Browsing by Subject "Magisterprogrammet i global politik och kommunikation"

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  • Lemieux, Noemie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Different studies have assessed, in the past, the potential effects of showcasing inclusiveness of different identities in popular media. Those research often about TV series and movies, have shown the media’s potential to “participate in the construction of the imagined community, the nation, and the membership of that nation” (Nikunen, 2013, p. 307). However, too few of those studies concern video games, even though the relevance of researching that form of media is growing incessantly along with its popularity. The recent events of Gamergate and other criticism in the last years also highlighted that need. In the last years, some members of the gaming industries, touched by the awareness-raising campaigns on the potential effects of representation – or lack thereof – in video games, have attempted to improve the inclusiveness in their designs. That is the case of the Blizzard team creating the first person shooter Overwatch. Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch’s game director, has been explicit about the developers intend to send a message of “inclusiveness and open mindedness” through their game design (Kaplan, 2017), which is why the game was selected for the present research. This thesis includes theory drawn from social sciences concerning representation, visuality, and media effect. As the subject of analysis is a video game, a part of the theory comes also from the field of game research: game analysis essentials, and the notion of the transformativity of games. This basis allows a short analysis of the game Overwatch in order to evaluate partially the inclusiveness and the type of representation observable in the game. How are players reflecting on and reacting to developers’ attempt at inclusive design in the video game Overwatch? To answer the question, in-depth interviews were led with active players of the game. The participants told their first reactions to the game, then expressed their thoughts about the game’s level of inclusiveness, the necessity of that inclusiveness, and the potential effects it could have on themselves or other players. Their answers were compiled and analysed. Although the scope of this work doesn’t allow definite conclusions, it has been found that the interviews are welcoming the inclusiveness in the game Overwatch. Some of them were even to see more diverse representation added to it in the future. Most of the players are however making the distinction between Overwatch and other genre of games, saying that such inclusiveness should not be required from the developers, but encouraged; the participants give value to the developers’ creative freedom and don’t want to see it hindered by pressure from critics. Regarding the potential effects of the game’s values on the players, the participants were mostly unsure about the possibility at first. Yet, towards the end of the interview, as they became more comfortable, some of them shared personal experiences of media effect from Overwatch. Those testimonies were especially interesting as they are comparable to Bandura’s social cognitive theory, which is discussed in the thesis (Bandura, 1977; Kirsch, 2010). The results of this study invite interested researchers to investigate further in that direction.
  • Knebler, Judith (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Ever since the 1980s, political parties have used commercial marketing agencies to conduct their election campaigns. The use of these agencies resulted in what Nicholas O'Shaughnessy has coined political marketing, the marketing of a political product through commercial marketing techniques. This thesis evaluates the normative dimension of this technique, evaluating how it may impact party diversity through the case study of the past three German federal election cycles. To come to a conclusion on the normative dimensions of the utilisation of political marketing the thesis references both O'Shaughnessy's political marketing theory and Otto Kircheimer's catch all party theorem to evaluate the impact political marketing has on party representation. This thesis argues that the political marketing theory and catch all theorem intersect theoretically, making the point that political marketing can both be a symptom and cause of parties transforming into catch all parties, thus constituting a threat to democratic diversity. As its method the thesis uses an audiovisual analysis using the method of iconography. Through it analyses the audiovisual communication of German parties in the past three election cycles by looking at their election advertisement videos. This thesis concludes, through its theoretical framework, analysis of the case study and interpretation, that the advertisements show two main features of a catch all parties defined by Kircheimer: A homogenisation of stylistic means of parties not ideologically affiliated, and de- ideologisation and personification. This means that according to this thesis the German pluralistic party system turning into a system of catch all party system is exemplified and exarcebated by the utilisation of political marketing techniques, a process that is illuminated by the election advertisements of the main political parties.
  • Saul, Alana (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Cámara Castillo, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The interactive features of social media platforms facilitate communication between political institutions and citizens and are said to enhance democracy by strengthening the public sphere. On the other hand, the commercialization of social networks and fragmentation of the public, together with the current mediatization of political communication, undermine the democratic possibilities of online platforms. Nowadays, the main social media platforms are owned by large US-based corporations with economic interests that often come into conflict with the public values promoted by EU institutions. Moreover, European institutions have the challenge of being often portrayed as non-transparent and remaining underrepresented in mass media. For that matter, analyzing how EU institutions present themselves on social media is relevant to understand which values they intend to promote and how do they interact with citizens, especially young people. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze how the European Parliament and the European Commission use visual communication on Instagram to portray themselves and in which ways they use the interactive possibilities available in the Stories feature to communicate with citizens. In particular, this case study focuses on Instagram because it is a visually-centered social media platform, which allows analyzing the visual aspects of political communication fairly easily. Based on Habermas’ concept of public sphere, the analysis also considers whether democratic deliberation is part of the communication strategy of European institutions. Qualitative content analysis and thematic analysis have been used as methods to assess the images and videos published on the Instagram accounts of the European Parliament and the European Commission during a period of 30 days, between January and February 2019. The clusters of analysis presented by Russmann and Svensson (2016), including perception, image management, integration and interactivity, have been selected as the main variables to analyze the content. The results of the analysis suggest that the communication strategy of the European institutions on Instagram is rather based on one-directional and top-down communication, accordingly with the findings of previous research. The European Parliament and the European Commission mostly use Instagram to inform citizens about their policy and to promote European values, instead of engaging in democratic deliberation and strengthening political participation. Furthermore, the building of the European identity appears to be a central aspect of the communication strategy of the analyzed institutions, often together with personalization and explicit reference to users.
  • Liukkonen, Jani (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis aims at researching the recent history of the EMU and the monetary policy shift of the ECB in addition to its presidents roles in shaping the economy. This thesis will provide background information on the economic constitution of the EMU and how it has transformed over the course of Euro crisis and the years after. Additionally, the monetary policy actions of the ECB amongst Euro crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic will be studied. I argue that by transitioning to an expansionary monetary policy earlier than originally happened, some of the more severe economic impacts of the Euro crisis could have been prevented and it would not have led to a lost decade for the growth of the Eurozone. Additionally, I argue that the central bankers' implications for molding our future is enormous as it is clear that market actors react to their statements. My research questions are as follows: What problems or flaws have been identified within the EMU and how could they be improved? What are the presidents’ implications and effects on influencing the economy? Furthermore, how has the shift of the ECB monetary policy from hawks to doves happened over the years? This thesis utilizes critical discourse analysis in researching the materials, which comprise of the presidents annual hearings before the Plenary of the European Parliament, with the exclusion of the last nominated president as she has only been through one. In her case, quarterly Economic and Monetary Committee hearings will be utilized. The key findings suggest that the ECB presidents have viewed the EMU flawed and have emphasized the completion of the union as too much responsibility has been left for the ECB. The call for more fiscal capacity is repetitive for all three presidents. Furthermore, this research also suggests that the shift from hawks to doves happened because no other way was seen. Additionally, the roles of central bankers have been heightened during the recent history and it shows that they have a great influence on the economy based on the reactions by the market actors and the public.
  • Vuolle, Vesa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Market reforms in the European Union (EU) are cramped between two connected, albeit divergent forces. First, policies are contested in the multilateral EU-sphere, and later refined and adjusted in heterogeneous national implementations. Neste, an industrial company, gained a monopolistic market position to a certain renewable diesel fuel in the aftermath of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive 2 (RED II) implementation in Finland. This research aims to find out what led to this outcome. For the examination of these phenomena, this paper draws on the literature of market organization, policy implementation, and evolutionary economics, which offer us insights into market reforming in an era of marketization and climate change adaption. Also, in the course of the research text, the politically contentious nature of biofuels is unwrapped. This research aims at extending the understanding of unintended consequences of multiscalar sustainable regulations. This thesis applies an outcome explaining variant of a causal method called process tracing, which seeks to answer the question “what led to the outcome Y”. Through relevant causal process observations, this research is built into a context-specific and multifactor study. The data used here consists of secondary sources, including parliamentary reports, and the results of a stakeholder hearing that was organized around the directive implementation in Finland in 2018. Throughout the research, relevant counterfactual conditional questions are presented in light of the causal process. Asking these if-questions highlights the deliberative and political nature of the instalment of the RED II. The analysis shows that Finland’s commitment to the United Nations Paris Climate Agreement goals through the RED II is the likeliest cause for the resulting monopoly. However, we cannot fully exclude the 
Finnish parliament’s implicit motivation for monopoly-creation, but it is unlikely. The research also considers Neste’s successful entrepreneurial innovation activity as a contributing, although not an explaining factor. The study concludes that the outcome in question was an unintended, but not inevitable consequence of a sustainability directive implementation.
  • Bellomo, Octavio Augusto (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Baglan, Nazli Busra (Helsingin yliopisto, 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 (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Mustakallio, Vili (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study examines the climate responsibility, a sub-category of corporate social responsibility (CSR), of two oil companies, ExxonMobil and Shell. The study is a comparative case study of the climate responsibilities of two private oil companies, that makes use of academic literature and recent primary sources of the case companies, such as sustainability reports and statements. The study has a theoretical emphasis, and at first, it discusses the theoretical debates involving CSR. The separation of ownership and control in corporations that occurred in the early 20th century enriched the later discussion about the contradictions between capitalism and CSR, which was emerging slowly. From the 1970s, the practice of CSR became more familiar, and for instance, the orthodox liberal viewpoint became more positive about it: It was possible to combine profit-maximizing and CSR. Later, in the 21st century, governance studies gave a new perspective on interdisciplinary CSR studies. The study shows that climate responsibility might differ extensively between two same-sized oil companies. ExxonMobil’s climate responsibility has changed in the past twenty years: First, the company doubted whether climate change was true. Later, it admitted that it is a fact, and the company has committed to the Paris Climate Agreement. However, it commits to greenwashing regarding finding solutions. The company emphasizes its expertise and authority and is against government climate regulation. For ExxonMobil, the responsibility remains on the level of talk. It is not attempting to withdraw from oil. Shell’s climate responsibility, however, materializes in practice, too, even though the company has committed to greenwashing in the past. Shell has invested substantially in renewable energy sources and states that it aims to transform its business model to correspond with ambitious climate objectives. Further, contrary to ExxonMobil, Shell relies on a climate scenario, which follows an estimate that global warming from the pre-industrial era will not exceed 2°C. The study underlines that instrumental factors can explain the forms of corporate climate responsibility. However, the study does not exclude institutional, relational, nor philanthropic reasons for climate responsibility. This study discusses broad instrumentalism, which includes profit-maximizing and pursuit of corporate power. Profit-maximizing explains the form of climate responsibility that both companies practice. ExxonMobil’s climate responsibility speech is explained by maintaining a reputation and advertising matters, that is, short-term profits. However, its climate responsibility in practice remains modest, even irresponsible: The company is not withdrawing from oil nor investing in renewable energy sources. That is because, whereas the new oil resources are becoming harder and harder to exploit, ExxonMobil has relatively large oil resources compared with other oil companies. In turn, Shell’s climate responsibility is explained, especially by the long-term profits. Shell has relatively low oil reserves. Thus, it prepares for future regulation and positions as a progressive actor regarding energy transition to maximize profits in the 22nd century. Also, the case companies differ in the way they pursue corporate power. In the case of ExxonMobil, its climate responsibility speech is an attempt to pursuit corporate power against government regulation and to obtain autonomy. On the other hand, in climate issues, Shell highlights cooperation with the government and other stakeholders instead of self-regulation through its CSR. In the end, the thesis discusses the implications of the results to a broader question of global climate governance. When sustainability has become a growing business, and there are challenges in global climate governance, it is important to recognize the limits of climate responsibility, and more broadly, the limits of corporate social responsibility as a long-term solution. However, in the short term, the climate efforts of corporations are necessary to fill the regulatory gaps of global climate governance.
  • Moreno Ramírez, Francisco (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    As in many countries, education in Chile has been a huge problem for authorities and researchers. Over time, there have been many attempts to improve quality, but with little to no success. It is difficult to find the main reason why Chilean education faces many problems. One reason could be the way teachers understand the policy instruments; the national curriculum, and how clear it is. However, it also could be related to the way of using skills related to communication in general, and teacher-student interaction in particular. My assumption is they have been ignored or under considered as part of the teaching process. Some experts have recognized the relevance of communication and teacher- student interaction, because of the significance of reciprocity. It has a very crucial role for effective teaching and learning to take place (Arthur, Gordon, & Butterfield, 2003). This is an in-depth research into both systems of education, a comparative and qualitative investigation that aim to analyse guidelines for teachers and principals. This research will collect data through the analysis of both national curriculums, to see how these terms are mentioned and described in them as part of the guidelines of every taught subject, and how many of these teaching methods include teacher-student interaction. For this reason, the purpose of my thesis is to analyse how the elements of communication and teacher-student interaction are presented in the official curriculums of Chile and Finland. Although the analysis of documents is the main source of data, this investigation considers also the observation to understand the dynamics in the classroom, despite being only an illustration.
  • Nikarmaa, Pilvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Smolander, Miro (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Kasi, Marianna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Intelligence agencies have become a significant element of security in contemporary societies. While new, more expansive intelligence methods have been utilised to contain potential security threats, national intelligence cultures have been challenged by more democratic understandings of intelligence and security on a societal level. As part of this transformation, intelligence agencies have encountered growing demands in the public sphere to strengthen their transparency and accountability. In this process, news media have a special role as an arena and an intelligence stakeholder to promote the democratisation of intelligence. The aim of this thesis is to study the democratisation of intelligence by analysing the shaping of national intelligence culture in news media discourses that covered the intelligence reform in Finland. Its theoretical framework is anchored to the concept of national intelligence culture and intelligence stakeholder theory which are linked to security and human security intelligence paradigms. The theoretical framework is complemented with Hallin’s theory on news media coverage in the spheres of consensus, legitimate controversy, and deviance to study how the news media discourses regarding Finnish intelligence reform have shaped the national intelligence culture in Finland. The qualitative case study is based on a data set of 216 online news articles published between August 2015 and June 2019 in a national news media outlet Helsingin Sanomat. The news content is analysed using qualitative content analysis and Fairclough’s approach to critical discourse analysis. The results of this study imply that the intelligence stakeholders represented in news media discourses can agree on the foundations of Finnish national intelligence culture. The study findings indicate that in the sphere of consensus, the stakeholders agreed on the necessity of intelligence reform, the existence of new threats in the security environment and the stagnant development of Finland’s intelligence powers compared to its Western counterparts. However, in the sphere of legitimate controversy, several intelligence stakeholders including news media considered constitutional rights more important than national security interests, demanded more transparency and accountability in intelligence operations and challenged the public trust in the legislative process. Finally, the findings in the sphere of deviance revealed that significant stakeholders, such as citizens, civil society organisations and businesses, were excluded from the news media discourses. Thus, the results indicated that the stakeholders who were strongly represented in the news media have been able to significantly influence the discourses on the purpose and future of intelligence in Finland.
  • Tamakoshi, Mio (Helsingin yliopisto, 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 (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Marjomaa, Anni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis aims at developing plausible visions of future for the eurozone, based on a literature review and scenario methodology. The starting point of the analysis is the global financial crisis of 2008, which turned into a European balance-of-payment crisis in 2010. In the early 2020, COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a new crisis for the eurozone. The survival of the euro seems more uncertain than ever before. Thus, it is a timely effort to explore the various theories of the root causes for the troubles of the eurozone. The research question of the thesis is the following. Utilizing scenario methodology, what kind of plausible futures can be envisioned for the eurozone? Is there a viable future for the EMU or is it doomed to fail due to its alleged flaws? What are the conditions in which the eurozone can prosper and the euro to become a well-functioning common currency? The hypothesis is that the future of the eurozone is extremely uncertain without significant social and fiscal reforms. To tackle these questions, various theories and perspectives on the problems of the euro are reviewed. Despite the different views, there seems to be a consensus regarding the fact that the euro has failed in terms of the main objectives of the common currency, namely bringing prosperity and stability through economic integration and accelerating political integration. Quite the contrary, it has worsened the standards of living and created instability and deep political fragmentation across Europe. The thesis utilizes scenario methodology as it is particularly suitable method for examining uncertain contexts. The scenarios are based on a literature review, which is further analysed from the author’s perspective and developed into plausible scenarios for the future. It is argued that scenario methodology is a fruitful way to conceptualize uncertain future and potential shocks it may hold, while producing novel academic insights and interesting research. The scenario-building exercise demonstrates how the different theories and views on how the EMU should be governed and reformed may play out in practice. Each scenario reflects certain school of thought that entails specific elements of reform and governing principles for the EMU. The paper demonstrates that there are conditions in which the euro can survive and even prosper. On the other hand, there are conditions in which the euro is doomed to fail due to its design flaws and lack of social integration within the eurozone. The scenarios in which the EMU prospers include aspects of social integration and banking integration. Vice versa, the scenarios in which the EMU cannot survive are characterized by lack of social and banking integration. The key finding is that for the euro to survive, social integration in Europe must deepen. In other words, any meaningful reform in the eurozone structure requires increased solidarity within the union. There is a growing consensus between leading economists that the most important structural reform would be some level of debt mutualization and restructuring. The second conclusion is the importance of banking integration, which would enhance financial stability in the eurozone through common standards and harmonize the banking regulation between the member states. Banking integration also requires deepening solidarity in the EMU, so it cannot fully realize before social integration moves forward.
  • Ligi, Mirjam (Helsingin yliopisto, 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 (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Kupiainen, Susanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this thesis is to examine the Finnish state monopolies, Alko and Veikkaus, as hybrid organizations from an institutional plurality viewpoint, since their duty is to decrease the consumption-related harm of their products. Hybrid organizations have existed for long, but societal changes have induced an increase in institutional pluralism. Hybrid organizations have not been studied very thoroughly despite a recent growing interest. State-owned organizations have been examined from a hybridity viewpoint specifically regarding mixed ownership, but constitutional monopoly research is scarce. Research questions inspect what kinds of pluralistic tensions Alko and Veikkaus face, and how the organizations cope with them. Data collection first included background interviews for confirming relevant research themes. One interview was conducted in each company, with employees whose position includes stakeholder contact. Next, annual reports and responsibility reports for 2015 and 2017-2019 were retrieved from the companies’ websites, and processed with qualitative content analysis, which utilized themes identified in both previous research and background interviews. Results showed that the monopolies faced distinct tensions due to different operating environments. The organizations used different coping mechanisms, which is partly due to differences in the core products. Veikkaus’ mechanisms slightly favored responsibilization and decoupling, while Alko benefitted from a strong organizational identity and collaboration with other organizations. This thesis identifies some specific challenges and tensions related to the monopolies in industries of addictive products and contributes to the understanding of coping mechanisms in hybrid organizations.