Browsing by Subject "Master's Programme in European and Nordic Studies"

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  • Sarmela, Saana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The purpose of this thesis is to study discourses in sexuality education in Polish schools 2009-2016. Polish sexuality education is an abstinence-based education influenced by Poland's Catholic Church and its moral views as it is holding an influential position due to constitutional alliance with the state of Poland. In 2012 the Catholic Church launched the so-called “anti-gender” campaign in which gender was considered a threat to traditional family values and a source of perversion. Conservatives frequently propagated the dangers of gender towards children to parents as presented as a threat to the Polish nation. This study examines why gender stereotypes, homophobia, and disinformation are promoted, and secondly, how the anti-gender campaign has impacted Polish sexuality education. The theoretical framework consists of central conceptions and Foucault's theory on biopower, according to which sexuality can be regulated and used as power strategies. This study is a qualitative study, as the research material consists of texts, documents, and media articles. The methodology for this study consists of content analysis, specifically data-driven content analysis, and critical discourse analysis, to evaluate observations from the data. The power strategies of biopower strongly supported my analysis and created a theoretical entity. Critical discourse analysis has been used as a background method to reveal power asymmetries from the research data. The results of this study were on a practical level that the sexuality education classes were poorly organized as it is treated as a secondary subject. Many of the teachers were incompetent to teach sexuality education who intentionally or unintentionally shared their personal views with the students. Some teachers were priests whose worldview was religious, promoting Catholic views in the classes. On a societal level, sexuality education was impacted by the Catholic Church, whose influence on educational policy was significant with the purpose of maintaining traditional social order and gender roles. Nonetheless, gender inequalities and negative attitudes towards sexual minorities exist in many Polish society domains, affecting the moral atmosphere and the teaching of sexuality education within the lack of will of conducting a proper curriculum. The anti-gender campaign affected sexuality education by making the concept of teaching gender in schools challenging or even impossible. Negative attitudes towards sexuality education increased in fear of gender making Polish children sexual and therefore endangering Polish future and values. The weaknesses of democracy and women's and LGBTQ+ movements, the Church's exceptional influence on society, and the strength of nationalist movements were all enablers of the anti-gender campaign.
  • Joyee, Nabila Jahan (Helsingin yliopisto, 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 (Helsingin yliopisto, 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 (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • van Bruggen, Merijn Adriaan (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Heino, Waltteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Stuklis, Elizabeth (Helsingin yliopisto, 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’.
  • Hynynen, Lassi (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Heikkinen, Juulia (Helsingin yliopisto, 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 (Helsingin yliopisto, 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.
  • Eestilä, Sari Tuuli Kristiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    In recent years, loneliness has been talked about in the media relatively often. There are multiple studies about harmfulness of loneliness for one's health and safety both nationally and internationally. The aim of this master's thesis is to find out how the loneliness discourse has changed in the Finnish parliamentary discussions and why. The main research questions are: How often has loneliness been brought up between the years 1980 and 2019 in the Finnish governmental documents and which actor groups and themes can be identified in the discussion. In addition, the thesis will look at by whom have the actor groups and themes been brought up. The data of this thesis are governmental documents: governmental proposals, expert opinions and debate initiatives. The used methods are both quantitative and qualitative. In the first part, the data is analyzed using quantitative content analysis, more specifically categorization. By processing the data this way, one gets an answer to the first two research questions: how often has loneliness been brought up and which actor groups and themes can be identified in the discussion. In the second part of the thesis, the findings are analyzed using narrative analysis as a qualitative method. This reveals what kind of narratives are linked to findings and in which context and by whom they have been brought up. In the third part of the thesis, there is a brief review on the wider Finnish (socio)political environment and how it might have affected the results. The most important findings in this thesis are that the loneliness discussion has increased and peaked only in the 2010s. The most often mentioned group is child loneliness. Loneliness as a subjective feeling is relatively new topic in the parliamentary discussions. It started to emerge only in the 2000s and peaked after 2015. In the 2000s, organizations used the prevention of loneliness as an argument to get funding or to justify the importance of their work. This proves that in the 2000s loneliness had become something that is considered harmful. Security is a new viewpoint in the loneliness discussion: in 2010s it has started to emerge in the media as a security problem, partly because of school shootings and radical lone operators. In the 2020, the Finnish Security and Intelligence Service (Supo) mentions that lone operators are among the biggest security threats in Finland. While the demands towards the state has increased, loneliness in the Parliament has always been talked about through something else, or as a "side effect" of another problem.
  • Lee, Arim (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In 2017, the trend of declining birth rates arose as a problem in Finland in comparison to the 1868 Great Famine, as the recent number of live births was decreasing closer to that of the Famine. To correspond to that, family policy was paid attention to as a solution in the Finnish Parliament. The term, child-friendliness, was prevalently used to describe the goal of the family policy reform, which implies that the focus of justification for family policy would move from women-friendliness. It was an intriguing phenomenon to observe given the historical reputation of the Finnish family policy as a women-friendly policy. Motivated by the social phenomenon and following discussions on it, the thesis aims to study different discourses on birth rate and family policy in the Finnish Parliament in 2017 and 2018. The second objective of the thesis is to interpret explicit or implicit gendered implication of the discourses used to problematize birth rates and politicize family policy. To build a contextual foundation, the thesis explores the history of development of the Finnish family policy since the 1970s with reference to the concept of defamilization and refamilization. Also, it elaborates theories and concepts regarding family and family policy and familism in relation to gender. This thesis utilizes feminist critical discourse analysis with the three-dimensional framework of Norman Fairclough on data collected from the database of the Parliament. The data set includes 20 columns from 19 parliamentary minutes recorded in a form of text. The three-dimensional framework enables to examine discourses as text, discursive practice and social practice. The feminist critical discourse analysis helps to discover how gender relations are (re)produced, resisted and transformed in discourses from an overtly gender-sensitive perspective. Based on findings of the thesis, it appears that the justification of gender equality has not been replaced yet by the frame of child-friendliness. Nonetheless, the frame entails normative power to blind the women’s issues related to family policy. With the development of gender sensitivity, the gender issue has become more inclusive, but it is still limited to the hegemonic norms of heterosexuality. Also, the political goal of gender-equal parenthood confronts a threat of backlash that maintains the traditional gender norms in caring and resists gendering the issue of family policy.
  • Mut-Tracy, Senni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Integration in the field of defence and security policy was long regarded unlikely by integration theorists, but the European Union’s competences in the policy area have gradually expanded. The recent launch of the European Defence Fund (EDF) illustrates an ambitious supranational policy being put forward under the Commission’s political leadership. This study investigates why Member States decided to accept the proposal for establishing the EDF and transfer sovereign powers to a supranational institution. To understand their decision, I analyze the negotiations and decision-making process from the perspective of three different Member States: Germany, Greece, and Sweden. This thesis provides an empirical contribution to the study of EU defence–industrial integration and follows a limited number of studies in addressing the question of why such integration is welcomed by Member States. Prior research has suggested that economic gains were the primary motive for accepting the EDF’s precursor program ─ the Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR) ─ and building on these findings, I explore whether cost-benefit calculations also led Member States to accept the EDF. The explanatory power of another logic of political action will also be considered, namely that of rule following. This perspective allows for analyzing the significance of the institutional context and rules guiding appropriate behavior. In order to build a case study tracing the decision-making process, I gathered data through semi-structured interviews with government officials involved in the process and researchers familiar with national negotiating positions. Additional material used for this study includes Council meeting documents related to the EDF, European Council conclusions, Commission press releases and communications, as well as other official statements on the EDF. The case study shows that all the studied countries entered the negotiations with different expectations and that their motives for accepting the EDF differed. A key finding of this study is that Member States did not collectively accept the EDF proposal because of an expected economic benefit. In comparison with the PADR, which Member States perceived as ‘extra funding’ given that the funding came from both unallocated and reallocated funds in the EU budget, the EDF’s funding was separately negotiated in connection with the MFF for 2021-27. Economic motives did inarguably constitute an important reason for many countries including Greece and Germany, but economic rationality cannot explain why Sweden decided to accept the initiative despite the possibility that it could create a 'gap' in the state budget. Sweden’s vote in favor of the EDF can rather be explained through its adherence to community norms and self-identification as a pro-European country supportive of joint research efforts. These findings are significant because they point to a need to expand our understanding of the reasons for why Member States support integration in the policy area.
  • Oreschnikoff, Aleksis (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The European Union’s (EU) approach towards the Arctic has been labeled incoherent and its actorness in regional governance has been deemed limited. The Arctic Ocean is governed in an institutional complex where global and regional processes intertwine. Institutional interplay that occurs between different levels and across sectors contributes to Arctic maritime governance. Influencing these interactions can provide an avenue to governance, even for an actor beyond the region. This research provides empirical evidence on EU’s aims and ambitions regarding the maritime Arctic, while contributing to the theoretical and methodological development of systematic investigations in complex, interactive governance. This study looks at the discourse and practices through which the EU builds its governing actorness. Using a mix of qualitative data from public documents and statements, interviews and observations, the study uses a multi-method, multiperspectival approach to explore the various dimensions relevant to EU’s actorness. Both discourse and content analytical techniques are used to examine the storylines, actors, policy contexts and strategic practices that enable to discuss actorness in terms of interactive governance. The study finds that the EU builds an image for the future of the Arctic marked by uncertainty and connectivity. Increased knowledge, on the one hand, and enhanced interactions between relevant entities, on the other, are considered crucial to approaching such a future. Necessary actions, however, largely depend on the skillful individuals nested within appropriate institutional contexts. EU’s actorness in Arctic maritime governance is characterized by network-building and entrepreneurial individuals. It remains unclear, however, whether network-actorness or policy entrepreneurs effectively influence the governance arrangement. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the EU and the Arctic Council perform similar governance tasks. Therefore, further mixed-method research focusing on the interplay between the EU and the Arctic Council is essential to understand governance developments in the European part of the Arctic Ocean. Examining causal linkages between entrepreneurial network-building and governance outcomes is also considered relevant for future research.
  • Mantell, Gabrielle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Social media was initially viewed as a democratising force that allowed anyone to participate in political discourse, however in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of state-sponsored cyber troops using these technologies to spread disinformation and computational propaganda with the intent to influence the behaviour and opinions of individuals, sow chaos and confusion and undermine social cohesion. In recent years, Russia has emerged as the global leader in developing and deploying these tactics against foreign nations, conducting operations on an industrial scale through what are colloquially termed ‘troll factories,’ the most famous of which is the Internet Research Agency (IRA). This study examines images produced by Twitter accounts attributed to the IRA and the corresponding account-level metadata, in order to understand how cyber troops are using Twitter to propagate memetic content and in what ways tactics differ based upon Russian strategic culture. This study also looks at how a nation’s perceived geopolitical position can be interpreted through analysing the output of state-sponsored digital actors. Key to the success of these tactics is the dissemination of weaponised information that spreads ‘virally’ from person to person. For this reason, memetics is employed as a theoretical framework. Strategic culture is also used as an analytical tool to interpret the objectives behind Russian cyber troop activity. The research design of this study comprises three phases. First, images that occur in the dataset 5 or more times are computationally clustered, producing 1,346 clusters of visually similar images, representing 11,742 images in total. Qualitative Content Analysis is then used to create a coding framework which categorises the content of each cluster, capturing three primary dimensions: mode of delivery, type of message and country of focus. Finally, account-level metadata is analysed to determine key account characteristics, providing insight into five factors: location, account lifespan (age), language, activity and originality. Each of these factors is then cross tabulated with five regions: Russia, Post-Soviet, Europe, USA and Rest of World. The findings of this study indicate that IRA actors have pursued a multidirectional strategy based upon Russian strategic culture, in which highly political information is distributed to target audiences primarily in Russia, USA, Europe and Ukraine. The type of information spread is predominantly photographic in nature. Images of public figures and other types of political imagery frequently occur in the dataset, as do images that reinforce an insider/outsider dichotomy. Neutral images are also strategically utilised to construct Twitter accounts that appear authentic, thereby maximising the propagation rate of targeted information. When looking at references made to countries, Russia and the USA emerge as the primary centres of focus. However, when geo-visually plotted on a map, the data indicates that, as the space between these two powers, the European region is commensurate in strategic significance. Ukraine is also prioritised as a fulcrum between the Russian and Western spheres of influence, highlighting divergence in interpretations of how to define Europe and its boundaries. These findings suggest that as Russia vies for digital sociopolitical influence in the West, Europe emerges as a key strategic space between the evolving perception of ‘us’ and ‘them’.
  • Cosgrove, Pierce (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis aims to examine and contextualize the histories, meanings, and the messages behind a number of the most significant classical structures in Helsinki, looking in particular at who erected these buildings and why they did so, along with what the planners and architects were trying to emphasize through their architectural design choices. The legacies of these builders and their buildings are also to be analysed. Specifically, this thesis does not aim to answer why Finland has classical architecture, but rather what it means for this young nation to have it, especially so in such significant abundance and considering that a great many of the nation’s most important buildings have been designed in this particular style.
  • Gärkman, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    One of the key characteristics of the Nordic sense of affinity and cohesion is the idea of a shared and common language community. The Nordic language community is based on the concept of inter-Nordic language comprehension, meaning that all members of the community ideally rely on the use of a Scandinavian language when in contact with one another, either as a first or a second (foreign) language. Another feature of this sense of community is the common Nordic efforts in language policy and planning, which, since the establishment of the Nordic institutions, have manifested themselves through various political endeavours, all with the aim to preserve and promote the use of Scandinavian as a lingua franca in Norden. Using a motivational, discursive, intertextual and interdiscursive approach to language policy and planning research, the purpose of this study is to uncover the motivation (goals, attitudes and motives) behind as well as the policy discourses (and their potential connections and discrepancies) used in the formulation of two central Nordic language policy agreements: the Nordic Language Convention, signed in 1981 and ratified in 1987, and the Declaration on a Nordic Language Policy, signed in 2006. In doing this, the study relies on the underlying assumption that language policy and planning is a socio-cultural construct of both explicit and implicit character. The analysis further explores how the uncovered motivational and discursive elements might mirror the linguistic complexities and diversities of the Nordic language community. The temporal range of this study is determined by the two selected language policy agreements, dividing the analysis into two historical eras of official Nordic language policy and planning which represent the socio-political, -cultural and -historical context of each respective language policy agreement: the early era of 1971–1987 and the late era of 1988–2006. The analysis suggests that there was no marked motivational or discursive ideological shift between the two language policy agreements. The narrower national language discourse of the Convention, motivated by early era socio-political issues of linguistic integration and freedom of movement, was somewhat expanded upon by the broader multilingual and democratic discourse of the Declaration, in turn motivated by the late era need to define the Nordic language community in and for the 21st century global community. Yet, the power, ideological and normative pendulum of both agreements still shifted towards the Scandinavian languages and the idealistic vision of effortless inter-Scandinavian communication in the region – forming the very basis of the symbolic integration of Norden through the concept of Nordic ideology.
  • Welker, Bianca (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, alternative online news media were predominately thought to spread false information on the coronavirus and heavily engage in conspiracy theories. The populist and far-right news outlets especially were said to strategically exploit people’s fears to further their own hate campaigns against migrants, political elites and the established media. This research aims to give a more detailed account of how five German populist far-right digital news outlets framed the ongoing crisis from January to May 2020 and managed to integrate the topic into their established narratives. For this qualitative content analysis, articles from the digital news sites of Compact, Junge Freiheit, Eigentümlich Frei, Deutsche Stimme and Zuerst were analysed regarding the topics, claims, actors and rhetoric devices that they used. The result of the study was that, rather than being swayed by strategic whims to exploit the crisis at all costs, the outlets relied on their established framing habits and were able to incorporate the crisis into all of their usual reporting. They were able to integrate the topic into overarching narratives, which not only confirmed worldviews held by their established reader base, but may also hold significant sway over new readers seeking reassurance in uncertain times. Finally, the thesis directed attention to the importance that language and presentation played in accomplishing this balancing act, establishing the need for further research on the language of the populist far right online.
  • Rantala, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The goal of this research is to gain better understanding of the EU legislative system through a case study of the trilogues of the Erasmus+ 2021-2027 programme. Trilogues are a series of informal negotiations between the EU legislative bodies and are a central part of the modern EU legislative process. A rich field of research exists on the topic, focusing especially on the roles of the legislative institutions and the transparency of the informal practice. The data used for the research is gathered from interviews and legislative files. A series of expert interviews were conducted with people who participated in the negotiations, representing both EU colegislators, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The legislative files were gathered from publicly available sources and include most importantly the Commission legislative proposal, the Parliament first reading position, the Council first reading position and a four column document from late 2020. Three interesting topics that caused intense intra- and inter-institutional negotiations are identified: the DiscoverEU initiative, inclusion and governance. These provided three different methods of finding compromise. Firstly, it is shown how the Council position can shift to correspond to the Parliament position. Secondly, it is shown how it can still be difficult to agree on the exact words of the legislation even when the goal is a shared one. Thirdly, it is shown how the Parliaments demands can turn into a compromise that is significantly closer to the Council position. A brief summary of transparency over the Erasmus trilogues is given. The main findings of the study are the methods in which the EU legislators are willing to seek compromise: in the case of Erasmus trilogues, they negotiators were more consensus seeking than adversarial.
  • Gilray, Claire (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    As an early adopter and promoter of the EU’s human rights policies, the UK can be regarded as a relative bastion of LGBTQIA+ rights. Its further progression to legislate in favour of same-sex marriage confirmed that. But the exit of the UK from the EU has caused a shift in tensions and revealed potential risks for the rights and safety of the UK’s LGBTQIA+ community. Therefore, this thesis investigates in what ways Brexit has impacted the UK’s LGBTQIA+ community. It identifies those impacts by engaging with LGBTQIA+ - focused points of articulation both surrounding the referendum and subsequently, identified via fractures in not only LGBTQIA+ rights but also lived experiences. With a particular focus on the exclusion of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights from Brexit discussions, it then uncovers a lack of media discourse on the potential effects of Brexit on the LGBTQIA+ community, before identifying possible causes for the increase in LGBTQIA+ - related reported hate crimes in the aftermath of the EU referendum. This study progresses those three topics—the Charter, media discourse, and an increase in reported hate crimes—by employing a triangulate approach to both its data and its theory. This thesis combines qualitative and quantitative research, the latter via a constructed dataset of UK media articles to highlight the lack of focus on LGBTQIA+ rights during the EU referendum campaign. It develops a poststructuralist queer discursive perspective to theorise the linkage between the three impacts. It discerns that LGBTQIA+ rights—and, consequently, human rights—in the UK remain vulnerable and at the behest of political motivations. The implications of Brexit for the LGBTQIA+ community already exist, and pose negative outcomes if they are further realised. Any argument that they are not likely to be realised is not enough of a protection for a minority group. This leads to the LGBTQIA+ community being in an abyss regarding any certainty as to the freestanding right to non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and gender identity.