Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Viuhko, Minna (2020)
    This study takes a look at human trafficking and related exploitation in Finland in the 2000s. The term “human trafficking” is used to denote a serious crime against the individual and their freedom in which the perpetrator exploits the victim for benefit. Here, the exploitation is considered in the contexts of different job sectors and prostitution. The study takes a look at different cases of sexual exploitation and exploitation of migrant labour which fall under the category of human trafficking or which have included characteristics of human trafficking. The study yields an analysis of the human trafficking situation in Finland during the first 15 years of the 2000s. It comprises four sub-studies dealing with the overall theme of the control perpetrators impose on victims. The sub-studies analyse the violence, coercion and control imposed on the victims from different perspectives and, to a certain extent, in different contexts. The study asks how do exploitation and control manifest themselves in the human trafficking of the 21st-century Finland, what forms of control imposed on the victims can be identified, and how does the control restrict the agency of the victims. The study is interdisciplinary and falls within the disciplines of sociology, criminology, gender studies and, to a lesser extent, migration studies. The central concepts used in the study are agency, control, vulnerability, ideal victim, ideal offender and intersectionality. The central theoretical concept throughout is “agency”, and the concept of “restricted agency” has been developed further as part of the study. Sub-study I examines control in the context of prostitution and organised procuring in Finland at the beginning of the 2000s. It analyses the structure of criminal organisations and the different ways in which the perpetrators have acted. The sub-study sheds light on the circumstances in which the procurers operated at the turn of the millennium before human trafficking was criminalised in Finland and slightly after. The conclusion is that the women involved in prostitution under various criminal organisations had to act under different variations of control and in accordance with strict rules. In Sub-study II, exploitation and control are analysed from the victims’ point of view, especially in the context of labour exploitation. The sub-study shows that the victims of human trafficking face different kinds of physical, psychological and financial control. The analysis also touches upon the agency of victims, yielding the concept of “restricted agency”, which is used to describe the agency of victims of human trafficking and the framework of exploitation and control under which the victims act. The focus in Sub-study III is on the perpetrators and the stereotypical conceptions that are formed of them − here the concept “ideal offender” comes to fore. The sub-study calls the central role of organised criminal groups in human trafficking into question and asserts that human trafficking crimes are often organised by individuals rather than by organised criminal groups and that the parties involved in the exploitative situations often know each other beforehand. Nevertheless, the crimes can be profitable for the perpetrator and the exploitation can be very severe. Sub-study IV analyses the different relationships between the victims and perpetrators of human trafficking. The intersectional approach was used for this sub-study, looking into what exposes potential victims to exploitation on the one hand and what keeps them from leaving the exploitative situation on the other hand. The sub-study illuminates the power relations between the victims and the perpetrators, and it also shows that there is a plethora of intersecting factors which affect both the victimisation and the imbalanced power relations between the perpetrators and the victims. The dissertation moves from the analysis of the criminal organisations to that of close relationships and from the descriptive study of the phenomenon to intersectional analysis. The study makes use of different materials: official documents (court judgments and pre-trial investigation records), interviews with victims of human trafficking and related exploitation, and expert interviews. The study is a qualitative one and the methods of analysis used are thematic and analytical coding, close-reading and intersectional analysis. The study shows that the identified cases of human trafficking and related exploitation have changed their forms in certain ways between the period from the late 1990s to the beginning of the 2010s. Instead of large-scale pandering operations, exploitation between individuals and, at times, in close relationships is nowadays better identified in Finland in the contexts of working and private life. At the centre of the study lies the control perpetrators impose on victims and how this control restricts the agency of the victims. According to the study, the agency of the victims is restricted by the perpetrators, exploitative situations and social structures. The restrictions set by physical, psychological, sexual and financial control define the scope for the victim’s action. In addition, the intertwined individual and structural factors have an influence on how one might become exposed to exploitation and on the fact that disentangling oneself from an exploitative relationship is not possible or easy. For instance, gender, age, ethnic background and poverty can be connected to whether an individual is exposed to exploitation, and, on the other hand, lack of money, lack of language skills and the residence permit status can create obstacles to leaving the exploitative situation and the exploitative relationship. These restrictive factors on the victims’ agency do not mean, however, that the victims are merely passive objects who cannot make any decisions about their own lives. Instead, the victims act within the limits set by the control that has been imposed on them. Keywords: Agency, control, exploitation, human trafficking, offender, victim
  • Niemeläinen, Julia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation consists of an introduction and three essays on the determination of external imbalances and the real interest rate. In particular, the objective of the dissertation is to analyze the reasons behind the long-lasting current account imbalances observed over the past decades in large open economies, such as the current account deficit of the United States and the current account surplus of China, as well as the concurrent long-term decline in the world real interest rate. In the first two essays, I focus on demographic change, social security and fiscal policy as potential drivers of households’ consumption-saving decisions, the current account and the world real interest rate. The analysis is based on a dynamic general equilibrium model with an embedded life-cycle structure, which allows me to study the role of life-cycle savings and intergenerational transfers in the consumption-saving decisions, and in which fiscal policy is non-Ricardian. In the first essay I analyze how permanent differences in demographics, social security and fiscal policy affect the external sector and the world real interest rate in the long run, and compare the effects under fixed and variable labour supply, which the literature on demographic change and external imbalances often abstracts from. I find that, relatively high life expectancy and low social security are associated with a positive net foreign asset position in the two-country world. Because the impact of social security is quantitatively large, a country with relatively low life expectancy may become a net creditor if its social security is low enough. This result suggests that analyzing the effects of social security could help us understand the observed low-frequency capital flows from fast-growing emerging economies to industrialized countries. High life expectancy is, in the model, associated with a low international real interest rate, but endogenizing labour supply results in a higher real interest rate for a given level of life expectancy. This indicates that the negative effect of population ageing on the real interest rate might not be as strong as suggested by several earlier studies. The objective of the second essay is to analyze whether it is possible to replicate the dynamics of China’s trade surplus vis-a-vis the United States over the period 1980-2015, by taking into account the differences in demographic factors and social security between the countries. Productivity growth in China has been approximately twice as rapid as in the United States during this period, which, according to traditional neoclassical models, should imply high investment and consumption rates, and result in a trade deficit. In my model, China’s relatively rapid population ageing and low social security result in high and increasing savings by Chinese households, so that even when China’s high productivity growth is taken into account, the model produces a trade surplus for China during the sample period. In the third essay, I analyze the impact of the Chinese government’s macroeconomic policies on the observed trade balance dynamics and the transmission of these policies to the United States in the 2000s. The analysis is based on a life-cycle model, which includes features that describe the behavior of the Chinese policymakers. In particular, I assume that private agents are excluded from the international financial market, and that the public authorities can directly control the domestic real interest rate and the real exchange rate. I find that macroeconomic policies, especially the undervaluation of China’s real exchange rate, and the growth in government expenditures and fiscal deficits run by China and the United States, have had a positive impact on China’s trade balance, and raised the international interest rate. However, the overall effect of the policies depends qualitatively on the assumption of the elasticity of intertemporal substitution.
  • Rinne, Jenni M. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This research sets out clarifying theoretically the relations with two democratically relevant concepts: political representation and deliberation. It does so by developing the idea of ‘deliberative representation’ and studying it empirically in a parliamentary context. Recent scholarship of representation, namely the constructivist turn, sees the concept of representation as dynamic and fluid. As such, this paradigm shift looks past the electoral notion that highlights the premise of interests and preferences. Scholarship on deliberation is similarly revising its focus. This research draws especially from the systemic approach to deliberation. It implies that loosening traditional normative criteria will advance the study of deliberation in politically charged settings such as legislatures. Both strands of theories are gradually assuming context and function sensitive perspectives that are merged in my reading of deliberative representation. The under-theorised link between representation and deliberation has resulted in shortage of empirical accounts of where representatives operate in. The research is motivated by a simple question: what do representatives actually do when they represent? Finding answers to this question helps in understanding what drives deliberation in parliaments. The proposed framework of deliberative representation allows a more nuanced outlook on representative activities and practices. Consequently, this refined perspective allows addressing and re-assessing some prevailing assumptions of political science about the strategic and adversarial incentives and orientations of elected representatives. In this research, the dynamics of deliberative representation are studied in and illustrated through a particular legislature, the Parliament of Finland. For this purpose, 60 Finnish Members of Parliament (and 5 parliamentary committee chairs) were interviewed over the period of 2008–2016. The research illustrates that although institutional and procedural settings of legislature incentivize representative practices, thus inducing deliberation in various ways, the contextual and functional interplay argued by deliberative representation adds to the analysis in novel ways. Three dominant contexts of representation are identified: the affirmative, operative and performative context. Each discussed context specifies how the functions of representation are established and carried out. Also, features relating to the deliberative process are explored. Finally, three deliberative modes are detected in the contexts of representation: what I call expressive-deliberative, strategic-deliberative and expressive-partisan deliberative mode. The novelty of this research lies in its aspiration to use the language of political theory more closely in conducting empirical inquiry. While doing that, it has also contributed to the scholarship on representative practices in parliaments. Finally, the research suggests that the contexts of representation are generally recognizable, and therefore they may find applications outside the parliamentary setting.
  • Forsberg, Henrik (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This thesis analyses famines and their afterlives in national contexts. The major famines in Ireland and Finland from 1845-52 and in the late 1860s, respectively, are used as case studies, to explore how issues of famine, memory, and history take symbolic and narrative shape. The chronology encompasses the mnemohistorical period for each famine, i.e. the period of coexistence between those who can remember an event and those who were born after it, and therefore cannot remember it. In other words, this period of about approximately one hundred years for each country incorporates the perspectives of both memory and history. The thesis consists of three published articles, two article drafts, and an extensive introduction-discussion into the main overlapping fields of the research topic: famine studies, collective memory studies, and nationalism studies. The dissertation argues for a more clinical definition of memory, and the adoption of the analytical concept of mnemohistory in collective memory studies. Mnemohistory acknowledges that memory and historical representations of the past are in a dynamic relationship, for as long as the generation that experienced the event still lives. Over time, as the proportion of the group that can remember an event diminishes and its influence on society transforms, i.e. the mnemohistorical progression, historical representations becomes dominant. However, memory is still evoked in a metaphorical sense, even by people who cannot remember the famine themselves. This is especially the case when the famine in question is incorporated as a significant event in a national narrative. Evoking memory in this way carries a different function, a function of identity politics, in contrast to the memories of those who can remember their own experiences, for whom memory was essentially a subjective perspective embedded in their own life course. This study is based upon insights gained from reading sources from a comparative perspective. The sources, in both Ireland and Finland, have been interpreted through a discourse analysis of national history textbooks, national academic, public, and popular historiographies of the famine, historical novels and plays, contemporary newspapers, population and trade statistics, local histories, and folklore testimonies. The benefit of studying two countries instead of just one has been that it enables the discovery of multiple new research problems that previous, and mainly nationally framed, research has either not noticed or addressed. This research setting questions the definitions of what could or should be considered as a “normal” famine story in a “normal” national narrative. The three main findings of this study are as follows. Firstly, in order to analyse the aftermath of a famine it is vital to identify the historical context wherein the narrative is being voiced: the target audience and the different ways in which different societal groups or generations give meaning to the past. It is neither society nor nations that remember the past, but individuals who try to make sense of it. This study has not been able to identify a common blueprint for how a major famine could be, or even should be, narrated. Every narrative possesses different aims and purposes; the promotion of ideological, national, or local identities sets the boundaries for the potential utility of how a famine may be incorporated into the narrative, if it is incorporated at all. Local commemorations may share a wider similarity, but they respond to locally identified needs for commemorative activity, which reflects politics on a local level, and may - although perhaps in only a limited sense - conform to broader national narratives, depending on the context. National narratives, like those articulated in educational textbooks, aim to indoctrinate pupils with a shared identity, and a historical famine is nothing more than a potential narrative device to fulfil that goal. Secondly, in both countries the public and popular interest in topics concerning the famine began to be increasingly articulated publicly around twenty to fifty years after the event. It was during this period that those who could remember the famine were reduced from a majority to a minority of the population, approximately thirty years after the events; thus, in an increasingly literary society, there was an increasing need for representations of the famines in print. Hence, historical representations began to be published, with rhetorically legitimizing references to the author’s memory as evidence for the narrator’s authority and accuracy. This is one manifestation of the embeddedness of memory and history. However, in the Irish context the political constellation of antagonism between Ireland and Britain provided the Irish Famine with greater currency within their national narrative than was the case in the Finnish context. In the Finnish case, the famine became muted politically, especially after the Civil War in 1918, but resurfaced in local commemorative activity by the end of the mnemohistorical period. Throughout the mnemohistorical period in both countries, it was typical for narrators in public discourses to obfuscate the differences in perspective between witnesses and survivors, with the direct result of strengthening transgenerational collective identity. Thirdly, as this is a pioneering study in terms of its scope, scale, and multitude of perspectives, it raises more questions than it can possibly answer. Essentially, it demonstrates that despite the rich source material and extensive research traditions on these famines, we know quite little about them. There remains plenty work to be done to better understand what famines are, and what kind of meaning and legacy can be attributed to them. There is no shortage of sources, in both Ireland and Finland; rather, there is more of a shortage of innovative and meaningful methods of interpretation, and of framing famines and famine research, as well as taking care to include the wide variety of perspectives embedded in famines. Keywords: Famine, mnemohistory, national narratives, nation-building, Finland, Ireland, textbooks, historiography, commemoration, representation
  • Harjuniemi, Timo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation investigates the relationship between professional journalism and democracy. The ability of professional journalism to facilitate democratic public communications is undermined by various factors. Technologically, journalism is being challenged by the breakdown of nationally regulated media environments, innovations in communication technologies, and the abundance of online content. Publishers can no longer exploit the bottlenecks between audiences and information and turn these opportunities into newspaper subscriptions and advertisement sales. Politically, professional journalism is challenged by the social turmoil that has undermined the legitimacy of established political forces and experts in the aftermath of the economic crisis. The widespread anger toward elites seems to be directed toward journalists as well. This thesis addresses the relationship between journalism and democracy via a synopsis and four case studies that deal with the austerity policies that quickly began dominating European economic policy-making after the financial crisis. The synopsis chapter begins with an overview of professional journalism. Moreover, the synopsis chapter addresses the democratic functions of journalism via the different traditions of democratic theory. It also presents an overview of the financial crisis and the euro crisis and discusses the relationship between journalism and the economy. The empirical case studies argue that European journalism echoed the narrative on the inevitable nature of austerity policies. To be sure, journalists also presented critical austerity analyses and criticized the hardline German stance on austerity. Finally, the thesis argues that it is important to move beyond mere journalism criticism, which easily turns into cynicism and leads to the dismissal of journalism as inherently anti-democratic. The thesis makes the case for a journalism more attuned to the conflictual nature of 21st century political life. The thesis argues that by fostering ideological pluralism, journalism might be able to turn conflicts into settings where political worldviews could clash while maintaining a certain level of mutual respect. While acknowledging the enormous challenges that journalism is faced with, the thesis argues that such ideological pluralism might improve the public legitimacy of journalism and its democratic potential.
  • Uusikylä, Petri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The nature and logic of societal decision-making have changed from the rational planning era of the 1970s and 80s, through the performance management of the 1990s and 2000s, toward a multilevel system of governance today. Global economic and political issues are highly interconnected and complex. The speed of decision-making and the urgency of the issues being dealt with have increased. This has led to a situation in which the boundaries between policymakers, civil servants and external interest organizations are becoming more blurred. Policy-making is now expected to be more open, transparent and evidence-based or -informed than in the past. There is a struggle to guarantee professional, high-quality and evidence-based policy preparation in a complex operating environment that is constantly changing. A role seems to have emerged for evaluation in supporting evidence-based policies in complex settings. This dissertation examines the changing role of evaluation in complex systems of governance. The problem with current evaluation approaches is that they are rather static; apply mechanistic, linear causal logic; lack understanding of the theory of change; and often rely on rigid, a priori, defined evaluation criteria and methods. Traditional evaluation models are not suitable for understanding and evaluating reasonably complicated or complex policy phenomena. The dissertation outlines an alternative systemic evaluation approach that is more suitable for evaluating the effectiveness and impacts of complex polices and interventions than the traditional policy or program evaluation model. The new approach presented relies heavily on the idea of ​​systems and complexity theories and the utilization of the systemic evaluation designs derived from them. Developmental evaluations, systemic network analysis and utilization of theory of change models are examples of this approach. The thesis also suggests that the evaluators should have a more active role as knowledge brokers and policy interpreters between governments and citizens. This would make it easier for citizens and firms to understand the complex regulatory and policy-making environment, and thus to support the development of an open and democratic society. Keywords: evaluation, governance, complexity theory, systems thinking, causality
  • Lindblad, Annika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation examines how macroeconomic variables influence financial market volatility and correlations using mixed frequency time series methods. The modelling framework allows combining high-frequency and low-frequency data within the same model and thus allows directly relating the economic data to the low-frequency component of volatility or correlations. The dissertation sheds light on which economic variables influence the low-frequency component of volatilities and correlations, as well as examines various methods to improve long horizon forecasts for stock market volatility by utilising the information in macroeconomic variables. The first essay considers the relative and combined importance of macroeconomic fundamentals and survey-based sentiment data for modelling US equity market volatility in a GARCH-MIDAS framework. It uses a data set which accurately takes into account real-time data revisions to lags of the macroeconomic data and extends the analysis to include several new variables. Forward-looking macroeconomic data is important for forecasting volatility, even after the information in sentiment indicators is controlled for. On the other hand, for example, consumer confidence indicators contain information complementary to forward-looking macroeconomic variables. Overall, models combining macroeconomic and sentiment data tend to improve in-sample fit and in some cases also out-of-sample forecast accuracy compared to models only driven by one type of data. The improvements in forecasting performance are, however, not statistically significant, and therefore the results do not strongly advocate using several explanatory variables in the MIDAS polynomial. In the second essay I assess the time-variation in predictive ability arising from the inclusion of macroeconomic and financial data in a GARCH-MIDAS model for US stock market volatility. I compare forecasts from a GARCH-MIDAS model to forecasts from a nested GARCH model, and therefore the differences in forecasting performance directly reflect the impact of economic data. While forecasting performance between the two models is similar when considered over the full out-of-sample period, there is clear time-variation in relative forecasting performance over sub-samples. I suggest the variation could arise from the phase of the business cycle or the volatility environment and find particularly strong evidence in favour of economic variables being important for volatility forecasting during low-volatility periods. Forecast combination methods and a decision rule based on conditional predictive ability produce consistently better forecasts than the GARCH model, although statistical significance of the improvements depend on the loss function considered. The third essay considers the time-variation in the co-movement of equity returns and exchange rate returns in several markets using the DCC-MIDAS model. Determining the economic drivers of the low-frequency correlation aids in differentiating between the various theoretical explanations for the correlation, which predict both a positive and a negative relationship. The essay concentrates on the portfolio rebalancing channel and on two hypotheses suggested in the earlier literature, namely flight-to-quality and quantitative easing (QE) related search-for-yield, in addition to examining the sensitivity of the correlation to other economic variables related to portfolio rebalancing motives, such as the business cycle. Although there are common elements driving the return correlation in the different markets, for instance, interest rate differentials and quantitative easing measures, their impact on the correlation varies, suggesting the underlying theoretical explanation differs across markets. While the onset of US QE1 had a clear impact on the correlations, overall the results suggest that being in a QE regime is more important than announcement effects for the long-term correlation.
  • Nyholm, Juho (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The theory for conventional Gaussian, causal and invertible autoregressive moving average (ARMA) models has developed into a what can be considered as a basis of modern time series analysis. The concept of noninvertibility is plausible only under non-Gaussian processes because non-Gaussianity is a necessary condition for the statistical identification of the noninvertible ARMA model. Therefore, if the Gaussianity assumption is relaxed, we can study a richer class of models which are, unlike their invertible counterparts, capable of capturing nonlinear patterns in the data. The aim of this thesis is to consider some of the novel results in ARMA modeling of stationary time series data, and to expand these results to a particular case of noninvertibility and non-Gaussianity of the model. It also aims at providing insights on applicability of noninvertible ARMA models in financial time series analysis. The first essay proposes two residual-based diagnostic tests for noninvertible ARMA models. The tests are analogous to the portmanteau tests developed by Box and Pierce (1970) and McLeod and Li (1983) in the conventional invertible case. We derive the asymptotic chi-squared distribution for the tests under the null of correctly specified model, and study the size and power properties in a Monte Carlo simulation study. An empirical application employing financial time series data points out the usefulness of noninvertible ARMA model in analyzing stock returns and the use of the proposed test statistics. The second essay studies properties of the maximum likelihood estimator of a noninvertible ARMA model with errors that follow an alpha-stable distribution and have infinite variance. To ensure the identification of the noninvertible ARMA model considered, we restrict the analysis to non-Gaussian distributions. Estimators of the autoregressive and moving average parameters are shown to be square root of n consistent and to converge to a non-standard limiting distribution that is obtained as a maximizer of a certain random function. Estimators of the parameters in the alpha-stable distribution have the conventional square root of n rate of convergence. Finite sample properties of the estimators are studied in a simulation experiment, and an application to financial trading volume data illustrates the applicability of the model. The third and last essay looks for nonlinear predictability in stock returns. For many theoretical asset pricing models, predictability follows as an implication of risk aversion of agents. A closed form solutions for the next periods asset return depends on how the agents form their expectations about the future state of the world. By no means should this predictability be linear. First, we provide evidence of predictability of returns of U.S. stock portfolios and individual financial sector stocks using noninvertible ARMA(1,1) model and two-stage predictability testing procedure. Second, we provide a straightforward extensions to this procedure and allow for a larger model than the non-invertible ARMA(1,1).
  • Saikkonen, Sampsa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This article-based dissertation investigates the constructedness and expansion of expertise in the contemporary public sphere. The dissertation is motivated by the phenomenon of salient public perplexity and competing claims to expertise in the contemporary public sphere around science-related public issues where expertise has relevance to the practice and actions of people. As this phenomenon has been notably salient regarding healthy eating as a public issue, empirically the dissertation especially deals with the constructedness of public expertise around this issue. The dissertation especially makes explicit the ways in which new types of social actors claiming expertise, as well as established, credentialed experts, construct their authority in the contemporary public sphere in the context of issues where expertise touches upon everyday life. The results of the dissertation also illuminate visible scientists and scientifically trained practitioners’ different role identities as public experts, and the relational nature and constructedness of these role identities. Furthermore, the dissertation provides new perspective on the way in which journalism and public engagement with science activities, as cultural practices that centrally mediate expertise in the contemporary public sphere, come to construct public expertise. The theoretical framework of the dissertation is grounded in the relational perspective on expertise as developed within a constellation of social studies of science literature. From this perspective, expertise and its recognition are approached as constituted by, and constructed in, social relations. This dissertation also further contributes to this theoretical perspective by developing some novel concepts and typologies that can be utilised in the empirical study of public expertise. The four original, empirical articles analyse and illuminate the constructedness and expansion of expertise in the contemporary public sphere by focusing on the different, central arenas and social actors involved in claiming and mediating expertise in public. The materials collected and analysed in the four articles consist of observational materials and a questionnaire collected from a public engagement with science event, blog posts by popular nutrition counselling bloggers and academic experts, and in-depth interviews with journalists and visible experts on healthy eating. The concluding chapter of the dissertation highlights how expertise in the contemporary public sphere is centrally tied to the establishment and recognition of expert authority, and not just to displaying and assessing technical expertise. It is argued that central to how expertise in the contemporary public sphere is relationally constructed is how knowledge drawn upon and advice provided are made tangible and considered to bear relevance in relation to the everyday experience and considerations of the intended public. The ways in which the related issues of individualisation and consumerism, as well as rationality and interests, relate to the constructedness of expertise in the contemporary public sphere are also highlighted. However, it is emphasised in the concluding discussion, based on the empirical findings, that there is not just one way, but a variety of ways, in which social actors actively establish expert authority by navigating these socio-cultural dynamics and positioning themselves as public experts.
  • Hildén, Jockum (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study explores how one of the most talked about regulations in the internet policy domain was drafted. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been widely regarded as one of the most lobbied pieces of legislation in the history of the European Union (EU). This raises two questions: What policy alternatives were put forth by the EU institutions in the course of the GDPR’s legislative process, and how did they correspond to the ideas, issues and frames promoted by interest representatives? What does the influence of organized interests and stakeholders in GDPR decision-making reveal about the democratic legitimacy of the process? Drawing on new institutionalism, this research traces the evolution of the GDPR, comparing the different EU institutions’ iterations of the new law with the positions of interest representatives, and simultaneously situating the GDPR in the history of data protection policy. The results reveal that business groups dominated the public consultations prior to the Commission’s draft proposal, but the Commission’s approach was more closely aligned with the positions of civil society. Members of the European Parliament were, on the contrary, highly susceptible to the influence of business interests, until public salience of information privacy increased owing to Edward Snowden’s revelations of governmental mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. These revelations made it possible for policy entrepreneurs to push for stronger rules on data protection. However, public salience would not have a significant impact on the Council, which was mostly aligned with the interests of businesses and concerned with maintaining public interest exceptions. The final GDPR was more reminiscent of the Council’s position than the Parliament’s first reading, demonstrating that in many instances, business interests prevailed. This result should not be understood as mere resistance to policy change, but rather that a big data paradigm, which encourages the collection, processing and exchange of personal data in the name of progress, security and innovation, structured and constrained the available policy options. Therefore, the answer to the second question is that the institutionalized inclusion of stakeholders in the early stages of the process did not negatively impact its legitimacy, but the opaqueness and overall tendency to support business interests in the Council critically challenge the democratic legitimacy of the GDPR’s legislative process.
  • Bärlund, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Katariina Bärlund: Homicides, attempted homicides and violence by mothers of under one-year-olds’ as portrayed in forensic psychiatric examinations. A narrative study. Filicides (child killing by parents) have decreased remarkably in Finland during the past decades. Despite the decrease in numbers, Finnish children still end up as victims of filicides and violent abuse by parents. The present research investigated forensic psychiatric examinations of mothers who targeted their children with filicide, attempted filicide or violence during the child’s first year of life. The research approached this phenomenon by asking what kind of narratives the events in the examinations gave rise to. The theoretical foundations of the research focused on motherhood, evil, violence, and homicides. Motherhood was seen as part of a cultural understanding of motherhood and evil was considered as a human dimension. The mission of the research was to investigate filicides, attempted filicides and violent acts of mothers towards their children from the point of view of social science, to form a picture of the events that includes the circumstances, and to illuminate the events narratively. The research approached the uncovered areas of social work research: filicide by mothers and the thematic of evil. The research material included 13 forensic psychiatric examinations and the sample narratives written on the basis of these cases. Reading these narratives, it must be noted that they do not concern individual cases but are a mixture of different cases within the material and include only rough descriptions as interpreted by the researcher. The research was based on documents and thus does not reach the authentic viewpoint of mothers or their inner social circle. The research produced two sample narratives, the story of a mother who killed her newborn baby (neonaticide) and the story of a mother who killed her under one year old baby (infanticide). Comparing these narratives produced a clear result as the narratives differed from each other. The first narrative was named as “Concealed Story “ and the second as “Fractured Story”. The present research reinforced the view of filicide and violence towards children as complex event where the parents’ differing degrees of inability in responding to life’s challenges can be seen. The research produced a need to research the subject further, especially from the viewpoints of loneliness and multiprofessional co-operation. Keywords: motherhood, homicides, violence, evil, evilness, narrative research
  • Diatlova, Anastasia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation examines the life and work experience of Russian-speaking women engaged in commercial sex in Finland. It explores the ways in which commercial sex is conceptualised within the Finnish national project and the ways this affects the everyday lives of migrant women who engage in commercial sex. The contemporary relationship between commercial sex, understood as a form of intimate labour (Boris & Parreñas, 2010), and the Finnish nation is predicated on the abrupt appearance of particular visible bodies associated with mercantile sexuality. Though the visibility of sexual commerce in public spaces in Finland is limited, it is present in political discussions, the media, and the public imagination that connect particular bodies with sexual commerce, regardless of whether any sexual acts take place. I argue that migrant women who engage in commercial sex are perceived to be space invaders (Puwar, 2004), as their presence exposes the limits of Finnish national values, in particular, gender equality and social equality. Analysing commercial sex through the lens of everyday as problematic (Smith, 1987), I argue that the national anxieties over the intersection of sexuality, gender, labour, and migration shape the day-to-day lives of Russian-speaking women engaged in commercial sex in Finland. The discursive externalisation of commercial sex creates a moral system in which surveillance and control is primarily directed at migrant women (or those perceived to be migrant), forcing them to structure their everyday lives in such a way as to be invisible to state agents and society at large, but visible to their potential clients. The thesis consists of peer-reviewed articles and the summary chapter. The data collected for this multi-sited ethnographic research includes observations conducted in clubs, privates, and an NGO that provides services for sex workers in Southern Finland; semi-structured interviews with key actors in the field of commercial sex, such as policymakers, police, NGO representatives, healthcare providers, experts on issues of trafficking, and migration officials (N=18); and semi-structured interviews with Russian-speaking women engaged in commercial sex in Finland (N=41). Article I explores the relationship between commercial sex and the nation, focusing on the ways the nation is imagined vis-a-vis commercial sex, particularly when migrants engage in it. Article II examines the various ways in which Russian-speaking women engaged in commercial sex in Finland experience bordering and the consequences it has for their daily lives. In Article III, conceptualisation of home and belonging is discussed in the context of transnational commercial sex. Article IV focuses on various skills necessary in commercial sex and posits that a particular worker emerges from the discourses of the interviewees, characterised by an aptitude for commercial sex. The study shows how commercial sex is conceptualised within the Finnish national project, the effect it has on the lives of migrant women who engage in commercial sex, and the various strategies they use to cope with it in their everyday lives.
  • Muurinen, Heidi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study investigates the application of an experimental approach to social work knowledge production related to developing and researching practices. The empirical sub-studies concern developing social services for adults and using an experiment-driven design approach. In the concluding chapter, the analysis of the experimental approach moves from the level of developing practices to the philosophy of science. The experimental approach is founded in pragmatism in which knowledge production is based on the consideration of practical consequences and on fallibilistic instrumentalism. This study proposes pragmatism as a potential foundation for social work knowledge production. The research questions addressed are 1) what are the possibilities, obstacles and preconditions for an experiment-driven design approach in social work and 2) how does reasoning relate to a reflected experiment and how can it enhance knowledge production? To address the first research question, a case study approach is applied to the synthesis analysis of three separate, qualitative sub-studies. To address the second question, reasoning in an experimenting process is analysed conceptually by drawing on the author’s experiences of the research and pragmatist philosophy. This study argues that experiments can be conducted in hectic the day-to-day practice of social work. The experiments support multifaceted knowledge production and enable the participation of human and non-human actors in the process. The experiments allow service users to influence practice. In co-designing the services, the recognition of service users and their expertise supports knowledge production. However, service users’ participation is dependent on the professionals. In addition, small experiments do not necessarily reveal all of the practical consequences. A high turnover rate of practitioners can challenge the continuity of knowledge production, and the organizational supportive structures for experimenting can be insufficient. Experimenting requires a pragmatist attitude, dialogical discussions, mutual recognition, agreement regarding leadership, consideration of participants’ responsibilities and taking into account non-human agency. Applying abductive, deductive and inductive reasoning is a prerequisite for the experimental approach. Thorough reasoning turns an experiment into a reflective experiment and creates the conditions for evaluating situational consequences and doing practice-based research. Taking advantage of different strategies that support reasoning enables considering the perspectives of the different parties and creates better prospects for learning. An analysis of the reasoning and different strategies used contributes to the discussion on the culture of experimentation. Key words: Social work, pragmatism, abduction, experiments, developing, knowledge production
  • Lahtinen, Hannu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Those with advantaged socioeconomic positions – that is, individuals with high educational qualifications, professional or managerial occupations and a high level of income – are the most likely to vote in elections. Finland provides researchers with the rare privilege of studying individual-level determinants of voter turnout in an exceptionally reliable manner by utilizing register-based data. This dissertation includes four studies on socioeconomic differences in voter turnout, primarily from the 1999, 2012 and 2015 elections, conducted by exploiting this great resource. Despite socioeconomic differences in voter turnout being a classical topic in electoral studies, recent decades have seen frequent claims of the political decline, or even death, of social class. This dissertation joins the studies demonstrating that this is not the case regarding electoral participation. On the contrary, a polarization of socioeconomic differences in turnout has occurred during the last few decades. Moreover, linking survey data to registers revealed that, due to social desirability bias and the self-selection of survey respondents, true socioeconomic differences are even larger than those suggested by survey estimates. These results imply that socioeconomic inequality in electoral participation is a more pressing social problem than conventionally acknowledged, even among experts on the subject. The empirical analyses also assess some of the mechanisms contributing to the socioeconomic gap in turnout. Income explained a substantial part of the occupational social-class differences in electoral participation whereas the health differences contributed only weakly to this gap. However, among those with most serious health problems, no social class gradient in turnout was observed. The role of intergenerational transmission was of particular importance in explaining electoral participation. Among the observed parental factors, parental education social class and income were together roughly as important as parental voting in a single election in explaining this intergenerational association. Mother’s and father’s contributions were roughly equal, mother’s factors perhaps slightly more pronounced. Furthermore, in addition to studying the factors that create differences, it is also important to identify the factors that suppress them. Social mobility during an individual’s life-course was identified as one mechanism that constrains turnout inequality between socioeconomic groups. The dissertation concludes by discussing the implications of the results at a more theoretical level through four themes. The first theme is the importance of accurate descriptive research, which is necessary and also often sufficient to answer many important questions regarding the topic. The second is the significance socioeconomic position as a conceptual tool. It is a multi-dimensional construct, but at the same time constitutes a coherent unit that is a central component in the social structure of modern societies. The third is the continued relevance of occupational social class, which should be maintained (or re-adopted) in basic analytical repertoire also when explaining electoral participation. The fourth theme is that voting in elections is simultaneously both a poignantly individualistic and social act. These properties, in addition to its concreteness, measurability, and practical social relevance, make electoral participation a particularly thrilling sociological topic.
  • Hokkanen, Olli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    English Olli Hokkanen Finnish Urban Policy – its makers and interpreters As confusing as it sounds, there is no one answer to the question of what Finnish urban policy is. This has led to a controversy about the content and means of urban policy, as well as to belittling of the significance of urban policy, even to its denial. This study aims to answer the question of what Finnish urban policy is. This question is answered by examining how Finnish urban policy has been understood and by investigating who has supported and opposed it. The study seeks out a reason for why the government of Prime Minister Lipponen appointed the Urban Policy Committee. Urban policy started since 1995 is called the ‘new Finnish urban policy’. An overview of the urban policy of the kings of Sweden-Finland and the history of Finnish regional policy clarifies how the new Finnish urban policy differs from the urban policy pursued by kings and from Finnish regional policy. The study examines development phases, goals, instruments and external examples of the new Finnish urban policy. Furthermore, urban policy makers, opponents and supporters are identified, not to mention different definitions of urban policy. The ‘new Finnish urban policy’ was mainly cooperation between cities and the state, and it can therefore be called a ‘state urban policy’. Cooperation between the state and cities was burdened by several conflicts and tensions, which made it difficult to define and achieve urban policy goals. Gradually, belief in the possibilities of urban policy faded away, and the only legacy of the new state urban policy was the ‘agreement-based urban policy’ and ‘metropolitan policy’. The main data of the study consists of 69 expert interviews. In addition to interviews with state and municipal officials and researchers, government and other programmes, agreements, strategies, and various memos and reports are also part of the data. The theoretical and methodological starting points of the study are the theories of urban studies of the internationalizing city, scale levels and European cities. The study shows how the new Finnish urban policy responded to the challenge of globalization, balanced between the local, regional and state levels, and needed support from the charismatic leaders of the European urban tradition. In addition to urban studies, the study utilizes the idea of Bourdieu’s field, which allows opponents and supporters of urban policy to be placed in the field of Finnish urban policy.
  • Jyrkiäinen, Senni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Through a focus on the usage of smartphones and other digital communication tools amongst young people in Alexandria, this research examines the technologically mediated navigation of desires for love and marriage in post-2011 Egypt. Based on long-term ethnography, the thesis analyses how university students and graduates managed their intimate relationships and marital futures both online and within city gathering places in Alexandria, Egypt’s second biggest city. Focusing on relations between young, relatively well-off, socially progressive yet not subversive Alexandrians and new technologies, it explores their aspirations for, and negotiations with, modernity, particularly in relation to emotional expectations and gender roles in intimate relationships, but also in relation to class-specific ideas of ‘modern’ urban life. The thesis extends existing anthropological accounts of Egypt that explore intimacy, desiring selves and ‘modern’ aspirations among this particular demographic of urban youth. Whereas other studies might be looking for alternative or radical departures from dominant norms, this thesis concentrates squarely on those caught between wanting to comply with what is expected from them while simultaneously finding it constraining. In particular, the thesis describes how a shift from shared computers at home to smartphones, which provide more private and mobile communication for these young people, has had two significant effects. While the change has enabled secret romances and autonomous searches for a spouse, at the same time, it has also resulted in new forms of surveillance and control. The analysis of youthful online interaction revealed skilful alternation between compliant, playful and sarcastic tones. As such, it shows how users performed their compliance with prevailing gender norms in some social contexts, while playfully challenging them in others. With regard to the shaping of the self, digital communication platforms were a versatile instrument. On the one hand, these socially progressive yet compliant young Alexandrians used Facebook for reinforcing the ties of kinship and for performing as connected, family-oriented people. On the other, they used private digital communication channels and young people’s social spaces in the city in ways that helped them perform more individualistic interests and give a sense of individual agency; this included showing at least temporary indifference towards dominant gender and age expectations, and escaping what they imagined to be the public moral gaze. By using various communication tools, they engaged in flirtation and romance that sometimes extended beyond what they understood to be the limits set by norms of religion and ethnicity, as well as the barriers created by physical distance. The study is based on ethnographic research in Alexandria and in virtual environments. I conducted nearly ten months of ethnographic fieldwork among young people, mostly in the coastal city of Alexandria between the years of 2011 and 2014. The research was at times cut short because of the unstable political situation in Egypt at the time, particularly in 2013. In addition to ethnographic work, which involved participating in people’s everyday lives, I interviewed young Alexandrians and their mothers as well as some experts on youth issues. I also conducted online ethnography throughout the research project from 2011 to 2018, focusing mainly on Facebook and some blogs. Overall, the ethnography provided me with insights into the ways ICTs can be used as agency-providing navigation tools and turned into intimate technologies in the hands of young people. Perhaps most importantly, my focus on intimacy, and the techniques these young Alexandrians developed to explore that aspect of their lives online, revealed a complex blurring of boundaries between public and private. This took place within a social context in which these young people were aware that they were supposed to strongly maintain such boundaries, yet in a digital environment in which the most intimate moments were sometimes shared with large audiences at the push of a button. The thesis explores how these young people worked towards navigating this relatively new, and at times quite socially dangerous, social space of intimate practices, and how they acted to maintain a separation between that intimate space and their offline social world, or at least the parts of it that they imagined must be kept separate.
  • Gripenberg, Lidia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This is an account of the interaction of Finnish Roma with East European Roma in Finland. I will argue that this interaction is strongly influenced by these peoples’ engagement with Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity and nationality. Within the frame of this study, Finnish Roma refers to Finnish Kale, a distinctive group somewhat similar to the sinti, a branch of the European Roma population who live mostly in German-speaking countries. Finnish Kale have settled in Finland for more than 500 years: they are Finnish citizens and speak Finnish in addition to a local dialect of Romani. The East European Roma in Finland include representatives of different Roma groups, with different self-appellations, who have recently migrated to Finland from former socialist states of Europe, mostly Bulgaria and Romania, or who repeatedly visit Finland from those former socialist states. Pentecostal Finnish Kale have been in contact with East European Roma since the historic fall of the “Iron Curtain” in 1989 and the opening of the borders of the former Socialist European bloc countries to those European countries considered to be in the ‘Western’ bloc. The nature of that relationship changed at the beginning of 2007, when Bulgaria and Romania entered the EU and their citizens were able to visit and look for employment in Finland. This is the first extensive anthropological study on the interaction of different Roma groups in Finland and in general. The subject is interesting because it provides an opportunity to examine the interplay of different forms of identity – ethnic, religious and national. The research is based on an ethnographic description of encounters between Finnish and Eastern European Roma in Finland that took place over a period of 14 months of intensive fieldwork (2014-2015), supported by the insights and understanding gained through more than 20 years of personal friendship with Finnish and Bulgarian Roma, as well as one and a half years of social work amongst Finnish Kale. The theoretical frame is provided by research literature on Roma in the fields of anthropology and ethnology as well as anthropological studies on ethnicity, ethnic identity, Pentecostalism and Charismatic Christianity as well as nationality. My argument is that the social dynamics between nationality, ethnicity and religious identification determines the particular kind of sense of belonging that Roma in Helsinki have, which in turn affects the type of relation members of different Roma groups feel towards one another. Through exploring multiple everyday interactions between this groups, I have been able to show that religious belonging is the key factor that draws different groups together, due to the mutual trust and obligation that such belonging entails. The research contributes to the understanding of identity as a constantly ongoing process of identification as well as to the understanding of the role of spirituality in shaping people’s course of life.
  • Köhler, Harry (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Healing communication. Effective communication by physicians at patient encounters The primary task of health care is to promote health and treat illness. When the patient and physician meet, the primary goal of communication by the physician is to support this primary task. There is a wealth of research on patient-physician communication, but often this research is unsystematic. Also, the criteria for high-quality communication are diffuse and seem often to rely on the subjective experiences of the patient. This study has been conducted to examine the effect of communication from the point of view of treatment and health promotion of the patient. The study material for this study is used to examine the communication of the physician from the points of view of management communication and learning. Thus, the physician’s aim and responsibility are to induce the patient to benefit his/her own treatment and rehabilitation or cure by the patient’s own actions. The goal is to identify the factors related to the efficacy of communication with the help of the concepts of managerial communication and constructive learning. The study material for this thesis is twofold. The observational material generated at patient visits is analyzed qualitatively. This will identify a therapeutic method of communication which will be tested with the help of feedback material obtained at patient inquiries related to office visits to physicians. For the implementation of the test, 12 physicians were trained in the method of therapeutic communication, which was simplified into a set of two questions and a summary. The first set of data consists of 36 office visits (patient-physician encounters), the second of 59 replies to inquiries of patients by 12 physicians. The result will identify the reflection-construction process of the patient. In other words: each patient reflects upon the physician’s communication in his/her own way and constructs an action model according to which he/she will act during the treatment period. This action model may promote health, but it may also impair health, e.g., if it makes it possible for the patient to neglect treatment instructions. Another observation is that the physician’s attention to the patient’s entire sphere if experiences and values – rather than focusing purely on medical matters – seems to support the patient’s reliance on the treatment, the patient’s reflection and his/her construction of an action model that supports treatment. The third observation is that the learning process of the patient leading to changes in the patient’s attitudes and actions does not have to require excessive time. Indeed, the change process may start rapidly. These observations form the base of a communication model in three stages. The present study shows that as few as only two well-formulated questions may change the patient’s desire and capability to promote his/her health. Technological development will give the physician a new means to make clinical work and treatment more effective. The personal encounter between patient and physician will nevertheless be valuable. There are legitimate reasons to state that communication by a physician that support the rehabilitation of patients is good and responsible.
  • Mattila, Anne (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study has been motivated by a specific characteristic of Finnish family policy: on one hand, the state supports relatively lengthy childcare at home and on the other hand, state-supported day care is available and guaranteed to all children under schooling age at a relatively low cost to families. These forms of support have been made available to give parents of children under three years of age the choice between paid employment and caring full-time at home. Regardless of the element of choice, Finnish childcare policies are still subject to ongoing criticism and debate. Some argue that the current system enhances a gendered division of labour, and others say it does not offer the possibility of free choice for parents either. In this study it is examined how mothers of young children justify their choices on whether to keep on caring for their child at home or to go to work after (the first year of) parental leave. Based on an analysis of these justifications, the question under scrutiny is how the financial situation of the family, mothers’ perceptions on the benefit of the child, the personal relations of the mothers and the significance they attach to paid employment affect this choice. In addition to the justifications given by the interviewees, secondary data on public discourse has been compiled to highlight specific characteristics of the interview data and to reflect its content in the framework of wider public debate of the same era. The primary data consists of the interviews of 35 mothers whose youngest child was two years of age at the time. The mothers were in spousal relationships, they possessed relatively high levels of education and they lived in the Greater Helsinki area or in its vicinity. The secondary data on public discourse consists of 101 articles and it has been compiled from the publications Helsingin Sanomat (a daily newspaper), Tulva and Meidän Perhe (periodicals). The data has been collected in 2009–2012. The justifications have been analysed with content analysis enhanced with concepts from Perelman’s argumentation theory. The theoretical framework of the study is a relational perspective that emphasises how the endeavours and actions of individuals are constructed within the preconditions of the relations they inhabit. In this study money, perceptions on the benefit of the child, personal relations and how interviewees related to work were essential factors in the choices the mothers made. In the analysis, the personal relations that figured the most in mothers’ choices were those to the child, spouse, the child’s grandparents and mothers in a similar situation. A mother’s relation to work is regarded here as one relation, even though it consists of various relations that tie her to collectively geared action. What is essential is that changes in one relation are reflected in other relations and they all are in constant flux. Mothers go back to work in order to contribute to the standard of living of the family, but also for the sake of financial independence and because they wish to share the responsibility of providing for the family with their spouse. On the other hand, the practice of shared family finances and a sufficiently high income of the spouse make it easier to choose between home and work. Mothers and their spouses might discuss these matters explicitly, but consensus is not always reached. A mother’s perception on the benefit of the child is almost always compatible with the choice she has made. The criteria presented for a choice are related to an affective attachment with the child, an environment that suits the age and developmental phase of the child and the possibility to receive good early education, the company of other children and time with parents. Some mothers highlight the practice of sharing parental leave between spouses as benefit for the child. In addition, a mother being content is seen to be reflected in the child. Also, a suitable phase for beginning day care is seen to be defined by the child’s personal characteristics and how suitable a mother thinks she is to care for her child full-time. The forms of distributing labour and financial resources that had developed within spousal relations and the possibility to change them make way to different solutions in different ways. To some mothers, a symmetrical distribution of responsibilities is important, whereas to others, a clear division of responsibilities and the possibility to take care of the child at home is important. Childcare from close relatives supports taking part in paid employment and the possibility to share everyday routines with other mothers in the same situation supports caring at home. The quality of the paid employment available, the terms of employment contracts, the individual employment trajectories of the mothers and the meanings the mothers gave to work all affected their justifications on when to return to work. Debates in the media concerning mothers at work or caring for their children polarise views on what kind of choices should be supported by family policy. Giving reasons for the benefits of one alternative contributes to criticising structures supporting the other alternative, which may be interpreted as criticising the other alternative as a choice. In interview-based articles, the polarisation is created by either interviewing public figures who have been successful in their work and invest a lot of time in it, or by interviewing women taking care of children at home whose profession is not always mentioned. As a conventional choice is not a piece of news, it is not usually presented in the media, which means the media tends to emphasise either a successful career or devoting oneself to one’s children. The conclusion reached by the study is, that by examining singular endeavours that guide choices as a whole, it is possible to find a common denominator linking the endeavours together. This common denominator and the goal guiding mothers’ choices can be called a life that feels meaningful and which draws together endeavours that are held important or valuable. One’s life and one’s everyday reality should feel suitable and meaningful in the present, but the choices made should also guide the life of the mothers and their families to a direction that seems to bring beneficial outcomes. In this endeavour, the choice made by a mother of a young child to go to work or to care at home is part of the ongoing process of ordering relations going on in her personal relations and working life, and ending up with a choice with either alternative is not self-evident.
  • Crescenzi, Michele (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation consists of three essays on information and interactive knowledge in game theory. In the first essay, we study how a consensus emerges in a finite population of rational individuals who are asymmetrically informed. Agents observe a private signal about the true state of the world and then start exchanging messages. Generalizing previous models of rational dialogues, we dispense with the standard assumption that the state space is either finite or a probability space. We show that a class of rational dialogues can be found that always lead to consensus provided that three conditions are met. First, everybody must be able to send messages to everybody else, either directly or indirectly. Second, communication must be reciprocal. Finally, agents need to have the opportunity to participate in dialogues of transfinite length. In the second essay, we provide a syntactic construction of Correlated Equilibrium. For any finite game, we study how players coordinate their play on a signal by means of a public strategy whose instructions are expressed in some natural language. Language can be ambiguous in that different players may assign different truth values to the very same formula in the same state of the world. We show that, absent any ambiguity, self-enforcing coordination always induces a Correlated Equilibrium of the underlying game. When language ambiguity is allowed, self-enforcing coordination strategies induce Subjective Correlated Equilibria. In the final essay, we study the problem of a sender who wants to persuade a two-member committee to take a certain action. Contrary to previous models, we assume that the Sender is uncertain about the committee members' preferences. We provide a full characterization of the Sender's optimal persuasion strategy in two different contexts. In the first case, the Sender is allowed to elicit information by asking committee members to report their preference types. In the second, the Sender is not allow to do so. We show how the sender's optimal persuasion strategy depends on the prior probability distribution over preference types. If the prior is informative enough, the Sender may find it optimal to persuade only a strict subset of type profiles. Finally, we show that uncertainty always entails a loss to the Sender with respect to the benchmark case with commonly known preferences.

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