Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Björkenheim, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In aiming to help service users cope with a major life change imposed by, for example, a serious chronic illness or a severe impairment, social workers in health and mental health often, although not always explicitly, take a biographical perspective. Biography, shaped over time through the interplay between human agency and social structure, seems a relevant concept for social work, which focuses on the relationship between the individual and society. The aim of my research was to make the biographical perspective in health social work more explicit and to suggest ways in which practitioners can take into account their clients’ past without sliding into the field of psychotherapy. The questions set for the summary article ask what applying the biographical perspective in health social work could imply, and whether this perspective is compatible with social work practice theory. The study positions itself within the field of research on theoretical frameworks and knowledge production for health social work practice. Six papers, published during the years 2007–2016, form the base for this thesis. The first sub-study was based on a survey exploring issues of knowledge and competence in health social work, and laid out the context for the biographical perspective in social work practice as presented in the other five sub-studies. Three of the sub-studies were conceptual and published within an educational curriculum in the EU research project INVITE. The last two sub-studies were empirical and use qualitative content analysis; one analyses a biographical research interview from a social work perspective, and the other presents an analysis of 16 social workers’ views on biographical approaches as expressed in their final essays of a course on the biographical perspective in social work practice. Drawing on the sub-studies and on additional literature, the summary article takes the conceptual analysis further by outlining biographically informed health social work practice using ideas, concepts and methods developed in biographical research. My research maintains that the biographical perspective in health social work practice can be expressed by the notion of supporting clients’ biographical agency. This idea provides a general perspective for viewing clients as not totally determined by their past but as biographical actors in their social world, with a future they can influence. It is argued that the general concept of supporting biographical agency can be used with most clients. In cases when biographical interviewing is indicated, it implies listening to clients’ life stories, encouraging their biographical work, and helping them reconstruct their biographical identity in the midst of a major life change. In this type of work, building trustful relationships is essential. I found the biographical perspective in social work practice to be compatible with several social work practice theories. The ethical issues in biographical approaches concern the interpretation of clients’ life stories and the risk of clients becoming stuck in their past. The conclusion of my research was that the biographical perspective, defined in terms of supporting clients’ biographical agency, can provide a useful framework for health social workers in a multidisciplinary environment. Further research is needed to examine the benefits and possible risks of biographical approaches and to explore, in particular, clients’ own experiences of such approaches.
  • Tervola, Jussi (Kela, 2018)
    Contemporary welfare states actively promote their key values and goals, such as gender equality and high employment. In family policy, these goals are pursued with allocated parental leave for both parents and subsidized day care services, for instance. However, it is known from previous research that parental leave is divided less equally between parents in immigrant families than in other families, and children with immigrant background participate less in centre-based day care despite the evidence that they would benefit from it the most. This study sets out to scrutinize immigrant families’ care choices and their determinants in Finland and Sweden. The study is based on comprehensive administrative register data, and the choices are observed from the take-up of different benefits. Economic and demographic factors are considered through regression analysis. Immigrant fathers in both Finland and Sweden show clearly lower take-up rates of paternity and parental leave than native-born fathers. Generally, though, the takeup rates of immigrant fathers are much higher in Sweden than in Finland, and the gap between the countries is largely traced back to differences in policy systems. However, the study also provides evidence that social norms play a role in fathers’ parental leave use, even between Finnish-born and Swedish-born fathers. Moreover, immigrant families’ choices between child home care and day care follow the pattern previously found in some European and US studies. In Finland, with strong policy support for both home and day care, immigrant families take care of their children at home longer than native-borns. However, after the child turns three, immigrants demonstrate an increasing preference for day care, even more so than native families. This may reflect immigrant-specific preferences for children’s integration and language acquisition. All in all, it seems that care choices in immigrant families have many distinct features compared to the majority families. Nevertheless, this study provides evidence that care choices can be steered and family policy goals approached through efficient and consistent policies also among immigrant populations.
  • Pedak, Maarit (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This research examines the role and tasks of the municipality that was hit by the crisis in connection to the school shootings in Jokela on 7.11.2007 and Kauhajoki on 23.9.2008. The research focuses specifically on internal crisis communication as a facilitator of multi-agency work.In the research, school shootings are seen as community crises, the consequences of which are strongly reflected on the local community. The leadership responsibility of community crises falls upon the local security authorities.The research material consists mainly of interviews with members of the crisis organization of the cities of Tuusula and Kauhajoki. The theoretical framework is composed of the theories of organizational communication and crisis study, particularly the notion of the various functions of communication in an organization, the complexity of a crisis and crisis resilience. As a result of the study, four theoretical concepts were obtained: the recurring complexity of crisis, the dominance of circumstances, the elements of strengthening of the crisis organization and the network of crisis organizations. Complexity recurred during school shootings, since in addition to the crisis, the ambiguity of management responsibility and division of labour produced surprises and demanded the organisation to adapt. Officials of community crisis were also members of the tragedy struck community, hence work and private loss were mixed. It was also discovered that pressure from the media influenced the schedule of the crisis organization work strongly.The lack of control related to complexity was largely due to the disappearance of predictability. The concatenation of communication issues caused accumulation of problems. In the absence of authoritative communication, the crisis organization was forced to begin operating based on unofficial information that was difficult to confirm. During burdensome tasks the crisis organization was supported by a strong leadership input combining symbolic and instrumental leadership as well as care of the members of the crisis organization. Working in pair provided the opportunity for professional peer support during crisis work. In the circumstances of surprise and disorder, the predictability of matters was enhanced by the application of known solutions in the new context. The evacuation center as well as support centers for the immediate and indirect victims of the crisis structured the entity of psychosocial support and services for traumatic situations. Additionally, places and occasions were indicated to support community grief and workspaces for media representatives. The network of crisis organizations was united by a governing body coordinating the support measures.
  • Kuukkanen, Mari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study examines the means and ends of the Finnish anarchist movement in the early 2010s. The data consists of ethnographic field notes on various anarchist events, 12 semi-structured interviews and published material from anarchist media outlets. The data is analyzed through three conceptual lenses. First, what kinds of cultural repertoires were available and preferable for the anarchists will be studied. Second, the role of the movement’s collective identity in the coordination of anarchist action is also scrutinized. Third, the study explores what kinds of strategic dilemmas emerged for anarchists and how they were solved. Thus, on one hand, the study aims to analyze movement culture by examining both ‘external’ (repertoires) and ‘internal’ (collective identity) culture and their interplay. On the other hand, cultural analysis is combined with a focus on strategy. The premise is that cultural factors always affect activists’ strategic reasoning. The analysis shows that during the research period, great emphasis was placed on forging a distinctive collective identity for anarchists. Through boundary drawing, central movement actors strived to disassociate anarchism from both leftism in general and the moderate, reform-oriented and expert-driven civic activism, which dominates Finnish civil society. The identity-building effort was mirrored in the preference for characteristically anarchist political practices: prefiguring alternatives to the current social order and rebelling, even with destructive means, against it. However, the embeddedness of the Finnish anarchist movement in the social movement field and the activist networks means that anarchists often act politically in a similar manner to other, less rebellious activists. The fear of being obscured in the midst of ‘regular’ activism fueled the aforementioned boundary drawing. This positioning in relation to other activists contributes to the movement’s relative moderateness as well: in Finland presenting itself as the radical alternative can be achieved by fairly modest means. In the given period, the main strategic dilemmas faced by the movement were so-called ‘resonance or radicalism’ and extension dilemmas. As for the first, although the preference was on radicalism, anarchists occasionally used their strategic capacity for intentionally choosing more culturally resonant means. However, this balancing act was strenuous, and it was reflected in the extension dilemma as well. The anarchists studied found it difficult to answer who constituted the movement’s constituency and for whom mobilization efforts were addressed. Although, in theory, anarchists pursue the self-rule of the ‘people’, in practice, the bond the anarchists in this study prefigured was predominantly that of the ‘chosen few’ whose solidarity was based on a common struggle and shared countercultural values and aesthetics.
  • Olakivi, Antero (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation employs a perspective of relational sociology on the occupational agency of employees in public sector elder care in Finland. The study is motivated by two socio-political developments: first, the ambition of public sector care work organizations to enhance their efficiency by implementing private sector management ideals and, second, these organizations’ increasing tendency to recruit migrant workers as a means to tackle shortages in workforce, partly caused by precarious conditions in elder care work. Both developments have raised socio-political controversies. According to critics, they decrease the quality of care, reduce care workers’ occupational agency, and create hierarchies between migrant and Finnish-born workers. According to proponents, the developments improve the quality of care, the livelihood of migrant workers and, finally, care workers’ occupational agency, autonomy, activity, and involvement in their work. These optimistic visions, I argue, draw on the liberal and enterprising ideals of providing welfare services through supporting all actors’ autonomy and proactive agency. Previous research has often aimed to solve the above controversies by empirically supporting one line of interpretation over others. In this study, I examine how the above controversies themselves are enacted in social care work. In particular, I examine how care work managers’ and migrant care workers’ interpretations of their own and each other’s occupational agency support and contest, first, each other and, second, the above political visions. My data consist of interviews conducted in 2011–2013. I analyze the interviews from a discursive and dramaturgical perspective and present the results in four articles and a dissertation summary. My results demonstrate how the liberal ideals of enterprising care work are both familiar and pragmatic to social care employees. By drawing on these ideals, care work managers can conceive themselves as modern coaches who can improve the quality of care by activating care workers’ occupational agency—and by recruiting agential migrants. These interpretations also shape the agency of care work managers: beyond experts in care, they need to become experts in activation and cultural diversity. Care workers, in turn, can draw on the enterprising ideals to perform active, responsible, and autonomous agency. These performances can be necessary for many migrants who, evidently, have an additional burden of demonstrating their worth in front of native audiences. The enterprising ideals also create conflicts in networks of care. To present themselves as modern coaches, managers need care workers who are routinized but willing to be activated. Care workers can question this image of themselves in different ways. First, care workers can present themselves as agents who are already active and, thus, do not need their superiors’ coaching. Second, they can frame problems in their environment as structural problems that cannot be solved by activation. Third, they can present themselves as actors who are forced to be enterprising; who are active and autonomous, but because they have no choice. In sum, my study demonstrates the moral and pragmatic appeal of the enterprising and liberal ideals—in the context of dwindling resources—but also a line of practices that contest their credibility in care work.
  • Näsänen, Jaana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Organizations are transforming their traditional office settings to hot-desking office due to pressure to reduce costs and modernize their working practices and external images. Although organizational change has been acknowledged as an interactional accomplishment involving discursive activities, prior studies on spatial change have failed to address the discursive processes of such changes. The objective of this study is to examine the dynamics of spoken interaction when supporting and contesting organizational change. More specifically, the study focuses on analyzing how people within an organization evaluate an ongoing change and how they rhetorically produce their support or resistance to the change. Drawing on empirical data from a study of a change program which was strategically central to a public service organization in Finland, the study applies the theoretical and methodological approach of discursive psychology in the analysis. The empirical material consists of audio recordings from a series of workshops running over a three-week period, from nine program group meetings and from 36 individual interviews. The analyses focus on the discursive and rhetorical construction of organizational change and identifies attitudes of support and resistance as rhetorical stances taken by the members of the organization while speaking about spatial change. Supporting stances relate to the current societal trends and the ability of an organization to react to its environment, whereas resistant stances emphasize the abandonment of grass-roots work practices and the communality of an organization. The study demonstrates how groups of employees construct opposite visions and consequences of change, and support and contest their own visions of change such that they do not speak about the same change. Similarly, the visions of real work in a renewed organization are produced differently in the words of employees and responsible managers. Furthermore, the study explains how the different groups of employees produce a polarizing organization by contrasting current employees and future employees, change-oriented and stability-oriented employees and new and old versions of the organization. As the main contribution to understanding organizational change, the study highlights attitudes as rhetorical stances when exploring organizational change, following the idea of rhetorical social psychology. Instead of treating resistance as a negative inner attitude and studying ways to overcome such attitudes, this study suggests that resistant talk is a focal part of any discussion about change. Accordingly, it should be integrated in research settings as well as in the development work of an organization.
  • Toppinen, Pilvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Democracies are widely considered to be in a state of crisis. For this reason, and for both critical and constructive purposes, it is essential that we understand the grounds of democracy. In this dissertation I examine normative justifications for democratic decision-making procedures through the lens of political philosophy. What makes such processes valuable? In particular, I analyze how the justification of democratic procedures is related to procedural and procedure-independent values, a topic which is a focal axis in current debates. I also assess the relevance of feasibility considerations to these idealizations, and the role of equality, which has, despite its significance, remained disconcertingly vague. The main thesis I defend is that democratic procedures can be valuable not just on contingent, instrumental grounds, but also intrinsically: that democratic procedures can be justified intrinsically as constituting egalitarian relations. In the first, critical part of the work, I provide a systematical analysis of three key approaches in the field, each of which combines procedural and procedure-independent elements in the justification of democratic procedures in a different way. The approaches selected for examination are Joshua Cohen’s mainstream ideal of deliberative democracy, David Estlund’s influential epistemic proceduralism, and Thomas Christiano’s egalitarian proceduralism. All three bring to the fore important, topical themes in relation to procedural justification, yet, as I argue case by case, they all face difficulties. In the second, constructive part of the thesis, I proceed from these difficulties to focus on intrinsic justification. I evaluate different types of instrumental and intrinsic value. Many seemingly intrinsic values, it appears, turn out to be instrumental in the final analysis. Nevertheless, I argue that democratic procedures are to be understood as constituting valuable egalitarian relations, and, thus, they can have intrinsic value. These relations require the absence of social inferiority and superiority; in other words, equality of democratic opportunities. In the coda chapter I provide a sketch of what minimal intrinsic proceduralism could mean in a democratic context. Leaning on the ideas of Emanuela Ceva, I maintain that what appears to be relevant from an intrinsic perspective is interactive justice or, in other words, that we recognize each other as equals on the verge of disagreement.
  • Quist, Liina-Maija (Painosalama, 2018)
    This PhD thesis examines the politics of marine resource access among small scale fishers and oil companies in Tabasco, Mexico. It is an analysis of a conflict over sea space, livelihoods, and identity during the contemporary global intensification of oil extraction. In 2003, the Mexican government cordoned off 15,900 km2 of the Gulf of Mexico’s offshore oil production area, purportedly to protect the oil industry from ‘potential terrorist threats’. The oil industry’s expansion has decreased fishers’ catches and forced many fishers to defy the bans and continue fishing in the prohibited areas to secure their living. Through ethnographic and media analysis of what is said and done to defend rights to the sea, this study aims to construct a critical understanding of contemporary modes of oil governance and related struggles over fishers’ seafaring way of life in Mexico. It seeks to show how power operates in marine environmental governance, and those aspects of the fishers’ identity and knowledge which remain beyond conventional arenas of politics. The study provides tools for analyzing global environmental-social challenges related to intensified marine resource extraction. Today, small scale fishing continues to be highly important for food security and employment in the Global South, while oil extraction is being expanded into new areas, regardless of its various harmful impacts. The thesis follows fishers’ political and seafaring practices in oil production areas, seeking to open the field of political ecology further to offshore oil’s knowledge/power configurations and maritime lifeworlds. Additionally, it asks what an ethnographic approach provides to the study of offshore extractive politics, which in Mexico are related to the oil industry’s privatization. The study connects post-foucauldian discussions of oil’s governmentality to STS-oriented anthropological and geographic conceptualizations of radical alterity. It is based on 6.5 months of fieldwork in Tabasco in 2011–2012 and 2017, as well as newspaper analysis. While neoliberal modes of environmental governance have become common in rendering offshore oil exploitable, this study shows that they are intimately intertwined with historical narratives and practices, and local social hierarchies. In Tabasco, a symbolically powerful template of oil as patrimony informs local narratives, especially those of communication media, undermining embodied claims for identity made by practicing fishers. Furthermore, the fishers’ affective relations with aquatic spaces, and their related environmental knowledge transcend formal arenas of politics as they are not fully articulable into political claims. The study further shows how fisher leaders operate as political mediators, flexibly moving between the worlds of oil politics, seafaring, and the media, transforming fishers’ claims over identity into narratives about livelihoods which are recognizable and acceptable within extractive politics. This study has relevance for theoretical and policy-oriented efforts to understand the politics of changing maritime worlds. Key words: difference, environmental conflict, ethnography, fisher, fishing, governmentality, knowledge, media, narrative, oil industry, patrimony, political leader, politics, sacrifice zone, sea, seafaring, space
  • Tammisto, Tuomas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The thesis examines how the Mengen living in the rural Pomio District in Papua New Guinea reproduce their society and their lived environment by engaging in swidden horticulture, logging, wage labor on plantations and community conservation. These four practices have created and continue to create different kinds of places and social relations that involve the Mengen, like other inhabitants of Pomio, within larger political and economic structures. These have also produced, reproduced and at times significantly changed the environment of the Mengen. By examining the four complex modes of engaging with the environment, the thesis seeks to answer two questions. First, how the Mengen produce their livelihood, a socially meaningful environment and valued social relations in the process. Second, how the Mengen take part in natural resource extraction, the expansion of industrial agriculture and state territorialization on a resource frontier---a spatialized process in which resources, practices and their values are defined. This often involves struggle, which reflects the notion that the greatest political struggles are not only over who gets to appropriate value, but who gets to define it. The study is aimed as a contribution to the understandings of human-environmental relations and natural resource extraction. It suggests that political ecology combined with anthropological theories of value help us understand how people who have intimate relations with their lived environment engage in a globalized resource economy. The thesis argues that there is no uniform way in which "the Mengen" take part in logging or the making of the state. The very different approaches deployed and the ensuing disagreements are, however, often disagreements over how best to pursue Mengen values of establishing productive relations with each other, the land and people from elsewhere. The Mengen have been successful in retaining their system of values over long and extensive contact with commodity relations, foreign companies and state administrations, while adapting to and incorporating these changes into their lives without losing hold of what they value. A key reason for this is that they have not been dispossessed of their lands, but continue to hold them communally.
  • den Broeder, Chantal (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    ABSTRACT The first objective of this dissertation is to identify and analyze the challenges encountered by Ghanaian tomato farmers when they cultivate and sell their crop. Set within the context of low, national productivity in the tomato sector, this dissertation focuses on a case study of the village of Matsekope, located in one of the three main tomato-producing regions in Ghana. Both the cultivation and selling processes are analyzed because they are interlinked - tomatoes are cultivated in order to be sold, while markets provide the incentive for and possibly influence cultivation practices. This research utilizes value chain analysis (VCA) - input, output, geographical destination, governance and institutions - since it allows for a detailed study about the development of a commodity from the initial stages of production or cultivation to the eventual sale on the market. By utilizing VCA, this research also addresses a second objective, which is to contribute to the current debate concerning the parameters of VCA research. In other words, to see if every process and actor from input to the end-use product ought to be included in VCA, or if rather only specific segments and actors along the chain can be analyzed. While information on input, output and the geographical destination of tomatoes proved to be integral parts to this value chain, the governance and institutions portion of the analysis (utilizing the Kaplinsky and Morris model) was key to obtaining a better understanding about how and why the value chain was operating as it was, and more specifically why farmers were encountering certain challenges. These challenges were namely obtaining access to credit, farming irrigation, input supply (tractor services) and improved cultivation practices, as well as difficult price negotiations with traders, limited access to markets, and price fluctuation throughout the season. The overall picture that evolved was a complex set of relationships between actors and their respective rules or legislation. In addition, utilization of VCA in this research also demonstrated that it can be used as an analytical framework to focus on a specific segment and set of actors within a larger value chain, and that the departing point of analysis does not necessarily have to be the global firm. Keywords: value chain analysis, governance, Ghana, farmers, tomato sector
  • Menard, Rusten (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation makes methodological and empirical contributions to understanding how we represent and use values that are important in defining ‘us’, and who ‘we’ consider ourselves to be. It also contributes to our understanding of how particular values, which we might typically assume as enhancing societal wellbeing, can be formulated ideologically in the sense that they are discursive representations and tools for elevating ‘our’ identities and subjugating ‘theirs’. The study material consists of written responses to open questions that were produced by people who are differently positioned in relation to institutionalised norms on “sociability” and/or “sex/gender”: People contacted through a national random sample, people diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and people with transgendered experiences. I therefore also consider how being explicitly marked as psychiatrically, medically and socially ‘abnormal’ might interact with how social values are negotiated in identification and in ideological work. The perspectives informing this dissertation are interdisciplinary. I draw upon theoretical and methodological approaches to values, identification and ideology in social semiotics and critical discourse studies, critical and societal psychologies, semiotic sociology and cultural studies. The first of two primary methodological contributions is in developing a framework for analysing social values as constructions that are formulated in dynamic identification processes. I specify analyses of social values firstly in relation to territorialising what ‘we’ consider to be important, desirable or obligatory; secondly in relation to formulating action programmes by positioning contents into relational participant roles; and thirdly in relation to evaluative positioning of oneself and others in relation to those territorialisations and action programmes. The second methodological contribution is in developing a framework for analysing ideologies as both structures and processes, from the perspective of modalities. Modality is amongst the discursive resources that function to connect and divide viewpoints, to build value projects and to build communities of shared values. My empirical contributions in this dissertation deal with analyses of Finnish equality discourses; how equality is given meaning and used in identification processes. I also examine the extent to which equality as a concept is ideological such that its imbued meanings and uses work to produce and update relations of domination. I interpret four discourses on equality. I suggest that a network of ideological discourses on Finnish equality works to somewhat paradoxically produce and maintain symbolic and material inequalities. Integrating an historical analysis, I argue that this ideology is being constantly updated and maintained in part because of the interrelatedness in the historical path of equality with national projects on temperance, homogeneity, non-conflict and civil unity, the nation and sameness. Particular ways of continually referencing and integrating aspects of these projects into meanings and implementations of equality have been key to maintaining its ideological status. They are also key to understanding how ideological Finnish equality formulations might be transformed.
  • Magnusson, Roland (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This thesis consists of three essays on the use of economic instruments in environmental policy. The first essay analyses the case for interstate cooperation in environmental taxation while the second and the third essays study questions specific to the use of economic instruments in climate change mitigation. The first essay analyses the incentives of national governments to cooperate in regulating pollutants that spill over jurisdictional boundaries. A well-established result within the literature that assumes perfect competition is that a country, which is small in the sense that it cannot affect world prices, has no incentive to depart from the cooperative choice of environmental regulation. By generalising the model presented by Oates and Schwab (1987, 1988) it is shown that this result does not hold for pollutants that have regional or global characteristics, as e.g. sulphur dioxide (SO2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) have. The second essay demonstrates a methodology for analysing the progress and failure of projects in the CDM. It models the hazard of first issuance. Integrated over duration, the hazard of first issuance gives the time to market, defined as the duration between the start of the Global Stakeholder Process and the first issuance of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs). It is shown that 50\% of all projects which have started the Global Stakeholder Process fail to issue CERs, while the remainder has a median time to market of 4 years. The third essay illustrates a paradox in which overlapping climate policy instruments may have the unintended consequence of accelerating rather than decelerating global warming. The insight follows from a dynamic model, where a quota obligation for power generated from renewables is introduced alongside a carbon budget. A dynamic model allows to study how the schedule at which the carbon budget is exhausted is affected by the quota obligation. The exhaustion schedule determines the global temperature response.
  • Uutela, Marjo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The thesis examines with primary sources, how Finland nullified the military articles of the Paris Peace Treaty and the reference to Germany as a potential aggressor in the FCMA-Treaty in September 1990. This project, called later “Operation Pax”, paralleled the restoration of reunified Germany’s full sovereignty in Finland. The study is located in the intersection of Cold War political history and international relations. It utilizes new primary source materials from Finland and Germany and theoretical tools from international relations. The thesis describes first how the Finnish foreign policy leadership interpreted the Paris Peace Treaty during the Cold War years 1962 and 1983. The analysis focuses especially on how the international position of the two German states affected interpreting the Peace Treaty 1987–1990. The main emphasis is on the unilateral move of the Finnish government to reinterpret the military articles of the Peace Treaty in 1990. Easing of tensions between the superpowers and the German states made it possible for President Mauno Koivisto to allow importing a German civilian plane to Finland in 1987 without consulting the Soviet Union and Great Britain, even though acquiring aircraft from Germany was prohibited in the Peace Treaty. Because the decision was made unilateral, it meant differing from usual foreign policy practices and is thus seen as a turning point in the thesis, although importing civilian aircraft was not in itself of great significance. The study concludes that ”Operation Pax” was one of the most important Finnish cases of interpreting the Peace Treaty. Yet, nullifying military articles in 1990 did not change Finland’s international orientation or political goals. Finland’s neutrality policy remained intact. “Operation Pax” was an act of sovereignty, but the leading motive behind it was military-political. In order to acquire weaponry from Germany, the Finnish Ministry of Defence had suggested in November 1989 that the military articles could undergo changes. In June 1990 the Ministry for Foreign Affairs justified in its memorandum to Koivisto the importance of the plan with the interest that the Finnish Defence Forces had in German and Japanese weapons systems.
  • Spel, Oghogho Christal (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study explores why poor African migrants remain in Johannesburg, South Africa’s harsh migration context, to build their lives, and how, in pursuit of a better future, they engage with the various forms of socioeconomic and political constraints that they experience. Popular as a destination for African migrants, South Africa is a country with a very high percentage of asylum seekers, but also a place where they are the targets of violent xenophobia. Yet such migrants are known to live for years in this situation, one which is generally considered socio-economically and politically marginalized and constraining. Their continued presence raises the pertinent sociological query of how and why such large numbers have remained in their host society, continuing to welcome new incoming members, while others have left, been imprisoned or murdered, or died of a range of ailments. Methodologically, resilience theory - conceptualised as a dynamic process of interaction between the individual and his or her environment – is utilised as an explanatory and descriptive framework to examine the subject of this study. Data for the study were collected through life-story interviews with African migrants who are economically active on the streets of Johannesburg, and document analysis was utilised for triangulation purposes. Data were analysed using narrative analysis. Empirical observations called attention to the prominence of aspirations for a better life amongst the informal migrants, an observation that is accompanied by several relevant findings: firstly, that the migrants’ resilience in their constraining environment cannot be attributed to itemized factors. Rather, their resilience takes the form of a dynamic and interactive engagement with the South African context. The interactions are orchestrated by their perceptions of opportunities in their home countries and the South African society, and combined with the application of faith and tactics in dealing with identified adverse conditions. Their resilience is presented as enduring but also transient, as it is subject to individuals’ evaluations and negotiations. In that light, the migrants are shown to be active agents but also victims in their harsh context, calling attention to the duality of the informal migrants’ experience in Johannesburg, irrespective of their violent xenophobic environment. Consequently, considerable challenges are posed to the projects of classifying informal migrants as either passive victims or active agents, and listing or identifying specific factors as means to attaining resilience. Secondly, an observed fallout from the interviewees’ notion of hope – aspiration – is the productive use of ‘waiting time’. The hegemonic control of the interviewees’ time through, for example, official delays or manipulation in the processing of asylum applications, is challenged by the tactical and creative utilization of the period of waiting in which two things stood out: micro-entrepreneurship and development of their social and personal lives but particularly micro-entrepreneurship, as the interviewees focused on achieving a better life through micro businesses. Their engagement in trade and services in a context devoid of institutional support, and under dire personal circumstances, though borne of feelings of ‘no alternatives’, suggests creativity, with potential for growth. Furthermore, my interviewees were also able to make productive social use of the ‘time of waiting’ even as asylum seekers. Living in the city, my interviewees took initiatives to learn new skills, develop new intimate and business relationships, had children, and so on. Their lives reveal that even as asylum seekers, they were slowly building the futures they desired, for instance, through savings and personal projects in the home country. On the basis of empirical observations, the conclusions drawn indicate the limitations of policy in terms of improving the experience of informal migrants, and raises questions concerning the moral or ethical values (or lack thereof) involved in perpetuating their vulnerability – thus calling attention to questions of choice and agency in acts dehumanising informal migrants. Moreover, observations of micro-entrepreneurship beg another question. Could migration management be mutually beneficial if a context conducive to migrants’ entrepreneurial pursuits is promoted? As a contribution to the body of knowledge of Social Policy, the author uses the perspective of the informal migrants as active agents and social victims to argue that political inclusion by the host country cannot be enough to improve the wellbeing of informal migrants. Thus, the author theoretically reflects on the relevance of Social Policy in improving human welfare and emphasizes the informal migrants’ experience of vulnerability as a creative opportunity to engage the development of Social Policy in Africa, for example, from a regional body. Therefore, the thesis postulates that the dilemma of better lives for informal African migrants is a regional political question of belongingness, care, and social responsibility.
  • Heiskanen, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The purpose of this study is to discuss problem gambling as a financial issue, to study the everyday life (unbalanced) budgets and financial matters of problem gamblers, and to discover their financial recovery processes, with or without the support from state public welfare services. In practice, the results of this study aim to support the development of prevention of problem gambling and services (especially financial support) for people who have experienced problems with their gambling. Using three data sets, this research asks: what gambler consumer clusters can be identified in Finland? How do problem gamblers experience financial problems as being secondary to gambling? How do they perceive the assistance available in deteriorating financial situations, partly related to their socio-economic positions? What meanings do Finnish social services directors gice to the public (financial) support available for problem gamblers? First, the main data set comprises 17 thematic interviews with individuals who have experienced problematic gambling. The second data set includes 11 email and phone interviews with different-level social services directors in the most populous cities in Finland, while the third data set is a population survey entitled “Finnish Gambling 2011”. First, three problematic issues connected to money during different phases of problem gambling are identified: needing money for gambling, missing money due to gambling and potential money to sort out the problems caused by gambling. The everyday life financial affairs and practices described by the gamblers revealed the episodic nature of problem gambling: disposable money means that gambling activities are organized temporally. Second, this thesis shows that gamblers in general are heterogeneous consumers. Problem gambling is most common among gamblers who play many different games. Problem gamblers come from different socio-economic backgrounds, which results in variations in the nature of the financial problems in the everyday life of the gamblers and their households. Also, their paths to financial recovery vary, especially regarding public financial assistance and social services in general, as problem gamblers have different subjective “distances” from public services. Third, problem gamblers themselves may conceptualize their problems as financial and feel that their concerns are left unaddressed in treatment. Also, measures to recognize problem gambling within social services seem necessary. The social service directors expressed the view that financial support is available for problem gamblers but requires resources, especially for the more controlling measures such as having a social worker manage the client’s finances. Control in general is an important element in supporting problem gamblers financially, as different money-management strategies may influence the gambler’s financial autonomy, but may provide support in managing financially. Problem gambling is often understood as a mental health issue and treated with individual therapy. This study suggests that the prevention and treatment of problem gambling ought to be set in a broader, financial perspective. Gambling is undertaken with money, and the cycles of everyday life budgets, as well as the different social and economic positions of the gamblers, should be recognized and acknowledged.