Browsing by Subject "POLICY"

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  • Tarkiainen, Laura (2020)
    This article provides a rhetorical discourse analysis of constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness. Data consist of transcripts from Finnish parliament members debating the ‘Activation Model for Unemployment Security’, from December 2017. In the analysis, three discursive constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness were identified: an ‘effortful citizen lacking control’, a ‘needy citizen deserving the welfare state’s reciprocal acts’ and an ‘undeserving freeloader in need of an attitude adjustment’. Analysis focuses on how deservingness and undeservingness are rhetorically accomplished and treated as factual in parliament members’ accounts. The analysis pays particular attention to the question of how speakers build factuality through the management of categories, extreme case formulations, ‘truth talk’ and maximisation and minimisation strategies. The results reflect the negotiated nature of deservingness as well as varying constructions of unemployed people’s responsibility in the contemporary Nordic welfare state context.
  • Garvis, Susanne; Harju-Luukkainen, Heidi; Flynn, Traci (2018)
    Being able to speak different languages is important in today’s global world to allow communication and understanding. Countries may vary in how they support early language learning with immersion programmes. This paper specifically explores the steering documents in Finland, Sweden, and Australia for children attending early childhood education settings (children aged birth to five years). A content analysis was used to explore patterns. The descriptive comparison allows similarities and differences across the countries to emerge. As a result, a table describing the different immersion and monolingual approaches in respective country is presented. The paper concludes with a broader discussion on steering documents in early childhood education in regards to young children’s rights to learning languages and attending different immersion programmes within early childhood.
  • Järvensivu, Paavo; Räisänen, Helmi; Hukkinen, Janne (2021)
    Urban policymakers of the 2020s must act within various types of wicked socio-ecological disruptions. Under deep uncertainty and time pressure, they must make decisions which will define the scope of possible actions in the future. Our aim was to develop a research instrument that would enable researchers and practitioners to learn about such policymaking. We designed and ran a half-day simulation exercise, the Policy Operations Room (POR). The participants were the top politicians and a group of senior experts from the City of Helsinki, Finland. The design of the exercise was based on a review of simulation and gaming research literature. The exercise managed to integrate - albeit imperfectly - the utilitarian and emancipatory dimensions in futures studies: it gave the participants the utilitarian possibility to practice decision-making and the emancipatory possibility to critically reflect on decision-making in wicked, science-based scenarios. It also gave the researchers a chance to witness urgent decision-making in action. Issues deserving further attention include the inclusion of social-political complexity in the scenarios and practitioner involvement in the design process of the exercise. All in all, the POR constitutes a unique way of integrating science-based assessment of future path dependencies into science-policy research and interaction.
  • Kukkonen, Anna; Stoddart, Mark CJ; Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas (2021)
    In this paper, we examine the centrality of policy actors and moral justifications in media debates on Arctic climate change in Finland and Canada from 2011?2015. We take a network approach on the media debates by analysing relations between the actors and justifications, using discourse network analysis on a dataset of 745 statements from four newspapers. We find that in both countries, governments and universities are the most central actors, whereas business actors are the least central. Justifications that value environmental sustainability and scientific knowledge are most central and used across actor types. However, ecological justifications are sometimes in conflict with market justifications. Government actors emphasize new economic possibilities in the Arctic whereas environmental organizations demand greater protection of the vulnerable Arctic. Ecological justifications and justifications that value international cooperation are more central in the Finnish debate, whereas justifications valuing sustainability and science, as well as those valuing national sovereignty, are more central in the Canadian debate. We conclude that in addition to the centrality of specific policy actors in media debates, the use of different types of moral justifications also reflects political power in the media sphere.
  • Kerr, Shona M.; Klaric, Lucija; Halachev, Mihail; Hayward, Caroline; Boutin, Thibaud S.; Meynert, Alison M.; Semple, Colin A.; Tuiskula, Annukka M.; Swan, Heikki; Santoyo-Lopez, Javier; Vitart, Veronique; Haley, Chris; Dean, John; Miedzybrodzka, Zosia; Aitman, Timothy J.; Wilson, James F. (2019)
    The Viking Health Study Shetland is a population-based research cohort of 2,122 volunteer participants with ancestry from the Shetland Isles in northern Scotland. The high kinship and detailed phenotype data support a range of approaches for associating rare genetic variants, enriched in this isolate population, with quantitative traits and diseases. As an exemplar, the c.1750G > A; p.Gly584Ser variant within the coding sequence of the KCNH2 gene implicated in Long QT Syndrome (LQTS), which occurred once in 500 whole genome sequences from this population, was investigated. Targeted sequencing of the KCNH2 gene in family members of the initial participant confirmed the presence of the sequence variant and identified two further members of the same family pedigree who shared the variant. Investigation of these three related participants for whom single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array genotypes were available allowed a unique shared haplotype of 1.22 Mb to be defined around this locus. Searching across the full cohort for this haplotype uncovered two additional apparently unrelated individuals with no known genealogical connection to the original kindred. All five participants with the defined haplotype were shown to share the rare variant by targeted Sanger sequencing. If this result were verified in a healthcare setting, it would be considered clinically actionable, and has been actioned in relatives ascertained independently through clinical presentation. The General Practitioners of four study participants with the rare variant were alerted to the research findings by letters outlining the phenotype (prolonged electrocardiographic QTc interval). A lack of detectable haplotype sharing between c.1750G > A; p.Gly584Ser chromosomes from previously reported individuals from Finland and those in this study from Shetland suggests that this mutation has arisen more than once in human history. This study showcases the potential value of isolate population-based research resources for genomic medicine. It also illustrates some challenges around communication of actionable findings in research participants in this context.
  • Soininvaara, Ilppo (2020)
    In this article, I analyze the politics of urbanization and competitiveness-led state spatial transformations through political narratives. By analyzing empirical material, I search for ways of reasoning and rationalities that disclose the dynamics of the depoliticization and politicization of different spatial transformations of urbanization. Based on extensive interviews, I argue that a general understanding of urbanization as an external, global inevitability and as a force prevails among political elites. This key rationality and other sedimented knowledge duly opens up new political debates on the proper political management of urbanization and national adaptation. The order of reasoning is clear: the political elites argue that the perceived inevitability, common good and state of crisis necessitate national spatial transformations in order to secure the competitiveness of the state. As a result, new spatial hierarchies are forming as an adaptive strategy.
  • Nagatsu, Michiru (T & T Clark, 2019)
    Advances in Experimental Philosophy
    In this chapter I outline how experimental philosophy can be fruitfully applied to economics as a science, and contribute empirically to debates concerning conceptual and methodological problems in economics. I discuss differences (i) between folk and economic concepts of choice, (ii) between behavioral, psychological and constructive concepts of preferences that figure in methodological debates in economics and psychology. I also discuss how X-phi can shed methodological light on the recent debates on nudges among economists.
  • Hämäläinen, Lasse; Lahti, Emmi (2021)
    Aims: In October 2019, a citizens' initiative to decriminalise cannabis use started a large debate about drug policy in Finland. This study examines online discussions about the initiative to supplement the current knowledge about citizens' drug opinions. The focus is especially on argumentation techniques that are used to support or object to the decriminalisation. Design: Methodologically, the study is based on discourse studies, new rhetoric, and argumentation analysis. The data of 1,092 messages were collected from a popular Finnish anonymous discussion forum Ylilauta. Results: Online discussions about the legal status of cannabis are highly polarised. Decriminalisation is often both supported and resisted in a strong and affective manner, and even hate speech is not rare in the data. Statements made by both discussion parties often lack any argumentation or are based on fallacies, especially ad hominem arguments. Some discussants refer to scientific studies and expert statements, even though such references are usually inaccurate. Cannabis is compared to alcohol more often than to other illegal drugs. Conclusions: The emotional responses and inadequate argumentation might be partially explained by the general nature of online discussions and the culture of the investigated website, but also by the powerful stigma related to illegal drugs and insufficient knowledge on the subject. A future objective is to create a societal atmosphere where the complex question of the legal status of cannabis could be discussed more neutrally and rationally.
  • Kaljonen, Minna; Peltola, Taru; Salo, Marja; Furman, Eeva (2019)
    The critical role of everyday practices in climate change mitigation has placed experimental approaches at the top of the environmental policy agenda. In this paper we discuss the value of behavioural approaches, practice theories, pragmatic tinkering and speculative thinking with respect to experimentation. Whereas the first two have been much discussed within sustainability science and transition research, the notions of pragmatic tinkering and speculative thinking radically broaden the scope of experimental research and its contribution to sustainable everyday practices. Pragmatism brings to the fore the need to coordinate multiple practices and understandings of good eating, as these may clash in practice. Through this lens, the value of experimental research lies in revealing frictions that need to be resolved, or tinkered, in practice. Speculative experimentation, in turn, refers to the power of experiments to challenge the experimental setting itself and force thinking about new possibilities and avenues. We investigate the value of all four approaches in relation to our experiments with sustainable eating in the Finnish and Nordic context. Our elaboration justifies the need to broaden the conception of experimental research in order to capture the multiplicity of sustainable eating. Hence, we call for attentive, speculative experimental research aimed not only at testing solutions for sustainable everyday practice, but also at reflecting on the practice of experimentation itself.
  • Pihlajamäki, Mia-Elina; Helle, Inari; Haapasaari, Päivi; Sarkki, Simo; Kuikka, Sakari; Lehikoinen, Annukka (2020)
    Fisheries management aims to ensure that the fishing activities are environmentally sustainable in the long term, while also achieving the economic, social and food security related management objectives. To facilitate this, both the ecological and human dimensions of sustainability need to be included in fisheries assessment. In addition, assessing long-term sustainability calls for taking into account plausible changes in the surrounding societal conditions that shape the characteristics of the fisheries governance system, as well as the ecological conditions. The paper uses a combination of qualitative exploratory scenario storylines (ESS) and Bayesian belief networks (BBN) to integrate the environmental, economic, social and food security dimensions in an interdisciplinary assessment of the future sustainability of Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras, Clupeidae) and salmon (Salmo salar, Salmonidae) fisheries. First, four alternative ESS were created based on plausible changes in societal drivers. The ESS were then formulated into a BBN to (a) visualize the assumed causalities, and (b) examine quantitatively how changes in the societal drivers affect the social-ecological fisheries system and ultimately the fisheries management objectives. This type of probabilistic scenario synthesis can help in thinking qualitative scenarios in a quantitative way. Moreover, it can increase understanding on the causal links between societal driving forces and the complex fisheries system and on how the management objectives can be achieved, thereby providing valuable information for strategic decision-making under uncertainty.
  • Lahikainen, Katja; Kolhinen, Johanna; Ruskovaara, Elena; Pihkala, Timo (2019)
    The purpose of this study is to add to the literature on entrepreneurial university ecosystems by highlighting the ways in which academics engage or decouple in entrepreneurship processes and thereby in the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. The study extends our understanding of the emergence of an entrepreneurial university ecosystem by providing an in-depth analysis of a Finnish university campus, investigating how individuals' perceptions respond to societal and institutional demands for the fostering of entrepreneurship. The findings suggest that education and research are regarded as the highly institutionalized logics of universities, and these logics tend to be maintained since more rewards are associated with them than are associated with the logic of entrepreneurial actions. These competing logics lead to conflicting interests and cause intentional and unintentional decoupling in the adaptation and implementation of entrepreneurial actions in universities.
  • Käyhkö, Janina (2019)
    Agriculture in the Nordic countries is a sector, where farmers are facing climatic challenges first-hand with little policy guidance on climate change adaptation or climate risk management. Adaptation practices emerging at the farm scale have potentially harmful outcomes that can erode the agricultural sustainability. So far, farm scale decision-making on adaptation measures is scarcely studied, and a thorough assessment of risk perceptions underlying adaptation decision-making is required in the Nordic context to inform adaptation policy planning. In this qualitative case study, the climate risk perceptions of Nordic farmers and agricultural extension officers are examined. As a result, a typology of risk responses is presented, showing three dominant patterns within highly dynamic and contextual adaptation processes at farm scale: risk aversive, opportunity-seeking and experimental. The typology represents the variation within adaptation processes that further stress the need for participatory adaptation policy development in agriculture.
  • Martiskainen, Mari; Heiskanen, Eva; Speciale, Giovanna (2018)
    Community action has an increasingly prominent role in the debates surrounding transitions to sustainability. Initiatives such as community energy projects, community gardens, local food networks and car sharing clubs provide new spaces for sustainable consumption, and combinations of technological and social innovations. These initiatives, which are often driven by social good rather than by pure monetary motives, have been conceptualised as grassroots innovations. Previous research in grassroots innovations has largely focused on conceptualising such initiatives and analysing their potential for replication and diffusion; there has been less research in the politics involved in these initiatives. We examine grassroots innovations as forms of political engagement that is different from the 1970s' alternative technology movements. Through an analysis of community-run Energy Cafes in the United Kingdom, we argue that while present-day grassroots innovations appear less explicitly political than their predecessors, they can still represent a form of political participation. Through the analytical lens of material politics, we investigate how Energy Cafes engage in diverse - explicit and implicit, more or less conscious forms of political engagement. In particular, their work to "demystify" clients' energy bills can unravel into various forms of advocacy and engagement with energy technologies and practices in the home. Some Energy Cafe practices also make space for a needs-driven approach that acknowledges the embeddedness of energy in the household and wider society.
  • Lahtinen, Katja; Hayrinen, Liina; Roos, Anders; Toppinen, Anne; Cabezas, Francisco X. Aguilar; Thorsen, Bo Jellesmark; Hujala, Teppo; Nyrud, Anders Q.; Hoen, Hans Fredrik (2021)
    So far, consumer housing values have not been addressed as factors affecting the market diffusion potential of multi-storey wood building (MSWB). To fill the void, this study addresses different types of consumer housing values in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden (i.e., Nordic region), and whether they affect the likelihood of prejudices against building with wood in the housing markets. The data collected in 2018 from 2191 consumers in the Nordic region were analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and logistic binary regression analysis. According to the results, consumers' perceptions on ecological sustainability, material usage and urban lifestyle were similar in all countries, while country-specific differences were detected for perceptions on aesthetics and natural milieus. In all countries, appreciating urban lifestyle and living in attractive neighborhoods with good reputation increased the likelihood of prejudices against wood building, while appreciation of aesthetics and natural milieus decreased the likelihood of prejudices. In strengthening the demand for MSWB and sustainable urbanization through actions in businesses (e.g., branding) and via public policy support (e.g., land zoning), few messages derive from the results. In all, abreast with the already existing knowledge on the supply side factors (e.g., wood building innovations), more customized information is needed on the consumer-driven issues affecting the demand potential of MSWB in the housing markets. This would enable, e.g., both enhancing the supply of wooden homes for consumers appreciating urban lifestyle and neighborhoods and fortifying positive image of wood among consumers especially appreciating good architecture and pleasant environmental milieus.
  • Hu, Yannan; van Lenthe, Frank J.; Judge, Ken; Lahelma, Eero; Costa, Giuseppe; de Gelder, Rianne; Mackenbach, Johan P. (2016)
    Background: Between 1997 and 2010, the English government pursued an ambitious programme to reduce health inequalities, the explicit and sustained commitment of which was historically and internationally unique. Previous evaluations have produced mixed results. None of these evaluations have, however, compared the trends in health inequalities within England with those in other European countries. We carried out an innovative analysis to assess whether changes in trends in health inequalities observed in England after the implementation of its programme, have been more favourable than those in other countries without such a programme. Methods: Data were obtained from nationally representative surveys carried out in England, Finland, the Netherlands and Italy for years around 1990, 2000 and 2010. A modified difference-in-difference approach was used to assess whether trends in health inequalities in 2000-2010 were more favourable as compared to the period 1990-2000 in England, and the changes in trends in inequalities after 2000 in England were then compared to those in the three comparison countries. Health outcomes were self-assessed health, long-standing health problems, smoking status and obesity. Education was used as indicator of socioeconomic position. Results: After the implementation of the English strategy, more favourable trends in some health indicators were observed among low-educated people, but trends in health inequalities in 2000-2010 in England were not more favourable than those observed in the period 1990-2000. For most health indicators, changes in trends of health inequalities after 2000 in England were also not significantly different from those seen in the other countries. Conclusions: In this rigorous analysis comparing trends in health inequalities in England both over time and between countries, we could not detect a favourable effect of the English strategy. Our analysis illustrates the usefulness of a modified difference-in-difference approach for assessing the impact of policies on population-level health inequalities.
  • Sullanmaa, Jenni; Pyhältö, Kirsi; Pietarinen, Janne; Soini, Tiina; Soini, Tiina (2019)
    Purpose Shared understandings of curriculum reform within and between the levels of the educational system are suggested to be crucial for the reform to take root. The purpose of this paper is to explore variation in perceived curriculum coherence and school impact among state- and district-level stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach The participants (n=666) included state- and district-level stakeholders involved in a national curriculum reform in Finland. Latent profile analysis was employed to identify profiles based on participants' perceptions of the core curriculum's coherence and the reform's impact on school development. Findings Two profiles were identified: high coherence and impact, and lower consistency of the intended direction and impact. State-level stakeholders had higher odds of belonging to the high coherence and impact profile than their district-level counterparts. Practical implications The results imply that more attention needs to be paid in developing a shared and coherent understanding particularly of the intended direction of the core curriculum as well as the reform's effects on school-level development among state- and district-level stakeholders. Originality/value The study contributes to the literature on curriculum reform by shedding light on the variation in perceived curriculum coherence and school impact of those responsible for a large-scale national curriculum reform process at different levels of the educational system.
  • Kosunen, Sonja; Hansen, Petteri (2018)
    In recent years Finnish comprehensive education has often been discussed in both, academic and public forums, in terms of its relatively high learning outcomes and perceived efficiency. Yet what has often been lacking in cross-country comparisons is a critical socio-historical analysis of contingent nation-specific events and features as well as an in-depth analysis of Finnish education politics as constantly changing dynamic system. We analyze and reconstruct the discursive narrative of Finnish comprehensive education within a socio-historical framework. The material consists of interviews with the establishment of Finnish education: politicians, leading policy-makers and stakeholders, and established scholars (n=9). Three periods were recognized and reconstructed in the analysis: 1) The pre-comprehensive school period, 2) a steady development culminating in the crisis of the 1990s, and 3) the PISA results, which in the narrative led to international success and national gridlock. The crucial changes relate to changes in audiences (performing game). Two key findings emerge from this discursive narrative analyses: the role of the PISA reports as a turning point for the basic education politics in Finland and how this turn led to a discussion of comprehensive school as a kind of success story.
  • Laakso, Senja; Berg, Annukka; Annala, Mikko (2017)
    Societies around the world are faced with wicked problems such as climate change. In this context, experimental governance approaches have emerged as tools with potential utility in both top-down and bottom-up governance efforts. At the same time, experimental governance has gained momentum as a desirable policy goal in its own right. As the various experimental approaches differ in their origins and serve different purposes, there is a need to organize the field. If more experimental development processes are desired, what can be expected from certain kinds of experiments? How can the field be organised in a way that benefits those designing, conducting, and evaluating experimental governance processes? In attempting to answer these questions, we carried out a meta-study of 25 articles on experimental climate governance. On the basis of the results and the previous work on experiments, we have built a 'triangle model of experimental governance' that proposes both vertical and horizontal dynamics within and between different functions and uses of experiments. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Lappi, Pauli (2017)
    We study non-compliance in an emissions trading system in which firms may bank and borrow permits. We find a condition involving auditing probability that characterizes compliance and allows us to analyze the time paths of actual emissions, reported emissions and violations. We find two interesting time instants. At the first time instant, reported emissions begin to be lower than the actual emissions, and at the second time instant, the reported emissions become zero and the actual emissions become constant. The results indicate, among other things, that a given penalty scheme may fail to induce compliance over the whole planning interval, even though it achieves compliance over the initial stage.
  • Rantala, Salla; Toikka, Arho; Pulkka, Anna; Jari, Lyytimäki (2020)
    Strategic niches are protected spaces for emerging technologies, where expectations are articulated, social networks built, and learning occurs. Although Strategic Niche Management (SNM) can be done in a directed, strategic manner, more diffuse, loosely connected and self-organizing niches also exist. We explore such niches in a particular setting: a social media discussion forum - a Facebook group - set up for an open discussion on the reform of national-level energy policy in Finland. We focus on discussions related to two renewable energy technologies: biogas and ground-source heat pumps. We conduct Social Network Analysis and quantitative as well as qualitative content analysis of the social media material to ask what kind of SNM happens in these discussions. Our results indicate that the discussion networks may be conducive for wide engagement and incorporation of new ideas, while also containing sub-groups that may foster learning. However, the discussions are highly centralized around a few active discussants and focused on the present-day situation, drawing from specific local and national experiences and technical details, despite the original aim of the group to induce forward-looking debates on energy policy. The articulation of future expectations is not a predominant feature of the discussions related to these two technologies. Still, the quantitative content analysis reveals extensive agreement in their framing as sustainable future energy solutions, while the qualitative analysis also points to critical debates that may support learning and further development of shared expectations.