Browsing by Subject "terrorism"

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  • Ygot-Riikonen, Maria Sheila (2004)
    Christian and Muslim conflict in Southern Philippines intensified during the last few decades although a shared history dates back 435 years ago. The government has so far failed to deliver genuine peace and stability to 22 million people in Mindanao suffering from poverty, displacement, and bloodshed. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the international community became aware of Islamic fundamentalist movements in Southeast Asia. The US government linked a Filipino Muslim group, Abu Sayyaf, to Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, justifying the staging in Mindanao of what US Pres. George Bush said as the second largest 'war against terrorism' after Afghanistan. Whatever impact terrorist acts may have from Basilan to Manhattan, peace research is more urgent and significant than ever. This study looks at the causes of violence amongst Christian and Muslim Filipinos and consequently explores areas for peace by asking: "What are the reasons of conflict? Who are the actors and agenda-setters? How can a local conflict become linked to international terrorism? What are the ways and means of effective and immediate conflict resolution in Mindanao?" To acquire firsthand insight, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted in the Philippines in June-October 2002 using a 60-day participant observation and the triangulation method for data gathering. Through snowball sampling, talks with different groups (government, military, rebels, academics, and NGOs) gave comprehensive and balanced analyses. Second, a quantitative survey of 400 youth respondents gave different views from Muslim and Christian perspectives, especially on concepts of alienation, animosity, and political participation. Finally, international newspaper reports, journals, and local publications were cautiously used as primary sources. Results showed contradictory views on the causes of conflict, whether economic, socio-political, or religious, depending on individuals and groups. Respondents said aggression was caused by economic neglect, frustration with the government, and lack of socio-political influence. Solutions offered are poverty alleviation, tolerance of socio-cultural diversity, strong leadership, and recognition of international peace agreements. Other means of conflict resolution involve empowering citizens, creating a balance of forces, channeling resources at the grassroots level, and cultivating a culture of peace.
  • Back, Elisabet (2008)
    Pro gradun undersöker hur rapporteringen om 11 september-attackerna såg ut i de finlandssvenska dagstidningarna Hufvudstadsbladet och Vasabladet. Granskningen är en fallstudie, men samtidigt ett bidrag till den övriga forskningen om katastrof- och krigsjournalistik. Syftet är att utreda vilka teman och aktörer som förekommer samt vilka specifika fenomen som ses i rapporteringen. Med tanke på nyhetens särdrag – att attackerna är riktade mot stormakten USA, kräver tusentals västerländska dödsoffer och att de misstänkta förövarna är muslimska fundamentalister – har jag fördjupat mig i rapporteringen om skuldfrågan, motiven för attackerna, motattacker och vilken världsbild tidningarna ger. Materialet består av tre dagars nyhetsrapportering i vardera tidningen. Arbetet bygger på metoderna kvantitativ innehållsanalys för att granska teman och aktörer samt kvalitativ närläsning för att granska fenomen. Resultaten visar att rapporteringen huvudsakligen utgick från det som gjordes och sades i USA. Tidningarna pekade genast och utan bevis ut al-Qaidas ledare Usama bin Ladin som den skyldiga. De gav eko åt den amerikanska ledningens krav på motattacker utan att ifrågasätta om det fanns andra möjligheter att straffa de skyldiga. Det här ledde till att motattacker framstod som oundvikliga. Hufvudstadsbladet och Vasabladet delade i början av rapporteringen upp världen i "vi" och "de" eller väst mot den muslimska världen. De såg ingen skillnad på förövarna och vanliga muslimer – förövarna beskrevs vara muslimer eller araber och vanliga muslimer fick dömande beskrivningar. Samtidigt framställdes motivet till attackerna vara ondska, något som amerikanska politiker höll hårt på. Rapporteringen övergick senare till att höra experter som varnade för att skära alla muslimer över en kam. De pekade också på sociala orättvisor som en orsak till extremism. Slutligen fick de vanliga muslimerna uttala sig om attackerna och motattackerna. Trots att rapporteringen förändrades över tid var den bestående bilden ändå att förövarna representerade det muslimska kollektivet, vilket kunde leda till att alla muslimer sågs som terrorister. Resultaten har jämförts med annan medieforskning om 11 september samt forskning om krigsjournalistik, huvudsakligen rapporteringen under Gulfkriget. De finlandssvenska tidningarna liknade till stor del de övriga västerländska mediernas rapportering. Pro gradun diskuterar slutligen alternativ till den västcentrerade journalistik som sågs i Hufvudstadsbladets och Vasabladets 11 september-rapportering.
  • O'Connor, James (2006)
    Yhdysvaltojen ns. 'sota terrorismia vastaan' on tuonut uuskonservatismille paljon julkisuutta. Tästä huolimatta uuskonservatismia ja Yhdysvaltojen nationalismia laajemmin käsitteleviä tutkimuksia on edelleen vähän. Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on analysoida identiteettien rooleja Yhdysvaltojen ulkopolitiikassa. Tutkimus luo uuden mallin monensuuntaisista identifikaatio-prosesseista. Ensinnäkin kansallinen identiteetti muodostuu kollektiivisina pidetyistä käsityksistä kansan olemuksesta. Toisaalta, merkittävä ja toistuva piirre Yhdysvaltojen kansallisen identiteetin muodostumisessa on 'vihollisten', 'liittolaisten' ja 'pahojen voimien' vastakkaiset identiteetit, joilla omaa 'puhdasta' identiteettiä korostetaan. Nämä vastakkaiset ja ristiriitaiset prosessit ovat vahvasti esillä Yhdysvaltojen uuskonservatismin kentällä. Tutkimuksessa kehitetty identifikaatio-prosessien malli perustuu Carl Schmittin poliittisiin teorioihin. Schmitt on tunnettu poikkeustila-teoriastaan. Hänen ajattelussaan vastakkainasettelu ja vihollisen läsnäolo korostuvat. Sekä Schmittin että uuskonservatiivien teksteissä korostuu kaksi periaatteellista teemaa, poikkeavuus ja erottautuminen. Nämä teemat nousivat keskeisiksi tekemässäni retorisessa analyysissä, tutkimuksen empiirisessa osassa. Analysoin yhden yhdysvaltalaisen ns. think tankin julkaisemia kirjoituksia ja julkaisuja terrorismin vastaisesta sodasta. Analyysi perustuu Jacques Derridalta ja etenkin Kenneth Burkelta saatuihin vaikutteisiin. Yksi tutkimuksen tuloksista on se, että jatkuva identiteettien vastakkainasettelu lisää konfliktin riskiä joka tasolla. Johtopäätöksenä voidaan sanoa, että sellaiset identiteetti-diskurssit, jotka löytyvät Schmittin ja uuskonservatiivien kirjoituksista, edistävät poissulkevia ja taistelevia poliittisia linjoja erityisesti ulkopolitiikassa. Mitä pidemmälle ulkopoliittiset asenteet kehittyvät tähän suuntaan, sitä vähemmän sovinnollisemmat ja rakentavammat argumentit pääsevät esiin.
  • Fredman, Daniela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    Internet har under de senaste åren blivit vårt främsta kommunikationsmedel. Detta har även uppmärksammats av terroristgrupper och personer med en terroristisk agenda, och följaktligen har terroristiskt innehåll börjat spridas på internet, bland annat i form av propaganda samt utbildning och rekrytering av anhängare. Terrorism utgör ett allvarligt hot mot det demokratiska samhället, men åtgärder som vidtas för att bekämpa terrorism får trots allt inte inskränka de grundläggande fri- och mänskliga rättigheterna mer än vad som är nödvändigt. Avhandlingens syfte är att med hjälp av den rättsdogmatiska metoden granska hur innehåll på internet kan begränsas då syftet är att förebygga terrorism och hur detta förhåller sig till yttrandefriheten. Avhandlingen granskar hur tillgång till internet får skydd under yttrandefriheten särskilt med beaktande av spridning och mottagande av information. Vidare bedöms hur olagligt terroristiskt innehåll på internet regleras och hur regleringen förhåller sig till yttrandefrihetens inskränkningsgrunder. I avhandlingen granskas både informationsskaparnas och tjänsteleverantörernas ställning och skyldigheter. Avhandlingen innehåller tre huvuddelar. I avhandlingens andra kapitel granskas hur tillgång till internet får skydd som en grundläggande rättighet, särskilt med beaktande av yttrandefriheten. Vidare behandlas samma fråga från en människorättssynvinkel. I det tredje kapitlet beskrivs hur terroristiskt innehåll på internet kan begränsas i enlighet med strafflagen, yttrandefrihetslagen och lagen om tjänster inom elektronisk kommunikation. Dessutom behandlas rekommendationer och linjedragningar antagna av EU och riktade till tjänsteleverantörer på internet. I det fjärde kapitlet bedöms hur åtgärderna som beskrivits i det tredje kapitlet förhåller sig till yttrandefrihetens inskränkningsgrunder. I avhandlingens slutsatser kan märkas att regleringen mestadels är enhetlig med grunderna för en inskränkning av yttrandefriheten. Emellertid har det uppmärksammats att regleringen som en helhet är en aning komplicerad, vilket kan vidare utgöra ett hot mot de grundläggande rättigheterna. Dessutom är kriminaliseringen av mottagande av utbildning för terrorismsyften exceptionell, vilket utgör en utmaning för proportionalitetskravet vid en inskränkning av yttrandefriheten. I slutet av avhandlingen behandlas även kommande lagstiftningsändringar som innebär nya utmaningar för yttrandefriheten.
  • Hudson, Sarah (2010)
    This research forms a discursive analysis of almost two decades of key statements delivered by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Lebanese nationalist militia and political party, Hezbollah. The statements, sourced primarily from a translated compilation edited by Nicholas Noe and published by Verso (2007), reflect the continually evolving populist strategies of a party which has, against many odds, gained a large and impressively cross-sectarian support base in Lebanon and the surrounding region. The aim of the study is two-pronged. It hopes to offer an insightful analysis into the pragmatic politicking of a democratically elected, yet demonstrably lethally armed political party which is possessed of the potential to greatly influence peace and conflict in the region. It also seeks to promote an alternative theoretical perspective to research which continually seeks to locate similar such case studies on an ideologically loaded matrix of'terrorism vs. freedom fighter'. The theory outlined in Ernesto Laclau's 'On Populist Reason' (2005) functions as the framework for analysis. This non-pathological theory of populism provides an excellent lens through which to more objectively examine the way in which popular support is mobilized by what may be essentially democratic, yet highly controversial political movements. After analyzing constructions of 'the enemy', 'the people' and the role of the signifier of resistance over three separate chronological time periods, the research concludes that the politicking of Hezbollah has witnessed a significant discursive shift away from the rhetoric of extremism and towards that of political moderation. This analysis is noteworthy at a time when dominant western political discourses proclaim the dangers of openly 'fundamentalist' or extremist discourses as a threat to the ideals of global liberal democracy. It is concluded that political research should not underestimate the intelligence and pragmatism of groups who build, mobilize and maintain their support as powerful, armed and potentially dangerous non-state actors. A theoretical approach which allows for the insightful analysis of discursive phenomena, within the context of important socio-political factors, retains more likelihood of offering genuine insight into the popular political as it relates to a volatile regional and potentially global context.
  • Tahvanainen, Tanja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to analyse state-sponsored terrorism from the perspective of the doctrine of state responsibility. The aim of this work is to assess whether it is possible to hold a state responsible for the acts of non-state terrorist actors which originate from its territory. The term “state-sponsored terrorism” is used in this work to refer to situations where a state provides support to a terrorist organisation for the purpose of carrying out acts of international terrorism. State terrorism, which can be understood as terrorism practiced by states, falls outside the scope of this study. The methodology followed in this thesis is doctrinal research. As such, this thesis utilises international conventions, custom, academic literature and case law as sources. Particular attention is given to the International Law Commission’s 2001 Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts which are utilised to conceptualise international responsibility and highlight some of the shortcomings of the existing state responsibility rules in the context of state-sponsored terrorism. The starting point of this research has been the view expressed in academic literature that the rules of state responsibility are unable to respond to challenges posed by state-sponsored terrorism. Thus, this thesis also considers the customary obligation of states to refrain from activities that may cause harm to the territory of other states as an alternative to state responsibility. The use of terrorist organisations as proxies has become more attractive for states seeking to avoid the increasing costs of traditional warfare and the risk of nuclear war. States support terrorist groups to evade international responsibility and deny their role in terrorist activities. Attributing responsibility for terrorist acts is imperative if states are to prevent international terrorism. State sponsorship of terrorism therefore poses a significant challenge to the international community. This study finds that establishing responsibility for state sponsorship of international terrorist organisations is often difficult, if not impossible, because the evidence linking the wrongful act to the actions or omissions of the state is lacking. Even if an injured state can show that another state has provided some logistical support, financing or sanctuary to the terrorist organisation that committed a terrorist act this is not enough to hold the state sponsor responsible for the consequences of wrongful private conduct that it has helped bring about in many cases.
  • Malkki, Viivi Leena Maria (2016)
    The major terrorist attacks in Western countries during the last fifteen years have had consequences way beyond the countries in which they have happened. The article provides a primary source–based account of the development of counterterrorism policy in Finland, which is one of those countries with a low national threat level. The article demonstrates the significant role that international pressure, through obligations, recommendations, and social learning, plays in developing national counterterrorist policies. The article calls also into question whether the pressure to comply with international pressure always contributes toward sound national counterterrorism policies that foster political resilience to terrorism.
  • Cantell, Mikko (2007)
    The weight of neoconservative ideology in world politics is generally identified and acknowledged. In spite of this more profound studies are found wanting. I attempt to make the ideology more understandable and approach it from a distinct point of view, examining neoconservatism's attitude to torture in the United States' 'Global War on Terror'. In so doing, my aim is also to clarify the thus far somewhat vague distinction between the current U.S. administration and neoconservatism in political and academic writing. I have utilized the theory of cognitive dissonance created by Leon Festinger to study the mechanisms in play concerning the different attitudes toward the use of torture. The theory has so far found very few applications in the study of international relations, but I believe there to be significant potential in its future use. On a more concrete level, I undertake to examine whether the core values of neoconservatism (human rights, liberal democracy, 'American values' and 'moral use of power') on the one hand, and condoning attitudes toward the use of torture on the other, give rise to an intolerable inner conflict that could be called cognitive dissonance. The use of torture is absolutely prohibited in international law, standards and norms. The most central internationally binding legal obligation prohibiting the use of torture is the Convention against Torture from 1984. The convention prohibits the use of torture in all cases and without exception. My study examines the question of torture in the context of the 'War on Terror' and the relation of torture to the individual. The individual rises in fact to be one of the most salient levels of analysis in the paper: each of neoconservatism's core values can be said to be based on defending the rights of the individual while torture can simultaneously be defined as being the ultimate denial of the individual worth and dignity. I conclude my study by asserting that neoconservatism's attitude toward torture has led to severe conflicts with its own core values. Although accurate definitions of the mechanisms used in alleviating the dissonance are impossible to find, the study gives evidence indicating that denial of responsibility and a rearranging of the hierarchy of internal values can have been included in the reduction of dissonance. I consider the notion that attempts to reduce dissonance typically 'spill over' to other seemingly unattached areas of decision-making very important. This means that in addition to core values or the fundamental level of ideology, past decisions also influence future decisions.
  • Adair, Nathan (2007)
    The scale and pervasiveness of mass-mediated communication in modem life is so great that media influence permeates all layers of politics, society and culture. 'The news media exert their influence ... by determining in part which issues people use in making their overall evaluations' (Miller and Krosnick 1997: 260). Within this context, news outlets play an exceptionally important role in transforming and replicating dominant political, social and cultural beliefs, as well as setting policy agendas. One manner in which news media shape perceptions of key events is through the act of framing. Erving Goffman (1979: 10-15) maintained that framing is a matter of everyday circumstance, whereby an individual's subjective involvement in events or everyday life, operates on the basis of previous experience. In news media, news frames serve as journalistic tools through which journalists recounting a story in a limited amount of space place an event within its broader context (Norris et al. 2003: 10-11). Framing in media reports, may be understood as the employment of symbols, words and historical references by journalists. These provide associational conceptualizations whereby any event is understood in relation to a series of other events, which are expected to be familiar to the wider audience. Framing, or more importantly, the selection of one frame over another, provides evidence of potentially ideational undercurrents which are present in wider society. Additionally, frames can impact broader social values due to the content: texts, images and structures; of the news reports which are produced within news organizations, and subsequently published to a wider, often nationwide, audience. The resulting content of any news report is frequently the result of subconscious omissions, emphases and inclusions of information. The omissions, emphases and inclusions of any news report are not necessarily attributable to any explicit ideational actions by media outlets or reporters; rather factors such as politics, history, culture, economics, ideology and society are expected to play a role in subconsciously or cognitively influencing th way that the news media frames issues and events.
  • Kalliala, Mari (2005)
    During the 1990s there was a worldwide decline in the number of terrorist attacks, whereas political crime in general increased in most Western liberal democracies. The study analyses the emergence of radical alternative movements in Finland in the 1990s and their illegal underground activities as a phenomenon of the late modern risk society. Since reflexivity is an essential feature of late modernity, the study also discusses ways in which law enforcement can manage risks posed by political crime. Secrecy influences the character of radical alternative movements. In the context of late modern social flux they are better understood as communitarian movements than social ones. Belonging to the community is more important to their supporters than the activities of the community. Furthermore, radical alternative movements consist of beliefs non-typical to mainstream society. They are part of the so-called cultic milieu - the dynamics of which is influenced by its relationship to mainstream society and the ideology of 'seeking'. Finnish society in the 1990s provided a fertile breeding ground for the emergence of radical movements and illegal underground activities. However, international influences which were adopted played a significant role. Radical alternative movements did not have to subscribe to illegal underground activities since their political agenda was not illegitimate. Illegal underground activities were organised based on the strategy of leaderless resistance. Nevertheless, structures had to be created to provide for resources and to mobilise illegal underground activities. The refrain of violence against persons was the most important strategic choice. For instance, it prevented the use of effective law enforcement counter-measures. However, no short or long-term political goals were achieved by illegal means. The tactics seemed to have served mainly organisational maintenance. Illegal underground activities impinge directly upon the rights and liberties of others. However, balancing between liberty and order is a major challenge as democratic values are preserved by adopting the very means that tend to subvert them. Analysis is a new tool for law enforcement and can be used to assess threats and risks, set priorities and formulate counter-strategies.
  • Niemi, Pia-Maria; Kallioniemi, Arto; Ghosh, Ratna (2019)
    The emergence of religiously -motivated terrorist attacks and the increasing xenophobia expressed in Europe concern religions in many ways. Questions related to religion also lie at the core of educational aims and practices used to create national cohesion and understanding about different types of values and worldviews. However, despite the topicality of the issue, we have little knowledge about the ways in which young adults experience religions in a secular state. In order to contribute to the discussion regarding the relationships between religion, nationality, security, and education, this study focuses on investigating how politically active young adults experience the role of religions in Finnish society. The qualitative data of this study were collected from young adults (18–30-year- olds) through an online questionnaire distributed through political youth organisations. The content analysis of the responses (altogether 250 respondents) identified five main orientations towards religions. The findings highlight the importance of providing young people with education about different faiths and worldviews for reducing prejudices, especially those related to Islam. The findings also highlight the need to address in education and society the possible but not as self-evident relationship between violence and religion, and to do this more explicitly than is currently done.
  • Malkki, Leena; Fridlund, Mats; Sallamaa, Daniel (2018)
    The introductory article to the special issue discusses terrorism and political violence in the Nordic countries and reviews the state of academic research on the topic. Even though the Nordic countries appear to have suffered from lower levels of terrorism and political violence than many other Western states, they have been less void and peripheral with regard to such phenomena than common wisdom and academic scholarship would suggest. While some notable acts of violence like the July 2011 attacks in Norway have been covered in research literature to a certain degree, other phenomena such as far-right violence in Sweden have attracted less attention. The article discusses the ways in which the analysis of Nordic countries could contribute to the field of research and how articles included in the special issue address existing gaps in literature.
  • Jansson, Julia (Taylor & Francis Group (Routledge), 2019)
    Recent atrocities have ensured that terrorism and how to deal with terrorists legally and politically has been the subject of much discussion and debate on the international stage. This book presents a study of changes in the legal treatment of those perpetrating crimes of a political character over several decades. It most centrally deals with the political offence exception and how it has changed. The book looks at this change from an international perspective with a particular focus on the United States. Interdisciplinary in approach, it examines the fields of terrorism and political crime from legal, political science and criminological perspectives. It will be of interest to a broad range of academics and researchers, as well as to policymakers involved in creating new anti-terrorist policies.
  • Vaarala, Viljami (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The War on Terror has been waged for almost two whole decades now. President Barack Obama pledged to end the “boundless Global War on Terror” during his tenure but there are still US troops present in Middle East and North Africa. Despite the rhetoric on ending the war, the war got even more violent in terms of air strikes and the military budget kept on rising from that of president Bush under Obama’s first term as president. Since these circumstances suggest that there was no considerable change to be perceived in the outcome of the war from Bush to Obama, there seems to exist a process of political meaning-making through which the meanings attached to the US engagement in the Middle East are altered. Thus, this study aims at analysing the underlying fantasmatic logics through which the War on Terror was legitimized to the public during Obama’s presidency. This study contributes to the study of international relations through Lacanian-Žižekian framework, which has only recently been introduced to the study of international politics. The theoretical and methodological background of this thesis is rooted in Lacanian psychoanalysis, discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe and Lacanian-Žižekian theorizations on ideological fantasies. By adapting the logics approach of discourse theory as a qualitative method, this thesis analyses 105 speeches on terrorism that Barack Obama delivered in 2009–2016. The analysis is focused at analysing discursive articulations, nodal points and master signifiers that partake in structuring the fantasies regarding War on Terror. In this thesis I will argue that it is through the fantasmatic logics that the ideological grip of Obama’s War on Terror becomes intelligible: By structuring the fantasmatic objects of desire at least on three levels, Obama succeeds at granting the illusion that the unachievable and impossible enjoyment – that the subjects of War on Terror desire – is achievable. However, Obama organizes the fantasy in a way that keeps the realization of the ultimate fantasy of lasting peace, safety, prosperity and security always at a distance. The desire is sustained by articulating enemies, such as al Qaeda, Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Assad’s regime and ISIL, as inferior objects of desire that are “forgotten” and replaced by one another in the signifying chain of enmity. In addition to this “forgetting” of inferior objects of desire, there exists a process of “reminding” or “remembering” that sustains the desire of War on Terror’s subjects. I then argue that some of these objects of desire are used to remind the subjects of what the possible enjoyment would feel like when it is finally achieved. These enemies are also articulated as “the constitutive othesr” that prevent the subjects of War on Terror to realize their fantasy of lasting peace. The results show that the signifier “terrorists” functions as a subtle epithet through which various and differential groups can be articulated as enemies.
  • Koskela, Riina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The language we use when we talk about terrorism has an important role to play in the discursive construction of terrorism. Thus, how terrorism is perceived in the media, politics and official public discourses influences how we perceive terrorists to be. The constructive perspective of terrorism does not deny the existence of it: terrorism is real, but what it means depends on the interpretations. Counterterrorism also depends on these interpretations of terrorism. Therefore, it is argued that how states perceive ‘terrorism’ impacts their counterterrorism measures and policies. The overall aim of the study is to examine the interplay between terrorism and counterterrorism. The focus is on understanding how terrorism is perceived in the official public discourse of terrorism within the context of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy ‘CONTEST’ and contemporary terrorism since 9/11. Another layer of the argument concerns how the discursive practices constitute terrorist Other and thus, how the perceptions of terrorist Other constructed by the Self reproduce, reinforce and constitute behaviour, interests and identity of the Self. The aim is not to understand terrorist Other, but rather to analyse how Other is constructed by the Self and what effects this has on the Self. In this study, the UK occupies the role of Self, and contemporary terrorism, as perceived by the Self, represents the Other. The theoretical background of the study is on critical terrorism studies, constructivism by Alexander Wendt and securitisation theory. The research material consists of four different versions of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy CONTEST from the years 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2018. CONTEST provides comprehensive research material for this study because it sets the general agenda of counterterrorism aims, measures and policies in the UK. In the first part of the analysis, the study identifies five different perceptions of terrorist Other utilising critical discourse analysis by Norman Fairclough. The five perceptions of terrorist Other are active, different from the Self, radicalised, a non-state actor, and finally, an enemy. Based on these five perceptions of terrorist Other, the second part of the analysis then focuses on the interplay between terrorist Other and Self. The perceptions of terrorist Other are argued to reproduce, reinforce and constitute Self’s behaviour, interests and identity, and therefore influence on the counterterrorism practised by the UK. Analysing how terrorism is perceived through the construction of terrorist Other provides a broader understanding of the official public discourse of terrorism in the UK. In addition, the study argues that Self decides its actions by reflecting on the perceptions of terrorism it has created itself. Therefore, constructing terrorism as represented might partially explain counterterrorism measures and policies in the UK.
  • Heinonen, Krista (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The theatrical and dramatic nature of terrorism makes it a suitable topic for the media, which aims to attract as wide an audience as possible. The media remains a fundamental source of public information on terrorism and terrorist attacks, therefore playing a crucial role in the shaping of the public’s understanding of the phenomenon. The aim of this thesis is to examine how the perception of the threat of terrorism constructed by Helsingin Sanomat has changed in Finland during 2001-2017. The method of this research is qualitative content analysis. The primary source of the thesis is articles of Helsingin Sanomat newspaper that were published in 2001-2017. The material consists of 171 articles that include the keywords “Finland” and “terrorism”, and deal with the threat of terrorism in Finland. It should be noted that the database was searched with the whole keywords, excluding possibly hundreds of articles that include derivative forms of the mentioned keywords. This may be considered as one of the main limitations of this research. One of the key findings of this research is that Helsingin Sanomat has extensively used external experts when assessing the threat of terrorism in Finland. The percentage of the usage of experts, when directly assessing the threat of terrorism in Finland, was 81%. Furthermore, the assessment of the threat of terrorism has been largely outsourced to SUPO, by the public as well as by Helsingin Sanomat. The most dominant discoursed identified from the primary source articles were lone wolf terrorism, “lintukoto” thinking, intelligence legislation as well as immigration and Islam. Moreover, the turning points of the development of the threat of terrorism constructed by Helsingin Sanomat were largely in parallel with the terrorist threat assessments of SUPO. The identified turning points of the threat were 2006, 2011, 2015 and 2017. Furthermore, the far majority of the terrorism portrayed in the articles was jihadist terrorism. All in all, one of the central observations was that the perception of the threat of terrorism portrayed by Helsingin Sanomat has gained an increasing amount of news coverage towards the end of the examined time frame, and that the constructed threat may be considered as more pressing than the threat itself.
  • Nyström, Ann-Sofie (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Syftet med min avhandling är att utifrån teoribildningen om sociala representationer söka förståelse för hurudana självrepresentationer unga muslimer som rest till Syrien under konflikten och återvänt har av sig själva samt hur de upplever att de positioneras av omvärlden. Jag är även intresserad av hurdana behov de anser sig själva ha efter hemkomsten. Vidare granskar jag hur aktörer inom Finlands Exit-verksamhet ser på de unga vuxna samt hurudana behov de professionella uppfattar att dessa unga har. Avhandlingen avser redogöra för eventuella skillnader och likheter mellan de ovannämnda gruppernas uppfattningar samt diskutera möjliga konsekvenser av dessa i kontexten politiska åtgärder mot radikalisering och terrorism. I dagens läge är forskningsfältet gällande Syrienresenärer bristfälligt, trots ständigt pågående diskussioner gällande myndighetsåtgärder och stödtjänster för återvändande Syrienresenärer. Därmed är syftet att bidra med kunskap inom socialt arbete gällande återvändande Syrienresenärers livssituationer och behov av stöd. Som datainsamlingsmetod valde jag kvalitativ intervju. Fyra intervjuer gjordes med professionella involverade i Finlands Exit-verksamhet. Därtill intervjuade jag tre unga vuxna som återvänt från Syrien till Finland och en ung vuxen som fortfarande befann sig i Syrien. Av de fyra professionella som jag intervjuat till min studie arbetar tre personer inom den tredje sektorn och en för finska myndigheter. De unga vuxna jag intervjuat har alla finländskt medborgarskap, gruppen består av både män och kvinnor och samtliga är muslimer, en del berättar att de börjat praktisera religionen först i tonåren eller vuxen ålder. Alla de unga vuxna jag intervjuat har tillbringat kortare eller längre tider i Syrien. Studien visar att de personer som intervjuats rest med intentioner att hjälpa de lidande i Syrien genom humanitär hjälpverksamhet. En del av de unga vuxna var beredda att delta i militär krigsföring mot Bashar al-Assads regeringsstyrkor inför resan till Syrien, men deltog aldrig i strider på plats. De huvudsakliga motiven bakom samtliga informanters resor till Syrien verkar ha varit ett starkt medkännande med lidande muslimer samt upplevelser av ett hårt samhällsklimat, känsla av utanförskap och islamofobi i hemlandet Finland. De centrala teman som framträdde i de unga vuxnas berättelser om tiden efter hemkomsten var upplevelser av behov, möten med myndigheter, vikten av kulturell och religiös förståelse, vikten av rätt terminologi, upplevelser av skam samt konstruktionen av en positiv själv-identitet. Sammanfattningsvis visar resultatet i studien att den mediala och samhälleliga representation av Syrienresenärer upplevs som ensidig, stigmatiserande, felaktigt vinklad och en stereotyperad syn på Syrienresenärer som kriminella, potentiella terrorister och dehumaniserade individer. Syrienresenärer kategoriseras som ”den Andra”, en representation som både de unga och de professionella tar tydligt avstånd från. De unga vuxna positionerar sig genom sina tal som vanliga unga vuxna i förhållande till representationen om unga Syrienresenärer som hot mot samhällets säkerhet och som riskindivider. De positionerar sig som individer med mångfacetterade motiv bakom sina resor, i motsats till den upplevda ensidiga och misstolkade framställningen av dem som ett kollektiv av radikala och kriminella individer. På basen av de unga vuxnas berättelser kan man dra slutsatsen att alla återvändande Syrienresenärer inte behöver stödåtgärder efter hemkomsten. Dock kan man konstatera att en del av de återvändande kan befinna sig i en extra sårbar situation vid hemkomsten. De största behoven bland återvändande ungdomar efter hemkomsten framträder dock som behov av ett gott och neutralt bemötande från myndigheter, oavsett personens bakgrund och eventuella brottsutredningar. Behovet av praktisk hjälp och handledning framträder även som en vital del för en del av de återvändande. En del av de professionella motiverar stödåtgärderna för unga efter hemkomsten med en minimering av säkerhetsrisk, en representation om unga återvändande förankrade i en riskdiskurs, vilket de unga i sin tur tydligt tar avstånd från i sina uttalanden.
  • Tammi, Saara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Terrorism reporting is a contradictory practice for the media: terrorist events are inherently newsworthy but disseminating information about attacks defined as terrorism also provides attention to perpetrators. Without a universal definition terrorism is a pejorative term that can be used for political effect. In public discussion, whether an act of violence should be defined terrorism or not is a common debate in the aftermath of an incident. While the interplay of terrorism and the media have been examined from various perspectives, less attention has been given to the journalistic and editorial practices that precede content. The aim of this thesis is to gain insight into how Finnish journalists perceive the roles and responsibilities of the media in terrorism reporting. The approach of the study is qualitative and empirical, and the thesis follows the discursive and social constructionist understandings of terrorism. The theoretical framework builds on literature about terrorism as a social construct, the interplay of terrorism and the media, critique on terrorism coverage and frames, framing as the interaction of journalists and sources, and the professional values and self-perceptions of journalists. The research material consists of 9 semi-structured interviews. Interviewees are Finnish journalists and editors that take part in terrorism reporting in national media. The interview material is analysed using qualitative content analysis. Based on a theory-bound analysis of the interviews, four roles and three areas of responsibility are designated for the media: the roles of the reporter, explainer, transmitter and analyser and responsibility for attention, context and balance. The findings of this thesis illuminate how journalists perceive the practical tasks, leeway and autonomy of the media in terrorism reporting. In addition, they explain previous findings about, for instance, the media’s dependence on official sources, conventional frames and prevalent terrorism narratives. The roles and responsibilities indicate that the journalists perceive contextualising, independent reporting, confronting authorities and initiating discussion as important duties. However, these aspects are discussed conditionally, and during the early stages of reporting the media disseminate information and transmit official interpretations of events. A contradiction lies in how journalists value the status of the media as the public’s source of information but find that circumstances preclude fixing issues identified in terrorism reporting. In sum, the journalists are aware of the issues but do not have the necessary means or mindset to tackle them. Journalists need sufficient knowledge about terrorism, initiatives to define the phenomenon more broadly and coherently, and guidelines to support practical work. The thesis concludes that approaches that hear out the actors in terrorism reporting are called for in order to deepen terrorism and media scholarship.