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Browsing by master's degree program "Magisterprogrammet i Europa- och Nordenstudier"

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  • Tiensuu, Elisa (2022)
    Tämän pro gradu- tutkielman tarkoituksena on tarkastella turvapaikan turvallistamista niin sanotun ’maahanmuuttokriisin’ aikana vuonna 2015, analysoiden Helsingin Sanomien samaisen vuoden julkaisuja. Tutkielmassa keskitytään siihen, miten turvallisuusdiskursseja kehystetään yleisölle, ja mitä mahdollisia taustalla olevia logiikoita pelon synnyttämiseen liittyen voidaan tunnistaa. Aluksi tutkielmassa esitellään analyysin teoreettinen tausta, turvallistamisteoria ja diskurssiteoria, sekä aiheeseen liittyvä historiallinen ja sosiopoliittinen tausta, jotta tutkielmassa voitaisiin paremmin ymmärtää, kuinka turvallistamisdiskurssit esitettiin yleisölle. Tämän jälkeen tutkielma käsittelee turvallistamista maahanmuutto- ja turvapaikka-asioiden kontekstissa. Tutkielmassa esitellään myös median rooli turvallistamisprosessissa ja tarkastellaan, miten rasistiset ja ksenofobiset logiikat usein vaikuttavat tähän prosessiin. Kirjallisuuskatsaus Pohjoismaissa tehdyistä turvapaikan turvallistamista koskevista tutkimuksista antaa lisätaustaa turvapaikan turvallistamiselle ja esittelee, miten tutkielma osallistuu olemassa olevaan aihetta koskevaan kirjallisuuteen. Tutkielman analyysiosa esittelee tammi-joulukuun 2015 välisenä aikana Helsingin Sanomissa julkaistujen artikkelien analyysin havaintoja. Näitä käsitellään erillisessä keskustelukappaleessa, joka pyrkii vastaamaan johdantoluvussa esitettyihin keskeisiin tutkimuskysymyksiin. Analyysin tulokset osoittivat, että tiedotusvälineet osallistuvat turvallistamisprosessiin tuottamalla ja toistamalla uhkaa ja pelkoa aiheuttavia diskursseja, usein ilman empiiristä tietoa, ja jättämällä huomiotta turvapaikanhakijoiden kokemukset. Analyysi päättelee, että seitsemän toisiinsa kietoutuvaa diskurssia vaikutti pelon ja toiseuttamisen luontiin HS:n artikkeleissa, ja nämä olivat juurtuneet rasistiseen ja ksenofobiseen logiikkaan.
  • Baker, Liv (2023)
    In response to the increasing need for an effective method to compare student performance on the international scale, the Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) launched the Program for International Student Assessment, better known as the PISA, in 1997. As such, PISA not only establishes an internally agreed upon framework between countries, but it also binds the commitment of OECD member states to regularly assessing the impact of educational systems on student performance. According to the first published PISA results, PISA “aims at providing a new basis for policy dialogue and for collaboration in defining and operationalizing educational goals— in innovative ways that reflect judgment about the skills that are relevant to adult life.” In simple terms, PISA seeks to evaluate how well 15-year-olds are prepared for the challenges they will face in life. Finland has ranked among the top countries since the first administration of the triennial PISA in 2000. Despite measuring well against its OECD counterparts, Finland, which once topped the PISA ranks, has since experienced a relative decline in performance. The mediation of PISA results has undeniably affected Finland’s image of education. This media discourse analysis uses major American newspaper outlets to unearth how Finland’s image has been affected by PISA results. These newspapers’ presentations of Finnish PISA performance further reveal how the US understands its own academic system. Ultimately, PISA asserts that academic institutions can make a profound difference on the individual, country, and global levels. Since PISA results can influence the academic decisions and policies of a given country, then the assessment must also make a difference on the individual, country, and global levels. Since the OECD drives forward the PISA, then the OECD also has an influence on the beforementioned levels. Thus, the OECD not only shapes representations of countries, but it also hinges on media as a vehicle by which to deliver these representations internationally. Although commonly overlooked, the OECD is a relevant and power-wielding actor because its PISA index reinforces and challenges narratives of academic exceptionalism, as exemplified by the case of Finland in this study. Does the OECD’s positioning as an overlooked actor magnify its power?
  • Ristikangas, Vilma (2023)
    The institutional history of the Finnish Rescue Services dates back to the establishment of volunteer fire brigades in the 19th century, when Finland was a part of the Russian Empire. Throughout the 20th century, the rescue services have been institutionalized as public services. As of 2023, the Rescue Departments have been relocated to a new political and administrative context in the Wellbeing Services County reform. This recent structural reform of the rescue services on a public administrative level has inspired this thesis to explore the role of the Finnish Rescue Services personnel in public administration and policy process. The thesis investigates the applicability of street-level bureaucracy theory and politics-administration dichotomy in the rescue services personnel’s strategy implementation. While there is some research about the societal and cultural significance of the Finnish rescue services, its political and public administrative dimension has received only little attention in the scientific literature. The thesis is conducted as survey research. The research method is quantitative data analysis and theory-driven analysis. The questionnaire data measures the rescue services personnel’s features as classic public administrators and as street-level bureaucrats, and evaluates the personnel’s willingness to implement central strategies of the rescue services. It is argued that the FRS personnel’s involvement in public discussion as street-level bureaucrats is playing a decisive role in realising the rescue services-related strategies. The findings indicate that the rescue services personnel embody ideal-type bureaucratic features and street-level bureaucratic features. However, only the street-level bureaucratic features are dominant in explaining the variation in the personnel’s willingness to implement strategies. It is suggested that the personnel’s stronger participation in political discussion and policy process would result in better strategy implementation level. This thesis contributes to the development of the political and administrative position of the Finnish Rescue Departments and strengthens their role as active partakers in the public sphere.
  • Treumuth, Getter Kristen (2022)
    This thesis focuses on the case study of the Estonian diaspora in Abkhazia, the breakaway region of Georgia, and their claim to the Estonian citizenship by birth. This claim is based on the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty Article IV, that allowed people living on both sides of the signing parties (the Russian Soviet Federative Republic, and the newly independent Estonian Republic) to obtain the citizenship of either countries. Focusing on the way the Estonian citizenship policy has impacted the process of obtaining citizenship by birth for the descendants of the optants, the study is based on the role of securitization in the matter. The thesis makes use of televised interviews and written news reports on the case study by Estonian news reporters. Moreover, the sources are analysed with qualitative methods, particularly political and critical discourse analysis, and discourse-historical analysis. The information is gathered by using qualitative methods. Furthermore, securitization theory, societal security and constructivism are used as the base the study. The key findings of the thesis are that distrust towards the optants and worries for security are presented in the media by state officials. However, opposing arguments in support of the Abkhaz Estonians often brush over the matters of security altogether, highlighting the ‘absurdity’ of the situation and the valid claim of citizenship by these individuals. These findings could prove beneficial for those aiming to understand the phenomena better and serve as basis of further research, especially in media analysis.
  • Joyee, Nabila Jahan (2021)
    This master’s thesis aims to provide a broader and deeper knowledge within the areas of migration and integration. The study tasks are how the diaspora community is involved in the overall migration and integration process in a host state and what role social networks play in different phases of migration. There are four essential conceptual features of the migration phenomenon are identified in the study: migration, integration, diaspora community, and social networks. These concepts are analysed focusing on the factors of migration, integration process, how diaspora community and social networks work. The analysis is done using a comprehensive case study on the Bangladeshi diaspora community in Finland. The study material is collected through semi-structured interviews with 10 Bangladeshi student migrants living in Finland. As a potential migrant group as well as an underexamined study group, student migrants are chosen the study participants. A thematic analysis of the data is carried out to unveil the underlying meanings of how student migrants narrate their experiences as an immigrant. The themes identified are used to critically reflect on and explore the aspects and dynamics of the nexus between diasporas and social networks in migration and integration. This study outcomes identify education as the major pull factor for the student migrants considering Finnish high quality of research facilities, education environment, and the fee-free study system. It also marks that both personal and social networks have a strong role in migrant’s decision of choosing Finland as their destination. The role of technology becomes prominent in the current age in terms of gathering information, admission procedure, and visa processing. This is even more realised due to the absence of the Embassy operation and other official communication channels. The study finds the diaspora community’s role is increasingly becoming significant in the present context, they provide migrants with access to information, job conditions as well as settling them with finding accommodation, education places, emotional support, and comfort of belonging in a host country. Within this journey of a migrant, social media platform has appeared as a crucial part of social networks and diasporas in terms of communication. Facebook groups have become a major communication channel. Additionally, the Corona situation has made online engagement among people more visible. Nonetheless, this diaspora-social network-migration-integration nexus can play both a supportive as well as a critical role for migrants as the experience varies.
  • Sigrist, Jonathan (2021)
    This thesis analyses the development of Danish foreign and security policy towards the Arctic ever since the end of the Second World War up until today. It draws primarily on Denmark’s relation to the United States, having been Denmark’s main ally for the last 75 years on all security related matters - but especially since the end of the Cold War. Both Denmark and the US are considered Arctic coastal states, with Denmark accessing the Arctic ocean through its sovereign claim over Greenland, and the US through the state of Alaska. The thesis supports other scholarly studies that argue that a ‘new Cold War’ has been taking place in the years following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2016 between the US, China and Russia, with potentially grave ramifications for Arctic regional security, given its growing importance as a region for resource extraction and commercial passage through the Northern Sea Route. For Denmark, this new Cold War threatens its sovereign claim over Greenland – a crucial geostrategic location for a potential Arctic militarization - being challenged as a small nation by the great power competitions accelerating in the Arctic. The thesis divides the last 75 years into three categorized eras: 1) The Cold War (1945-1991); 2) The post-Cold War era (1991-2017); 3) The ‘new Cold War’ as a developing era (2017 - ; denoted in the thesis), and analyses for each era the fundamentals of Denmark – US relations, first providing a more general overview of their political relations as security partners on non-Arctic related matters, in order to then draw parallels to the development of Denmark – US relations in the Arctic and their roles as state actors in shaping the geopolitical climate of the region. As I show, a lot can be learned from the Cold War to understand what is and may happen in the Arctic in the new Cold War. The thesis makes use of foreign policy analysis, as well as two variations of discourse analysis – poststructuralist discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis – as tools to engage with the empirical data available and answer the thesis’s main research questions: what is the perceived effect of the Trump administration's policy to the position of Denmark in the Arctic? The question is answered on the basis of two main theoretical frameworks: Securitization Theory and Region-Building Theory. These frameworks build the necessary foundation which along with the mentioned methodologies can provide a holistic overview and perspective on the matter with scientific validity. The thesis ends by discussing what can be expected in the near future, based on the knowledge acquired and the answers provided to the research question. A new administration led by president elect Joe Biden took over the White House on January 20st, and with it many new questions are yet to be answered, regarding the future of Denmark – US relations, the future of Arctic governance and the course of the new Cold War. I ponder on what options Denmark might have that could guarantee its security while also maintaining its sovereignty over Greenland – one option being a potential turn towards the EU as its new main security partner. Yet doing so would mean breaking a long-lasting relationship with the US while standing up to the world’s biggest economic and military superpower.
  • Miras, Eva (2020)
    The purpose of this thesis is to analyze how people displaced by climate change can be accommodated within the European Union's existing migration governance system while taking into consideration the recent failures and injustices of this system during the so-called refugee crisis. The intention for framing the discussion about climate-induced migration in the context of the refugee crisis is not to compare or equate the two phenomena but to highlight the many injustices and protection gaps that exist under the current migration regimes, and to analyze how climate change will impact these regimes and the legal protections provided for migrants, asylum seekers, and displaced peoples. To begin this analysis, this thesis first looks at the relationship between climate change and migration, where it is determined that climate-induced migration is a complex and multi-causal phenomenon that can impact human mobility in multiple ways. People displaced by climate change face multiple protection gaps in both international and EU law, and there is currently no distinct instrument or coherent policy approach from the EU that is directly applicable to ‘climate migrants’ or climate-induced migration. The second part of this analysis looks at the fractured structure of EU migration governance and how the systems and mechanisms in place failed to adequately protect asylum seekers during the refugee crisis, with a focus on the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). This analysis showed that the EU failed to implement its supranational migration policies efficiently during the refugee crisis, which had a detrimental impact on securing and ensuring the legal protections of migrants and asylum seekers. Part of this failure was due to the lack of unity and trust between Member States, and also because the EU adopted an increasingly securitized approach to migration, abandoning its human rights obligations in order to create a false sense of security. The conclusion of this study found that the increasing securitization of both climate change and the EU’s migration and asylum policies will likely have negative consequences for people displaced by climate change and seeking protection in the EU. The continual and persistent portrayal of climate-induced migration as a potential security threat has hindered the development of any effective policies to address the issue, and the EU has shown little political will to radically rethink its current migration laws, mechanisms, or governance systems. The impacts of climate change will only further contribute to the protection gaps and marginalization that migrants and asylum seekers already face, and the way forward is to continue funding scientific research that captures the complex and multi-causal nature of climate-induced migration, which will help move migration and asylum policies beyond their current securitized outlook and provide evidence-based policies that will better protect those displaced by climate change.
  • Castrén, Olli Severi Juhananpoika (2023)
    This thesis examines the role of markets in speeches made by Ministers of Finance Iiro Viinanen and Jyrki Katainen in the plenary sessions of the Finnish parliament in 1991-1994 and 2007-2010. The aim of this study is to analyse political discourses in speeches made about state budget proposals during two economic crises, the depression of the 1990s and the Global Financial Crisis. The thesis employs Bob Jessop’s Cultural Political Economy approach to view crises as moments of contestation for hegemonic discourses and ideologies, and an opportunity to examine political and social change in the age of neoliberalism through speech. Both crises were also characterised by the contestation of the relationship between Finland and the EU, first centred around accession to the EU and in particular the role of EMU convergence criteria in designing economic policy, and in the second crisis on the nature of centre-periphery relations amid the Eurozone crisis. The purpose of this research has been to uncover the way in which ministerial speeches reflect the neoliberalisation of Finland through a specific national context, which is characterised in particular by the relationship between the state and individual, the moral nature of economic decision-making, the increasing influence and power of the civil service on decision-making through the Ministry of Finance, and the gradual replacement of defence policy by economic policy as the defining factor of Finland’s independence and sovereignty. The thesis explores these concepts through the use of Theo van Leeuwen’s conceptualisation of discourse as the recontextualisation of social practices, analysing the speeches using a comparative and thematic perspective. The analysis finds that while the Ministers of Finance did not draw on discourses of legitimation by authority with regards to the Ministry of Finance, the consistent themes during both periods drew heavily on themes of absolute necessity, responsible decision-making, moralistic attitudes towards the Finnish citizen, and constructions of unity of the Finnish people. Both Ministers also referred to market forces, investor confidence, and trust as existential questions for the sovereignty of the nation and emphasised the need for permanent changes in Finland towards the direction of a neoliberalised market economy. Similarly, the Ministers appeared to draw on paternalist understandings of the state as a shepherd of its people, a guardian of a small nation against predatory international forces, and yet a reasoned disciplinarian of an irresponsible child. The study concludes that in particular the discourses on which the Ministers draw that rely on moralistic and paternalistic articulations of the relationship between the state and the individual can be seen as indicative of the national context of neoliberalisation in Finland. Furthermore, the extent to which the crises are framed as learning opportunities varies, though both Ministers consistently refer to the permanence of the changes (structural in particular) to be made to the Finnish economy, and in differing ways envision a new age in Finland, nonetheless one of credibility, responsibility, and a stable market economy. The study also offers new avenues for research, particularly for the wider debate in parliament and crisis construals therein, in addition to using the theory and the methods of this thesis to analyse other crises, perhaps non-economic in nature, such as the COVID-19 crisis. Furthermore, the thesis also suggests that further research could be conducted on the paternalistic and moralistic aspects of ministerial politics in particular.
  • Vänttinen, Johannes (2023)
    This thesis examined the role of China as a factor in the European Union’s enlargement policy towards Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. In relation to the Belt and Road Initiative, these five Western Balkan countries (WB5) have received substantial investments and other forms of financial input from China in 2013–2021. Characteristic for this is that large parts of this cooperation has been forged away from the public eye. Meanwhile, the relationship between China and the EU has turned dubious, causing the EU to increasingly “riskify” inbound Chinese investments. While the existing academic literature has highlighted the problems that these investments have caused for the region’s enlargement prospects, the extent to which the EU has responded to this phenomenon has received only slight attention. The purpose of this research has been to discover what concerns the EU has expressed over China, to analyze how these concerns are reflected in the EU’s enlargement policy towards the Western Balkans, and uncover the concrete measures through which the EU has mitigated China’s influence in the region. The results have been discussed in conjunction with the theoretical framework to provide new empirical literature on how the EU’s structural foreign policy, arguably the primary form of enlargement policy, functions in a contested setting, and how norms are diffused through the enlargement process. The research problem was addressed by employing framework analysis to an extensive body of official documents that have been produced by the European Union in 2013–2021. The analysis indicated that the EU’s concerns over China, primarily in relation to cooperation causing non-alignment with the EU’s rules, the neglect of economic and environmental sustainability and the distortive effects of state ownership and subsidies, have been reflected in the enlargement policy from 2018 onwards. After this the phenomenon has featured in multiple strategies and other official documents, albeit in an implicit fashion where China has only rarely been mentioned by name. The analysis showed that the EU has sought to re-assert its leadership by focusing especially on increased political steering and engagement, regional integration, connectivity and other infrastructure, public procurement legislation, and the environment and energy. By imposing various conditions to the fields where China-WB5 cooperation has been prevalent, the EU has achieved that the relationship has become largely subordinate to the EU-China relationship and the space for independent Chinese actions has narrowed. From a theoretical point of view, the thesis concludes that the new EU-norm – China and its investment activities constitute a potential risk – was embedded in the EU’s enlargement policy and that the EU has sought to enable the conditions through which alignment with this norm is possible. In a contested setting, the EU’s structural foreign policy appears to have placed emphasis on the structures rather than the sustainability of such. In such a context, it is a rather flexible mode of conducting foreign policy due to its adaptability to new realities. The EU’s structural foreign policy equally demonstrated an absorption capacity due to the successful combining of different objectives into coherent policies.
  • van Bruggen, Merijn Adriaan (2021)
    In the past decades, sanctions have become a vital part of the European Union’s (EU) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). To better understand decision-making within the CFSP, this work focuses on how the EU sanctions against Russia are upheld. It does so through the lens of the Netherlands and Finland, two small countries in the EU. The study concentrates on the way small countries participate in sanctions regimes, which is important due to the required unanimity for upholding sanctions. Both domestic dynamics for participating in sanctions as well as attitudes towards European cooperation are taken into account. By conducting a Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) on parliamentary debates in Finland and the Netherlands from 2016, the study compares the interests and focus of national politicians when sanctions are under discussion. The material consists of approximately 170 units of coding per country, which originate from around 15 debates throughout the year. The results offer new insight into some of the factors affecting decision-making of small states in sanctions. The data shows that the Netherlands has a stricter stance towards upholding sanctions on Russia, whereas Finnish politicians highlight the impact of sanctions on Finland. In general, both the Netherlands and Finland are in favour of upholding sanctions, but strongly differ domestically in the way they go about the sanctions. In conclusion, this study finds that small EU countries present themselves as strongly supporting EU unity when sanctions are in place. Nevertheless, these countries differ significantly in domestic preferences, meaning that they participate in sanctions regimes through different means.
  • Scicluna, Cathia Ann (2023)
    Dialogue on the definition of Europe is often dominated by geopolitical undertones. However, since the dawn of the Enlightenment era, it has been recognised that such a definition of Europe is insufficient in formulating a comprehensive meaning of Europe which encompasses the wide regional diversity which exists within the continent. This argument gained new relevance during the interwar period, where discourse on Europe as an idea that goes beyond the strict geopolitical implications of the continent, started to emerge. Select interwar studies shone a new light on the idea of Europe as they allowed for the founding of unity amidst diversity; an endeavour which cannot be considered within the geopolitical realm. Additionally, reflecting on the turmoil and crises of the interwar period, the resulting idea of Europe was said to have emerged from a major schism in intellectual trends of the time. In this regard, the formulation of Europe as an idea borne out of crisis and reinvention was perfectly demonstrated within the works of Edmund Husserl and Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi. Both authors recognised the limitations of adopting only a geopolitical definition of Europe, and thus presented their own theories on what could constitute an all-encompassing idea of Europe. Husserl determined the core of Europe to lay within abstract factors such as universalism. Coudenhove-Kalergi considered concrete politics to be a tool which can bring Europe under the main locus of tolerance. While Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi took different routes in tackling this question, their respective answers can be said to highlight the interdependence between philosophical considerations of the former and the latter’s pragmatic solutions to the idea of Europe. At first glance, the only commonality between Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi seems to be their time-period. However, the works and theories of these two authors experience a sense of complementarity; while taking on very different approaches, the respective views on idea of Europe of Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi could point to a new perspective on the topic of study. While both have their limitations, the side-by-side study of their different views on Europe allows for a unique perspective in which one makes up for the other’s shortcomings in terms of thoroughness and applicability. Such is the benefit of examining and comparing Husserl and Coudenhove-Kalergi; much like their standing on the idea of Europe, their diversity only adds to the credibility of their review.
  • Heino, Waltteri (2020)
    This thesis analyzes the digitalization policy of the Finnish government. The main attempt is to, firstly, identify the central ideas and ideologies behind the approach of the Finnish government toward societal digitalization. Secondly, the attempt is to analyze them from the perspective of the traditional ideas and ideologies of the Nordic welfare state. The underlining research question is, whether the possible approach of the Finnish government toward digitalization is compatible with the traditional ideas and ideologies of the Nordic welfare state. The method in this thesis is a combination of qualitative content analysis and historical research methods. Qualitative content analysis with a focus on an analysis of ideologies is used for analyzing primary sources. A historical perspective is used in an attempt to locate contemporary societal digitalization on a trajectory of societal transformations in post-industrial capitalist states, as well as when presenting the Nordic welfare state model. Overall, the approach of the Finnish government appears largely in line with traditional Nordic welfare state values, such as equality and inclusion. However, one of the main findings of this thesis is that the approach of the Finnish government toward digitalization is a largely apolitical and instrumentalized one. Although possible political, economic and social implications of digitalization are identified, the government appears more concerned with providing all citizens equal access to digitalization than facilitating a public discussion on the nature, form or scope of the phenomenon. While such a consensual approach may be analyzed from the perspective of the Nordic culture of conformity, one of the main arguments of this thesis is that a politicized approach to digitalization could allow for a fruitful discussion on its eventual effects on society.
  • Ahola, Ansa (2023)
    Climate policy is contentious by nature bringing forth global environmental concerns, challenging the economic structures, and emphasizing the role of humans in anthropogenic climate change. In Europe, at national levels of governance, right-wing populist and nationalist actors have been identified as climate hostile articulating skepticism of the overall issue, how it is governed, and how it impacts the people. With the rise of populism in Europe right-wing populist actors are organizing in the European Parliament (EP) where the similarities and differences in climate hostility come to play in the transnational decision-making forum. The right-wing populist and nationalist parties from the Member States of the Union are represented on a transnational level in the European Parliament by Members of Parliament in a political group called Identity and Democracy. This thesis deploys the method of post-foundational discourse analysis to analyze how the political group of Identity and Democracy uses the elements of right-wing populism in the climate policy discourse at the European Parliament. A distinct medium of communication by the political group is plenary booklets, which will be used as material in the analysis. The second aim of the research is to use the chosen method to assess the impact of the political group in the climate policy discourse. The scope of the thesis and the angle of approaching climate hostility through the political groups of the EP set the research apart from previous research. The key research outcomes show how anti-elitism, people’s sovereignty, and skepticism create patterns that consist of counter-hegemonic articulations aiming to reshape the meaning of Eurocentric climate policies. This formulates the climate policy stance of the political group. This stance is limited to only criticizing the climate action of the EU and does not offer any substantial contribution to the policy debate. However, it does manage to create an antagonism in the discourse where the climate action is juxtaposed as harmful to people and industries in the EU Member States. In conclusion, this study sheds light on how Identity and Democracy as a right-wing populist group actively shape the discourse on climate policy in the European Parliament with counter-hegemonic acts aiming to reshape the meaning of Eurocentric green growth. This thesis successfully addressed two research questions that pertain to how a single political group can influence climate policy discourse.
  • Hynynen, Lassi (2020)
    Following research attempts to find out, first, what has been the effect of European political and economic integration, in terms of the emergence and expansion of EU, to the Finnish energy industry’s public affairs management and, second, what are the explaining political, economic and other factors behind the change. The focus of research is placed upon four different aspects of change: (1) changes in the importance and magnitude of lobbying, (2) change in the functioning of policy networks, (3) change in the role of NGOs and public discussion, and (4) changes in the special characteristics of energy sector from the point of view of lobbying. In terms of the time period, the focus of research is 2010-2020 because the findings then adequately build upon the previous literature on the subject. Twelve qualitative interviews with Finnish energy elite constituted the new empirical material of the research. The interview conversations were analysed by contrasting them to the analytical framework consisting of theoretical and empirical parts. The research is going to argue that the importance and magnitude of lobbying has grown in energy sector. Finnish energy industry’s PA-management has also become more EU-oriented, systematic and proactive. Although the trade associations form the backbone for Finnish energy lobbying, there is a trend of increasing importance of individual direct lobbying and lobbying via issue-based business coalitions. The policy networks are increasingly competitive, international and flexible. Communication agencies have become important supporting actors in Finnish energy industry’s PA-operations. Environmental NGOs have gained increasingly strong foothold in the EU policy process and wide public discussion regarding sustainable development complicates energy lobbying. Overall, the policy networks of Finnish energy industry reflect signs of increasing pluralism and openness. Whereas policy networks in Finland reflect corporatist tendencies, the EU interest representation system is more pluralist, although also elitist in its nature. Each system has their advantages and disadvantages regarding access to policy process and democratic legitimacy of lobbying.
  • Syrjänen, Ella (2023)
    This thesis analyses the global role of the European Union (EU) as a crisis and conflict manager from the viewpoint of the launch of the European Peace Facility (EPF). The European integration has often been pictured as a peace project and in fact, in 2012 EU was even awarded with a Nobel Peace Prize. However, recent changes in EU’s policies pose question on whether the role of EU in international arena is changing. This thesis focuses especially on the EPF, which is EU’s new off-budget funding instrument that was officially launched in March 2021. The EPF is used to fund EU’s external actions with defence and military implications. The decision to launch EPF was a historical one because it for the first time provided the EU an opportunity for the provision of lethal military equipment, including weapons. Especially this aspect of the EPF was strongly criticised by civil society organisations before, and after, the launch the facility. The EPF is very topical, because in year 2022 the EU used the change to send weapons to support Ukraine because of the Russia’s attack. However, research on the EPF and especially on its impact on the EU’s role is so far very limited. The main idea of this thesis is to research, whether the launch of the European Peace Facility is an example of the EU’s role changing towards a more military and a less civilian role in international arena, especially in the realm of crisis management. The thesis analyses the way that the EU justifies and frames the EPF and the role conception that the EU has of itself on global arena. Besides, the thesis analyses the role expectations of other actors, more specifically civil society organisations, towards the EU and on their views on the possible impact of the EPF for the EU’s role. The theoretical and conceptual base of this thesis is role theory and the concept of civilian power since the EU has often been referred as a civilian power. From role theory especially the concepts of role conception and role expectation are relevant for this thesis. The analysis is conducted by using qualitative document analysis. The data consists of documents produced by the EU, for example press releases and a speech, and documents of NGOs, mainly joint statements, and letters of groups of NGOs. The analysis of the data shows that for the EU the creation of the European Peace Facility was part of the discourse of making the EU a stronger security actor. The EU’s role conception of its role is not merely a civilian actor or an actor focusing on soft power. However, the EU still highlights its normative values as well as conflict prevention. The role expectations that the civil society has towards the EU, however, are more in line with the traditional civilian power role conception. The civil society expects the EU to have a role of a peace actor. To conclude, the analysis shows elements of a role conflict between the role conception of the EU and the role expectations posed towards the union. The NGOS see more military instruments as a threat for the role they expect the EU to have. The EU, however, tries to balance between soft normative values and a stronger military emphasis.
  • Sultana, Tamanna (2024)
    Gender equality and human rights have been foundational values of the European Union (EU) from the beginning however, it has initiatives to integrate the Women, Peace and Security agenda at all EU levels (including local, national, regional, and international level). Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda recognizes the need for systematic inclusion of gender perspectives, women empowerment and gender equality in peace and security, specially in the EU’s external action and foreign policy. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the EU’s WPS policies and discover how efficiently the WPS agenda is implemented in EU’s Advisory Missions (EUAM). This thesis follows the qualitative case study methodology to identify whether there is any difference between policy and practice. EUAM Iraq and Ukraine were analyzed as case studies to understand the research purpose. Case studies were examined based on the information available at EUAM Iraq and Ukraine and WPS agenda conceptualization is done by assessing EU policy documents (Council Conclusion 2018, Action Plan on WPS 2019-2024). For analysis ‘women empowerment framework’ and ‘social relation approach’ are used as analytical tools. The analysis suggests women's empowerment is not only the increase of numbers but also vertical participation (equal presence in leadership, decision-making process, policy-making and in programme execution). In addition to that, lacking at structural level reproduces and institutionalizes masculinity and inequality. The research concludes that women’s participation is increasing in peace and security sector however, by positional aspect women are far behind than men because fewer women are seen in leading and managing positions. Moreover, for an effective and meaningful implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, a good synchronization between WPS policy and mission mandates is needed. From a theoretical point of view the thesis identified the EU is a gender norm leader but it promotes gender equality from certain perspectives and goals. EU advocates gender equality in external actions and foreign policy to establish an image of gender-equal actor but in practice, EU missions do not demonstrate equality in positions. Moreover, images published in EUAM Iraq and Ukraine portray EU men and women are superior to host countries' men and women. However, for effective and meaningful implementation of the WPS agenda women's empowerment needs to be at both ends so that the progression can happen equally.
  • Stuklis, Elizabeth (2021)
    Historically, Latvia has held a marginal position within the political geography of Europe. Yet, with the restoration of the state and in moving away from the Soviet Union, Latvia reorientated its national identity towards Europe and the West. In doing so, the European Union (EU) was one of the main foreign policy objectives. In the accession process to the EU, Latvia underwent a process of Europeanization, with changes at the domestic level and was placed in an inferior position to the EU. Since 2004, Latvia has further integrated into the EU, yet different geopolitical events have also created tensions between Latvia and the EU. Considering these developments, this thesis explores how Latvia has discursively constructed its national identity in relation to the EU over the last ten years. The theoretical framework of poststructuralism assumes that national identity is discursively and relationally constructed in a complex relationship to the Other. Adding to this, the concept of liminality which refers to the in-between space between the Self/Other is utilised. Through poststructuralism, foreign policy draws on national identity constructions and national identity is constructed through foreign policy. Therefore, in order to analyse Latvia’s national identity in relation to the EU, the thesis will examine the discussions on EU related topics within the annual foreign policy debate held in the Latvian parliament of the Saeima from 2011 to 2021. In examining the empirical material, the thesis utilizes Lene Hansen’s methodology of poststructuralist discourse analysis and approach of deconstructing articulations of differentiation within relational identity. In conducting the poststructuralist discourse analysis, three main findings of Latvia’s national identity construction in relation to the EU are identified. Firstly, Latvia’s national identity is on an equal level with the EU, but as shaped through its national context. Secondly, the Latvian Self is placed in an inferior position to the EU, as Latvia remains within the liminal space and becoming fully European is unreachable. Thirdly, the Latvian Self is superior to the EU, as Latvia goes beyond and against the positionings of the EU. These results indicate the historical continuity of Latvia’s liminality and how marginal actors contribute to their own ambiguous position. Latvia’s contemporary national identity is articulated as being ‘Europe but not quite Europe’, as the Self is constructed to the Other through shades of differentiation. Latvia reinforces its own liminal identity as the EU continues to define what it means to be ‘European’.
  • Heikkinen, Juulia (2021)
    Enlargement is the most important foreign policy tool of the European Union. Beyond changing the geographical borders of the Union, enlargement also concerns EU’s self-other relations, bringing to the fore the definitions of “European” space, values and norms. Recent, critical approaches to European and EU studies have called scholars to pay attention to the colonial roots of the EU, arguing that EU as an agent in the global arena and its neighbourhood cannot be understood outside or separate from colonial discourses. Drawing from this perspective as well as from the rich literature on the Europe’s historical relation to East and the current accession states in the Balkans, this thesis asks (how) is the EU’s enlargement policy postcolonial. To explore, understand and critically assess the normative assumptions that are embedded in enlargement policies, this thesis uses post-structuralist discourse theory (PDT) and the logics approach by Jason Glynos and David Howarth (2007) that offers a more specific application of the PDT in empirical analysis. The analysis approaches four most recent EU enlargement policy papers from three angles: what is taken as granted (social logic), what is challenged or institutionalized (political logic) and how the policies are argued for (fantasmatic logic). The analysis in this thesis brings the postcolonial theoretical concepts into the context of enlargement policies and demonstrates the diversity of the forms in which colonialist assumptions in enlargement policy can play out in practice. Enlargement and the EU’s relation to the Balkans emerges from the material as paradoxical and contradictory, producing ambivalence on the Western Balkan’s standing in relation to Europe through a discursive double move of simultaneous inclusion and exclusion.
  • Puhakka, Laura (2020)
    Throughout history, conflict situations have affected people differently depending on the gender. The United Nations Security Council acknowledged the problem by adopting Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security to be implemented by all member states. The aim of this thesis is to examine the country image that Finland has created of its peace mediation policy from a gender perspective during 2015-2018. This research is a qualitative content analysis. As the Finnish model of peace consists of cooperation between the government and non-governmental actors, the research material was divided into two perspectives. The first primary source was Finland’s National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs during the years of 2012-2018. The second primary source was the Finnish member profiles of the Nordic Women Mediators Network. The research followed a thematic structure of the themes Nordicness, gender mainstreaming and sustainable peace. The study shows that Finland’s country image on gender-equal peace mediation emphasises the role of women in particular. One central finding from the thematic perspective is that the Action Plans have given more importance to sustainable peace after the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was launched by the United Nations. The profiles of the Nordic Women Mediators Network emphasise versatile cooperation between peace actors and through multidisciplinary backgrounds. In addition, the Nordic Women Mediators Network bring added value to the Nordic presence of the Action Plans. All in all, the Finnish Women, Peace and Security agenda has diversified in its themes the more Action Plans have been launched. The findings of this study reflect that creating a country image is a significant part of nation-branding. The visibility of values in different contexts also reflect how the country identifies itself. Cooperating with independent actors by sharing skills not only strengthens the foreign policy but the overall image of the Finnish way in peace-making.
  • Willis, Grant (2024)
    Finnish national identity in defense policy is a concept that is often less emphasized in academic research. By utilizing the historical research method to evaluate 8 Finnish security policy documents from 2001-2022, this thesis seeks to uncover how the idea of national identity is used within the documents. There is an extensive historical background which covers wars and foreign relations of Finland to note the formation of a national identity and its variations over time. Constructivism as an approach to international relations and history in a narrative format is used as a theoretical background to investigate these issues. National identity is found to have some influence upon action taken in Finnish defence policy and can prescribe a range of options for maneuver.