Browsing by Subject "policy"

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  • Isoaho, Karoliina Laila Hannele; Moilanen, Fanni Sofia; Toikka, Arho Ilmari (2019)
    The Energy Union, a major energy sector reform project launched by the European Commission in 2015, has substantial clean energy and climate aims. However, scholarly caution has been raised about their feasibility, especially with regards to accommodating climate objectives with other closely related yet often competing policy goals. We therefore investigate the policy priorities of the Energy Union by performing a topic modelling analysis of over 5,000 policy documents. A big data analysis confirms that decarbonisation and energy efficiency dimensions are major building blocks in the Energy Union's agenda. Furthermore, there are signals of policy convergence in terms of climate security and climate affordability policies. However, our analysis also suggests that the Commission is not actively prescribing trajectories for renewable energy development or paying close attention to declining incumbent energy generation technologies. Overall, we find that the Energy Union is not a 'floating signifier' but rather has a clear and incrementally evolving decarbonisation agenda. Whether it further develops into an active driver of decarbonisation will largely be determined by the implementation phase of the project.
  • Karlsen, Kristofer (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    This research explores how Russian national identity is constructed through political discourses pertaining to the Arctic. Theoretically this thesis addresses how national identity is constructed through these discourses and subsequently how this identity is used to justify Russia’s Arctic policy to a domestic as well as an international audience. In order to achieve this a hybrid methodology combining critical discourse analysis and political discourse analysis was applied to two forms of political discourses; speeches by politicians and policy papers. This research has identified five discourses through which a Russian national identity is constructed and policy legitimised. These are international cooperation, security, governance, Russia as Arctic, and environment.
  • Wickman, Mikaela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Arktiska rådet som grundades år 1996 är det enda mellanstatliga samarbetsforumet att handskas specifikt med arktiska frågor. Rådet följer med miljöns tillstånd, utger miljöbedömningar om miljöskydd och hållbar utveckling och ger på basis av dessa policyrekommendationer åt medlemsländerna. Medlemsländerna har i alla fall i princip bundit sig till att följa rekommendationerna men rådet har inte mandat att ge juridiskt bindande rekommendationer eller att se till att de verkställs. Nivån på den nationella implementeringen av Arktiska rådets rekommendationer har visat sig vara svag i medlemsländerna men ett område där de gjort framsteg i är att implementera de rekommendationer som rådet gett om åtgärder att minska på utsläpp av svart kol. Finland är ett medlemsland som klarat sig bra med att implementera dessa rekommendationer. Genom en fallstudie över implementeringsprocessen av Arktiska rådets rekommendationer om åtgärder att minska på utsläpp av svart kol i Finland är studiens syfte att skapa en helhetsbild över händelseförloppet av implementeringen för att på så sätt förklara och förstå implementeringsprocessen i Finland. Bakom implementeringen av Arktiska rådets rekommendationer ligger det en policyprocess och genom att granska den är syftet också att systematiskt analysera vilka implementeringsfaktorer som har främjat respektive försvårat implementeringen. Det finns i regel två modeller för att studera implementering, en beslutsorienterad uppifrån-nermodell och en handlingsorienterad nerifrån-uppmodell. Den syntesmodell av de två modellerna som Sabatier utformat bildar tillsammans med Lundquists modell för implementeringsstyrning fallstudiens teoretiska utgångspunkt. Lundquists styrningsmodell utgår ifrån att man vid analys av implementering måste uppmärksamma hur strukturerna och aktörernas förmågor och beteenden påverkar genomförandet. I ett styrningsperspektiv har policytillämparens egenskaper en betydande roll för att förklara avvikelser mellan beslut och utfall vid implementeringen av policy. Studien visar att Finlands förmåga att förstå vad rekommendationerna om svart kol handlar om har främjat implementeringen, likaså Finlands vilja att tillämpa dem. Implementeringen har underlättats av klara och konsekventa målsättningar och av att Arktiska rådet och Finland anser att utsläpp av svart kol är ett problem och att utsläppen måste minskas. Målformuleringar som i början var otydliga har klarnats vilket tyder på att Arktiska rådet som policyförespråkare lärt sig under processens gång. Den arktiska regionen håller på att genomgå en förändring då klimatförändringen syns som ett betydligt varmare klimat och som smältande av havsisen, och då nya ekonomiska möjligheter i samband med det förväntas uppstå. Som ett resultat har intresset mot det arktiska området ökat. Som det centrala samarbetsorganet vad gäller Arktis har betydelsen av Arktiska rådet ökat.
  • Lyytikainen, Minna; Yadav, Punam (2022)
    This article explores a narrative of peacebuilding best practice: the national efforts to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in Nepal. We demonstrate how the contested realities of post-conflict gender politics are skilfully transformed into internationally transferable policy knowledge. We argue that in order to construct a peacebuilding best practice, policy entrepreneurs draw on their social capital to make claims about policy as simultaneously local and context-specific as well as global and universally applicable. The credibility of the claims is based on the extent to which they can be presented to international policy audiences in formats suitable for their consumption.
  • Mansikka, Jan-Erik; Lundkvist, Marina (2022)
    Finland has gone through considerable reforms in early childhood education and care in recent years, with a new Act followed by a new National Core Curriculum (2018). The reforms have implied much more emphasis on both education and children's perspectives. Because of the changes, we are interested in what role the concept of children's rights, and more particularly children's right to participation, has had in this recent development. Our analysis of the recent curriculum in Finland shows three different ways of describing children's right to participate: social, political and learning dimensions on participation. Moreover, we could see that each dimension contained two poles, oscillating between children's autonomy and interdependence. We believe that finding new ways of describing children's rights to participate will help professionals working within ECEC to overcome the gap between theory and practice.
  • Lehtomaa, Jere (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    The incomplete global coverage of current emissions trading schemes has raised concerns about free-riding and carbon leakage. EU ETS, the first and currently the biggest carbon market, is at the fore of such fears. Carbon-based import tariffs have thereby been proposed to compensate domestic industries for the cost disadvantage against their rivals in non-regulating countries. This thesis uses an applied general equilibrium (AGE) model to assess the impacts of a hypothetical EU carbon tariff on the Finnish economy. The carbon content of imported goods is first estimated with an environmentally extended input-output analysis, and the tariff is levied according to the anticipated price of EU emission allowances. To examine the sensitivity of the results, five additional scenarios are then constructed by altering the key simulation parameters. The tariff is imposed on the most energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries in 2016 and simulated until 2030. The results suggest that carbon tariffs are detrimental to the Finnish economy. The negative outcome is determined by high material intensity and a growing dependence on imported materials throughout the industry sector. As a result, the tariff-induced increase in import prices adds up to a notable growth in total production costs. Moreover, the negative impact is most pronounced within the export-oriented heavy manufacturing sector that the tariff was designed to shelter in the first place. The few sectors that gain from the tariff were not directly subject to it, but utilize the secondary impacts as the economy adapts to the shock. The findings imply that due to the deeper integration of global value chains, the appeal of protective tariffs, even if environmentally motivated, can be harmfully over-simplistic.
  • Egerer, Michael Dieter; Kankainen, Veera Emilia; Hellman, Carin Matilda Emelie (2018)
    Profits from legal gambling are often channelled to good causes. This system embeds the predicament of whether citizens' potentially problematic gambling activities should be a source of funding for the public good. In this article, this dilemma is unfolded by the receivers of public grants that stem from gambling revenues. A total of twenty-three representatives of Civil Society Organizations were interviewed as beneficiaries of the Finnish state-owned gambling monopolies. The article illustrates explicit dependencies and hidden ethical dilemmas, suggesting that CSOs may have limited possibilities of making ethically consistent decisions in view of the origin of their funding.
  • Ang, Lynn; Lipponen, Lasse; Lim, Sirene (2021)
    The early childhood years are pivotal as they mark the beginning of a young child’s life journey into education. This paper offers critical reflections of the early childhood care and education landscape in Singapore as it has evolved over the last decade. The discussion will draw on findings of the study Vital Voices for Vital Years 2 (2019) to explicate the issues, debates and challenges facing the early childhood care and education sector. It argues that recent developments in the sector with stepped increases in government funding and strategic policy development, augmented by the establishment of national agencies committed to improving the quality of care and education, have achieved significant milestones in the country. However, a more critical perspective of the role of early childhood in policy and practice to meet the diverse needs of young children and families is necessary for envisioning education as a pathway to inclusion and social equality, and for building a truly inclusive society.
  • Waylen, Kerry; Blackstock, Kirsty; van Hulst, Freddy; Damian, Carmen; Horváth, Ferenc; Johnson, Richard; Kanka, Robert; Külvik, Mart; Macleod, Christopher J.A.; Meissner, Kristian; Oprina-Pavelescu, Mihaela M.; Pino, Joan; Primmer, Eeva; Rîșnoveanu, Geta; Šatalová, Barbora; Silander, Jari; Špulerová, Jana; Suškevičs, Monika; van Uytvanck, Jan (Elsevier, 2019)
    Data in Brief 23 (2019), 103785
    The data presented in this DiB article provide an overview of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) carried out for 3 European environmental policies (the Water Framework Directive, the Natura 2000 network of protected areas, and Agri-Environment Schemes implemented under the Common Agricultural Policy), as implemented in 9 cases (Catalonia (Spain), Estonia, Finland, Flanders (Belgium), Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Scotland (UK), Sweden). These data are derived from reports and documents about monitoring programs that were publicly-available online in 2017. The literature on M&E to support adaptive management structured the issues that have been extracted and summarized. The data is related to the research article entitled “Policy-driven monitoring and evaluation: does it support adaptive management of socio-ecological systems?” [Stem et al., 2005]. The information provides a first overview of monitoring and evaluation that has been implemented in response to key European environmental policies. It provides a structured overview that permits a comparison of cases and policies and can assist other scholars and practitioners working on monitoring and evaluation.
  • Olofson, Anders O.; Lindberg, J. Ola; Pedersen, Alex Young; Arstorp, Ann-Thérèse; Dalsgaard, Christian; Einum, Even; Caviglia, Francesco; Ilomäki, Liisa; Veermans, Marjaana; Häkkinen, Päivi; Willermark, Sara (2021)
    This paper explores policy related to digital competence and the digitalisation of Nordic K-12 schools. Anchored in some key transnational policies on digital competence, it describes some current Nordic movements in the national policies of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The concept of boundary objects is used as an analytical lens, for understanding digital competence as a plastic and temporal concept that can be used to discuss the multi-dimensional translation of this concept in these Nordic countries. The paper ends with a discussion of the potential to view digital competence as a unifying boundary object that, with its plasticity, temporality and n-dimensionality, can show signs of common Nordic efforts in the K-12 school policy.
  • Heino, Waltteri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis analyzes the digitalization policy of the Finnish government. The main attempt is to, firstly, identify the central ideas and ideologies behind the approach of the Finnish government toward societal digitalization. Secondly, the attempt is to analyze them from the perspective of the traditional ideas and ideologies of the Nordic welfare state. The underlining research question is, whether the possible approach of the Finnish government toward digitalization is compatible with the traditional ideas and ideologies of the Nordic welfare state. The method in this thesis is a combination of qualitative content analysis and historical research methods. Qualitative content analysis with a focus on an analysis of ideologies is used for analyzing primary sources. A historical perspective is used in an attempt to locate contemporary societal digitalization on a trajectory of societal transformations in post-industrial capitalist states, as well as when presenting the Nordic welfare state model. Overall, the approach of the Finnish government appears largely in line with traditional Nordic welfare state values, such as equality and inclusion. However, one of the main findings of this thesis is that the approach of the Finnish government toward digitalization is a largely apolitical and instrumentalized one. Although possible political, economic and social implications of digitalization are identified, the government appears more concerned with providing all citizens equal access to digitalization than facilitating a public discussion on the nature, form or scope of the phenomenon. While such a consensual approach may be analyzed from the perspective of the Nordic culture of conformity, one of the main arguments of this thesis is that a politicized approach to digitalization could allow for a fruitful discussion on its eventual effects on society.
  • Watt, Allan; Ainsworth, Gill; Balian, Estelle; Cojocaru, George; Darbi, Marianne; Dicks, Lynn; Eggermont, Hilde; Furman, Eeva; Goudeseune, Lise; Huybrecht, Pierre; Kelemen, Eszter; Koch, Florian; Konstantinou, Zoi; Livoreil, Barbara; Locher, Karla; Lux, Alexandra; Mehring, Marion; Nesshoever, Carsten; Paloniemi, Riikka; Saarikoski, Heli; Pinto, Isabel Sousa; Vandewalle, Marie; Varjopuro, Riku; Varumo, Liisa; Wittmer, Heidi; Young, Juliette (Policy Press, 2019)
    Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice 15 (2), 2019, pp. 253-264 (12)
    The aim of EKLIPSE is to develop a mechanism to inform European-scale policy on biodiversity and related environmental challenges. This paper considers two fundamental aspects of the decision-support mechanism being developed by EKLIPSE: 1) the engagement of relevant actors from science, policy and society to jointly identify evidence for decision making; and 2) the networking of scientists and other holders of knowledge on biodiversity and other relevant evidence. The mechanism being developed has the potential not only to build communities of knowledge holders but to build informal networks among those with similar interests in evidence, be they those that seek to use evidence or those who are building evidence, or both. EKLIPSE has been successful in linking these people and in contributing to building informal networks of requesters of evidence, and experts of evidence and its synthesis. We have yet to see, however, significant engagement of formal networks of knowledge holders. Future success, however, relies on the continued involvement with and engagement of networks, a high degree of transparency within the processes and a high flexibility of structures to adapt to different requirements that arise with the broad range of requests to and activities of EKLIPSE.
  • Tåg, Joacim (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008)
    Economics and Society
    The growth of the information economy has been stellar in the last decade. General-purpose technologies such as the computer and the Internet have promoted productivity growth in a large number of industries. The effect on telecommunications, media and technology industries has been particularly strong. These industries include mobile telecommunications, printing and publishing, broadcasting, software, hardware and Internet services. There have been large structural changes, which have led to new questions on business strategies, regulation and policy. This thesis focuses on four such questions and answers them by extending the theoretical literature on platforms. The questions (with short answers) are: (i) Do we need to regulate how Internet service providers discriminate between content providers? (Yes.) (ii) What are the welfare effects of allowing consumers to pay to remove advertisements from advertisement-supported products?(Ambiguous, but those watching ads are worse off.) (iii) Why are some markets characterized by open platforms, extendable by third parties, and some by closed platforms, which are not extendable? (It is a trade-off between intensified competition for consumers and benefits from third parties) (iv) Do private platform providers allow third parties to access their platform when it is socially desirable? (No.)
  • Suutarinen, Janne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The thesis assesses ethical problems pertaining to a scenario of a mandatory vaccination program against SARS-CoV-2 (“Covid-19”) in Finland, as the epidemic situation stood in the early 2022. The initial research question is whether this kind of a program would be ethically justifiable. The conclusion to this question is reached by describing the epidemic situation, presenting basic ethical norms of public healthcare, and making a synthetizing ethical analysis on their basis. The concluding answer no comes as the result of analyzing the Finnish scenario from the perspectives of eight criteria of ethical justification that would need to be adequately met in order for a mandatory vaccination program to be an ethically sound public health measure. The eight criteria are formed by examining literature of public health ethics and vaccination ethics as well as strong ethical arguments in favor and against mandatory vaccinations, and by combining a ground of shared prerequisites guiding ethical considerations on the topic. The analysis reveals numerous ethical problems present in the Finnish scenario. The mere existence of so many unsolved issues makes the potential mandatory Covid-19 vaccination program an unethical option. The thesis calls for better public discussion on public health ethics, so that the ethical imperatives of protecting public health security and protecting individual bodily autonomy are realized also in emergency situations.
  • Laakso, Senja (2019)
    This article presents the results from an experimental project in Jyvaskyla, Finland, in which five 'pioneer households' aimed to reduce their environmental impacts by a variety of trials in different domains of daily consumption. The article analyses this 'home lab' experiment from a practice-theoretical perspective, focusing particularly on everyday mobility and the social interplay that occurs in mobility practices in different contexts. In so doing, the article explores the reasons behind the various outcomes of experimentation and discusses the potential of such experimentation to facilitate transformation in mobility practices. The results suggest that in order to shift daily mobility onto a more sustainable path, the social dynamics related to mobility practices should be better addressed. For example, the negotiations both inside and outside the participating households proved important in challenging the ways of doing mobility. Moreover, the potential for the diffusion of alternative mobility practices was shown to depend on a variety of factors that maintained the normality and acceptability of private driving. Utilising practice-theoretical insights in living laboratories can open new areas for experimentation and facilitate understanding of the shift in everyday practices towards greater sustainability.
  • Karjalainen, Linda E.; Juhola, Sirkku (2019)
    Transportation plays a key role in urban sustainability planning and urban greenhouse gas emission reductions. Globally, cities have established sustainability agendas and policies to guide the shift from traditional private automobile dependent transportation systems towards an increased use of public transportation, cycling, and walking. While the surrounding physical urban form and governance structures condition public transportation services, there are also many other factors to consider when discussing sustainability. As such, comprehensive planning and policy-oriented assessment frameworks that are independent of local conditions are still largely missing in literature. This paper presents a Public Transportation Sustainability Indicator List (PTSIL) that provides a platform for an integrated assessment of environmental, economic, and social dimensions of sustainability through an indicator-based approach. To demonstrate its use, the PTSIL is applied to analyze the policy documents of public transportation agencies in Helsinki, Finland, and Toronto, Canada. The results show that while both cities achieve relatively high scores in all dimensions, there is still high variability among individual indicators. The PTSIL presents a missed stepping stone between descriptive definitions of transportation sustainability and case specific sustainability performance assessments, offering an opportunity within the planning and policy-making sectors to review, assess, and develop public transportation services comprehensively.
  • Nylén, Erkki-Jussi Antero; Salminen, Jani Markus (2019)
    Resources, Conservation and Recycling 149 (2019), 532-540
    Since entering the waste policy debate in the 1980s, the sustainability discourse has sought to find alternatives to end-of-pipe solutions. The latest development on this path is the emergence of the circular economy, which aims to close the loop of the current linear economy. This case study analyses a substantial Finnish waste policy reform that has been underway since the late 1990s. The objective of the reform has been to create a decree that streamlines waste utilisation in earthworks. The decree was prepared between 2000 and 2006, and then reformed between 2015 and 2018. We analysed the discursive spaces of both phases and compared them to interpret the changes in the discourse of waste policy. The discursive space in the preparation phase was structured by the tension between the discourses of resource efficiency and precaution, but in the reform, the emergence of the circular economy diversified the discursive space. The thinking regarding the circular economy has added complexity, competition, and struggle to waste policy, but also enhanced the role of upcycling.
  • Bland, Lucie M.; Nicholson, Emily; Miller, Rebecca M.; Andrade, Angela; Carré, Aurélien; Etter, Andres; Herrera, Bernar; Kontula, Tytti; Lindgaard, Arild; Pliscoff, Patricio; Skowno, Andrew; Valderrábano, Marcos; Zager, Irene; Keith, David A. (The Society for Conservation Biology, 2019)
    Conservation Letters 2019; 12: e12666
    In 2014, the International Union for Conservation of Nature adopted the Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) criteria as the global standard for assessing risks to terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems. Five years on, it is timely to ask what impact this new initiative has had on ecosystem management and conservation. In this policy perspective, we use an impact evaluation framework to distinguish the outputs, outcomes, and impacts of the RLE since its inception. To date, 2,821 ecosystems in 100 countries have been assessed following the RLE protocol. Systematic assessments are complete or underway in 21 countries and two continental regions (the Americas and Europe). Countries with established ecosystem policy infrastructure have already used the RLE to inform legislation, land-use planning, protected area management, monitoring and reporting, and ecosystem management. Impacts are still emerging due to varying pace and commitment to implementation across different countries. In the future, RLE indices based on systematic assessments have high potential to inform global biodiversity reporting. Expanding the coverage of RLE assessments, building capacity and political will to undertake them, and establishing stronger policy instruments to manage red-listed ecosystems will be key to maximizing conservation impacts over the coming decades.
  • Marionneau, Virve (2015)
    AIMS - The principles of free trade and free circulation of services within the European Union have created pressures to make the strictly controlled European gambling markets more open. According to the Court of Justice of the European Union, restrictions on gambling are only allowed if they are justified in admissible terms of consumer protection, prevention of criminal activity and protection of public order. This study compares the gambling laws of two European societies, France and Finland, to analyse how their legal frames of gambling have been adjusted to these principles. DESIGN - The data consists of up-to-date legislation on gambling in Finland and France. A qualitative analysis was conducted to study whether new ways of justifying have been included in legislative texts and if these are substantiated by measures related to consumer protection or crime prevention. RESULTS - France has mainly justified its restrictive policies on gambling in terms of preventing criminal activities while the Finnish legislation highlights the charitable causes funded by gambling proceeds, a claim not accepted by the Court of Justice of the European Union. Consumer protection is increasingly stressed in both countries, and the range of rationales has also grown notably since 2007. CONCLUSION - While the vocabularies of justification accepted by the CJEU have expanded since 2007, these have not been substantiated by many new legislative measures. This is not attributed to political ill will but rather to the difficulty of changing existing legislative traditions.