gender equality, including the reinforcement of gendered harmful stereotypes, technology based gendered violence, discriminatory automated decision-making, and gendered job replacement. Specific issues discussed under these themes include stereotypical image and text generation, feminization and domestication of AI, deepfakes, other forms of gender-based violence, chatbot girlfriends, and discrimination in recruitment processes and loan approvals. Moreover, the interviews highlight the male-dominated nature of the AI field and biased data as significant factors contributing to these adverse phenomena. In conclusion, this study aims to outline experts' views on which are the most central phenomena related to the increased use of artificial intelligence, which negatively affect gender equality. The thesis underlines that unequal societal structures are mirrored in the development and application of artificial intelligence. Without careful attention, artificial intelligence does exacerbate and deepen gender inequalities.
  • Saarinen, Taru (2023)
    Post-growth economic thinking has received attention in recent years as an ecologically oriented alternative to current economic theory and policy practices. Specifically, post-growth thinking seeks alternatives to the growth paradigm, and the use of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of ‘progress’ in wealthy countries. To tackle the issues with the GDP, a host of ‘Beyond GDP’ indicators have been proposed by academics and international institutions, aiming to measure ‘progress’ along wellbeing and ecological sustainability. This thesis discusses post-growth economic thinking and Beyond GDP indicators from the perspective of feminist political economy. The thesis builds a theoretical argument for a potential research area of feminist post-growth contributions to the Beyond GDP discussion. This argument also provides an answer to the following questions: When it comes to measuring progress, to what extent are post-growth and critical feminist ideas compatible? Further, what can such a perspective offer for the study of Beyond GDP indicators? Economic indicators, in this thesis, are understood as tools for prioritisation of economic policy. As such, indicators are seen to carry considerable power. The analysis highlights that there is a gap in literature on critical and philosophical political economic analyses of Beyond GDP indicators. With a theoretical analysis and a brief exploration of two alternative indicators, this thesis proposes concrete themes that a post-growth perspective integrating feminist considerations can highlight and further study in measurements of ‘progress’. These include understandings of the normative considerations behind indicators, the relationship between ‘the economy’ and other spheres such as ecological limits, as well as methodological considerations of how to complement quantitative data. In conclusion, this thesis argues that various considerations, such as the role attributed to ‘non-economical’ and structural factors, should be considered in measuring wellbeing and sustainability in a post-growth economy.
  • Baglan, Nazli Busra (2023)
    In the aftermath of a crisis, uninterrupted flow of the crisis information is vital to take immediate action in battling against the crisis phenomenon which causes threat and harm. Crisis information is transferred through crisis communication practices which is no longer limited to top-down perspective. Ordinary people execute crisis communication with the aspatial digital affordances social media facilitate and they participate in crisis response through networks formed in such platforms. Although significance of the subject increases, the bottom-up perspective of crisis communication on social media remains as a gap in the research literature. This thesis aims to contribute to the research field with a case study on Twitter reflections of 2021 Bodrum Wildfires in Turkey. The crisis phenomenon chosen in this thesis stands out with its intensity and scope as it is considered as the largest wildfires that have happened in Turkey. The purpose of this research is to examine social media reflections of the public during 2021 Bodrum Wildfires as it gives hints of how and what kind of crisis communication practices they performed, especially in forms of crisis response. In addition, functions of social media usage in specific to case of this thesis are explored. In this thesis, 1.000 tweets under the hashtag #bodrumyangın during the acute phase of the crisis are collected from Advance Search inquiry of Twitter. As the principles of digital media ethnography is followed, data are examined via utilizing qualitative content analysis. The results of this thesis showed that people conducted crisis communication on Twitter to disseminate breaking news in regard to Bodrum Wildfires and to facilitate volunteer mobilization networks and crisis response coordination efforts. The main functions of social media usage in this case study are dissemination of breaking news about the crisis, retrieving on-site crisis information, formation of mobilization networks for crisis response, virtual public arena to evaluate crisis management and to discuss origin of the crisis, outpouring emotional load and receiving sentimental support, generation of humorous content as coping mechanism. Findings goes in line with the concept of bottom-up crisis communication on social media in which this thesis adopted as theoretical framework. Additional value this thesis presents is the observation of hashtag utilization on social media crisis communication acting as a digital affordance to ease dissemination and accession of the crisis information.
  • 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.
  • Perkiö, Leea (2023)
    Today, companies are facing an increasing amount of stakeholder demands. These demands often include environmental, societal, ethical, political, and economic themes that are commonly addressed in companies through corporate social responsibility and value communication. The aim of this research was to discover how large Finnish companies are responding to stakeholder demands through value communication on their websites, by recognizing how companies communicatively constitute their corporate social responsibility and how companies appeal to stakeholders through value communication on company websites. Studying large Finnish companies is significant and this study enabled recognizing what is perceived and showcased as important in these companies and how these companies with big audiences and a lot of influence are aiming to impact their stakeholders. This research was conducted as a qualitative content analysis and the material for the analysis was collected from the company websites of four large Finnish companies: Marimekko, UPM, Valio, and Elisa. In total the collected data consisted of 36 pages of textual material and included different types of organizational documents of the companies, such as strategy statements, sustainability reports, and info pages. Qualitative content analysis is a flexible and systematic research method that is based on categorizing the research material based on a coding frame. The method was well suited for this research, since it enabled making sense of the large amount of textual material and recognizing potential patterns and relationships between themes. According to the results of this study, large Finnish companies respond to stakeholder demands by constituting corporate social responsibility through the communication of societal, economic, and ethical themes, and impact on stakeholders. The results are remarkable in providing in-depth information about how these themes are communicated by the companies. Some themes are communicated by all the companies and in similar ways, while some themes are communicated in differing company-specific ways. In addition, companies respond to stakeholder demands by appealing to stakeholders through value communication to gain and maintain legitimacy, adapt to the environment, and cope with fuzziness. Companies use value communication to gain and maintain legitimacy and adapt to the environment more than to cope with fuzziness. The results of this study showed that some themes of corporate social responsibility are perceived and showcased as important widely in all the studied companies, while some themes are only relevant for certain companies’ whose stakeholders voice those specific demands. These results can be especially meaningful to other Finnish companies. In addition, the results of this study providing information on how companies aim at appealing to their stakeholders can be meaningful to company stakeholders and help them be more critical and conscious towards companies’ value communication.
  • 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.
  • Nyholm, John Jakob (2023)
    This thesis discusses the use of audiovisual media in film and television criticism, the video essay as a genre within which this may occur, and how artistic and critical elements may intersect in film and television criticism within this genre. The research questions of the thesis concern these topics. The topics discussed in the thesis relate to questions regarding the genre of the video essay, the role of artistic elements in criticism, the implications of criticism of works of art being made through forms of media similar or different to the work of art in question, the role of critics as amateurs or professionals and the concept of professionalism with regards to criticism, and the context of the platform of YouTube. The thesis provides a discussion of audiovisuality, the video essay genre and the use of artistic elements in criticism by analysing an example of criticism being made through the video essay genre. This is done in the form of a genre analysis conducted through a case study of the video series The Starship Troopers Trilogy by Kyle Kallgren, published on the YouTube channel KyleKallgrenBHH in 2021. This analysis involves examining this series of three videos through a discussion of seven key aspects related to genre: structure, style, content, audience, medium, author and communicative purpose. The examination of communicative purpose involves taking into consideration four different communicative purposes: criticism, artistry, autobiography and theorisation. The thesis suggests that there are benefits to the field of film and television criticism in the possibility of expressing criticism audiovisually. It also argues that the video essay is a genre with intriguing possibilities for film and television criticism. Furthermore, it indicates that the integration of artistic and critical elements in this genre may allow for these aspects of a film and television criticism video essay to enhance each other.
  • 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.
  • Palo, Ella (2023)
    Digitalisation has facilitated a global rise of smart city agendas, in which digital technologies are utilised to govern city spaces and services. Smart city initiatives have also been implemented in the city of Helsinki in hopes of improving urban sustainability and quality of life. However, prior smart city development has been widely criticised by scholars for prioritising private, commercial interests over citizen perspectives. Additionally, socio-digital inequalities and citizens' digital agency have not been issues commonly emphasised in the design of smart city initiatives, despite their interconnected nature. This thesis explores digital citizenship at the smart city site of Malmi in Helsinki. With a focus on socio-digital inequalities and digital agency, the thesis approaches smart city development from the perspective of situated knowledge and provides paths towards digital inclusion. The theoretical framework of the thesis explores current constructions of digital agency and socio-digital inequality in light of global power structures related to digital spheres. Furthermore, these issues are explored specifically in the context of smart cities. The thesis uses a qualitative, bottom-up approach to examine Helsinki residents’ lived experiences regarding digital technologies and the smart city. The research material consists of twenty semi-structured interviews with Malmi residents, along with three expert interviews with the City of Helsinki’s officials. Furthermore, interview data is complemented with ethnographic background material. The research material is analysed with qualitative content analysis. The findings of the study bring forward Helsinki residents’ everyday life experiences and concerns about digital technologies and the smart city. In addition, wider smart city development and future smart imaginaries are explored through the context of Malmi and Helsinki’s smart city development. The research material shows that socio-digital inequalities and issues in digital agency are still prevalent in Finland. In order to harness smart city initiatives to better address these issues, the thesis provides grounds and practical recommendations for bridging the current gap between smart city development and socio-digital inequalities. In addition, the thesis may serve as inspiration for creating contextual and citizen-centred approaches to the smart city and digital citizenship elsewhere. The thesis concludes that smart city initiatives should be harnessed to promote diverse forms of digital inclusion, as well as critical and radical forms of digital agency, in which both awareness and novel forms of resistance can be explored by citizens.
  • 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.