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  • Tapio-Biström, Marja-Liisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Mikkola, Raimo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    We report here the structures and properties of heat-stable, non-protein, and mammalian cell-toxic compounds produced by spore-forming bacilli isolated from indoor air of buildings and from food. Little information is available on the effects and occurrence of heat-stable non-protein toxins produced by bacilli in moisture-damaged buildings. Bacilli emit spores that move in the air and can serve as the carriers of toxins, in a manner similar to that of the spores of toxic fungi found in contaminated indoor air. Bacillus spores in food cause problems because they tolerate the temperatures applied in food manufacture and the spores later initiate growth when food storage conditions are more favorable. Detection of the toxic compounds in Bacillus is based on using the change in mobility of boar spermatozoa as an indicator of toxic exposure. GC, LC, MS, and nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopy were used for purification, detection, quantitation, and analysis of the properties and structures of the compounds. Toxicity and the mechanisms of toxicity of the compounds were studied using boar spermatozoa, feline lung cells, human neural cells, and mitochondria isolated from rat liver. The ionophoric properties were studied using the BLM (black-lipid membrane) method. One novel toxin, forming ion channels permeant to K+ > Na+ > Ca2+, was found and named amylosin. It is produced by B. amyloliquefaciens isolated from indoor air of moisture-damaged buildings. Amylosin was purified with an RP-HPLC and a monoisotopic mass of 1197 Da was determined with ESI-IT-MS. Furthermore, acid hydrolysis of amylosin followed by analysis of the amino acids with the GS-MS showed that it was a peptide. The presence of a chromophoric polyene group was found using a NMR spectroscopy. The quantification method developed for amylosin based on RP-HPLC-UV, using the macrolactone polyene, amphotericin B (MW 924), as a reference compound. The B. licheniformis strains isolated from a food poisoning case produced a lipopeptide, lichenysin A, that ruptured mammalian cell membranes and was purified with a LC. Lichenysin A was identified by its protonated molecules and sodium- and potassium- cationized molecules with MALDI-TOF-MS. Its protonated forms were observed at m/z 1007, 1021 and 1035. The amino acids of lichenysin A were analyzed with ESI-TQ-MS/MS and, after acid hydrolysis, the stereoisomeric forms of the amino acids with RP-HPLC. The indoor air isolates of the strain of B. amyloliquefaciens produced not only amylosin but also lipopeptides: the cell membrane-damaging surfactin and the fungicidal fengycin. They were identified with ESI-IT-MS observing their protonated molecules, the sodium- and potassium-cationized molecules and analysing the MS/MS spectra. The protonated molecules of surfactin and fengycin showed m/z values of 1009, 1023, and 1037 and 1450, 1463, 1493, and 1506, respectively. Cereulide (MW 1152) was purified with RP-HPLC from a food poisoning strain of B. cereus. Cereulide was identified with ESI-TQ-MS according to the protonated molecule observed at m/z 1154 and the ammonium-, sodium- and potassium-cationized molecules observed at m/z 1171, 1176, and 1192, respectively. The fragment ions of the MS/MS spectrum obtained from the protonated molecule of cereulide at m/z 1154 were also interpreted. We developed a quantification method for cereulide, using RP-HPLC-UV and valinomycin (MW 1110, which structurally resembles cereulide) as the reference compound. Furthermore, we showed empirically, using the BLM method, that the emetic toxin cereulide is a specific and effective potassium ionophore of whose toxicity target is especially the mitochondria.
  • Collavin, Elena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This dissertation presents an analysis of the representations of food biotechnologies in Italy. The thesis uses the analysis of discourse to illustrate the articulated ways in which representations are instantiated in different contexts. The theoretical thrust of the work resides in its discussion of the basic tenets of both Social Representations Theory and Discursive Psychology. The thesis offers a detailed description of the two frameworks; affinities and difference are highlighted, and a serious effort is made to develop an integrated set of theoretical resources to answer the research questions. The thesis proposes to combine a discursive methodology with Social Representations Theory. After a description of the relevant legislative framework follows an illustration of the categories used for the textual analysis. The study proposes the textual analysis of the following data: the first declaration issued by a small Italian council rejecting biotechnologies; four texts which focus on positions taken by the Catholic Church in the matter of food biotechnologies; several transcripts from a public debate in a small community of the north west of Italy. The latter study, which included an ethnographic dimension, focuses on recordings from interviews, a focus group, a public meeting and newspaper articles. Particular attention is paid to ideological representations and to the relevance of citizenship and governance to debates about food biotechnologies.
  • Lienemann, Taru (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Salmonella is one of the most commonly reported foodborne pathogens and enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) is one of the most dangerous. They both spread by zoonotic and person-to-person transmission routes. Most Salmonella infections are characterized by mild-to-moderate self-limited diarrhea but also serious disease resulting in death has been reported.Bloody diarrhea is a common symptom of human EHEC infection and the infection may lead to severe post-infection disease such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and even death. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the diversity of Salmonella and EHEC strains isolated from domestically acquired infections using several pheno- and genotyping methods for surveillance and outbreak investigation purposes as well as evaluate certain epidemiological typing methods in Finland. All Salmonella and EHEC isolates of domestic origin during 2007-2014 in Finland were studied. Serotyping, phage typing, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, phenotype microarray, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) were applied as epidemiological typing tools for Salmonella isolates. EHEC isolates were analyzed using serotyping, phage typing, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, virulence gene detection (stx1, stx2, eae, hlyA and saa) and PFGE. During the study period, the number of domestically acquired Salmonella infections has decreased about one fifth compared to the previous decade whereas the number of domestic EHEC infections have increased about one third.Th e incidence of Salmonella infections was highest in 2012 (7.5/100,000 population) and lowest in 2014 (5.4/100,000 population). The incidence of EHEC infections was highest in 2013 (0.33/100,000 population) and lowest in 2008 (0.07/100,000 population). 15% of all Salmonella strains and 70% of all EHEC strains were considered domestically acquired. A total of 131 different Salmonella serovars were detected. The most common serovars were Typhimurium (32%), Enteritidis (15%) and group B (6%). Among Typhimurium strains, phage types DT1 (37%), RDNC (18%) and DT104 (9%) were the most common ones. The most frequently detected phage types among the domestically acquired S. Enteritidis infections were PT8 (17%), PT1B (14%) and PT4 (13%). Th e majority of domestic Typhimurium and Enteritidis (60%) strains were susceptible to tested antimicrobials. During the study period, a total of 188 infections caused by EHEC were detected. Most of them were caused by serotype O157:H7 (60%). The majority of O157 strains (63%) were unable to ferment sorbitol. PT8 was the most common phage type among the sorbitol-negative and PT88 among sorbitol positive O157 strains. Among non-O157, 22 distinct O:H serotypes were detected. The most common ones were O26:H11, O103:H2 and O145:H-. The majority of domestic EHEC strains (81%) were susceptible to all tested antimicrobials: 96% of O157:H7/H- and 60% of non-O157 strains. All O157 strains carried stx2 (40% in combination with stx1), eae and hlyA genes. In contrast, 55% of non-O157 stains had stx1 gene and 76% carried eae and hlyA genes. The MLVA method was found to be a powerful epidemiological tool for S. Typhimurium with discriminatory power similar to PFGE. In addition, MLVA was faster, cheaper and the results were easier to compare between laboratories. The domestic S. Typhimurium strains were divided into 170 distinct MLVA types (diversity index 0.891). In MLVA, the three most common profiles (3-16-NA-NA-0311, 3-15-NA-NA-0311 and 3-17-NA-NA-0311) counted for 47% of the strains showing that the lack of locus STTR6 and locus STTR10p was characteristic for domestic S. Typhimurium. However, XbaI-PFGE remains a useful genotyping method for investigations of other Salmonella serovars and EHEC strains. The interpretation of XbaI-PFGE profiles can be challenging as demonstrated by a Finnish nationwide outbreak caused by S. Newport and S. Reading -contaminated iceberg lettuce. The S. Reading strains had four diff erent XbaI-PFGE profiles. Based on epidemiological information, all these different variants of the outbreak causing strains were considered as outbreak-related. The sources of the most EHEC outbreaks remained undetermined. In one out four EHEC O157 outbreaks, unpasteurized milk was found as the source of the infections. Although 40% of the domestic EHEC strains were non-O157, only strains of serogroup O157 caused outbreaks in Finland. However, non-O157 strains caused several family clusters and were linked with HUS. In 2009, a sorbitol-fermenting EHEC O78:H-:stx1c:hlyA was detected in blood and fecal samples of a neonate. This EHEC serotype had not been seen in Finland prior to this family-related outbreak and bacteremia caused by EHEC is exceptionally rare. Taken together, Salmonella and EHEC infections are a major public health concern. This thesis provides new information about the characteristics of Salmonella and EHEC strains isolated from domestically acquired infections in Finland and evidence that effective surveillance is needed for early detection and prevention of the spread of Salmonella and EHEC infections. In particular, typing methods used should be internationally harmonized and the results made comparable.
  • Hallanvuo, Saija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis are among the major enteropathogenic bacteria causing infections in humans in many industrialized countries. In Finland, Y. pseudotuberculosis has caused 10 outbreaks among humans during 1997-2008. Some of these outbreaks have been very extensive involving over 400 cases; mainly children attending schools and day-care. Y. enterocolitica, on the contrary, has caused mainly a large number of sporadic human infections in Finland. Y. pseudotuberculosis is widespread in nature, causing infections in a variety of domestic and wild animals. Foodborne transmission of human infections has long been suspected, however, attempts to trace the pathogen have been unsuccessful before this study that epidemiologically linked Y. pseudotuberculosis to a specific food item. Furthermore, due to modern food distribution systems, foodborne outbreaks usually involve many geographically separate infection clusters difficult to identify as part of the same outbreak. Among pathogenic Y. enterocolitica, the global predominance of one genetically homogeneous type (bioserotype 4/O:3) is a challenge to the development of genetic typing methods discriminatory enough for epidemiological purposes, for example, for tracing back to the sources of infections. Furthermore, the diagnostics of Y. enterocolitica infections is hampered because clinical laboratories easily misidentify some other members of the Yersinia species (Y. enterocolitica–like species) as Y. enterocolitica. This results in misleading information on the prevalence and clinical significance of various Yersinia isolates. The aim of this study was to develop and optimize molecular typing methods to be used in epidemiological investigations of Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis, particularly in active surveillance and outbreak investigations of Y. pseudotuberculosis isolates. The aim was also to develop a simplified set of phenotypic tests that could be used in routine diagnostic laboratories for the correct identification of Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica –like species. A PFGE method designed here for typing of Y. pseudotuberculosis was efficient in linking the geographically dispersed and apparently unrelated Y. pseudotuberculosis infections as parts of the same outbreak. It proved to be useful in active laboratory-based surveillance of Y. pseudotuberculosis outbreaks. Throughout the study period, information about the diversity of genotypes among outbreak and non-outbreak related strains of human origin was obtained. Also, to our knowledge, this was the first study to epidemiologically link a Y. pseudotuberculosis outbreak of human illnesses to a specific food item, iceberg lettuce. A novel epidemiological typing method based on the use of a repeated genomic region (YeO:3RS) as a probe was developed for the detection and differentiation between strains of Y. enterocolitica subspecies palearctica. This method was able to increase the discrimination in a set of 106 previously PFGE typed Finnish Y. enterocolitica bioserotype 4/O:3 strains among which two main PFGE genotypes had prevailed. The developed simplified method was a more reliable tool than the commercially available biochemical test kits for differentiation between Y. enterocolitica and Y. enterocolitica –like species. In Finland, the methods developed for Y. enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis have been used to improve the identification protocols and in subsequent outbreak investigations.
  • Paalanen, Laura (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The Republic of Karelia in north-western Russia and North Karelia in eastern Finland are situated right next to each other. Part of the Republic of Karelia, including the district of Pitkäranta, was part of Finland until the Second World War, when it was annexed to the Soviet Union. The aim of this study was to explore trends and educational differences in food habits and related biomarkers in Pitkäranta, Russia, and North Karelia, Finland, over a 15-year period, which encompasses the early transition years from a centrally planned economy towards a market economy after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Two population-based repeated cross-sectional datasets from the two areas were used: 1) health behaviour surveys from 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2004 (total n=3599 in Pitkäranta, total n=3652 in North Karelia) and 2) risk factor surveys from 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2007 (total n=2672 in Pitkäranta, total n=5437 in North Karelia). The data were collected by the National Public Health Institute (KTL) (the current National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL) in Finland. In Pitkäranta, the data were collected by the National Public Health Institute in collaboration with the Central Hospital of Pitkäranta and the Ministry of Health and Social Development in the Republic of Karelia. The trends and overall prevalence in food habits were very different between Pitkäranta and North Karelia. Food habits changed remarkably in Pitkäranta between 1992 and 2007. The proportion of those who used butter in cooking plunged from 50% to less than 10%. The proportion of those who used butter on bread decreased as well, although not consistently. The proportion of persons who consumed fat-containing milk fluctuated. The prevalence of daily consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit increased notably. In North Karelia, the changes were smaller. A small decrease in the proportion of those who used butter or consumed fat-containing milk was observed. The prevalence of daily consumption of fresh vegetables and fruit also decreased slightly in North Karelia. The educational differences in food habits were somewhat more notable in North Karelia than in Pitkäranta. In general, food habits were less favourable in the lowest compared to the highest education group in both areas. For example, the use of butter in cooking and the consumption of fat-containing milk were more common among subjects in the lowest education group, whereas the daily consumption of vegetables and fruit was more common among their more highly educated counterparts. The education gradient in the quality of spread used on bread was the opposite in the two areas. In Pitkäranta, using butter on bread tended to be more common among men in the highest education group, whereas in North Karelia, men with a low education used butter on bread more often. The mean serum total cholesterol did not differ by education in Pitkäranta. In North Karelia, it tended to be higher among subjects in the lowest education group. The mean plasma vitamin C concentration was strikingly low in Pitkäranta throughout the study period. In North Karelia, the overall level of plasma vitamin C was higher. The plasma vitamin C concentration tended to be higher among subjects with a higher education in both areas. The study demonstrated that food habits may change quite rapidly if the local circumstances change. In Pitkäranta, the availability and prices of foods are possible underlying factors that are related to the remarkable changes in food habits. In North Karelia, active health policy and the health consciousness of the population are probably more important in directing food choices.
  • Ahvenharju, Tero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The knowledge about the optimal rearing conditions, such as water temperature and quality, photoperiod and density, with the understanding of animal nutritional requirements forms the basis of economically stable aquaculture for freshwater crayfish. However, the shift from a natural environment to effective culture conditions induces several changes, not only at the population level, but also at the individual level. The social contacts between conspecifics increase with increasing animal density. The competition for limited resources (e.g. food, shelter, mates) is more severe with the presence of agonistic behaviour and may lead to unequal distribution of these. The objectives of this study were to: 1) study the distribution of a common food resource between communally reared signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and to assign potential feeding hierarchy on the basis of individual food intake measurements, 2) explore the possibilities of size distribution manipulations to affect population dynamics and food intake to improve growth and survival in culture and 3) study the effect of food ration and spatial distribution on food intake and to explore the effect of temperature and food ration on growth and body composition of freshwater crayfish. The feeding ranks between animals were assigned with a new method for individual food intake measurement of communally reared crayfish. This technique has a high feasibility and a great potential to be applied in crayfish aquaculture studies. In this study, signal crayfish showed high size-related variability in food consumption both among individuals within a group (inter-individual) and within individual day-to-day variation (intra-individual). Increased competition for food led to an unequal distribution of this resource and this may be a reason for large growth differences between animals. The consumption was significantly higher when reared individually in comparison with communal housing. These results suggest that communally housed crayfish form a feeding hierarchy and that the animal size is the major factor controlling the position in this hierarchy. The optimisation of the social environment ( social conditions ) was evaluated in this study as a new approach to crayfish aquaculture. The results showed that the absence of conspecifics (individual rearing vs. communal housing) affects growth rate, food intake and the proportion of injured animals, whereas size variation between animals influences the number and duration of agonistic encounters. In addition, animal size had a strong influence on the fighting success of signal crayfish reared in a social milieu with a wide size variation of conspecifics. Larger individuals initiated and won most of the competitions, which suggests size-based social hierarchy of P. leniusculus. This is further supported by the fact that the length and weight gain of smaller animals increased after size grading, maybe because of a better access to the food resource due to diminished social pressure. However, the high dominance index was not based on size under conditions of limited size variation, e.g. those characteristic of restocked natural populations and aquaculture, indicating the important role of behaviour on social hierarchy.
  • Viherluoto, Maiju (Helsingin yliopisto, 2001)
  • Kortzanov, Dinko (2012)
    My aim for this thesis will be to analyze one small portion of the social impact that football has had in the terms of political ideology The thesis will be about how football was regulated and “politicized” during the 40 or so years of communism in Bulgaria and more specifically what were the signs that politicized it. A lot of changes happened after the socialist revolution of 1944 that were meant to seem as if they promoted political equality and freedom. The promotion that happened were mainly, based on uniting people’s identity with a communist ideology through BCP (Българска Комунистическа Партия/Bulgarian Communist Party). The “puzzle” or problem is that even though the changes did have some positive effect on uniting Bulgarians under a certain ideology what also happened was significant protest against the regime. This thesis will go deeper and show how the BCP used the football club of CSKA to uphold the ideology of communism as victorious and glorious between 1944 and 1989. Various political connotations were linked with the image of CSKA. These connotations were linked not only with the socialist ideology and BCP, but also with signifiers that supported the ideology as the most powerful and successful one. I will see what kind of organizational changes happened to Bulgarian football, and how they were set to make CSKA the champion and the people’s favourite, whilst being a constant threats to rivals. With this I will also answer a question that has been on many Bulgarian’s lips, “Why was CSKA supported by the BCP so fiercely?” By the end of the thesis my aim is to show how the political theories of Ernesto Laclau can be used to analyze what happened in Bulgaria. And as mentioned above my personal, will is to show how sports and football have a place in academic studies regarding politics. I will use the works of Bulgarian authors like Georgi Markov, to show how many of the symbols and signifiers that were associated with the socialist ideology were also present in football on a microcosmic level. Using Lacla’s theories on hegemony and empty signifiers I will try to explain how many of these signifiers were “emptied” as such to link the football club of CSKA with that of the political party BCP. Also there were many regulations done to insure that CSKA, a signifier for socialist ideology, would be the dominant force in Bulgarian football. I will start out by giving a historical background of Bulgarian socialism, where I present some of the symbols and institutions that made the ideology what it was. Then move on to a history of political theories from selected authors. I will end my essay by showing how CSKA also came to stand for the symbols noted in the beginning, and how using the theories we can analyze why was it so.
  • Coe, Patrick (2015)
    The project worked on goes by the name of “ForcePhone II.” It follows in the footsteps of the previous “ForcePhone” project developed by Nokia Research and the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology. [HSH12] The original ForcePhone took pressure feedback from a caller who would squeeze a phone, in this case a Nokia N900 with a built in pressure sensor, and then would send the receiver differing strengths of vibration based on the strength of the squeeze. A stronger squeeze would deliver a stronger vibration. Our task with the ForcePhone II is to investigate how other forms of haptic input and feedback can be used to increase communication bandwidth. To do this we built a prototype that would go by the name of “ForcePhone II.” This prototype allows us to research and experiment alternative forms of haptic feedback. The prototype includes a heating pad on the backside of the device, a rope that tightens over the users hand on the side, and a vibrating motor inside. In our experiment we will be testing user’s reactions to the outputs of pressure, vibration, and heat. This is to answer our central research question: Is pressure and/or heat a useful alternative to the existing ‘silent’ stimuli provided by today’s phones?
  • Elmer, Keegan McConnell (2015)
    This thesis this demonstrates the powers and limitations of the developing Chinese workers movement in the context of the Chinese labor politics. It begins with a critique of the provocative claims of world labor scholar Beverly Silver regarding Chinese labor politics, including her 2003 prediction of an independent labor movement in China, and her 2009 claims that worker unrest caused the landmark 2008 Labor Contract Law (LCL) as a “concession wrung from the powerful”. Through a critical realist-inspired critique, this thesis claims that problems in Silver's theories and predictions are rooted in the strong positivist tendencies of her causal modeling. Alternatively, this thesis takes on a critical realist methodology to reexplain the causal production of the LCL and the role of workers' in its creation. The alternative explanation provided holds that the LCL was part of a hegemonic project of the Hu/Wen administration, where a growing workers movement, combined with an alternative accumulation strategy, mobilized the labor-relevant bodies of the Chinese state into an open and contested process of policy-production.
  • Oivo, Teemu (2013)
    In my pro gradu thesis I examine the concept of foreign agents which arose into the focus of Russian public debate in 2012. My goal is to describe, understand and evaluate critically the phenomenon where the formerly informal and controversial concept was taken into juridical implementation on Russian civil movements. I strive to describe the official and non-official co-existence of foreign agent ideas, their essences, beliefs and various appearances. Through foreign agents my goal is also to evaluate Russian politics and society in perspective of the national tradition of governing and global governmentality. I have a structuralist approach and my primary methods are Foucauldian discourse analysis and archeology of knowledge. My research material consists of the federal law making foreign agents juridical concept in 2012 and news articles from three Russian media companies from the time of the first year since introducing the law. Addingly I reflect relevant Foucauldian theories and research on Russia to bring the research better in contact with established framework of social sciences. Foreign agents embody traditional Russian vertical governing which is in conflict with civil movement activities connected with foreign influences. There appears contradiction of whether the foreign agents are advocates of the will of foreign regimes, if the term usage is correct and legitimate, do the Russian government follow principles of good governing, democracy and human rights. The basic units of foreign agents in Russia are non-commercial organizations that unlike the popularly synonymously used non-governmental organizations have strong discoursive connection with governmental politics in Russia. The non-formal structures in Russia tend to favor existence of the non-foreign agent subjects in Russia. Tarkastelen pro gradussani Venäjällä vuonna 2012 merkittäväksi keskusteluaiheeksi nousseen ulkomaalaisten agenttien käsitettä. Tarkoituksenani on kuvata, ymmärtää ja arvioida kriittisesti ilmiötä, jossa aiemmin epämuodollinen ja erittäin kiistanalaista käsitettä alettiin soveltaa juridisesti venäläisiin kansalaisjärjestöihin. Pyrin kuvaamaan ulkomaalaisten agenttien käsitteen virallisten ja epävirallisten tasojen yhteisoloa, näiden olemusta, ideoita, uskomuksia ja käytännön ilmentymiä. Tarkoituksenani on myös arvioida tämän ilmiön kautta venäläistä politiikkaa sen kansallisen hallintavaltaperinteen ja kansainvälisen hallintavallan näkökulmista. Lähestymistapani tutkimukseen on rakenteellinen ja tutkimusmenetelmäni on foucault'lainen diskurssianalyysi ja tiedon arkeologia. Aineistoni koostuu Venäjän Federaation laista, joka teki kesällä 2012 ulkomaalaisista agenteista juridisen käsitteen, minkä lisäksi käytän primääriaineistonani uutisartikkeleita kolmelta venäläiseltä mediayhtiöltä ensimmäisen vuoden ajalta siitä, kun edellä mainittu laki hyväksyttiin. Lisäksi käytän teorioita hallintapolitiikasta ja Venäjän tutkimuksesta apunani luodakseni näkökulmia tutkimusaiheeseen. Ulkomaalaiset agentit ilmentävät perinteistä venäläistä vertikaalia hallitokulttuuria, joka on konfliktissa globaalien vaikutusten alla olevan kansalaisjärjestötoiminnan kanssa. Ulkomaalaisten agenttien diskursseissa ilmenee perusteellinen ristiriita siitä, ovatko kansalaisjärjestöt näiden ulkomaalaisten tukijoiden poliittisen tahdon ajajia, onko ulkomaalainen agentti-termi oikeutettu ja rikkovatko uudet hallintosäädökset hyvän hallinnon periaatteita, demokratiaa ja ihmisoikeuksia. Ulkomaalaisten agenttien juridinen perusyksikkö Venäjällä, voittoa tavoittelematon järjestö, on käsitteellisesti voimakkaasti valtiopolitiikka sidonnainen. Venäjän epämuodolliset rakenteet suosivat vahvasti toimijoita, joita ei leimata ulkomaalaisiksi agenteiksi.
  • Arola, Mika (Suomen Pankki, Valtiokonttori, 2007)
    The main objective of the study is to evaluate the Finnish central government s foreign borrowing between the years 1862 and 1938. Most of this period was characterised by deep capital market integration that bears resemblance to the liberal world financial order at the turn of the millennium. The main aim is to analyse the credit risk associated with the state and its determination by evaluating the world financial market centres perception of Finland. By doing this, the study is also expected to provide an additional dimension to Finland s political and economic history by incorporating into the research the assessments of international capital markets regarding Finland during a period that witnessed profound political and economic changes in Finnish society. The evaluation of the credit risk mainly relies on exchange-rate risk free time series of the state s foreign bonds. They have been collected from quotations in the stock exchanges in Helsinki, Hamburg, Paris and London. In addition, it investigates Finland s exposure to short-term debt and Moody s credit ratings assigned to Finland. The study emphasises the importance of the political risk. It suggests that the hey-day of the state s reliance on foreign capital markets took place during last few decades of the 19th century when Finland enjoyed a wide autonomy in the Russian Empire and prudently managed its economy, highlighted in Finland s adherence to the international gold standard. Political confrontations in Finland and, in particular, in Russia and the turbulence of the world financial system prevented the return of this beneficial position again. Through its issuance of foreign bonds the state was able to import substantial amounts of foreign capital, which was sorely needed to foster economic development in Finland. Moreover, the study argues that the state s presence in the western capital markets not only had economic benefits, but it also increased the international awareness of Finland s distinct and separate status in the Russian Empire and later underlined its position as an independent republic.
  • Cao, Ling (2009)
    Among many possible openness and growth links, the leading contender is surely technology transfers and spillovers. This thesis aims to investigate the relationship between openness and economic growth from the perspective of Multinational companies (MNCs) and the host countries by presenting two theoretical models. The first model focuses on the pro-growth role of MNCs by showing they directly affect the endogenous growth rate via technology spillovers. The second model examines the relationship between international technology spillovers, the host countries absorptive capability and endogenous economic growth. In this thesis, I try to solve the problem how less developed countries (LDCs) grow by exploring technology spillovers. The first model is composed of two models where the first static model is based on Brainard (1993) and the latter endogenous growth model is originally from Baldwin and Forslid (2005). Knowledge capital is essential to the existence of MNCs and the equilibrium growth rate which implies that there is positive relationship between openness and economic growth is attained by Tobin s q approach. However, from the perspective of host countries, are there other host country characteristics that affect the ability of FDI to enhance the rate of economic growth? The absorptive capability model which is based on Romer (1990) R&D based model is applied and the solution to the competitive equilibrium problem shows that long-run growth arises from improvements in absorptive capability composed of human capital stocks and openness in host countries. In line with the empirical studies did by previous economists, the following results as well as policy implications are attained: 1) Countries with higher absorptive capability and human capital stocks usually have higher economic growth rates. So increasing absorptive capability or human capital stock will finally lead to a higher steady-state growth rate. It is suggested that the government should provide subsidies for individuals human capital investment, expand the government s budget on education and balance the government s expenditure on different regions. 2) Both import and FDI play an essential role in enhancing the human capital investment in host countries. FDI is a more significant spillover channel than imports which gives us the policy implication that technology policy in LDCs should focus on technology imports and imitation from outside instead of self-innovation. 3) An optimal degree of openness is also recommended for LDCs. A proper degree of openness could improve the absorptive capability, lead to more human capital investment in R&D sector and hence promote the economic growth. Therefore, the trade policy should focus on how to choose an optimal degree of openness by combining the short-term output-enhancement effect and the long-term growth effect of openness.
  • Hoang, Ngoc (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Wooden furniture industry is a traditional low-technology based and labor intensive industry (Kaplinsky & Readman, 2000), which is highly recommended for global outsourcing. Besides, the raising of “China plus one” manufacturing strategy made Southeast Asian countries became new investment destinations. In case of Vietnam, the largest exporter of wood products in Southeast Asian, wooden furniture industry is highly export-oriented with a fast growing rate especially since 2008 (MARD, 2012). While the global economic crisis in 2008 has a vital impact on the national economy, it is reported that the foreign subsidiaries in furniture industry in Vietnam have outstripped their local competitors (VNS, 2013). Despite the importance of foreign subsidiaries in Vietnam, there is lack of study regarding their competitive advantage and strategy. Investigating on how foreign subsidiaries respond to the external challenges is essential to support strategic knowledge on managing industry? Under the influence of market turbulence. This empirical study used qualitative data from interviews with eight managers of foreign furniture processing subsidiaries in Vietnam. Results indicated that under the influences of global downturn, managers have become more proactive and flexible in their strategic planning when facing with chaotic turbulence, which brings both opportunities and challenges. The study pointed out that the negative impact of global recession was passed through in later time in low-cost manufacturing countries and business risks could be minimized especially in companies with a strong pool of intangible resources (reputation, technology, innovation capability). Despite its complexity, recession was not completely seen a threat, yet the managers perceived it as external turbulence from which organizations can benefit but only if they choose the right strategic orientation.
  • Teittinen, Heidi (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    International attempts to mitigate climate change and the growth in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have resulted in the formation of global carbon markets, including markets for forest carbon projects. Forests are critical in mitigating the effects of global climate change because they are major carbon sinks, and activities that alter forests can release or sequester carbon dioxide (CO2), the most common greenhouse gas. Various forestry activities are acceptable for carbon offsets, and the evolving forest carbon markets offer new opportunities for investors. To better understand the forest carbon market and its current situation, this thesis has gathered up-to-date information on the different market areas of forest carbon. The objective of this study was to research global forest carbon markets as a private sector investment. The aim was to discover the barriers and the prerequisites that exist for investors. Furthermore, the study aimed to discover the opportunities and challenges of forest carbon. In addition, the financial characteristics and risks of the forest carbon projects were identified. Analyzing these factors provide insight into how the forest carbon markets function, what are the market entry recommendations for a private sector investor, and what are the prospects of the forest carbon market after 2012. This study employed a qualitative research design. Empirical data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with nine forest carbon professionals, who have extensive knowledge on the evolving forest carbon market. The findings from the interviews were triangulated with secondary data available in the public domain. The secondary data consisted of research articles, publications and Internet sources. The findings reveal that forest carbon projects may offer market opportunities, such as additional revenue and serve as “green investment”, but several issues have generated concerns and controversy. The main identified barrier is the uncertainty related to the global carbon market. In addition, there are other challenges creating barriers for entry for private investor, such as current measurement and monitoring practices, which are costly and time consuming. Project implementation in developing nations creates challenges related to the land tenure and carbon credit rights, just to mention a few. In many countries the legal and operational framework is not ready. Based on the study it can be concluded that the forest carbon should only be seen as extra revenue. The investment feasibility should not be based purely on carbon revenues; the cash flow needs to be generated from other forestry activities such as timber or non-wood forest products.
  • Mälkönen, Ville (2000)
    The level of forest conservation has a significant impact on the competitiveness of the forest industry. This is because active forest conservation involves harvesting constraints, which increase the costs of using timber in production. On the other hand, the production costs are also determined by the investment behavior of the forest industries. Because of the imperfect competition in the international markets for forest products the investments can labeled as strategic investments, since by choosing the level of investments the forest industries also control the strategic behavior of the rivals in the internationai markets. The present study explores the effects of forest conservation policy on the forest industries' investment behavior, and develops the implications of strategic trade theory for forest conservation policy. The first part of the study explores the cost effects of higher harvesting constraints on the strategic investments in forest industry and the government's incentives to distort the conservation policy so as to protect the domestic industry. Secondly, we consider the strategic behavior of the industries and the government when, in addition to prices, the demand for the forest products is determined by "green image' of the products. The green image demand is induced by the fact that the customers of forest industries prefer the products produced in a country where the forests are actively conserved by mandatory harvesting constraints. The interaction between the industries (home - and foreign industry) and home government is modeled as a game in three stages: ln the first stage the home industry imposes the mandatory harvesting constraints for the home forest industry. In the second stage the industries choose the level of cost reducing investments and subsequently export to a third country export market based on price competition. In the first model we establish as a benchmark case that in response to tighter harvesting constraints, the home industry increases the level of cost reducing investments so as to alleviate the increased production costs, while the foreign industry decreases its investment level. Thus, the home government has an incentive to impose excessively tight harvesting constraints, since active forest conservation in home forests tends to relax the price competition in the third country export markets. The optimal strategic conservation policy result might, however, be reversed in the presence of green image demand for the reason that remarkably strong demand effect may trigger tougher price competition in the last stage of the game. This result implies that under Bertrand competition the usual strategic environmental policy recommendations may not be applicable when the green image demand for the product is determined by the government's environmental policy.
  • Kalame, Fobissie Blese (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Africa is threatened by climate change. The adaptive capacity of local communities continues to be weakened by ineffective and inefficient livelihood strategies and inappropriate development interventions. One of the greatest challenges for climate change adaptation in Africa is related to the governance of natural resources used by vulnerable poor groups as assets for adaptation. Practical and good governance activities for adaptation in Africa is urgently and much needed to support adaptation actions, interventions and planning. The adaptation role of forests has not been as prominent in the international discourse and actions as their mitigation role. This study therefore focused on the forest as one of the natural resources used for adaptation. The general objective of this research was to assess the extent to which cases of current forest governance practices in four African countries Burkina Faso, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana and Sudan are supportive to the adaptation of vulnerable societies and ecosystems to impacts of climate change. Qualitative and quantitative analyses from surveys, expert consultations and group discussions were used in analysing the case studies. The entire research was guided by three conceptual sets of thinking forest governance, climate change vulnerability and ecosystem services. Data for the research were collected from selected ongoing forestry activities and programmes. The study mainly dealt with forest management policies and practices that can improve the adaptation of forest ecosystems (Study I) and the adaptive capacity through the management of forest resources by vulnerable farmers (Studies II, III, IV and V). It was found that adaptation is not part of current forest policies, but, instead, policies contain elements of risk management practices, which are also relevant to the adaptation of forest ecosystems. These practices include, among others, the management of forest fires, forest genetic resources, non-timber resources and silvicultural practices. Better livelihood opportunities emerged as the priority for the farmers. These vulnerable farmers had different forms of forest management. They have a wide range of experience and practical knowledge relevant to ensure and achieve livelihood improvement alongside sustainable management and good governance of natural resources. The contributions of traded non-timber forest products to climate change adaptation appear limited for local communities, based on their distribution among the stakeholders in the market chain. Plantation (agro)forestry, if well implemented and managed by communities, has a high potential in reducing socio-ecological vulnerability by increasing the food production and restocking degraded forest lands. Integration of legal arrangements with continuous monitoring, evaluation and improvement may drive this activity to support short, medium and long term expectations related to adaptation processes. The study concludes that effective forest governance initiatives led by vulnerable poor groups represent one practical way to improve the adaptive capacities of socio-ecological systems against the impacts of climate change in Africa.
  • Osborne, Nathaniel (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Increasing fossil fuel prices, concerns about domestic energy security and demand for environmentally friendly, low carbon energy sources are renewing interest in using wood for energy. State and federal government have responded to increased interest with legislation that promotes renewable energy. Logging residues important role as an energy feedstock and environmental component has been a central topic of discussion for the growing forest energy sector in the United States. Over the last five years, I have studied forest harvest residues in the southern United States and abroad. My principle research focus has been the rapid inventory of residues, determination of their stocking and the identification of factors influencing that stocking. This composite report provides a detailed account of three studies based on five years of data in North Carolina, Georgia and southern Sweden. Provided in the report is an adapted method to inventory scattered and piled forest harvest residues, the relationship of harvest residues and harvest systems and a wood energy recovery rate for low end biomass within intensively managed loblolly pine forests. The goal of providing these studies is to contribute useful observations to the ongoing discussion about forest harvest residues and to provide a sampling framework others can employ to do similar studies.