Browsing by Subject "INSTITUTIONS"

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  • Nemcok, Miroslav; Wass, Hanna (2021)
    Popular consent is an essential element for success and stability of democracies. Research has repeatedly demonstrated that “electoral winners” (i.e. voters casting a ballot for government parties) are more satisfied with democracy than supporters of the opposition parties. However, little is known about the dynamics of satisfaction during the electoral cycle: Do winners become happier and losers even more discontent over time? We approach this question by utilizing an interview date in the European Social Survey (rounds 1–8) to position individuals within the different stages of electoral cycle. The results based on 199,207 responses from 199 surveys in 31 countries suggest that satisfaction with democracy stays relatively stable during the electoral cycle across various electoral systems if the political development is predictable. However, if actions of the parties are uncertain, namely the alternations of governments tend to be frequent, partial, and opened to all parties, and hence neither winners nor losers know how steady their status is with respect to the political development in the country, their satisfaction tend to fluctuate over time. Therefore, the conclusion reached is the more stable West European democracies have limited generalizability to the low-predictable systems in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Gronow, Antti; Stoddart, Mark C.J.; Broadbent, Jeffrey; Schneider, Volker; Tindall, David B. (2018)
    Why do some countries enact more ambitious climate change policies than others? Macro level economic and political structures, such as the economic weight of fossil fuel industries, play an important role in shaping these policies. So do the national science community and the national culture of science. But the process by which such macro-structural factors translate into political power and national climate change policies can be analyzed through focussing on meso level policy networks. The Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON) research project has studied climate change policy networks in twenty countries since 2007. Along with some findings, this paper presents some methodological challenges faced and the solutions developed in the course of the project. After a presentation of the project, we first outline some practical challenges related to conducting cross-national network surveys and solutions to overcome them, and present the solutions adopted during the project. We then turn to challenges related to causal explanation of the national policy differences, and propose Qualitative Comparative Analysis as one solution for combining different levels of analysis (macro and meso) and different data types (quantitative, network and qualitative).
  • von Schoultz, Åsa; Papageorgiou, Achillefs (2021)
    Under open-list proportional representation (OLPR), individual candidates compete for personal votes and representation has a distinctly individualistic dimension. This article provides a unique analysis of this individualistic representational dimension, by comparing the effects of policy positions with personal vote-earning attributes on individual electoral success within the context of the Finnish OLPR. The study confirms that personal attributes related to experience, locality and celebrity status have a strong positive effect on candidates’ ability to attract personal votes. On a more novel account, it also demonstrates that even under decidedly complex electoral settings, policy positions matter for candidates’ electoral fortunes, and that candidates who take on moderate positions within the context of their respective party are more successful than candidates who deviate from the party-median.
  • Jokela, Markus; Pekkarinen, Tuomas; Sarvimäki, Matti; Terviö, Marko; Uusitalo, Roope (2017)
    Although trends in many physical characteristics and cognitive capabilities of modern humans are well-documented, less is known about how personality traits have evolved over time. We analyze data from a standardized personality test administered to 79% of Finnish men born between 1962 and 1976 (n = 419,523) and find steady increases in personality traits that predict higher income in later life. The magnitudes of these trends are similar to the simultaneous increase in cognitive abilities, at 0.2-0.6 SD during the 15-y window. When anchored to earnings, the change in personality traits amounts to a 12% increase. Both personality and cognitive ability have consistent associations with family background, but the trends are similar across groups defined by parental income, parental education, number of siblings, and rural/ urban status. Nevertheless, much of the trends in test scores can be attributed to changes in the family background composition, namely 33% for personality and 64% for cognitive ability. These composition effects are mostly due to improvements in parents' education. We conclude that there is a "Flynn effect" for personality that mirrors the original Flynn effect for cognitive ability in magnitude and practical significance but is less driven by compositional changes in family background.
  • REFINEMENT Group; Gutierrez-Colosia, Mencia R.; Salvador-Carulla, Luis; Salinas-Pérez, J. A.; García-Alonso, C. R.; Cid, J.; Salazzari, D.; Montagni, Ilaria; Tedeschi, V.; Cetrano, G.; Chevreul, Karine; Kalseth, Jorid; Kalseth, Jorid; Hagmair, G.; Strassmayr, Christa; Park , A. L.; Sfectu, Raluca; Ala-Nikkola, Taina; González-Caballero , J. L.; Rabbi, L.; Kalseth, Birgitte; Amaddeo, Francesco (2019)
    Aims. There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems' Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project. Methods. A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (>= 18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS. Results. The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona - Italy and Girona - Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sor-Trondelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care. Conclusions. There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
  • Klein, Johannes; Juhola, Sirkku (2018)
    This qualitative study examines how administrative traditions and governance in two cities, New York City and Helsinki, have affected the interplay of public administration, the private sector, and citizens in climate change adaptation. The results show that both cities aim for an increased state-market-civil society interaction. However, their efforts have different points of departure and follow different trajectories. New York City's administration is within the Anglo-American tradition of state-market dualism, while the state-market-civil society interaction for adaptation is coordinated by newly created administrative organizations. This interaction has to be accommodated to the strong reliance on market mechanisms. Helsinki's administration has its roots in the welfare state administration with a strong role of the public administration. Increased state-market-civil society interaction results in a reduced influence of the public sector and the reliance on ad hoc projects and informal modes of cross-sectoral cooperation.
  • Eskelinen, T.; Ylönen, Matti (2020)
    The contemporary world continues to suffer from a number of social problems that are global in scope but impact the Global South disproportionately. While broad and coordinated policy responses to overcome these problems exist, such policies are not shaped solely by the political will to address the problems. On the contrary, their content largely depends on how societies in general and the social problems in particular are routinely explained and conceptualized. We refer to these as explanatory tendencies or paradigms of explanation. As complex problems always have multiple root causes with long causal chains, explanations of these causes necessarily involve some assumptions about relevant causalities. Typically, the main choice in explaining international politics relates to the extent to which social phenomena should be explained by domestic institutions, decisions and events. Social science in general has been noted to have a bias toward a "nationalist" approach to explanation [Beck, 2007; Brenner, 1999; Gore, 1993; Pogge, 2002]. This means treating the state as the primary and even sufficient object of analysis, so that problems are explained by the malfunctioning institutions and misinformed policies of states. Such explanatory biases become naturalized in everyday politics and social analysis [Amin, 2004]. While this has been widely discussed as an epistemological issue, the interplay between international organizations and explanatory tendencies has received less attention. The present article addresses this gap. We argue that explanatory tendencies and biases should not be treated exclusively as an epistemological matter. They need to be accompanied by an analysis of the role of international organizations as both influenced by an explanatory tendency and upholding it. Paradigms of explanation are reflected in the priorities and relative powers of international organizations, as their very structure can reflect particular explanatory tendencies. As an example, we will use the ascent and descent of the United Nations work on the power of multinational enterprises.