Browsing by Subject "POLITICS"

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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.
  • Seikkula, Minna (2019)
    This article analyses narratives of antiracist mobilisation against anti-immigration racism and the far and extreme right in Finland. The antiracist mobilisation narrative is, first, analysed against the backdrop of critical theorisation of racism and antiracism, which has critiqued conceptions of racism that link the term exclusively to the far and extreme right as too narrow. Second, the analysis builds upon the heuristic distinction between 'extreme whiteness' and 'whiteness as ordinariness' (or 'ordinary whiteness') made in the field of critical whiteness studies. Drawing on empirical data on activists' narratives on grassroots antiracist engagement in Finland, the article explores the distinct positionalities and perspectives in the antiracist mobilisation narrative. In other words, the article discusses the consequences of grasping racism primarily as anti-immigration propagation and right-wing populism - or, as extreme whiteness - in antiracist activists' narratives on mobilisation. By locating the aspects of extreme and ordinary whiteness in the mobilisation narrative, the article shows how the antiracist narrative risks reproducing white-normativity. The article argues that to overcome white-normativity, antiracist narratives are required to grasp extreme and ordinary whiteness as interrelated parts of the same power structure.
  • Huilla, Heidi (2020)
    This study analyses how studies on disadvantaged schools, improvement and test-based accountability relate to each other. The analysis covers 69 studies on disadvantaged schools reported in prestigious educational journals and conducted in 1995–2015. Educational policies related to evaluation and accountability define the official goals of schooling, and the aim in this article is to analyse how the chosen studies discuss these educational policies and understand school success and failure. The following questions were asked: What typologies related to test-based accountability can be constructed in research on disadvantaged schools? What understandings of good schools are embedded in the identified typologies? Disadvantaged schools are at the centre of improvement and therefore also the target of evaluative policy practices. The results show that research supports test-based accountability practices, and that critical studies on school improvement are in the minority.
  • Vesa, Juho Antti; Kantola, Anu; Binderkrantz, Anne Skorkjaer (2018)
  • Herkman, Juha (2017)
    Populism as a concept is elusive and has been connected to very different political movements. Generally, populism's connotations are rather negative and the term is often used pejoratively in the academic field as well. However, Ernesto Laclau has approached populism by arguing that populist reason is a manifestation of political logic in which group identification formed through various signifiers such as 'the people', which are articulated as part of an 'equivalence chain' - eventually establishes political agency as a totality. This paper uses Laclau's articulation theory to analyse the public construction of contemporary populism in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. The analysis demonstrates that mainstream media frame populism rather negatively, although examples of the term's positive identification with 'the people' are available, especially in the tabloid media. Thus, the positive identification behind the forming of populist movements clashes with the media discourse that prioritizes established journalistic views, practices and sources, making populism a 'floating signifier', that is, a concept that has several meanings which are contested in various public discourses. A general pattern in the construction of populism in Northern European multi-party democracies can be discerned, thus identifying the central role of nationalist and nativist identifications in contingent populist articulations. However, the differences between the Nordic countries emphasize a context-driven approach.
  • Resler, Megan; Hagolani-Albov, Sophia (2021)
    Food sovereignty has emerged as a leading sense-making framework for the nascent conceptualization of an agroecological urbanism – a radically new paradigm for urbanization, grounded in political agroecology. At present, discourses like food democracy are often isolated from food sovereignty and agroecology in the urban context, potentially resulting in missed opportunities for creating holistic, inclusive, and scalable transformation in the urban food system. This study used data from existing municipal food policy in Seattle, U.S.A. and interviews with Seattle community gardeners to probe resident practices and policy recommendations in relation to the conceptual frameworks of food sovereignty and food democracy. The findings identify two key dimensions of food democracy as notably absent from the food sovereignty framework within this contextualized landscape, including mechanisms that enable vertical deliberation between food system stakeholders and opportunities for strengthened self and community efficacy – thus, exposing a potential gap in the ongoing development of an actionable agroecological urbanism. Working in tandem within the frame of agroecological urbanism, the food sovereignty and food democracy frameworks may support transition from unsustainable growth patterns and enable agroecological massification in an urban Global North context.
  • Engen, Sigrid; Hausner, Vera Helene; Gurney, Georgina G.; Broderstad, Else Grete; Keller, Rose; Lundberg, Aase Kristine; Murguzur, Francisco Javier Ancin; Salminen, Emma; Raymond, Christopher M.; Falk-Andersson, Jannike; Fauchald, Per (2021)
    Ocean-based economic development arising from an increasing interest in the 'blue economy' is placing ecosystems and small-scale fisheries under pressure. The dominant policy response for dealing with multiple uses is the allocation of coastal space through coastal zone planning (CZP). Recent studies have shown that the rush to develop the blue economy and regulate coastal activity can result in social injustices and the exclusion of less powerful and unrecognized groups (e.g., small-scale fishers, women, Indigenous peoples and youth). To achieve a primary goal of the 2030 sustainable development agenda to "leave no one behind", it is important to understand the implications of coastal planning and development for these groups. Here, we present a social survey protocol for examining perceptions of justice related to small-scale fisheries (SSF) in the context of the blue economy in coastal areas. Specifically, we designed the survey instrument and sampling protocol to assess whether decisions about the use of the coastal zone over the last five years have i) followed principles of good governance, ii) recognized fishers' knowledge, culture and rights and iii) been attentive to impacts of changed coastal zone use on fisheries. The survey will engage coastal planners (N = app. 120) and fishers (N = app. 4300) in all the coastal municipalities (N = 81) in Northern-Norway. The sampling protocol is designed to ensure representation of different sectors of society, including those defined by gender, age, ethnicity and occupation (e.g., small-scale fishers, large-scale fishers, coastal planners).
  • Ravikumar, Ashwin; Larjavaara, Markku; Larson, Anne; Kanninen, Markku (2017)
    Revenues derived from carbon have been seen as an important tool for supporting forest conservation over the past decade. At the same time, there is high uncertainty about how much revenue can reasonably be expected from land use emissions reductions initiatives. Despite this uncertainty, REDD+ projects and conservation initiatives that aim to take advantage of available or, more commonly, future funding from carbon markets have proliferated. This study used participatory multi-stakeholder workshops to develop divergent future scenarios of land use in eight landscapes in four countries around the world: Peru, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Mexico. The results of these future scenario building exercises were analyzed using a new tool, CarboScen, for calculating the landscape carbon storage implications of different future land use scenarios. The findings suggest that potential revenues from carbon storage or emissions reductions are significant in some landscapes (most notably the peat forests of Indonesia), and much less significant in others (such as the low-carbon forests of Zanzibar and the interior of Tanzania). The findings call into question the practicality of many conservation programs that hinge on expectations of future revenue from carbon finance. The future scenarios-based approach is useful to policy-makers and conservation program developers in distinguishing between landscapes where carbon finance can substantially support conservation, and landscapes where other strategies for conservation and land use should be prioritized.
  • Hietanen, Joel; Sihvonen, Antti (2021)
    There is a rich tradition of inquiry in consumer research into how collective consumption manifests in various forms and contexts. While this literature has shown how group cohesion prescribes ethical and moral positions, our study explores how ethicality can arise from consumers and their relations in a more emergent fashion. To do so, we present a Levinasian perspective on consumer ethics through a focus on Restaurant Day, a global food carnival that is organized by consumers themselves. Our ethnographic findings highlight a non-individualistic way of approaching ethical subjectivity that translates into acts of catering to the needs of other people and the subversion of extant legislation by foregrounding personal responsibility. These findings show that while consumer gatherings provide participants a license to temporarily subvert existing roles, they also allow the possibility of ethical autonomy when the mundane rules of city life are renegotiated. These sensibilities also create ‘ethical surplus’, which is an affective excess of togetherness. In the Levinasian register, Restaurant Day thus acts as an inarticulable ‘remainder’—a trace of the possibility of being able to live otherwise alongside one another in city contexts.
  • Pantti, Mervi Katriina; Ojala, Markus Mikael (2019)
    Personal stories in news reports serve multiple purposes, but at their core lie efforts at illustrating and authenticating a social or political issue through human experience, an illustration that is compelling in its affective appeal. Telling the personal stories of people belonging to minority groups may work as a potent journalistic vehicle in countering negative stereotypes and prejudices against them. This article examines how Finnish journalists incorporate the personal stories of asylum seekers into their coverage of the so-called 'European refugee crisis' of 2015-2016. Drawing on qualitative interviews, we inquire into how journalists understand the meaning and purpose of asylum seekers' personal stories in their news reporting and reflect on the professional values and ethical dilemmas when telling them. Our findings reveal that while journalists tend to sympathise with the vulnerable and see it as important to combat xenophobia and racism, their relationship with asylum seekers becomes increasingly informed and constrained by socio-political and discursive structures that foster a culture of suspicion towards asylum seekers.
  • Jonas, Andrew E. G.; Moisio, Sami (2018)
    This article sets out a new conceptual framework for investigating how city regionalism is constituted as a variegated set of geopolitical processes operating within and beyond the national state. Our approach highlights: (1) the different forms of territorial politics through which city regionalism is conjoined with broader visions of the national state; (2) the material and territorial arrangements which support such a conjuncture; and (3) the political actors enabling city regionalism and the national state to come together within a geopolitical frame of reference.
  • Ylä-Anttila, Tuomas; Gronow, Antti; Stoddart, Mark C.J.; Broadbent, Jeffrey; Schneider, Volker; Tindall, David B. (2018)
    Why do some countries enact more ambitious climate change policies than others? Macro level economic and political structures, such as the economic weight of fossil fuel industries, play an important role in shaping these policies. So do the national science community and the national culture of science. But the process by which such macro-structural factors translate into political power and national climate change policies can be analyzed through focussing on meso level policy networks. The Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (COMPON) research project has studied climate change policy networks in twenty countries since 2007. Along with some findings, this paper presents some methodological challenges faced and the solutions developed in the course of the project. After a presentation of the project, we first outline some practical challenges related to conducting cross-national network surveys and solutions to overcome them, and present the solutions adopted during the project. We then turn to challenges related to causal explanation of the national policy differences, and propose Qualitative Comparative Analysis as one solution for combining different levels of analysis (macro and meso) and different data types (quantitative, network and qualitative).
  • Ikävalko, Elina; Brunila, Kristiina (2019)
    Researchers often find themselves reflecting on either/or questions. This article examines the multiple discursive reality of gender equality, a topic comprising several juxtapositions connected to either/or thinking which also provide the topic its legitimacy. The examples come from the context of gender equality work and gender equality policy, which has been shaped in Finland by public bodies focused on equality, the Government and Government bodies, ministries, political parties, labour market organizations and NGOs, particularly the women's movement. Our aim was to establish a discursive-deconstructive reading that would allow us to move from either/or thinking to a both/and approach. This kind of approach enables to consider and acknowledge differences as cultural categorisations enabling to categorize and hierarchise people.
  • Minoia, Paola (2020)
    In this paper, the focus is on land dispossession instigated by large corporations, and the way they produce spaces of colonial persistence through particular structures and sovereignty systems that differ from the state-based administrative settings in which they are located. The study looks at phenomena that can be observed on large agricultural estates, particularly in the Teita sisal plantation in Taita-Taveta county in Kenya. This is one of the largest sisal estates in the world, established during colonial times. It is a corporation that uses migrant workers to avoid potential conflicts with the neighbouring communities which still consider those fields to be their own ancestral land. Different working tasks are racialized, and functioning bodies are exploited as resources that have to be maximised. Inside the camp, life and work are regulated with meticulous biopolitical order in restricted conditions. Patrolled borders and gates maintain distance from the local communities who claim the estate is expanding, dispossessing them of land, roads and the river, and repositioning them as squatters on what they see as their ancestral land. In relation to this private company, the national state values its taxation contributions and does not question the exceptional conditions of exploitation of human and environmental resources occurring within that space. The estate was accessed in 2013 and interviews took place then and later. This case study reveals situations of oppression on both sides of the estate borders, including struggles that remain fragmented and hidden. There is a need for new solidarity linkages between groups confronting land and other resource dispossession on a wider scale, to support their political empowerment and rights to human and environmental justice.
  • Hinke Dobrochinski Candido, Helena (2020)
    This paper investigates datafication in schools through an analysis of the enactments of quality assurance and evaluation (QAE) policies in Brazil. In doing so, I question how data permeates and changes school environments, school actors’ conduct and their imaginaries. QAE policies encompass largescale assessments, indicators, rankings and other steering mechanisms, but importantly connect data to quality in education. Here, I analyse the discourses of school actors (principals, coordinators, supervisors, teachers, students and parents) from three Brazilian public schools collected through semi-structured interviews (n = 28). Data manifests in those schools as a technology of government. Schools enact QAE policies in distinct ways, incorporating the idea of governmentality, but also proposing alternative patterns of action.
  • Ojala, Markus (2021)
    This article proposes a critical reading of market discipline and its limitations as a mechanism in European economic governance. Consistent with neoliberal beliefs about market-based governance, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is premised on the functioning of the government bond market as a fiscal-policy discipliner. However, the operation of market discipline requires that neither governments nor their private creditors can rely on an authority to bail them out. It, therefore, precludes the kinds of intervention by Eurozone’s supranational institutions witnessed during the euro crisis. In the post-crisis context, efforts to strengthen market discipline continue to be frustrated by the growing reliance of financial institutions on government bond markets as well as the European Central Bank’s (ECB) active participation in those markets. Having undermined the credibility of the market as an autonomous and apolitical mechanism of discipline, European economic governance struggles to come to terms with the rise of a supranational ‘economic sovereign’ in the Eurozone.
  • Rydland, Håvard T.; Fjær, Erlend L.; Eikemo, Terje A.; Eikemo, Terje A.; Bambra, Clare; Wendt, Claus; Kulhánová, Ivana; Martikainen, Pekka; Dibben, Chris; Kalėdienė, Ramunė; Borrell, Carme; Leinsalu, Mall; Bopp, Matthias; Mackenbach, Johan P. (2020)
    Background Educational inequalities in health and mortality in European countries have often been studied in the context of welfare regimes or political systems. We argue that the healthcare system is the national level feature most directly linkable to mortality amenable to healthcare. In this article, we ask to what extent the strength of educational differences in mortality amenable to healthcare vary among European countries and between European healthcare system types. Methods This study uses data on mortality amenable to healthcare for 21 European populations, covering ages 35–79 and spanning from 1998 to 2006. ISCED education categories are used to calculate relative (RII) and absolute inequalities (SII) between the highest and lowest educated. The healthcare system typology is based on the latest available classification. Meta-analysis and ANOVA tests are used to see if and how they can explain between-country differences in inequalities and whether any healthcare system types have higher inequalities. Results All countries and healthcare system types exhibited relative and absolute educational inequalities in mortality amenable to healthcare. The low-supply and low performance mixed healthcare system type had the highest inequality point estimate for the male (RII = 3.57; SII = 414) and female (RII = 3.18; SII = 209) population, while the regulation-oriented public healthcare systems had the overall lowest (male RII = 1.78; male SII = 123; female RII = 1.86; female SII = 78.5). Due to data limitations, results were not robust enough to make substantial claims about typology differences. Conclusions This article aims at discussing possible mechanisms connecting healthcare systems, social position, and health. Results indicate that factors located within the healthcare system are relevant for health inequalities, as inequalities in mortality amenable to medical care are present in all healthcare systems. Future research should aim at examining the role of specific characteristics of healthcare systems in more detail.
  • Pyyry, Noora; Aiava, Raine (2020)
    In this article, we approach enchantment as a fundamental encounter that incites new worlds. Our aim is to add to the recent discussion on enchantment as an immersive, life affirming moment. We outline enchantment as a radical reordering of the world during which there is both a profound loss of meaning and a sudden gaining of significance. Enchantment is a highly affectual event that uproots the subject, throws it momentarily off balance, outside of time and space. Enchantment, then, is not only a pleasant experience of being inspired by the world, but an uninvited ontological unfolding of it. This rethinking the world in enchantment can come into being through many different affectual states, including those of a ‘negative’ register. By attending to a vignette of despair, loss, and suffering, we clarify the circulation of affect involved in the disruption and emergence of the subject and, against this background, unpack the simultaneous disconnect and immersion involved in enchantment. An analysis of wonder highlights the deracination of the subject effected in the event and unfolds the ethical and political potential of enchantment: this totalizing, and hence liberatory, reordering brings with it a strong sense that things could be different.
  • Helakorpi, Jenni; Lappalainen, Sirpa; Mietola, Reetta (2020)
    The article examines policies intended to promote the basic education of Roma and Traveller minorities in Finland, Sweden, and Norway by analysing key national Roma and Traveller policy (n = 5) and education policy documents (n = 3). Analysis shows how the Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian Roma policies translate the general policy aims of improving the social positioning of people identifying as Roma consistently into policy measures responding to the special needs of Roma pupils. These policy measures are validated by problem representations regarding Roma parents and families. All the policies also problematise the relationship between Roma and Traveller cultures and schools. It is argued that the focuses of the current policy measures constrain opportunities for a change in terms of equality.