Browsing by Subject "international relations"

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  • Sironen, Sophia Carita (2007)
    The research subjects of this study are the Arab representations of the West. The aim is to record the competing views of Arab individuals and intellectuals in order to generate some understanding about the Arab attitudes towards the West. Also, a critical approach is brought by comparing the Arab representations with the neo-Orientalist theses, that presented Muslim representations of the West as rejecting, aggressive and anti-Western. The analysis is carried out from the viewpoint of social representations, inspired by Serge Moscovici. The method used is discourse analysis that unravels the similarities and differences between the representations to construct a meta-narrative on the Arab Muslim discourse about the West and Westerners. The second phase of the analysis consist of the comparison of the Arab Muslim representations with the neo-orientalist claims. The study is a meta research gathering former studies. The corpus consists of two kinds of data: 1) interviews carried out among different social groups in Egypt, Syria and Morocco; and 2) discourses from secondary sources of prominent Arab intellectuals. Of those figures, within the intellectual movements, that have influenced the Arab intellectual history since early 1820s, I present Rifa al-Tahtawi, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad ‘Abduh, Taha Hussein, Sayyid Qutb, Michel ‘Aflaq, Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, Samir Amin, Mohamed A. Jabiri. From this study focusing on Arabs, different patterns of representing the West can be outlined. The study attests that among the studied, there is no exclusive evidence of rejecting attitude towards the West. This result differs from the assumptions presented by leading scholars Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington, and Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit, and it highlights the fact that representations of the West frequently alter among Arab actors, whether religious or secular.
  • Nekhay, Ekaterina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The objective of the study was to shed light on the Chinese soft power in France, and, in particular, on such a political tool as panda diplomacy. In the following thesis I am answering the research questions of the role the soft power is playing in the Chinese foreign policy aimed at France, what is its image in the news outlets and among readers of those articles, and how and when panda diplomacy is carried out. As the following thesis deals with the role of Chinese soft power in France, the information about the emergence and meaning of the term “soft power” is provided to the reader for a better understanding of the content. Moreover, the theoretical background of the concept of panda diplomacy itself, the development of the concept of “soft power” in China, the France-China Relationship, and the position of Chinese soft power in the world are presented in the paper. For the research, the articles and readers’ comments retrieved from 3 different politically orientated news outlets (Le Monde, France 24, and Le Figaro) were used. A total of 15 newspaper articles and 286 readers’ comments were analyzed. This Master thesis presents the research findings primarily based on the content analysis of reader comments and newspaper articles. The first finding is that soft power and panda diplomacy, as a tool, plays an important role to signify the positive China-France relationship and economic achievements between the two countries. Secondly, panda diplomacy has a controversial image in the French news outlets. Some news outlets are positively evaluating the practice, while others doubt it. The readers are mostly putting in negative comments accusing authorities of the unnecessary expenses of money for pandas. Lastly, Panda diplomacy is carried out to celebrate the economic achievements of its partner country. In France, according to the articles, the rental contracts of pandas were signed following the successful deals and supported by the government, Zoo facilities, foundations, and sponsors.
  • Heikka, Henrikki (1999)
    The origin of security dilemmas has long been a central question in international relations. Three archetypal models of the security dilemma can be found in international relations literature. According to the spiral model, security dilemmas are driven by the inability of security-seeking states to coordinate their policies in an anarchic political space, while the deterrence model implies that security dilemmas are caused by the offensive intentions of at least one of the actors in an anarchic system. Advocates of the model of peaceful change, in turn, maintain that security dilemmas are nothing more than a social construction: anarchy is what states make of it. In this thesis I deconstruct and reconstruct some key aspects of security dilemma theories in a hitherto unexplored (meta)theoretical context, that of Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytical theory. The aim of the thesis is to show how a Lacanian interpretation of one phenomenon - 'predationism' - can help us locate the logic of all three models described above (international relations as tragedy, evil, and a social construction) within one theoretical framework. The thesis is structured around two parts. The first part deals with explaining the origins of anti-Western sentiments in the discourse of Russian 'enlightened patriotism'. I begin the study by reviewing contemporary neorealist and constructivist analyses of Russian foreign policy. Through a close reading of Waltzian neorealism and Wendtian constructivism I then show how the causal logics of both theories, despite their many differences, presume the existence of a phenomenon usually referred to as predationism (an aggressive policy of seeking non-security goals), which neither theory can explicate in scientific terms. Relying on Lacan and Slavoj Žižek, I conceptualize predationism as a cultural and political effort to escape the lack arising from representation by displacing it to a Symbolic Other, which is constructed as threatening, inferior, degenerate etc., and whose function in political discourse is to enable collectives to maintain the illusion of national / ethnic / civilizational unity. I demonstrate the potential usefulness of Lacanian discourse analysis by applying it to the thinking of Sergei Kortunov, a prominent Kremlin strategist, who has written extensively on Russian identity and foreign policy. Kortunov's anti-Westernism, I conclude, is not so much a reaction to Western deeds (as constructivism would suggest) or to the structure of the international system (as neorealism would lead us to believe) as a symptom of a discursive structure where the split inherent in identity is displaced to the Western Other in order to rescue the fantasy of an organic Russia from its own impossibility. In the second part of the thesis, I make three moves in order to place the Lacanian-inspired explanation for predationism within the context of security dilemma theory. I begin by elaborating the relationship between the Lacanian reading of alienation and the interpretation of estrangement in the philosophy of the Enlightenment. Next, after tracing the imprints of the Enlightenment within contemporary objectivist, subjectivist, and inter-subjectivist security dilemma theories, I suggest how a Lacanian reading of estrangement can help us (re)locate the role of culture in the formation of different kinds of security dilemmas. Finally, I propose some guidelines under which a dialogue between a structuralist understanding of the logic of anarchy and a Lacanian-inspired structuralist theory of the origins of threat perceptions could be developed into a research programme and how this programme could be evaluated. I sum up the thesis with a chapter in which I reflect on the potential usefulness of Lacanian theory for policy research. The main source material of the thesis consists of academic literature dealing with international relations theory, political theory, psychoanalysis and Russian foreign policy. The case study on Sergei Kortunov's thinking is based on his recent articles and books.
  • Ahvo, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis examines French political debates related to the founding of the League of Nations in the years 1917-1919 and the political and ideological reasons that led to the oblivion of the French juridical internationalist model for the League. When the League of Nations was created in the Paris Peace Conference that followed the end of World War I, the French delegation presented a model for the League that was based on a specific French current of internationalism (juridical internationalism) largely forgotten today. It was opposed both to the Anglo-American view presented by American President Woodrow Wilson and the British delegation and the view of French Premier Clemenceau. In order to recover the intentions of the participants to the political discussions, this thesis employs Quentin Skinner’s methodological reflections on the history of ideas. The source material consists of the minutes of the French National Assembly, the Senate and the Paris Peace Conference as well as the notes of the most prominent advocate of juridical internationalism, Léon Bourgeois. These records are studied by situating them in their historical context and in relation to relevant intellectual traditions and ongoing political discussions. The formulation of the French policy is explored in three different contexts that capture the national and international levels of discussion: the French parliament, the French Interministerial Commission on the League of Nations and the Paris Peace Conference. The studies of Peter Jackson (2013) and Scott G. Blair (1992) on the French League of Nations policy constitute the main works of secondary literature. The theoretical framework of this study relies on the English School’s pluralistic approach to international relations. Different conceptions of the League of Nations are examined using the concepts of realism and idealism in international relations theory. These concepts help demonstrate the differences and similarities between juridical internationalism, Wilsonian idealism and traditional realist power politics. Historiography of the Paris Peace Conference has often presented the situation as a confrontation between traditional balance of power politics and Wilsonian idealism, but the juridical internationalist conception of the new world order was actually something between these two. By analysing this French current of internationalism through the concepts of realism and idealism, this thesis demonstrates that juridical internationalism represented a third way between the two traditional paradigms that combined elements of both. The juridical internationalists envisaged a League of Nations based on the codification of international law and equipped with a permanent tribunal and powerful systems of legal, economic, diplomatic and military sanctions enforced by an international army and a permanent command structure. This thesis puts forward the interpretation that the merits of this conception of the League were not properly appreciated during the Paris Peace Conference because it was overshadowed by the diplomatic and political calculations of Wilson and Clemenceau. Later, the juridical internationalist model has been disregarded as a result of being misunderstood as idealism and linked to the negative connotations the term carries. In reality, this model combined elements of realism and idealism similar to the rationalist and solidarist inclinations of the English School.
  • Seppo, Antti (Unigrafia, 2017)
    This study focuses on aspects of change in German strategic culture, i.e. on the changes in ways of thinking about and pursuing security and defence policy and the views on the questions of peace, war and the use of military force, in particular after the end of the Cold War. The overarching aim of the study is to provide a novel reading on German strategic culture, and this has been done by shifting the focus of research on strategic culture from the study of continuity to the study of change. This enables us to tell better stories about strategic cultures both in terms of how internal and external challenges leading to questions about the continuity of strategic cultural patterns and how strategic culture is shaped by the social and political reality of the strategic actors. The first main contribution of the study is to question the mantra of continuity that has been the primary object of study in the existing strategic culture research. This mantra has ultimately led to a rather stale and static state of affairs in terms of the contributions that strategic culture research is able to make in the field of International Relations. Instead, the study argues for a research agenda that identifies the nature, mechanisms and outcomes of strategic cultural change. The study achieves this by critically assessing the existing accounts of strategic cultural change and creating an analytical framework that stresses both the processes and outcomes of strategic cultural change. This framework is informed by critical realist metatheory since it enables us to move ahead of the epistemological impasse of the existing studies by focusing on the ontological aspects of strategic culture. This framework identifies the experience of warfare as the primary mechanism of change in strategic cultures. The second key contribution of the study is to apply this analytical framework in the study of German strategic culture. The empirical case studies cover the German strategic cultural track record since the end of World War II, with a clear focus on the developments after the end of the Cold War. These case studies show, firstly, how shifts within the normative structure of German strategic culture have shaped German views on the use of military force, and, subsequently, how they led to shifts and changes in German strategic practices. Secondly, the case studies underline the role of external shocks (e.g. the massacre at Srebrenica) in triggering change within German strategic culture. Thirdly, the case studies also provide a basis for a critique of some of the more widely accepted claims regarding German security and defence policy, such as the notion of normalisation or Sonderweg (special path). Finally, the analysis also suggests that counterfactual argumentation can be a useful analytical tool in assessing the importance of some of these developments in the evolution of German strategic culture. The third primary contribution of the study is a critical assessment of the process of coming to terms with the German past and how this affects German strategic culture. The study stresses the importance of socio-cognitive factors in the evolution of strategic cultures and identifies the shift from guilt to responsibility as one of the key changes in post-Cold War German strategic culture. Furthermore, the study recognizes the continuing impact and relevance of the German past on the further development of German strategic culture, even though the focus of the German debate has partly shifted from whether Germany can use military force to a discussion on the means and ends of the use of military force.
  • Siegenthaler, Ansel (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Karelia has numerous questions regarding to whom its soul belongs with accompanying loyalties, identities and senses of belonging. Underlying assumptions may affect personal, political or business perceptions. Through explorations in discourse through selections of memory, ontology and reality we examine the necessity to rethink perceptions about Russian and Finnish relations as seen in the Karelian borderlands. Further, addressing how Karelia is constructed in Soviet literature and more contemporary opinion. Discourse from two periods of time is digested to reflect on the nature of knowing, remembering, learning and realizing. I include Soviet novels from 1940s to the 1980s about Karelia and newspaper letters to the editor and editorials from 2000 to 2015 to serve as gauges of perceptions and time periods. The discourse is examined for patterns and evidence of perceptions. The examined discourses suggest there is a disconnection between knowing and experiencing. Evidence is seen through government steering committees in Soviet literature and in memory and political exposure in popular opinion. Communicative acts in Soviet literature and published opinion pieces show how Karelian discourse can be affected. By addressing these perceptions we create opportunities to develop more realistic knowledge to aid in personal, political or business relations.
  • Mantell, Gabrielle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Social media was initially viewed as a democratising force that allowed anyone to participate in political discourse, however in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of state-sponsored cyber troops using these technologies to spread disinformation and computational propaganda with the intent to influence the behaviour and opinions of individuals, sow chaos and confusion and undermine social cohesion. In recent years, Russia has emerged as the global leader in developing and deploying these tactics against foreign nations, conducting operations on an industrial scale through what are colloquially termed ‘troll factories,’ the most famous of which is the Internet Research Agency (IRA). This study examines images produced by Twitter accounts attributed to the IRA and the corresponding account-level metadata, in order to understand how cyber troops are using Twitter to propagate memetic content and in what ways tactics differ based upon Russian strategic culture. This study also looks at how a nation’s perceived geopolitical position can be interpreted through analysing the output of state-sponsored digital actors. Key to the success of these tactics is the dissemination of weaponised information that spreads ‘virally’ from person to person. For this reason, memetics is employed as a theoretical framework. Strategic culture is also used as an analytical tool to interpret the objectives behind Russian cyber troop activity. The research design of this study comprises three phases. First, images that occur in the dataset 5 or more times are computationally clustered, producing 1,346 clusters of visually similar images, representing 11,742 images in total. Qualitative Content Analysis is then used to create a coding framework which categorises the content of each cluster, capturing three primary dimensions: mode of delivery, type of message and country of focus. Finally, account-level metadata is analysed to determine key account characteristics, providing insight into five factors: location, account lifespan (age), language, activity and originality. Each of these factors is then cross tabulated with five regions: Russia, Post-Soviet, Europe, USA and Rest of World. The findings of this study indicate that IRA actors have pursued a multidirectional strategy based upon Russian strategic culture, in which highly political information is distributed to target audiences primarily in Russia, USA, Europe and Ukraine. The type of information spread is predominantly photographic in nature. Images of public figures and other types of political imagery frequently occur in the dataset, as do images that reinforce an insider/outsider dichotomy. Neutral images are also strategically utilised to construct Twitter accounts that appear authentic, thereby maximising the propagation rate of targeted information. When looking at references made to countries, Russia and the USA emerge as the primary centres of focus. However, when geo-visually plotted on a map, the data indicates that, as the space between these two powers, the European region is commensurate in strategic significance. Ukraine is also prioritised as a fulcrum between the Russian and Western spheres of influence, highlighting divergence in interpretations of how to define Europe and its boundaries. These findings suggest that as Russia vies for digital sociopolitical influence in the West, Europe emerges as a key strategic space between the evolving perception of ‘us’ and ‘them’.
  • Klabbers, Jan; Sinclair, Guy Fiti (2020)
    This short article introduces a symposium on the intellectual history of international organizations law, which focuses on the contributions of six international lawyers: Henry G. (Hein) Schermers, Clarence Wilfred Jenks, Paul Reuter, Louis Sohn, Georges Abi-Saab and Hans Kelsen.
  • Reut, Paz (2002)
    In various respects this research paper may be deemed as a continuation of a previous thesis in intemational law ("Constructing a Gateway Between a Distant God and a Cruel World,A Study on Theory and Practice ofjewish Classic Theoreticians ofinternational Law." LL.M thesis, University of Helsinki). Again my focus is the extent and degree to which the identity and cultural (civilisational) affiliation of distinguished scholars affected their careers, work, achievement - and potentially also the intellectual fabric of the fleid. How and why they succeeded is also one of my research problems. This paper however takes the interface between secular religious images and scholarly work a step further. Due to my further acquaintance with Hans J. Morgenthau's "private thinking", I have carried him over from the previous study and added two more scholars; Karl R. Popper and Carl Schmitt as well as another node to the chain of thought. This node is the scholars' basic conception of what it is to be a human being, an actor in the world and in the intemational arena. If my earlier study focussed on the "joint" Judaic-Christian search for civilisational stability, the present study delves deeper and searches for roots of diversity and even of anarchy from the very same source: the differential and not even complementary but competing and even conflicting ideas, stemming practically from the same sources. In order to understand this diversity 1 have gone in the present study much deeper into the subjective world of the scholars than in my first thesis, trying to find out and interpret the conceptions of Human Predica,rnent that one could expect to have been generated by the cultural heritage and family socialisation. In practice the study oscillates in the triangle of personal backgrounds, historical context and their scholarly achievements. It focuses first on the socialisation, education and career of the scholars; examines next their IR theories, and proceeds then to investigate whether there could be a clear connection between their theory conception, their view of human predicament and their own destiny. The Epilogue has a more comprehensive look at the different liberalist, realist and anarchist approaches that may be adjusted undet an umbrella of (assumed) democracy to individual conceptions of human predicament. The thesis is based mainly on secondary material but the author could also avail of some arehived documents in particular by Morgenthau illuminating their premises and intellectual orientations.
  • Camean Ariza, Josemaría (2001)
    The aim of the present research is to analyse one of the main integration processes going on in the world today, namely the Common Market of the Southern Cone (Mercosur). On March 1991, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asuncion in which they agreed to establish a common market by December 1994. Today, ten years later, Mercosur can be defined as a customs union. The main characteristic of Mercosur integration has been its state-centric nature and its intergovernmental structure. Negotiations and decision-making in Mercosur have taken place mainly among the national executive powers. Within the intergovernmental structure the presidents of the member-states have been the main actors. Decision-making organs are composed of members and representatives of the governments. Other institutions such us the national parliaments, the judiciaries and other organised economic and social sectors are represented in the Mercosur advisory organs, which have played an almost insignificant role in the process. The research deals with two main questions. Why did Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay decided to create Mercosur? And secondly, why have they adopted a strongly intergovernmental structure? The analysis of Mercosur, and the mentioned questions, happen in this research within the theoretical framework of new regionalism. The new regionalist multi-dimensional and state-centric view of integration is of essential importance to understand the target. Mercosur integration is explained as the result of the convergence of the restored democratic regimes and the development of the countries' international relations. The executive-centred decision-making structure is explained as a reflection of the executive-centred domestic political systems and culture, common to the whole region. The current Mercosur structure may not be responding to the demands of the integration. Legal and economic controversies have derived from certain deficit of integration. This situation may call for a reconsideration of the process within the present circumstances. This is the aim of the research, to rethink Mercosur.
  • Busygina, Irina (Routledge, 2017)
    Examining Russia–EU relations in terms of the forms and types of power tools they use, this book argues that the deteriorating relations between Russia and the EU lie in the deep differences in their preferences for the international status quo. These different approaches, combined with economic interdependence and geographic proximity, means both parties experience significant difficulties in shaping strategy and formulating agendas with regards to each other. The Russian leadership is well aware of the EU’s "authority orientation" but fails to reliably predict foreign policy at the EU level, whilst the EU realizes Russia’s "coercive orientation" in general, but cannot predict when and where coercive tools will be used next. Russia is gradually realizing the importance of authority, while the EU sees the necessity of coercion tools for coping with certain challenges. The learning process is ongoing but the basic distinction remains unchanged and so their approaches cannot be reconciled as long as both actors exist in their current form. Using a theoretical framework and case studies including Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine, Busygina examines the possibilities and constraints that arise when the "power of authority" and the "power of coercion" interact with each other, and how this interaction affects third parties.
  • Klabbers, Jan (2020)
    This article, part of the symposium on ‘theorizing international organizations law’, discusses the work (and a little of the life and in uence) of Henry G. (Hein) Schermers, arguably the leading functionalist international organizations lawyer of the post-war era. The article discusses how Schermers’ work solidi ed and consolidated functionalism and unwittingly laid bare its ‘Achilles heel’. Confronted with the growing popularity of human rights and keenly devoted to human rights, Schermers faced a dilemma when the possible responsibility of international organizations for human rights violations came up – a dilemma his function- alism was unable to solve. Therewith, zooming in on Schermers’ handling of the dilemma con rms that functionalist international organizations law is unable to address the respon- sibility of international organizations towards third parties. International organizations law will need to nd different theoretical resources in order to come to terms with responsibility.
  • Alapuro, Risto (Brill, 2018)
    By analysing the experience of Finland, Risto Alapuro shows how upheavals in powerful countries shape the internal politics of smaller countries. This linkage, a highly topical subject in the twenty-first century world, is concretely studied by putting the abortive Finnish revolution of 1917-18 into a long historical and a broad comparative perspective. In the former respect the revolution appears as a tragic culmination in the unfolding of a small European state. In the latter respect it appears as one of those crises that new states experienced when they emerged from the turmoils of the First World War.
  • Falenius, Charlotta Maria (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    This study examines Institutional Twinning in Morocco as a case of EU cooperation through the pragmatic, ethical and moral logics of reason in Jürgen Habermas’s discourse ethics. As a former accession tool, Twinning was introduced in 2004 for legal approximation in the context of the European Neighborhood Policy. Twinning is a unique instrument in development cooperation from a legal perspective. With its long historical and cultural ties to Europe, Morocco presents an interesting case study of this new form of cooperation. We will analyse motives behind the Twinning projects on illegal immigration, environment legislation and customs reform. As Twinning is a new policy instrument within the ENP context, there is relatively little preceding research, which, in itself, constitutes a reason to inquire into the subject. While introducing useful categories, the approaches discussing 'normative power Europe' do not offer methodological tools precise enough to analyse the motives of the Twinning cooperation from a broad ethical standpoint. Helene Sjursen as well as Esther Barbé and Elisabeth Johansson-Nogués have elaborated on Jürgen Habermas’ discourse ethics in determining the extent of altruism in the ENP in general. Situating the analysis in the process-oriented framework of Critical Theory, discourse ethics provides the methodological framework for our research. The case studies reveal that the context in which they operate affects the pragmatic, ethical and moral aspirations of the actors. The utilitarian notion of profit maximization is quite pronounced both in terms of the number of Twinning projects in the economic sphere and the pragmatic logics of reason instrumental to security and trade-related issues. The historical background as well internal processes, however, contribute to defining areas of mutual interest to the actors as well as the motives Morocco and the EU sometimes described as the external projection of internal values. Through its different aspects, Twinning cooperation portrays the functioning of the pragmatic, ethical and moral logics of reason in international relations.
  • Riad, Sally; Vaara, Eero; Zhang, Nathan (Hanken School of Economics, 2012)
    While studies on international management have focused on cultural differences and examined institutional specificities in various national business systems, conceptions of international relations have been left relatively underexplored. We argue that representations of international relations are relevant to international M&As and contend that intertextuality offers a novel approach to examine these relational features of international management. Our analysis focuses on Sino-US relations in the context of the acquisition of American IBM’s Personal Computer Division (PCD) by the Chinese company, Lenovo. We demonstrate the ways in which facets of international relations are produced in media accounts of this acquisition, and analyze the intertextual dynamics entwined with their production. The analysis consists of three sections: constitutive intertextuality, manifest intertextuality and intertextual ideological undercurrents. These illustrate the variation in producing international relations through discursive themes (threat to security/peaceful rise), emotion rhetoric (fear/cheer) and ideology (cold war/globalism). Altogether, the paper elucidates the ways in which international M&As are immersed in a seascape of intertextual international relations.