Browsing by Subject "POLITICS"

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  • Unal Abaday, Didem (2022)
    This article examines young Muslim women's dissident mentalities, practices, and subjectivities that confront the epistemological conditions whereby right-wing populist (RWP) gender politics operates in Turkey. Relying on frame theory in social movement research and the Foucauldian approach to resistance, dissent, and protest, it explores Muslim feminist critique of RWP gender discourse mainly with a focus on the following issues: (i.) Instrumentalization of the headscarf, (ii.) familialist policies, and (iii.) violence against women and the Istanbul Convention (the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence). As a result, it demonstrates that young Muslim women's dissident mentalities and subjectivities generate a new "political project", i.e., a set of new meanings and social goals directed at bringing about social change, which comes into being through the act of resistance against RWP gender grammar and carves out new forms of knowledge reclaiming the Islam-gender nexus for a progressive feminist agenda.
  • 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.
  • Cinderby, Steve; Archer, Diane; Mehta, Vishal K.; Neale, Chris; Opiyo, Romanus; Pateman, Rachel M.; Muhoza, Cassilde; Adelina, Charrlotte; Tuhkanen, Heidi (2021)
    To ensure future sustainability, cities need to consider concepts of livability and resident wellbeing alongside environmental, economic and infrastructure development equity. The current rapid urbanization experienced in many regions is leading to sustainability challenges, but also offers the opportunity to deliver infrastructure supporting the social aspects of cities and the services that underpin them alongside economic growth. Unfortunately, evidence of what is needed to deliver urban wellbeing is largely absent from the global south. This paper contributes to filling this knowledge gap through a novel interdisciplinary mixed methods study undertaken in two rapidly changing cities (one Thai and one Kenyan) using qualitative surveys, subjective wellbeing and stress measurements, and spatial analysis of urban infrastructure distribution. We find the absence of basic infrastructure (including waste removal, water availability and quality) unsurprisingly causes significant stress for city residents. However, once these services are in place, smaller variations (inequalities) in social (crime, tenure) and environmental (noise, air quality) conditions begin to play a greater role in determining differences in subjective wellbeing across a city. Our results indicate that spending time in urban greenspaces can mitigate the stressful impacts of city living even for residents of informal neighborhoods. Our data also highlights the importance of places that enable social interactions supporting wellbeing-whether green or built. These results demonstrate the need for diversity and equity in the provision of public realm spaces to ensure social and spatial justice. These findings strengthen the need to promote long term livability in LMIC urban planning alongside economic growth, environmental sustainability, and resilience.
  • 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).
  • Nagatsu, Michiru; Raymond, Prof. Christopher; Tuomisto, Hanna; Ruotsalainen, Laura; Soininen, Niko; Thoren, Henrik; Stojanovic, Milutin; Horcea-Milcu, Andra-Ioana; Lehtinen, Sanna; Mazac, Rachel; Lamuela Orta, Carlos; Korpelainen, Noora-Helena P; Vainio, Annukka; Toivanen, Reetta; McPhearson, Timon (2022)
    Sustainability transformations call forth new forms and systems of knowledge across society. However, few tools and processes exist for promoting dialogue among different interests and normative stances in knowledge co-creation. In this article, we build on the notion of thought collectives to argue that understanding and moderating normative tensions are necessary if sustainability science is to provide successful solutions. Drawing on an analysis of the normative tensions between rival high-tech and low-tech thought collectives in the mobility and food production sectors, we discuss three strategic approaches: applying common evaluative frameworks, building contextual convergence and embracing complexity. We argue that these strategies indicate a need to distinguish different kinds of reflexivity in managing tensions among thought collectives. As a practical conclusion, we establish sets of reflexive questions to help sustainability scientists deploy the knowledge management strategies discussed.
  • 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.
  • Lyytikainen, Minna; Yadav, Punam (2022)
    This article explores a narrative of peacebuilding best practice: the national efforts to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Nepal. We demonstrate how the contested realities of post-conflict gender politics are skilfully transformed into internationally transferable policy knowledge. We argue that in order to construct a peacebuilding best practice, policy entrepreneurs draw on their social capital to make claims about policy as simultaneously local and context-specific as well as global and universally applicable. The credibility of the claims is based on the extent to which they can be presented to international policy audiences in formats suitable for their consumption.
  • 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.
  • Juhola, Sirkku; Heikkinen, Milja; Pietilä, Taru; Groundstroem, Fanny; Käyhkö, Janina (2022)
    Considerations of justice with regards to climate change adaptation are increasingly called for in the academic literature, but little attention has been paid to the dimensions of justice regarding the development of adaptation policy and instruments used. Thus, there is a gap when it comes to connecting the dimensions of justice to different types of adaptation strategies and plans. Here, we synthesise the findings of previous studies to create an adaptation justice index for the four dimensions of climate justice in the context of adaptation: recognitional, distributive, procedural and restorative justice. This index can be used ex ante to analyse and compare climate adaptation strategies and plans in different societal contexts as well as at different levels of governance, and we illustrate this by analysing four national and four city-level strategies. As adaptation planning is still a relatively new area of climate governance, the results offer potential for justice informed evaluation of adaptation plans and strategies.
  • Hukkinen, Janne; Eronen, Jussi T.; Janasik, Nina; Järvensivu, Paavo; Kaaronen, Roope Oskari (2022)
    Since large-scale environmental disruptions have become chronic, policymakers need to consider the long-term consequences of urgent crisis decisions. We develop design principles for a decision platform addressing strategic environmental crisis management, by which we mean coordinated decisions during an environmental urgency that are sensitive to long-term path dependencies and policy errors. To enhance critical questioning of formal doctrines, the decision platform includes policymakers and sectoral experts as equal participants. The agenda for decisionmaking is structured around future scenarios to encourage the participants to imagine alternative ways of framing the decision problem. The agenda also discourages defensive heuristics with which decision-makers attempt to preserve their short-term reputation. The design principles for strategic environmental crisis management are based on urban experimentation. The barrier of implementation for similar experiments in other contexts is low because they assume no major overhaul in existing administration