Browsing by Subject "5171 Political Science"

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  • Lehtinen, Mattias; Brunila, Tuukka (2021)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has made relevant questions regarding the limits and the justifications of sovereign power as nation states utilize high degrees of power over populations in their strategies of countering the virus. In our article, we analyze a particularly important facet of the strategy of sovereignty in managing the affects caused by a pandemic, which we term the ontology of war. We analyze the way in which war plays a significant role in the political ontology of our societies, through its aiming to produce a unified political subject and an external enemy. Taking our theoretical cue from Butler’s thinking on frames of recognizability we extend her theory through augmenting it with affect theory to argue for how the frame of recognizability produced by the ontology of war fails to guide our understanding of the pandemic as a political problem, a failure that we analyze through looking at the affective register. We argue that the main affect that the nation state tries to manage, in relation to the pandemic, through the ontology of war is anxiety. We show that the nation state tries to alleviate anxiety by framing it through the ontology war, this leads to the appearance of a potentially racist and nationalist affective climate where the “enemy” is no longer felt to be the virus, but members of other nations as well as minorities. We argue that the pandemic reveals both the political ontology of war central to the foundation of our political communities, and how this ontology is used by the nation state to manage feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Ultimately, as we will discuss at the end of this article, this leads to failure.
  • Welsh, John W (2021)
    The bulk of research on academic rankings is policy-oriented, preoccupied with 'best practices', and seems incapable of transcending the normative discourse of 'governance'. To understand, engage, and properly critique the operation of power in academic rankings, the rankings discourse needs to escape the gravity of 'police science' and embrace a properly political science of ranking. More specifically, the article identifies three pillars of the extant research from which a departure would be critically fruitful - positivism, managerialism, institutionalism - and then goes on to outline three aspects of rankings that a critical political analysis should explore, integrate, and develop into future research from the discourses of critical theory - arkhe, dispositif, and dialectik.
  • Nemcok, Miroslav (2019)
    Parties can not only actively adjust the electoral rules to reach more favourable outcomes, as is most often recognized in political science, but they also passively create an environment that systematically influences electoral competition. This link is theorized and included in the wider framework capturing the mutual dependence of electoral systems and party systems. The impact of passive influence is successfully tested on one out of two factors closely related to party systems: choice set size (i.e., number of options provided to voters) and degree of ideological polarization. The research utilizes established datasets (i.e., Constituency-Level Elections Archive, Party System Polarization Index, Chapel Hill Expert Survey, and Manifesto Project Database) and via regression analysis with clustered robust standard errors concludes that the choice set size constitutes an attribute with passive influence over electoral systems. Thus, it must be reflected when outcomes of electoral systems are estimated or compared across various contexts.
  • Kekkonen, Arto; Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas (2021)
    Research has suggested that affective polarization (AP)—the extent to which partisans view each other as a disliked out-group—has increased, especially in two-party political systems such as in the US. The understanding of AP in multiparty systems remains limited. We study AP in Finland, characterized by a strong multiparty system and a low level of ideological polarization, between 2007 and 2019. We find that AP has increased, driven mainly by voters evaluating their least favorite party more negatively. We also propose an approach that goes beyond earlier literature, which has mostly used a single aggregate metric to measure AP. Using latent profile analysis, we find that voters are grouped into blocs that view some parties positively and others negatively. This suggests that the complex dynamics of AP in multiparty democracies involve relationships between not just individual parties but between what we call affective blocs that span across party lines.
  • Ollinaho, Ossi; Kröger, Markus (2021)
    This article canvasses the current definitions and framings of “agroforestry” in different academic literature and policies. Three key framings of “agroforestry” are identified in the scholarship and explored for their differences. The findings suggest that the distinct schools of research on “agroforestry” focus on distinct points of departure, and these baseline situations from which transitions to what is called “agroforestry” occur vary in distinct ways from monoculture plantations to primary forests. Political-economic analysis is used to scrutinize three key “agroforestry” transition categories: agroecological, agribusiness, and forest degradation, which the article identifies as agroecoforestry (the good), agrobizforestry (the bad), and agrodeforestry (the ugly) transitions, respectively. Examples of each type are provided based on field research in Brazil, and the results are put into a global perspective. The categories are helpful in identifying the “agroforestry” transitions that are currently marketed as good solutions but might also have negative impacts and in highlighting the agroecological agroforestry transitions that would help simultaneously increase global food production, adapt to and mitigate the climate crisis, and achieve equity and social justice.
  • Wijermars, Marielle (Routledge, 2018)
    Studies in Contemporary Russia
  • Rapeli, Lauri; Mattila, Vesa Mikko; Papageorgiou, Achillefs (2020)
    Turnout and party choice are widely held to be habitual, but little attention has been paid to factors that disrupt the pattern. Good health is an important determinant of political behaviour and a key component in the quality of life. Based on the developmental theory of turnout, we hypothesize that declining health lowers voting propensity over the life course. We employ issue ownership theory to assume that declining health increases the likelihood of voting for leftist parties. Using the British Household Panel Survey data, we show how deteriorating health significantly lowers the propensity to vote, but if a person in poor health votes, she is more likely to support Labour than the Conservatives. As expected by the developmental theory, major life events, such as declining health, affect voting propensity. Results also support issue ownership theory: declining health increases Labour voting which implies that British voters turn to the party that owns the health issue when the issue becomes salient.
  • Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Gronow, Antti; Karimo, Aasa; Goodman, James; da Rimini, Francesca (2020)
    The Treadmill of Production Theory (TPT) argues that in advanced capitalist societies, business organizations, trade unions, and state actors form a constellation that prioritizes economic growth over environmental concerns. We combine this perspective with the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) and use methods of social network analysis, survey data on key organizations in Finland and Australia, and in-depth interviews to map the policy network structures that resist low carbon transitions, and identify potential for change in these structures. We find that a coalition of economic, labor, and governmental organizations resists a low carbon transition in both countries. However, we also find several possible avenues of incremental change through changes in the network structures and the beliefs held by actors in the networks. Theoretically, this suggests that the TPT is correct in its diagnosis of the current situation, but the ACF may be a more fruitful perspective for identifying potential for change.
  • Pääkkönen, Juho; Nelimarkka, Matti; Haapoja, Jesse; Lampinen, Airi (ACM, 2020)
    Scholarship on algorithms has drawn on the analogy between algorithmic systems and bureaucracies to diagnose shortcomings in algorithmic decision-making. We extend the analogy further by drawing on Michel Crozier’s theory of bureaucratic organizations to analyze the relationship between algorithmic and human decision-making power. We present algorithms as analogous to impartial bureaucratic rules for controlling action, and argue that discretionary decision-making power in algorithmic systems accumulates at locations where uncertainty about the operation of algorithms persists. This key point of our essay connects with Alkhatib and Bernstein’s theory of ’street-level algorithms’, and highlights that the role of human discretion in algorithmic systems is to accommodate uncertain situations which inflexible algorithms cannot handle. We conclude by discussing how the analysis and design of algorithmic systems could seek to identify and cultivate important sources of uncertainty, to enable the human discretionary work that enhances systemic resilience in the face of algorithmic errors.
  • Kortti, Jukka Petteri; Lounasmeri, Lotta Inari (2020)
    This article examines political campaign films from the point of view of propaganda to explore how this idea fits into the context of a democratic Nordic nation. During the Cold War, Finland was governed by Urho Kekkonen as President for 25 years (1956–81). The authors look at Kekkonen’s campaign films to see how his public image was meticulously planned and systematically shaped to create an almost mythical figure. The political and media context in which these films were presented is also analysed to understand how Eastern and Western influences affected the content and style of persuasion in the films. As a result, they find a bricolage of propagandistic influences from both sides of the Iron Curtain.
  • Wagner, Paul; Ylä-Anttila, Matti Tuomas (2020)
    Research has repeatedly shown that individuals and organisations tend to obtain information from others whose beliefs are similar to their own, forming “echo chambers” with their network ties. Echo chambers are potentially harmful for evidence-based policymaking as they can hinder policy learning and consensus building. Policy forums could help alleviate the effects of echo chambers if organisations with different views were to participate and to use the opportunities that forums provide to learn from those outside their networks. Applying exponential random graph models on survey data of the Irish climate change policy network, we find that policy actors do indeed tend to obtain policy advice from those whose beliefs are similar to their own. We also find that actors tend not to obtain policy advice from the those that they encounter at policy forums, suggesting forums are not enabling policy learning.
  • Önnudóttir, Eva H.; von Schoultz, Åsa (Routledge, 2020)
    Routledge Research on Social and Political Elites
  • Matschoss, Kaisa; Fahy, Frances; Rau, Henrike; Backhaus, Julia; Goggins, Gary; Grealis, Eoin; Heiskanen, Eva; Kajoskoski, Tuija; Laakso, Senja; Apajalahti, Eeva-Lotta; Genus, Audley; Godin, Laurence; Iskandarova, Marfuga; Musch, Annika-Kathrin; Sahakian, Marlyne; Scholl, Christian; Vadovics, Edina; Vasseur, Veronique (2021)
  • Kopra, Sanna; Hurri, Karoliina; Kauppila, Liisa; Stepien, Adam; Yamineva, Yulia (Brill, 2020)
  • Söderlund, Peter; von Schoultz, Åsa; Papageorgiou, Achillefs (2021)
    Many studies show that the order of candidates’ names on the ballot has an effect on voting. Less informed and indifferent voters may simplify the voting process by using the ballot position of candidates as a voting cue. By studying six parliamentary elections in Finland, this study first demonstrates that the relationship between ballot position and preference votes follows a reversed J-shaped curve. Candidates listed early on the ballot win the most preference votes, while candidates listed near the end have an advantage over those listed in the middle. Furthermore, the ballot position effect grows stronger with the complexity of the electoral environment. The ballot position effect increases as the number of candidates on the party list increases, the candidates-to-seats ratio increases and the number of incumbents on the list decreases.
  • Adebayo, Gabriel O (2021)
    Research on counter-radicalization policies and policing in education in Europe is currently patchy and often focused on the United Kingdom. Scholars have observed that counter-radicalization policing in education is a threat to human freedom, human rights and dignity, and safe learning environments. However, scholars generally have not examined this issue from the viewpoint of human security. This paper examines the policing policy matter from the perspective of the personal security form of human security. The concern is that such a policing policy-related threat is antithetical to the concept of human security promoted by the United Nations (UN) and which the European Union (EU) and some European states had adopted. The study aims to find out how the current educational counter-radicalization initiatives and their effects could be used to argue for human security in Europe. The goal is to see how we can learn from past mistakes and improve future directions. The primary data are sourced from selected national, EU and UN policy documents, and a national media report. This work employs descriptive discourse analysis to analyse its data. The findings reveal that the present educational counterradicalization policies of selected cases are grossly and/or explicitly deficient in the principles and language of human security. This has a negative impact on our understanding of the counter-radicalization policy effects in Europe. The study shows that the counter-radicalization strategy could trigger insecurity and negative security-oriented education for citizenship than we previously acknowledged in the literature. This piece suggests that the adverse consequences and tendencies could have been prevented had the appropriate human security elements been used in formulating and promoting the policy/strategy.
  • T. Magalhães, Pedro (2021)
    As a political technology, camps materialize the ominous potential of modern democracy understood as sovereign power. Indeed, although one usually associates the massive projects of segregation, reeducation and extermination carried out in and through camps to the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century, the more puzzling truth is that the reasoning justifying them is not incompatible with the concept of popular sovereignty. The popular collective subject in whose name divine-right monarchs were deposed, and whose constituent power brought forth new, more egalitarian political institutions, can also turn out to be a force that closes in on itself and fosters a quest for transparent, homogeneous identity that does not shy away from employing the most ruthless coercive means. In this paper, I turn to Claude Lefort’s concept of indeterminacy as an alternative reading of the modern democratic endeavour that preserves a self-critical awareness of democracy’s ominous side. My contention is that Lefort’s concept proves to be fruitful in two ways. On the one hand, it allows us to grasp why the camp – and, for that matter, the populist strongman – is an ever-present possibility of democratic politics. On the other hand, and most importantly, it equips us with the tools to challenge these sovereigntist drifts from a specifically democratic perspective.