Browsing by Subject "hegemony"

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  • Sauli, Hanna (2007)
    This study shows that rejections of resolutions by the United States have become increasingly common in the UN General Assembly between 1995 and 2006. The US finds itself in a small opposition in the majority of roll call votes, and often it is the sole country to vote no against the entire membership of the United Nations. The number of American rejections has grown considerably after 2001, and solitary negative votes have multiplied especially during the last two years. American dissidence is pervasive in most policy fields of the General Assembly, but much of the discord concerns disarmament, the Middle East and human rights. This study argues that American hegemony in the military, economic and political spheres has enabled the US leadership to embrace a doctrine that emphasizes unconditioned American sovereignty and freedom from international constraints. The ideology is conducive to the rejection of international commitments. It has boosted American dissidence in the General Assembly and is particularly manifest in the policy of the current government. The theory of soft balancing expects other states to engage in counteraction against the US, since the policy of the hegemonic power threatens their interests and security. Soft balancing could entail cooperation in the General Assembly that goes against American interests, and it could explain part of the American dissidence. Nevertheless, evidence concerning the agenda of the General Assembly and specifically resolutions in the non-nuclear disarmament sector suggests that soft balancing has taken place only on a small scale and does not explain the rapid growth of negative American votes. The US has recently adopted a negative stand towards many resolutions that are not directed against it or have previously received American approval. The analysis draws on the UN voting records, the yearly agendas and the content of the resolutions. The US deviance from the majority, the size of the coalitions that sometimes support American positions, the amount of negative votes in different issue areas, and changes in the composition of the agenda are presented numerically. A more detailed case-by-case dissection of changes in the disarmament sector evaluates whether the resolutions have grown more negative to American policy goals and whether position shifts by other states have partly caused the increasing loneliness of US stances.
  • Piri, Riikka (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The purpose of this thesis is to compare the characters of David and Judith and particularly the notions of the ideal masculinities. The purpose is also to ask if the findings also reflect the general understanding of the Old Testament masculinities. The primary sources are the book of Judith, in particular the chapters 8-16 where Judith herself is acting and the 1. Samuel 16-18 where David is introduced for the first time. The main research questions are:1) What kind of similarities and differences can be found from these texts how they present gender and a relation to the ideal masculinities? 2) More importantly, how do these characters have been chosen to the role of hero(ine) when they do not resonate primarily with the ideal masculinity? The main reason why these two characters are chosen is their similar narrative elements and more importantly, the both characters represent the subordinate masculinities. The characters have to find alternative strategies in order to act unconventionally and to challenge the hegemonic power. Focusing on masculine and feminine qualities of the chosen characters, the presumption is that the construction of gender is embedded in the symbolical level of different cultures and can be analysed. The focus is on both female and male character, in particularly characters that do not fulfil the ideal hegemonic characteristics. The assumption is that this starting point will give a different view than if the focus was only on female characters or solely male characters. The main masculine ideals that are brought out from the source texts are beauty, persuasiveness and wisdom, prowess and courage in the battlefield and the divine masculinity. The conclusion shows that masculinity in the Old Testament is more complex than the masculinity theory normally suggests. The distinction between the hegemony and the subordinate masculinities varies a lot and the representatives in lower positions find their way to act against the unconventional roles. It is possible because the ultimate power is the divine power. God is unchanging representation of the hegemony who has power over human beings.
  • Huhtamäki, Lotta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    China has become an important global actor, especially as a partner for countries of the Global South, and it is possible that China will attempt to become a hegemonic world power. This thesis focuses on the possible hegemonic ambitions of the People’s Republic of China and examines the way China frames the international environment and itself as an international actor. Through framing analysis, this thesis seeks to find out what China’s international ambitions are and how they could affect the Global South. A neo-Gramscian framework is utilised to interpret the Chinese rhetoric as an attempt at gathering international support from developing countries for possible pursuit of international hegemony. This thesis features a framing analysis of official Chinese rhetoric. The analysis of a White paper on China’s position in the world and six speeches by high-level Chinese officials concentrates on how China frames international issues and what kind of solutions China proposes. Attention is paid to specific strategies that are used to mobilise support from the developing country audiences and to empower and legitimise China as an international leader. The results reveal two distinct frames presented in the Chinese rhetoric: a frame of global inequality and a frame of common human progress. Blame for current global issues is attributed to the Global North and China is consistently framed as a benevolent, moral actor. The Chinese proposal for a new, more just international order is framed as an expression of the common will of humanity and as a logical result of common human progress. The history of Third World solidarity is employed as a rhetorical tool to convince the Global South of China’s good intentions and trustworthiness. China seems to be trying to gain support from the Global South for its international political agenda. The agenda is presented as advancing the shared interest of the Global South: development. However, when analysing the Chinese rhetoric from a world system theory viewpoint, the promise of development seems empty. The Chinese political programme seems to uphold the existing international system and aims to achieve incremental improvements within it. This could result in some degree of development in some areas, but it does not provide a solution for global poverty and underdevelopment.
  • Laitinen, Klas (2010)
    The reification and strengthening of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has led to an emergent and interesting counter-movement. Central research questions: (1) how IPRs manifest hegemony in a neo-Gramscian framework, (2) creating a conceptual framework to study counter-hegemonic potential of new social movements or organizations, and finally (3) using the conceptual criterion created to study the Pirate Party (PP) of Sweden. Incorporating new social movement theory with a neo-Gramscian framework explains movement of organic intellectuals from political parties to new social movements. Further, it explains the emergence of a counter-movement to IPRs. Combining the neo-Gramscian theories of Cox and Gill with new social movement theory, allows for a pertinent analysis of hegemony and the movement of IPRs towards core hegemony and their subsequent reification during the last few decades. We find that IPRs manifest hegemony. The conceptual framework created contains five central criteria for analysing a movement: (1) Aims of the movement, (2) Participation, (3) Resources and Financing, (4) Intellectual base of the movement, and (5) Compatibility with a global progressive political party. The case study of the PP shows it has (1) counter-hegemonic aims, through the linkage of IPRs to hegemony. The party has successfully politicized and reopened the contestation of IPRs within Sweden.(2) Participation within previously apathetic social groups has increased. The party is now the second largest party in Sweden by membership. (4) The intellectual base of the Piracy movement is evident, both inside and outside the party. However, no evidence of alliance building was found. (3) Resources and financing are precarious, the party is financed through contributions and personal loans of key personnel and there have been internal strife related to finances. Core activists of the party are unlikely to defect, rather without success, a return to apathy is likely. (5) No signs of alignment with a progressive global movement are evident within the PP. Therefore, this study is inconclusive, the party does not expressly aim for counter-hegemony but realization of its main goals would lead to a weakening of hegemony. The party has had modest success, gaining two seats in the EU Parliament. The parliamentary elections in Sweden 2010 may give a clearer indication of the long-term potential of the party. The hegemony of knowledge goods is evident today, thus a counter-movement has emerged to contest it.
  • Muurinen, Mira (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    In my master’s thesis (pro gradu) I analyze three novels that are set in the future: The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood, The Circle by Dave Eggers, and Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. I suggest that while the novels share a great deal of tropes with such dystopian classics as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Geroge Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Yevgeni Zamyatin’s Мы (trans. We), they also differ from these novels to a significant degree. For this reason, I suggest approaching them as corporatocratic dystopias. In the analysis of generic dystopian characteristics in the novels, I refer to Erica Gottlieb’s (2001) notions of dystopian fiction. Another important literary concept in my study is satire, in the analysis of which I refer to Dustin H. Griffin’s (1994) views on satire as a playful and questioning genre. Central for all dystopias is the notion of a dystopian waning: the implied author of a dystopia exaggerates and ridicules in order to warn a contemporaneous reader against dystopian developments that take place in the reader’s own reality. The elementary difference between the three novels I analyze and Gottlieb’s characterizations concerns the novels’ description of tyranny. Traditionally, dystopias depict the supremacy of a state or a political party. In the novels I investigate in my thesis, the negative developments that take place in society are closely linked to the fact that corporations have gained power at the cost of political rulers, i.e. to the birth of a corporatocracy. I approach the question of power with the help of Antonio Gramsci’s (1975/1992) two dimensions of power: hegemony and dominance. I argue that unlike earlier dystopias, in which tyranny manifests itself in coercive deeds of dominance, the kind of corporatocracy the three novels depict functions to a great extent through hegemony, which is based on consent. In the three novels, corporations renew and uphold their power by maintaining excessive consumerism and mediatisation in society. In the analysis of these developments, I turn to Jürgen Habermas’ (1962/1989) views on mediatisation, and to Jean Baudrillard’s (1970/1998 and 1981/1994) and Joseph D. Rumbo’s (2002) conceptions on consumer society. The effects of consumerism penetrate also the private sphere in the novels, and thus questions about the body, sex, gender and sexuality are central to my thesis. Additionally, the novels seem to suggest that corporatocracy threatens reciprocity and togetherness between people, and alienates them from nature and from religion. I approach these themes with the help of Baudrillard’s theorisations on the body in consumer culture and Luce Irigaray’s (1985) discussions on patriarchy and women as commodities. The central outcome of my study is that the characters in the novels do not merely appear as identifiable victims of corporatocracy, or as fearless heroes who challenge the tyranny. Rather, as members of their fictional societies, the characters also contribute to the establishment of corporatocracy. I suggest that the dystopian warning all three novels eventually communicate leads directly to the behaviour, norms and ideologies of the characters, and finally, to human nature. Thus, through their characters, the implied authors of these novels encourage their readers to critically assess also their own roles as members of society.
  • Myers, Rodd; Rutt, Rebecca L.; McDermott, Constance; Maryudi, Ahmad; Acheampong, Emmanuel; Camargo, Marisa; Cam, Hoang (2020)
    Timber legality trade restrictions and verification are a bundle of contemporary mechanisms triggered by global concerns about forest degradation and deforestation. The European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade initiative is a significant effort to not only screen out illegal timber and wood products from the EU, but also support trading partner countries to improve their legality definitions and verification processes. But by using bilateral agreements (Voluntary Partnership Agreements) as a key mechanism, the EU legitimizes trade partner nation-states as the authority to decide what is legal. We engage in a theoretical debate about the complexities of the meaning of legality, and then analyze empirical data collected from interviews in Ghana, Indonesia, Vietnam and Europe with policy, civil society and industry actors to understand how different actors understand legality. We find hegemonic notions of Westphalian statehood at the core of 'global' notions of legality and often contrast with local understandings of legality. Non-state actors understand these hegemonic notions of legality as imposed upon them and part of a colonial legacy. Further, notions of legality that fail to conform with hegemonic understandings are readily framed by nation- states as immoral or criminal. We emphasize the importance of understanding these framings to elucidate the embedded assumptions about what comprises legality within assemblages of global actors.
  • Munoz Gonzalez, Rodrigo Antonio (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    This investigation analyzes the ideological representations of superhero films produced during recent years based on a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) approach. The figure of the ‘caped crusader’ has a long history of media production; the narratives of these characters have expanded from comic books to a variety of media outlets (Coogan, 2006; Reynolds, 1994), including recently streaming services such as Netflix. Thus, it becomes essential to understand the meanings contained in these stories, and how they are depicted. The purpose of this study is to understand the operation of political ideologies at a textual level in media products that are often targeted to global audiences. With this, it is intended to discuss the discursive concordance, negotiations, or critiques that these products might realize upon a certain political hegemony. Moreover, it reflects on the mode in which certain contemporary events are translated in popular narratives and how they affect them. Hence, this research is founded upon a qualitative basis. Regarding the empiric materials, a sample of films is selected to undertake the general aim of this research. The sample consists in two trilogies of recent films that tell the story of Batman and Captain America respectively. The first superhero forms part of a rich media production tradition; from live-action and animated TV series, to proper films, Batman unfolds a vast narrative universe that have gained audience attention and loyalty. The second ‘masked hero’ implies a path to perceive how an American hegemony is depicted in a group of films. The hero was created as a propagandistic effort of the United States during the Second World War (Dittmer, 2005, 2013). In this sense, it is important to identify whether or not the ideological charge of the character has prevailed in recent treatments. Superhero films comprise many social meanings. This research considers the character of the superhero as part of a contemporary mythology that thrives in mainstream popular culture. It analyzes the relationship between ideology, considered as a semiotic matrix that enables the production, reproduction, and consumption of certain meanings in a given society, with cinema. This effort broadens the comprehension of political ideologies in films by developing a systematic approach to the study of ideology in media based on a CDA perspective. It unravels a deep and detailed account of the discursive operations that moor an ideology in a text.
  • Vaara, Eero; Laine, Pikka-Maaria (Human Relations, Jan 2007, 60(1): 29-58, 2007)
    We have seen growing interest in discursive perspectives on strategy. This perspective holds great promise for development of an understanding on how strategy discourse and subjectivity are intertwined. We wish to add to this existing research by outlining a discursive struggle approach to subjectivity. To understand the complex subjectification and empowering/disempowering effects of organizational strategy discourse, this approach focuses on organization-specific discourse mobilizations an various ways of resistance. Drawing on an analysis of the discourses and practices of ‘strategic development’ in an engineering and consulting group we provide an empirical illustration of such struggles over subjectivity. In particular, we report three examples of competing ways of making sense of and giving sense to strategic development, with specific subjectification tendencies. First, we show how corporate management can mobilize and appropriate a specific kind of discourse to attempt to gain control of the organization, which tends to reproduce managerial hegemony, but also trigger discursive and other forms of resistance. Second, we will illustrate how middle managers resist this hegemony by initiating a strategy discourse of their own to create room for manoeuvre in controversial situations. Third, we show how project engineers can distance themselves from managerial-initiated strategy discourses to maintain a viable identity despite all kinds of pressures. Although our examples are case-specific, we believe that similar discursive dynamics also characterize strategizing in other organizations.
  • Vaarala, Viljami (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The War on Terror has been waged for almost two whole decades now. President Barack Obama pledged to end the “boundless Global War on Terror” during his tenure but there are still US troops present in Middle East and North Africa. Despite the rhetoric on ending the war, the war got even more violent in terms of air strikes and the military budget kept on rising from that of president Bush under Obama’s first term as president. Since these circumstances suggest that there was no considerable change to be perceived in the outcome of the war from Bush to Obama, there seems to exist a process of political meaning-making through which the meanings attached to the US engagement in the Middle East are altered. Thus, this study aims at analysing the underlying fantasmatic logics through which the War on Terror was legitimized to the public during Obama’s presidency. This study contributes to the study of international relations through Lacanian-Žižekian framework, which has only recently been introduced to the study of international politics. The theoretical and methodological background of this thesis is rooted in Lacanian psychoanalysis, discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe and Lacanian-Žižekian theorizations on ideological fantasies. By adapting the logics approach of discourse theory as a qualitative method, this thesis analyses 105 speeches on terrorism that Barack Obama delivered in 2009–2016. The analysis is focused at analysing discursive articulations, nodal points and master signifiers that partake in structuring the fantasies regarding War on Terror. In this thesis I will argue that it is through the fantasmatic logics that the ideological grip of Obama’s War on Terror becomes intelligible: By structuring the fantasmatic objects of desire at least on three levels, Obama succeeds at granting the illusion that the unachievable and impossible enjoyment – that the subjects of War on Terror desire – is achievable. However, Obama organizes the fantasy in a way that keeps the realization of the ultimate fantasy of lasting peace, safety, prosperity and security always at a distance. The desire is sustained by articulating enemies, such as al Qaeda, Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Assad’s regime and ISIL, as inferior objects of desire that are “forgotten” and replaced by one another in the signifying chain of enmity. In addition to this “forgetting” of inferior objects of desire, there exists a process of “reminding” or “remembering” that sustains the desire of War on Terror’s subjects. I then argue that some of these objects of desire are used to remind the subjects of what the possible enjoyment would feel like when it is finally achieved. These enemies are also articulated as “the constitutive othesr” that prevent the subjects of War on Terror to realize their fantasy of lasting peace. The results show that the signifier “terrorists” functions as a subtle epithet through which various and differential groups can be articulated as enemies.