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Browsing by Subject "Q methodology"

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  • Pöllänen, Joonas (2021)
    This master’s thesis attempts to examine views on Finland’s security environment among Finnish security experts and analyse these views through the framework of critical geopolitics. Theoretically, the thesis draws both from earlier literature on perceived state security threats to Finland and the research on security-geopolitics relationship within critical geopolitics. The thesis utilizes Q methodology, a relatively little-known approach with a long history and an active userbase in social sciences. The purpose of the methodology is to study personal viewpoints, in other words, subjectivities, among a selected group of people, the participants of the study. Q methodology employs both qualitative and quantitative methods, and the result of a Q methodological research is a number of discourses, which can be further analysed. The group of participants whose views were examined consisted of nine geopolitical experts and policymakers, all of whom were civil servants of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Defence Forces. Three separate discourse were distinguished in this group, on top of which there was a consensus in some issues examined. One of the resulting discourses, which was especially widespread among participants from the Defence Forces, viewed Russia as Finland’s geopolitical Other. According to this discourse, Finland’s security would be highly dependent on this Other, even though it may not be a realistic security threat at the moment. This view is in line with a traditional geopolitical discourse in Finland. Another discourse, which was common among the participants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasized internal security threats and democracy’s role for security, while it seemingly downplayed Russia’s role. A third discourse, on the other hand, highlighted non-state security issues, such as terrorism. The consensus discourse among the group of participants viewed the European Union strongly as the primary geopolitical framework of Finland. Even though two of the three individual discourses did not highlight Russia’s role, there was an indirectly implied consensus that Finland should not seek close cooperation with Russia in important security matters, such as cybersecurity
  • Hakala, Anna (2021)
    The Master´s thesis examines the conceived value patterns the city officials use in the context of land-use regulation of small forest fragments. As a theoretical framework, the study utilises Boltanski and Thévenot´s theory on the common worlds with complementary literature, such as Thévenot’s cognitive formats and engagements. In light of extensive scientific research, urban greenspaces have multiple positive impacts to both urban structure and wellbeing of the residents. Small greenspaces, so-called forest fragments with no appointed recreational activities are, nevertheless, often presented as potential sites for infill construction. This appears especially in cities where strong population growth causes pressure for urban development. This Master´s thesis complements existing research in this regard by revealing the diversity of valuation that form the basis to differing interests, perspectives and decisions that direct urban land-use policy in these forest fragments. The empirical phase has been conducted among city officials in the City of Espoo (FI), who represent different operative units and positions. The analysis was conducted through an exploratory and semiquantitative Q methodology. In the study, the respondents (N=27) validated statements (Q=35) related to planning decisions on small forest fragments. The factor extraction was conducted by principal component analysis. The seven analysed factors form consistent value patterns, which may be used when describing and interpreting the justification of urban planning regulation in forest fragments. In each individual value pattern, either valuation of the local landscape, public good or personal advantage is emphasised. From the common worlds, argumentation based on the industrial or the market worlds highlight personal affinity, whereas, for instance, the civic or the domestic world form a basis for argumentation on social values and the common good. Human-centred biophilia is the most explanatory of the value patterns. Based on the valuation, forest fragments are seen as an integral part of the urban structure especially due to their cultural ecosystem services, such as recreational possibilities, effect on residents´ environmental consciousness and stability of the local landscape.