Browsing by Subject "international organizations"

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  • Kinnunen, Laura (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    The study presents international academics working in the University of Helsinki and their access to the work environment language-wise. The transformations encountered by the higher education systems, like the University of Helsinki, have changed the face of the academic profession. Many of the goals of internationalization, such as increased international cooperation and ability to operate in international and intercultural environments, are connected to the need to use languages. This is why the meaning of language has come relevant to the access to different work environments. The data for the study came from the research subproject "Foreign professional's access to Finnish labour market" in the project "Opening up pathways for competence and employment for immigrants" by the University of Jyväskylä and the University of Helsinki. The questionnaire survey was carried out among employees from abroad on the payroll or on a grant (n=236) at the University of Helsinki in spring 2010. The method to analyze the data was quantitative for closed questions and statistical analysis was utilized. For open-ended questions qualitative analysis was used. The study subject was approached from the theoretical point view of second language acquisition, international communication competence, and concept of stranger. The research questions address more closely on what are the perceptions of the foreign academic professionals on their current level of language skill as well as learning and using language, what conditions related to language limit the access and possibilities to the commitment in the work environment of the University of Helsinki, and what are the perceived needs and development suggestions related to language that would improve the commitment to the work environment of the University of Helsinki. The study showed that there has not really been development in the Finnish skill during the time and to attend Finnish language courses did not have remarkable affect especially to the usage of Finnish in more official work situations. The most used language at work was English and change using Finnish came around after ten years in Finland. For accessing the work environment, Finnish language barrier, difficulties in finding ways to participate in decision making and social sphere, and difficulties in understanding one's rights and obligations in the working environment were evident among the international academics working at the University of Helsinki. The improvements on how international academics perceive working environment would language-wise require systematic changes in the University of Helsinki that go beyond surface level actions that have taken place, despite of the existing discussion on internationalization of higher education, strategic plans, and policies. The language policy in a multilingual work environment works in an excluding manner by blocking access of certain employees without sufficient Finnish skill.
  • Eskelinen, T.; Ylönen, Matti (2020)
    The contemporary world continues to suffer from a number of social problems that are global in scope but impact the Global South disproportionately. While broad and coordinated policy responses to overcome these problems exist, such policies are not shaped solely by the political will to address the problems. On the contrary, their content largely depends on how societies in general and the social problems in particular are routinely explained and conceptualized. We refer to these as explanatory tendencies or paradigms of explanation. As complex problems always have multiple root causes with long causal chains, explanations of these causes necessarily involve some assumptions about relevant causalities. Typically, the main choice in explaining international politics relates to the extent to which social phenomena should be explained by domestic institutions, decisions and events. Social science in general has been noted to have a bias toward a "nationalist" approach to explanation [Beck, 2007; Brenner, 1999; Gore, 1993; Pogge, 2002]. This means treating the state as the primary and even sufficient object of analysis, so that problems are explained by the malfunctioning institutions and misinformed policies of states. Such explanatory biases become naturalized in everyday politics and social analysis [Amin, 2004]. While this has been widely discussed as an epistemological issue, the interplay between international organizations and explanatory tendencies has received less attention. The present article addresses this gap. We argue that explanatory tendencies and biases should not be treated exclusively as an epistemological matter. They need to be accompanied by an analysis of the role of international organizations as both influenced by an explanatory tendency and upholding it. Paradigms of explanation are reflected in the priorities and relative powers of international organizations, as their very structure can reflect particular explanatory tendencies. As an example, we will use the ascent and descent of the United Nations work on the power of multinational enterprises.