Browsing by Subject "legitimacy"

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  • Vaara, Eero; Monin, Philippe (Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences, 2010)
    This paper challenges the predominant view that legitimation is merely a specific phase in merger or acquisition processes. We argue that a better understanding of postmerger organizational dynamics calls for conceptualization of discursive legitimation as an inherent part of unfolding merger processes. In particular, we focus on the recursive relationship between legitimation and organizational action. We have two objectives: to outline a theoretical model that helps one to understand the dynamics of discursive legitimation and organizational action in postmerger organizations, and to examine a revealing case to distinguish the inherent risks and problems in discursive legitimation. Our case analysis focuses on the merger between the French pharmaceutical companies BioMérieux and Pierre Fabre. We adopt a critical multimethod approach and distinguish specific discursive dynamics and pathological tendencies in this case. The analysis highlights the unintended consequences of discursive legitimation, the central role of sensegiving and sensehiding in discursive legitimation, the inherently political nature of legitimation and the risks associated with politicization, the special problems associated with fashionable discourses and the role of the media, the use of specific discursive strategies for legitimation and delegitimation, and the crucial role of actual integration results. This analysis adds to the existing research on mergers and acquisitions by treating discursive legitimation as part of the merger dynamics. In particular, our case analysis provides a new explanation for merger failure. We also believe that the recursive model connecting discursive legitimation and delegitimation strategies to concrete organizational action makes a more general contribution to our understanding of organizational legitimation.
  • Vaara, Eero; Monin, Philippe (Organizational Science, pp. 1–20, 2008)
    This paper challenges the predominant view that legitimation is merely a specific phase in merger or acquisition processes. We argue that a better understanding of postmerger organizational dynamics calls for conceptualization of discursive legitimation as an inherent part of unfolding merger processes. In particular, we focus on the recursive relationship between legitimation and organizational action. We have two objectives: to outline a theoretical model that helps one to understand the dynamics of discursive legitimation and organizational action in postmerger organizations, and to examine a revealing case to distinguish the inherent risks and problems in discursive legitimation. Our case analysis focuses on the merger between the French pharmaceutical companies BioMérieux and Pierre Fabre. We adopt a critical multimethod approach and distinguish specific discursive dynamics and pathological tendencies in this case. The analysis highlights the unintended consequences of discursive legitimation, the central role of sensegiving and sensehiding in discursive legitimation, the inherently political nature of legitimation and the risks associated with politicization, the special problems associated with fashionable discourses and the role of the media, the use of specific discursive strategies for legitimation and delegitimation, and the crucial role of actual integration results. This analysis adds to the existing research on mergers and acquisitions by treating discursive legitimation as part of the merger dynamics. In particular, our case analysis provides a new explanation for merger failure. We also believe that the recursive model connecting discursive legitimation and delegitimation strategies to concrete organizational action makes a more general contribution to our understanding of organizational legitimation.
  • Sokero, Mikael (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    The study explores why and how is the legitimacy of the mining project in Sokli, Savukoski municipality in North-Eastern Finland contested. The concept and theory of legitimacy is often neglected in research concerning mining and the concepts of acceptance and social license to operate are found in the mainstream of research. The study discusses the possibilities and challenges the theories and concept of legitimacy in the context of mining. Furthermore the Sokli mine is analyzed in the wider context of the expansion of extractive frontier towards perihpheries. This expansion has been desrcibed to be permitted by a new coalition between the state and private corporations. Moreover the new coalition has been linked to a new development paradigm portrayed as (neo-)extractivism. The literature on extractivism has focused strongly to Global South despite the process’ global character. A case study approach is adapted. The data consists of five semi-structured interviews conducted with locals in Savukoski region. Complimenting the interview data, the analysis is extended to four official documents by stakeholders of the possibly forthcoming mine in Sokli. In the light of a diverse combination of legitimacy theory created in this thesis the legitimacy of the Sokli mine is contested primarily on moral grounds. The mine does not fit into the locals’ conception of how the environment ought to be utilized. The mine also makes the development of traditional livelihoods in the area harder. In sum the locals’ vision of the future of the municipality and their conception of development contradicts with the expansion of the extractive industry. Finnish mining legislation is one of the most important structural permitting condition, which in Savukoski is contested and considered illegitimate. On the other hand the mine is supported mainly for it’s possible tax revenue and because it creates jobs. Employmen moreover is a core argument supporting mining in Finland. There have been controversies between estimations and fulfilled revenues and jobs. The environmental disaster and supicious practices by mining authorities in the area were often referenced and the casof Talvivaara had effected attitudes towards mining in Savukoski. The case study demonstrates an exception in the landscape of mostly positive and legitimate attitudes towards mining in Finland. Moreover the global expansion of extractives and the global rush for land have resulted in strong political opposition and mobilization in for example Latin America but not similarly in Finland. The further commodification of nature might in the future lead to political turmoil also in Finland if the legal conditions for mining persist. The larger structural shift away from the Nordic welfare state needs to be further researched in the context of extractive industries.
  • Thorup, Mikkel (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, 2013)
    COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 14
    This article explores how state actors and ‘state philosophers’ from the latter part of the twentieth century until the present have described and reacted to what they perceive as militant challenges to the statist order. This is understood to be an antipolitical mode of argumentation because the critiques explicitly distance themselves from ordinary politics, portraying themselves as above or beyond normal politics. It is more specifically about critiques of liberal democracy for being unable to defend itself because it regards action as antithetical to talking. The article firstly outlines the core of the critique; then it turns to an empirical exploration of two different argumentative types of the critique illustrated through two different case examples: (1) securitized antipolitics: the neo-conservative argument for using force and the critique of those standing in the way of military solutions; and (2) moralized antipolitics: the idea that Islamism represents a new life threat to the West meriting a third world-war response and the critique of liberal appeasers supposedly not up to the challenge. The article concludes by summarizing the findings in the Slavoj Žižekian concept of ultrapolitics, where a militarization of politics is offered as real, hard politics but is actually a way to avoid the truly hard fact of politics: disagreement.
  • Joutsenvirta, Maria; Vaara, Eero (Scandinavian Journal of Management (2009) 25, 85—96, 2009)
    Despite the central role of legitimacy in corporate social responsibility debate, little is known of subtle meaning-making processes through which social actors attempt to establish or de-establish legitimacy for socially contested corporate undertakings, and through which they, at the same time, struggle to define the proper social role and responsibility of corporations. We investigated these processes in the context of the intense socio-political conflict around the Finnish forest industry company Metsa¨-Botnia’s world-scale pulp mill in Uruguay. A critical discursive analysis of Finnish media texts highlights three types of struggle that characterized the media coverage: legalistic argumentation, truth fights, and political battles. Interestingly, this case illustrates how the corporate representatives — with the help of the national media — tend to frame the issue in legalistic terms, emphasize their expert knowledge in technical and environmental evaluations, and distance themselves from political disputes. We argue that similar tendencies are likely to characterize corporate social responsibility debates more generally.
  • Reinsalo, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This thesis examines an open public consultation, Debate on the future of Home Affairs policies, organized by the European Commission in 2013-2014. Moreover, it investigates perceived significance of the consultation, in which several interest organizations took part. Because of its institutional position, The Commission needs input and expertize from interest organizations for both input and output legitimacy aspirations. Moreover, it has developed a consultation regime as part of European Governance. Although prior research exists, relatively little is known about open online consultations. Utiliziing theories of representation and legitimacy, this thesis examines why do interest organizations participate in online consultation, and how and whether are they able to contribute to advance legitimacy in Commission’s decision making processes. To investigate the research problem, semi-structural interviews were conducted in Brussels during spring 2015. The range of respondents consists of a representative of the Commission, and senior officials coming from NGO’s, employers’ interest organizations and trade unions. The interviews are analysed with qualitative content analysis methods, in interaction with the theories of representation and legitimacy. The criteria to assess legitimacy is based on prior research, and consists of responsiveness, representativenes, inclusiveness, transparency, weight of the results and efficacy. Moreover, the analysis is reflected to prior research. Based on the interview data, open online consultation on the future of home affairs policies is perceived as a complementary consultation instument for both the Commission and interest organization. However, interest organizations highlight that although they don’t have high expections in making an impact in open online consultation, participating in them cannot be ignored. Results indicate that when forming a position to online consultation, organizations consult their members, but rarely receive a great deal of input from their members. Interest organizations’ links with their regular members are constant, but in terms of participating in online consultation, the process is Brussels-lead. Moreover, both the Commission and the consultation participants value the consultation culture. Understanding the role of non-electoral representation, and assessing their contribution to democracy or legitimacy is outlined as one of the key research fields in EU studies and this thesis has made a contribution in it. The thesis has also limitations regarding both the data and theoretical frameworks that are to be kept in mind. The interview data consists of individual individual perceptions of respondents and must be treated accordingly. Therefore, far reaching conclusions based on the results ought to be avoided.
  • Cosens, Barbara; Ruhl, J. B.; Soininen, Niko; Gunderson, Lance; Belinskij, Antti; Blenckner, Thorsten; Camacho, Alejandro E.; Chaffin, Brian C.; Craig, Robin Kundis; Doremus, Holly; Glicksman, Robert; Heiskanen, Anna-Stiina; Larson, Rhett; Similä, Jukka (National Academy of Sciences, 2021)
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Sep 2021, 118 (36) e2102798118
    The speed and uncertainty of environmental change in the Anthropocene challenge the capacity of coevolving social–ecological–technological systems (SETs) to adapt or transform to these changes. Formal government and legal structures further constrain the adaptive capacity of our SETs. However, new, self-organized forms of adaptive governance are emerging at multiple scales in natural resource-based SETs. Adaptive governance involves the private and public sectors as well as formal and informal institutions, self-organized to fill governance gaps in the traditional roles of states. While new governance forms are emerging, they are not yet doing so rapidly enough to match the pace of environmental change. Furthermore, they do not yet possess the legitimacy or capacity needed to address disparities between the winners and losers from change. These emergent forms of adaptive governance appear to be particularly effective in managing complexity. We explore governance and SETs as coevolving complex systems, focusing on legal systems to understand the potential pathways and obstacles to equitable adaptation. We explore how governments may facilitate the emergence of adaptive governance and promote legitimacy in both the process of governance despite the involvement of nonstate actors, and its adherence to democratic values of equity and justice. To manage the contextual nature of the results of change in complex systems, we propose the establishment of long-term study initiatives for the coproduction of knowledge, to accelerate learning and synergize interactions between science and governance and to foster public science and epistemic communities dedicated to navigating transitions to more just, sustainable, and resilient futures.
  • Ehrnström-Fuentes, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2016)
    Economics and Society – 304
    This thesis critically analyses corporate-community relations in the forestry industry, with a particular focus on cases in the Latin American context. The key conceptual focus is on the legitimacy of corporate activity from the perspective of local communities in the contested field of sustainability. The concept of legitimacy is critically discussed in the light of a pluriversal approach to reality: Instead of assuming that legitimacy can be derived from a universally socially constructed system of shared norms and believes, legitimacy in the pluriverse signals that the world is not made up of one single history or worldview but many different ways of knowing, sensing, and being; what is perceived as legitimate depends on the place-based social imaginaries of the communities where it emerges. This approach to legitimacy creation, provides a nuanced understanding of the contested nature of forestry-community relations in Latin America. Adapting a pluriversal perspective on legitimacy has consequences for governance and how the corporate world engages with local communities. Instead of promoting consensus-seeking stakeholder dialogues among those do not wish to become stakeholders of the corporate world, there is a need to open up for encounters between worlds through conversations across differences and celebrate conflicts as manifestations of the different worlds within the pluriverse. Rooted governance is introduced as a concept that contrasts with the top-down approach of global governance. Instead, the bottom-up rooted approach recognises local differences, knowledges, and livelihoods as important elements of reproducing and sustaining life in communities. This pluriversal way of conceptualizing and acknowledging different life worlds and social imaginaries opens up opportunities to explore new alternatives for co-existence of communities– one of the most urgent challenges for our and future generations.
  • Koski, Sinikka (2000)
    The study consists of a case study in squatter camp communities in Cato Manor, Durban, South Africa, in the context of democratization. The case study was conducted through participant observation and twelve in-depth interviews among the local leadership in May - August 1998. The interviewees were chosen to represent the community opinions on the basis of brief pilot interviews. The aim was to gather first- hand, detailed information on the political attitudes, opinions, culture, behaviour, and local order in previously disenfranchised, but still economically and socially marginalized communities. The research examined the impact of legitimacy in a democratic consolidation process. The theoretical framework was the recent democratization theories of transitiology and consolidology. The main concept was legitimacy, which was analyzed through three clusters: types of political participation, local and regional security order, and the redefined role of the African state. Each cluster contains elements of the legitimization from above and from below. The results of the field research conclude that the culture of resistance and undemocratic, violent modes of participation are still part of the political culture in socio-economically deprived communities in South Africa. Democratic ways to participate are practiced, but the potential for violence, revenge, and distrust towards authorities dominate the patterns of participation. Democracy is closely linked to the socio-economic rights, but more importantly to human dignity and other non-material values. Community democracy was strong and communities had their own dispute mechanism and marshal system. Violence was perceived as a threat to personal security only in its most extreme forms, while everyday crime and instability were mostly tolerated, rejected, or denied. The national government enjoyed high levels of legitimacy and was uncriticized. The local authorities had low levels of legitimacy. Horizontal legitimacy was high among the residents and towards the new invaders, even though invasions often stopped the development plans in the area. Based on the case study was created a new concept, participation through community leaders and gatekeepers. This concept describes the political participation of the people at the grass-roots level, where the local leadership provides information, interpretations, and political strategies for a group of people. Also a continuum was defined for different types of participation, where one pole covers undemocratic, violent, and delegitimizating political participation, another pole democratic, peaceful, and legitimizing political participation.
  • Wong, Grace Yee; Luttrell, Cecilia; Loft, Lasse; Yang, Anastasia; Thuy Thu Pham; Naito, Daisuke; Assembe-Mvondo, Samuel; Brockhaus, Maria (2019)
    REDD+ was designed globally as a results-based instrument to incentivize emissions reduction from deforestation and forest degradation. Over 50 countries have developed strategies for REDD+, implemented pilot activities and/or set up forest monitoring and reporting structures, safeguard systems and benefit sharing mechanisms (BSMs), offering lessons on how particular ideas guide policy design. The implementation of REDD+ at national, sub-national and local levels required payments to filter through multiple governance structures and priorities. REDD+ was variously interpreted by different actors in different contexts to create legitimacy for certain policy agendas. Using an adapted 3E (effectiveness, efficiency, equity and legitimacy) lens, we examine four common narratives underlying REDD+ BSMs: (1) that results-based payment (RBP) is an effective and transparent approach to reducing deforestation and forest degradation; (2) that emphasis on co-benefits risks diluting carbon outcomes; (3) that directing REDD+ benefits predominantly to poor smallholders, forest communities and marginalized groups helps address equity; and (4) that social equity and gender concerns can be addressed by well-designed safeguards. This paper presents a structured examination of eleven BSMs from within and beyond the forest sector and analyses the evidence to variably support and challenge these narratives and their underlying assumptions to provide lessons for REDD+ BSM design. Our findings suggest that contextualizing the design of BSMs, and a reflexive approach to examining the underlying narratives justifying particular design features, is critical for achieving effectiveness, equity and legitimacy. Key policy insights A results-based payment approach does not guarantee an effective REDD+; the contexts in which results are defined and agreed, along with conditions enabling social and political acceptance, are critical. A flexible and reflexive approach to designing a benefit-sharing mechanism that delivers emissions reductions at the same time as co-benefits can increase perceptions of equity and participation. Targeting REDD+ to smallholder communities is not by default equitable, if wider rights and responsibilities are not taken into account Safeguards cannot protect communities or society without addressing underlying power and gendered relations. The narratives and their underlying generic assumptions, if not critically examined, can lead to repeated failure of REDD+ policies and practices.
  • Lehtolaakso, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    ISIS, the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, is a relatively new player on the field of international politics. ISIS managed to strengthen its position in Syria and Iraq especially during 2013-2015 with its nearly full-fledged army and by building and providing basic infrastructure in areas torn by the war in Syria. The aim of this research is to look at the violence ISIS practises against LGBTQ minorities and how this violence helps build ISIS’s legitimacy both regionally and as an international actor. To help answer the research question, a theoretical framework has been built on the paradigms of power by Michel Foucault. The paradigms used for the theoretical framework are sovereign power, biopolitical power and disciplinary power. The advantage of the chosen theoretical framework is that with it the research is able to discuss the formation of legitimacy and power through certain mechanisms of power, and when the state is not at the centre of the analysis of power formation, but rather different regimes of power. Thus, the research is able to discuss an actor like ISIS that cannot be discussed as a nation-state without reservations, and its legitimacy building. The data in this research is comprised of photo and video material from public executions of victims that are accussed of engaging in homosexual activities. The data in this research has been transcribed from their visual form to a textual one in the form of short scripts. In addition to the scripts, there are three supporting methods of analysis: ”mash-up” technique for photo editing, where multiple photographs have been made slightly transparent and place on top of one another, photo collections and generalising models of the different phases in the executions drawn with a computer program. The research finds that the role of audience is essential witnessing these events. If there is not audience, present on witnessing distributed material of the events, the executions do not help to build or foster ISIS legitimacy or authority. Through these executions, ISIS is taking advantage of an already stigmatised minority and its weak societal position in the area where ISIS is active to build its own legitimacy and credibility regionally and to shock the international community and gain its attention by distributing execution material online and in social media. The central findings of this research are that ISIS is using these executions to build legitimacy in two ways. On the one hand, ISIS portrays itself as the protector of the local population, purging the community of disdained homosexuals. On the other hand ISIS manages to place itself in stark contrast to Western liberal values that support the rights of sexual minorities. Therefore, ISIS is building its legitimacy with violence towards sexual minorities on two levels.
  • Erkama, Niina; Vaara, Eero (Organization Studies, 2009)
    Critical organization scholars have focused increasing attention on industrial and organizational restructurings such as shutdown decisions. However, little is known about the rhetorical strategies used to legitimate or resist plant closures in organizational negotiations. In this article, we draw from New Rhetoric to analyze rhetorical struggles, strategies and dynamics in unfolding organizational negotiations. We focus on the shutdown of the bus body unit of the Sweden-based Volvo Bus Corporation in Finland. We distinguish five types of rhetorical legitimation strategies and dynamics. These include the three classical dynamics of logos (rational arguments), pathos (emotional moral arguments), and ethos (authority-based arguments), but also autopoiesis (autopoietic narratives), and cosmos (cosmological constructions). Our analysis contributes to previous studies on organizational restructuring by providing a more nuanced understanding of how contemporary industrial closures are legitimated and resisted in organizational negotiations. This study also increases theoretical understanding of the role of rhetoric in legitimation more generally.
  • Erkama, Niina; Vaara, Eero (Organizational Studies, forthcoming, 2009/2010, 2009)
    Critical organization scholars have focused increasing attention on industrial and organizational restructurings such as shutdown decisions. However, we know little about the rhetorical strategies used to legitimate or resist plant closures in organizational negotiations. In this paper, we draw from New Rhetoric to analyze rhetorical struggles, strategies and dynamics in unfolding organizational negotiations. We focus on the shutdown of the bus body unit of the Swedish company Volvo in Finland. We distinguish five types of rhetorical legitimation strategies and dynamics. These include the three classical dynamics of logos (rational arguments), pathos (emotional moral arguments), and ethos (authority-based arguments), but also autopoiesis (autopoietic narratives), and cosmos (cosmological constructions). Our analysis adds to the previous studies explaining how organizational restructuring as a phenomenon is legitimated, how this legitimation has changed over time, and how contemporary industrial closures are legitimated in the media. This study also increases our theoretical understanding of the role of rhetoric in legitimation more generally.
  • Kostiainen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Taxation has been trending in the financing for development agenda once again since the Monterrey Consensus in 2002. It has been widely stated amongst developing countries, donors and international institutions, that there is a growing importance for enhancing developing countries’ capacity to collect taxes in order to secure financing of SDG’s and reduce dependence on development assistance. Furthermore, it is believed that taxation plays a central role in building democratic and accountable states. Many donor countries, including Finland, have committed to double their support by the year 2020 to improve tax systems in developing countries. Namibia is one of the signatories of the Addis Tax Initiative (ATI), and has committed to step up its revenue collection in accordance with the principles aligned in the ATI. Although it is a popular idea that direct taxing of the citizens can lead to more responsive and accountable governments in developing countries, little research has been conducted that shed light on the complexity of this relationship in practice. The aim of this thesis is to provide insight on how legitimate do Namibian citizens consider the fact that they are being taxed, and which factors influence emergence or lack of this legitimacy. In order to gain understanding on this topic, qualitative thematic interviews have been conducted with Namibians and various tax experts. Three theoretical concepts – fiscal contract proposition, legitimacy and economic citizenship – are applied to the analysis of the interview material to illuminate different aspects that affect the perceived legitimacy of taxation. Although Namibia has a particularly high ratio of tax revenue to GDP in comparison to other sub-Saharan countries and collects a remarkable share of its revenues from direct taxes, it seems that the fiscal contract is unfounded in Namibia. None of the respondents thought that they are directly benefitting from paying taxes and saw very few benefits in paying taxes in general. Particularly the government’s irresponsible spending and corruption were major factors undermining the legitimacy of taxation in Namibia. Taxpayer education and possibilities to influence on the government’s decision-making were considered as very limited. Political culture matters; due to the dominant party system and weak civil society, there seems to prevail an attitude within the Namibian government that they do not need to be accountable toward the taxpaying citizens, as there is no alternative to vote for. The limitations of the fiscal contract proposition in the Namibian context are also discussed considering the demographic, geographic and economic structure, as well as the structure of political decision-making in Namibia. This thesis intends to draw attention to the context-specificity of taxation and its role in shaping state-society relations.
  • Vainio, Annukka; Tienhaara, Annika; Haltia, Emmi; Hyvonen, Terho; Pyysiäinen, Jarkko; Pouta, Eija (2021)
    Farmers’ and citizens’ perceptions of the legitimacy of the current action-oriented and the proposed result- oriented agri-environmental schemes (AES) are poorly known. To help fill this gap, this study analysed such perceptions in the context of Finnish citizens and farmers. Hypotheses on legitimacy, ecosystem service per-ceptions and environmental values were developed and empirically tested with nationwide surveys of Finnish citizens (n =1,744) and farmers (n =1,215) using t-test and multiple linear regression. The results demonstrated that Finnish citizens perceive the proposed result-oriented AES as more legitimate, whereas Finnish farmers attribute greater legitimacy to the current action-oriented AES. Among both groups, a preference for action- oriented AES, and reluctance to change them, was associated with the perception that Finnish agriculture has been successful in producing ecosystem services. Among both groups, environmental preferences were associated with the legitimation of both AES. The conclusion is that in order for a change in AES to be legitimate, that change should be perceived as necessary, justified and based on the values considered important by farmers and citizens.
  • Salminen, Otto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The thesis sheds light on European Union´s attempts to increase the voting turn out and decrease democratic deficit in the European Parliament elections by focusing on Spitzenkandidaten process, a reform implemented the first time in the 2014 elections. Still, in the spring 2018, the Spitzenkandidaten process is under discussion on the EU level whether it should be applied also in the future elections when the new parliament and the new President for Commision will be elected. The research has aimed to produce essential and topical information for the decision makers when making up one´s minds whether to support or not to support the reform. The research takes a closer look on the EU citizens´ views and public opinion on the process. The theories and criticism of earlier research are applied and tested by studying three research questions. The research questions are formulated as follows: 1) To what extent the attitudes towards the European Union explains whether the Spitzenkandidaten process is or is not considered to represent progress for democracy within the EU among the citizens´ of the Union? 2) To what extent the position on the scale of political left and political right explains the attitudes towards the Spitzenkandidaten process among the citizens´ of the Union? 3) To what extent the level of awareness about the processes of decision making in the European Union explains whether the Spitzenkandidaten process is or is not considered to represent progress for democracy within the EU among the citizens´ of the Union? The data studied in this thesis contains the data set of the Parlemeter of the European Parliament (EB/EP 82.4). The data was processed and analyzed with SPSS version 24 (SPSS Inc., Chicago IL). The results of the ordinal regression analysis show that more a person thinks his/her country's membership of the EU is a good thing, the more likely person is willing to think that the Spitzenkandidaten process represents progress for democracy. In addition, image on the EU has statistically significant relation with the attitude towards the Spitzenkandidaten process. The better image of the EU a person has, the more likely person is willing to think that the Spitzenkandidaten process represents progress for democracy. The ordinal regression analysis shows that the citizens` position on the scale of political "left" and "right" does not explain statistically significantly the attitudes towards the Spitzenkandidaten process among the citizens´ of the Union. According to the ordinal regression analysis, the better level of political awareness, both objectively and subjectively measured, the more likely person is willing to think Spitzenkandidaten process to represent progress for democracy. This research and its findings emphasize the role of political awareness as one of key elements to focus on when combating the democratic deficit in the European Union. The finding of this research support the findings in earlier research: Democratic deficit occurs until the EU-citizens understand how the Union effect on their lives (Wass 2014: 37). To be able to form opinions about the innovations like Spitzenkandidaten process in the future, citizens would need to be better informed about the reforms. More focus should be given to the active communication between the EU decision makers and the citizens.
  • Hytönen, Outi (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    This thesis deals with public opinion of the decision making concerning forest policy in Finland. The data used was part of a nationwide mail survey examining the perceptions of the legitimacy of forest policy and its predictors in Finland. The data comprised of the answers to the question “What would you like to focus on in the decision making concerning forest use?”. The answers were analysed using inductive content analysis. The topics from the data were categorised under four themes: values, political decision-making, actors and practises. Based on the answers forests are regarded as multifunctional and the different value conceptions are equally respected. However, the existing value conflict between economic and ecological values was evident. The forest policy cannot be legitimised only on the basis of economic use of the forest resources. The biodiversity, nature protection and the recreational benefits of the forests must also be taken into account according the citizens. The results were analysed in the light of the goals and procedures set in the main documents of the Finnish forest policy. The aim was to compare the similarities and differences between current forest policy and citizens’ perspectives, and to find out if one can make any judgements about the acceptability and legitimacy of the forest policy. In general, citizens know what is included in forest policy decisionmaking, and the opinions are consistent with current policy. Certain forestry actions and forest owners’ decision-making power are the main points of conflict. Clear cuttings and especially the objection of them was the most essential topic in the data. This is against the prevailing forestry practises, since clear cuttings are the most used method in final felling. Citizens suggest alternative forestry practises like thinning and uneven-age management to be used in the felling of timber. According to the results concerning political decision making the main conflict arises from forest owners’ participation possibilities and the distribution of power. The procedural justice of the forest policy is not fully justified and legitimate, since citizens feel forest owners have too little decision-making power on their own forest property.