Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta

 

Recent Submissions

  • Karimi, Farid (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    A consensus exists that the current trend of energy consumption growth and CO2 emissions cannot continue if global warming is to be tackled. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has been considered in many countries for addressing climate change. CCS is a technology that curbs CO2 emission by removing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it in carbon sinks, such as depleted oil and gas fields. CCS is a controversial technology. Notable opposition to and different perceptions of the technology exist among stakeholders, including experts, politicians and laypeople. Therefore, it is important to understand these diverse perceptions and their roots. I have developed a means towards such an understanding. I show that national culture influences both laypeople and expert perceptions. Moreover, it seems likely that cultural orientation affects some of the other factors, such as trust. In addition, I show that although mainstream research and literature consider experts as unbiased and rational stakeholders, both laypeople and experts have similar underlying cultural features and thus their models of perception follow a similar trend in a society. I specify how cultural orientations and their characteristics shape the perception of CCS technology and influence the reactions of people. For instance, hierarchical nations with high uncertainty avoidance have a tendency towards a higher level of risk perception. In contrast, nations that are characterised by social harmony might have a lower level of risk perception of a technology that could increase the long-term quality of life. This research is a comparative study; comparisons were performed between countries and between laypeople and experts. I used mixed methods to address the research questions. The quantitative part of the study is based on survey data analysis and the qualitative part involves both discourse analysis of interviews and Function of Innovations Systems (FIS) analysis. This research contributes to risk governance of CCS by developing a new framework that policymakers and authorities can use as a tool to consider the unheeded issue of culture in their planning. I demonstrate who is concerned with what and why with respect to the technology. Finally, I discuss the implications of this study, including policy recommendations. For instance, the European Commission might plausibly benefit from the framework when considering its budget allocation and communication with member states to study CCS projects and to estimate the failure or success of a project.
  • Kemppainen, Teemu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Insecure and restless neighbourhood conditions lower the quality of life, imply health risks and may accelerate segregation through selective migration. This study examined subjective insecurity and perceptions of social disorder—including public drunkenness, vandalism, threatening behaviour and the like—in different residential contexts. The focus was on Finnish post-WWII housing estates built in the 1960s and 1970s. Compared to other kinds of neighbourhoods, these areas often suffer from a negative reputation related to poverty, insecurity and disorder. However, the residents’ views are often at odds with the negative public image. There is a lack of reliable evidence on where estates stand in comparison to other kinds of neighbourhoods. Furthermore, the full diversity of estates has typically not been addressed in prior studies. Empirically, the study relied on three sets of survey data that were combined with contextual register data. The covered area varies from Helsinki to the entire country while the contextual units range from statistical grids to city districts. The key findings were the following: 1) The level of perceived social disorder was only slightly higher in the estates built in the 1960s and 1970s than in other multi-storey neighbourhoods. This small difference was due to socio-economic disadvantage. As expected, the low-rise neighbourhoods were considerably more peaceful than the multi-storey ones. 2) Rental-dominated tenure structure exposed the estate residents to higher levels of perceived disorder because rental estates are typically more disadvantaged. Social integration of the estate community played no role in terms of disorder. In contrast, the level of normative regulation partly explained why disadvantage is related to disorder. 3) At the district level, disadvantage, disorder (from police registers), residing in proximity to a metro or train station and living in a social housing flat exposed residents to subjective insecurity. Victimisation partly mediated the association between disadvantage and insecurity. The study shed light on the diversity of estates. From the point of view of social life, estates markedly differ from each other. Tenure structure has a decisive influence on the socio-economic structure, which implies differences in normative regulation and social order. This is an important finding in terms of tenure-mix policies. Compared to rental-dominated neighbourhoods, a more mixed tenure structure implies a less disadvantaged and more regulated local community, which paves way for a more peaceful local social life.
  • Laaksonen, Salla-Maaria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This doctoral thesis investigates how the reputations of organizations are narrated in the hybrid media system, characterized by different media logics and technological principles, and the affective attunement of storytelling stakeholders. The research problem is two-fold: first, to study how the new communication landscape affects the formation of organizational reputation, and second, to investigate the cognitive and emotional influences of reputation in the hybrid media system. The dissertation sees organizational reputation as a communicative phenomenon, which exists both as individual beliefs and socially constructed narratives that are born and circulated in the hybrid media system. Hybrid stands for a combination of older and newer media forms, which are intertwined in complex and dynamic assemblages, formed by individuals, affects, social contexts, organizations, and technological platforms, who all mutually influence the process of storytelling. The dissertation is a compilation of five articles. It employs a parallel mixed methods approach by using four different data sets: interviews with communication professionals in organizations; social media discussions; Wikipedia data; and psychophysiological measurements. With a multimethodological approach the study builds a bridge between the different schools of reputation studies: reputations are constructed as narratives that also have measurable effects on the people who consume them. In light of the results, a hybrid reputation narrative is polyphonic, emotional, and is formed in a context characterized by relative power structures between human and non-human actors. It is a form of narrative, in which the story elements can be stored in databases, searched, and hyperlinked by various, interacting actors, who through their use of the technical platforms generate the reputation narrative from fragmentary story pieces by merging opinions and facts. This dissertation highlights two aspects: the interplay between the social and the technological, and the importance of affect. First, the technological affordances and the social practices together form the settings in which the narrating takes place in the hybrid media system. Second, affect emerges as an inherent property of reputation, as an important characteristic of the reputation narratives, and as a feature to evaluate different platforms.
  • Grip, Lina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The thesis explores African small arms control practices and how these have emerged and changed over time. The thesis traces the origin of small arms control practices in Africa by using a historical narrative methodology. It then categorizes and interprets the findings using a critical theory, historical-relationalism , and identifies five different small arms control practices embedded in different historical periods: the pre-colonial, the imperial, the colonial, the decolonial and the neoliberal governance system. These systems are described, compared and situated in their historical contexts. The neoliberal governance system is specifically explored through an in-depth case study of the Nairobi Protocol. The Nairobi Protocol is an intergovernmental convention adopted by states in East and Central Africa to address proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Based on the institutional design and implementation record of the Nairobi Protocol, as well as evidence of simultaneous ongoing militarism in member states, the author draws conclusions about neoliberal governance as small arms control practice. She finds that neoliberal governance of small arms is associated with technical-, administrative- and legal reforms, aimed at protecting state and market interests, by, for example, enhancing controls of weapon flows not sanctioned by the state, while enabling state sanctioned proliferation.
  • Muszynski, Lisa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation examines the deeply hidden metaphysical presuppositions from traditional philosophy of language that are built into the theoretical construct history-as-fiction. This construct is Hayden White's main contribution to the linguistic turn in the study of history-writing, or historiography, and is framed here from roughly the early 1970s to the early 2000s. History-as-fiction posits the figural nature of historical consciousness in terms of the master tropes of rhetoric (i.e., metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony). This figural analysis, which White developed on the basis of Giambattista Vico's 18th-century metaphor (tropic) theory of language, hypothesizes the unconscious linguistic strategies as structuring elements in historians writings. White is unaware, however, that this tropic theory unmakes history-as-fiction by sidelining the very framework it was meant to fulfill. Classical literary theory, which White employed as his framework in developing his tropic analysis, emerged from structural linguistics as developed in the early 20th century by linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure's key principle of language is the arbitrariness of the binary linguistic sign (i.e., the random pairing of the sound of a word with its meaning). This binary arbitrariness separated mind from body and was the cornerstone upon which Saussure constructed the science of modern linguistics as a system of linguistic value. By contrast, Vico's key principle of language was the necessary dependence of language on the human body acting in the world. The strategy of this thesis is to separate White's figural, tropological (Vichian) analysis from his (post)structuralist (Saussurean) framework, within which he analyzed history-as-fiction. From my methodological standpoint of autopoietic enactive embodiment (AE), I examine tropology and (post)structuralism within their own philosophical contexts and logics. My examination reveals a hidden tension between the two principles of language underpinning each theoretical strand of White s construct history-as-fiction. By decoupling the two strands, I explore the source of the tension at the core of history-as-fiction in its unmaking.
  • Seppo, Antti (Unigrafia, 2017)
    This study focuses on aspects of change in German strategic culture, i.e. on the changes in ways of thinking about and pursuing security and defence policy and the views on the questions of peace, war and the use of military force, in particular after the end of the Cold War. The overarching aim of the study is to provide a novel reading on German strategic culture, and this has been done by shifting the focus of research on strategic culture from the study of continuity to the study of change. This enables us to tell better stories about strategic cultures both in terms of how internal and external challenges leading to questions about the continuity of strategic cultural patterns and how strategic culture is shaped by the social and political reality of the strategic actors. The first main contribution of the study is to question the mantra of continuity that has been the primary object of study in the existing strategic culture research. This mantra has ultimately led to a rather stale and static state of affairs in terms of the contributions that strategic culture research is able to make in the field of International Relations. Instead, the study argues for a research agenda that identifies the nature, mechanisms and outcomes of strategic cultural change. The study achieves this by critically assessing the existing accounts of strategic cultural change and creating an analytical framework that stresses both the processes and outcomes of strategic cultural change. This framework is informed by critical realist metatheory since it enables us to move ahead of the epistemological impasse of the existing studies by focusing on the ontological aspects of strategic culture. This framework identifies the experience of warfare as the primary mechanism of change in strategic cultures. The second key contribution of the study is to apply this analytical framework in the study of German strategic culture. The empirical case studies cover the German strategic cultural track record since the end of World War II, with a clear focus on the developments after the end of the Cold War. These case studies show, firstly, how shifts within the normative structure of German strategic culture have shaped German views on the use of military force, and, subsequently, how they led to shifts and changes in German strategic practices. Secondly, the case studies underline the role of external shocks (e.g. the massacre at Srebrenica) in triggering change within German strategic culture. Thirdly, the case studies also provide a basis for a critique of some of the more widely accepted claims regarding German security and defence policy, such as the notion of normalisation or Sonderweg (special path). Finally, the analysis also suggests that counterfactual argumentation can be a useful analytical tool in assessing the importance of some of these developments in the evolution of German strategic culture. The third primary contribution of the study is a critical assessment of the process of coming to terms with the German past and how this affects German strategic culture. The study stresses the importance of socio-cognitive factors in the evolution of strategic cultures and identifies the shift from guilt to responsibility as one of the key changes in post-Cold War German strategic culture. Furthermore, the study recognizes the continuing impact and relevance of the German past on the further development of German strategic culture, even though the focus of the German debate has partly shifted from whether Germany can use military force to a discussion on the means and ends of the use of military force.
  • Kochetkova, Elena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This study is devoted to technology transfer from the West (primarily from Finland) to the Soviet forestry industry during a period of rapid modernization under the rule of Nikita Khrushchev during the 1950s and 1960s. Under Khrushchev, the USSR sought to catch up and overtake America . However, in the post-war period the Soviet Union suffered from a dearth of technology and expertise, and technology transfer from more developed foreign industries became a crucial aspect of modernization. Despite geopolitical competition and a vast ideological divide, Khrushchev aimed to transfer updated Western technologies to the USSR in different forms and practices. The Soviet Union established scientific-technical connections with several countries. The main source of modern technologies and machinery needed for paper and pulp production in particular was neutral Finland, which could be considered as a window to Western technological achievements for the Soviet Union. Exemplifying unique relations of West and East in the Cold War, Finland sold many techniques and provided expertise within the framework of scientific-technical cooperation. This dissertation examines the role that technology transfer from the other side of the Iron Curtain played in Soviet modernization from 1955 to 1964. How did technical cooperation with a Western country develop in the context of the Cold War? How and in what forms did Soviet institutions and engineers transfer technologies? How did they deal with more advanced machinery and new expertise? How did they apply the new technologies and how did Soviet domestic research develop? Did these technologies help renew machinery, launch new production and enhance the development of the industry, as expected? If not, why? And, in general, did these foreign technologies lead to technological modernization? In answering these questions, the dissertation sometimes refers to previous periods in order to trace continuities and change. Examining a vast collection of archival and published sources and using methods of the history of technology, the dissertation is focused on the forestry industry, which was one of key fields for expected positive changes in Khrushchev`s modernization. Its technological improvement was necessary not only for the increase of pulp and paper production to meet expanding consumption demands; the forestry industry was also a supplier for a large number of other both civilian and military industries, the latter of which received particular importance during the Cold War. Several plants and factories annexed after the Second Would War (in particular from Finland and the Baltic states) provided for the production of new sorts of pulp needed for military use, and technological modernization of these factories as well as launching new production in other Soviet enterprises was seen as a crucial action for the development of many other industries. Cold War forestry technologies, thus, exemplified their capacity to be a site of exchange , enabling cooperation among different industries, engineers, scientists and institutions. The dissertation illustrates that technologies from Finland and from the West via Finland played a significant role in the Soviet economy while creating a need for continuing transfer. The Soviet leadership aimed to create its own innovations to launch domestic production of the newest technologies. While Soviet engineers succeeded in implementing some technologies, they failed to develop Soviet ones. The Soviet industry remained dependent on cooperation with countries with more advanced industry. The main reasons for this were shortages of raw materials. In addition, technical expertise in industrial enterprises contributed to this dependence. Additionally, within the USSR, there were barriers to technology transfer between institutions. Generally, the successful implementation of Western technologies was possible only when all the details, machinery and expertise, needed for the technology were transferred. At the same time, as a framework for cultural encounters, transfer entailed cultural impacts on Soviet engineers which helped them become more reflexive about work conditions and management practices at Soviet enterprises.
  • Pettersson, Katarina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This doctoral dissertation explores how populist radical right politicians in Finland and Sweden use political blogs for the purpose of nationalist political communication and persuasion. The study builds upon research that has highlighted the growing importance of social media in the transmission of radical right, nationalist and anti-immigration political discourse, and to the central role of these media in the gradual normalisation of such discourse. Moreover, the study acknowledges the potential indicated by previous research of political blogs to function as tools for voter persuasion and mobilisation. The study aims to contribute with insights on how social psychological dynamics such as self-presentation, identity-constructions, discursive divisions between ingroups and outgroups , strategies of persuasion, and appeals to emotions and nostalgic memories are involved in these processes. The dissertation examines blog-entries by members of the populist radical right parties the Finns Party (Perussuomalaiset) in Finland and the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) in Sweden during 2007-2015. The bloggers who are the focus of the study represent, first, the parties extreme anti-immigration factions, comprised first and foremost of white men (Studies I and IV); second, the parties women s leagues (Study II); and third, politicians with immigrant or other ethnic minority background who have chosen to join a populist radical right party (Study III). The critical discursive and rhetorical psychological study explores the nationalist political blog discourse at three levels: it investigates the arguments it contains; by what verbal, visual and digital means these arguments are presented in order to seem convincing; and what implications these formulations might have in a social and political sense. In so doing, the study approaches the political blog-discourse as part and parcel of its broader argumentative context. This dissertation contributes to social psychological research on nationalist political communication and persuasion in three central ways. First, by delving into the discourse of both white men, women and ethnic minority members in populist radical right parties, it provides an understanding of the diversity of voices within such parties. Women and immigrants within these parties seem to be faced with particular dilemmas: the former ones with that between societal norms of gender equality and the patriarchal politics of the populist radical right; and the latter ones with that of being an immigrant in an anti-immigration political party. The critical discursive and rhetorical analyses of this study are able to show how these politicians strive to reconcile such dilemmas in their blog-discourse in ways that nevertheless remain faithful to the promotion of patriarchal and nationalist political causes. Second, this dissertation extends the critical discursive and rhetorical approach with analytical tools from narrative psychology, social semiotic studies of images and studies of online political communication. Thus moving beyond the text in its analytical approach, the study is able to explore the multitude of (audio-)visual, digital and communicative features contained in political blogs, and how these interact with classical rhetorical strategies, narrative structures, and socially and culturally rooted discursive resources in the construction of nationalist political arguments. Third, the study shows that the (audio-)visual, digital and communicative features of the blogs allow for the presentation of socially sensitive and even racist political views without the individual blogger having to express an explicit personal opinion on the matter at hand. Because of these features political blogs seem to constitute an optimal sphere for nationalist political communication and persuasion: they enable the conveying of powerful, credible and emotion-provoking messages, yet they concomitantly protect the blogger from charges of holding racist views. Discourse contained in political blogs does not remain in the blogosphere, but becomes circulated in mainstream media and thus influences the broader societal and political debate. In order to grasp the character and societal implications of contemporary political communication and persuasion, this dissertation thus encourages social psychological research to develop its tools for critically studying discourse contained in political blogs.
  • Kurronen, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    In countries highly dependent on their mineral resource sectors, the failure to diversify industrial activity is sometimes characterized as a resource curse. Several factors which are known to be harmful for economic development, such as a lower level of education and poor governance, have been shown to be present in resource-dependent countries. It is not clear, however, whether a resource curse is merely the natural outcome of organizing an economy around its resource sector based on a country s factor endowments. If the resource industry does not need a particularly well educated labor force or a highly developed legal system, it is not surprising that those areas do not develop in countries with a large resource sector. This thesis focuses on unraveling the link between the resource curse and finance. All three articles take a different approach to the same question: does finance play a role in enhancing the resource curse? The first article, using cross-country panel data, presents evidence that domestic bank lending to the private sector is less common and the use of market-based finance more common in resource-dependent countries than in their resource-poor counterparts. That could create an environment difficult for small firms or emerging industries, which are known to rely on domestic bank lending. The second article enters more deeply into the reasons behind this first finding and, using firm-level data, presents evidence that resource firms use less debt and debt of longer maturity than other non-financial firms. Similarly, firms in other sectors in resource-dependent countries have less debt than firms with similar characteristics in other countries. The results suggest that resource firms have demand for a certain type of finance, which could steer the supply of financial services in resource-dependent countries. The third article shows empirical evidence that an oil price collapse adversely affects leverage of not only resource firms but also other firms in resource-dependent countries. In other countries, however, only the resource sector is harmed by the fall in oil price. This fact suggests that volatility is one channel through which the resources affect finance in resource-dependent countries. All in all, the results show that finance is a channel through which the resource curse operates. Resource firms have demand for a certain type of financial services, which could affect the supply of financial services in resource-dependent countries. The financial sector could be formed to serve the needs of large resource firms, and it perhaps leaves other types of firms with inadequate service. Moreover, external commodity price shocks adversely affect firm leverage growth in resource-dependent countries. Consequently, addressing the financial needs of non-resource firms in resource-dependent countries could help to mitigate the resource curse.
  • Yang, Lei (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The association between socioeconomic status and health has been well studied. It has been found that people in higher social classes generally have better health and a lower mortality. However, it is still inconclusive whether the health advantage acquired by people with a higher socioeconomic status weakens in later life. Although empirical evidence in Western societies has revealed different age-related patterns of health inequality, little is known about the situation in China, which has the largest population of elderly people in the world. Recent studies in some industrialised societies also indicate that socioeconomic status is not only individual but also family level resource. In other words, the family s socioeconomic status affect the health of family members. However, few studies have been conducted in middle-income countries such as China. Unlike in Western societies, co-residence with children is still the main living arrangement among the Chinese elderly, and family members play a significant role in the provision of healthcare for them. Thus, it is reasonable to speculate that the socioeconomic status of family members is even more important in terms of maintaining the health of elderly people in China than it is in Western societies. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the trajectories of health in later life by means of different indicators of socioeconomic status, and to assess whether, and if so how the socioeconomic status of family members affects the health and mortality risk of elderly people in China. The specific aim was to find out whether elderly people with a higher socioeconomic status have better physical and cognitive functioning at baseline and a lower rate of decline with age. A further aim was to assess the extent to which higher educational levels among spouses and offspring are associated with self-rated good health and a lower mortality risk among elderly people. The data used in this study came from the Chinese Longitudinal Health and Longevity Survey (CLHLS) conducted in China in 2002-2011. The CLHLS produced the largest set of population-based survey data covering Chinese people aged 65 and over. It was based on internationally compatible questionnaires and yielded extensive information on socioeconomic status, family structure and background, living arrangements, daily activities, life styles, and health conditions. The results indicate that elderly people with a higher socioeconomic status have generally better physical and cognitive functioning at baseline, but the higher status did not protect against a decline in functioning with age. High education and household income predicted better cognitive functioning but were not associated with activities of daily living (ADL) functioning at baseline. High income was related to better instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) functioning but had no effect on the rate of change in IADL. Inadequate financial resources and unavailability of health services were mainly associated with poorer physical functioning at baseline. The findings also revealed an association between higher spousal education and a lower mortality risk among elderly people. Male elderly people living with a highly-educated child seem to have a lower mortality risk than those living with offspring educated to a low level. It was also found that elderly men and women with a low level of education but living with highly-educated adult children were more likely to report good health, although the interaction effect was only significant for females. Thus, the main effect of education on mortality among elderly males should be interpreted with caution because it may vary according to the education of co-resident children. The findings attest to the importance of socioeconomic status, in particular access to financial resources and health care services, in maintaining physical functioning among elderly people in China. Furthermore, living with a highly educated spouse or child also plays a significant role in reducing mortality risk.
  • Ojala, Markus (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Recent decades have seen an increase in the number of international forums and media that focus on current issues of the world economy and politics. They bring decision-makers from the spheres of politics, business and administration into a common conversation, and connect powerful individuals around the globe. This study defines these institutions as spaces for transnational elite communication and examines their relevance in the processes of global economic integration and governance. Efforts to bring together business and policymaking elites on an international level are closely associated with the production and governance of a globalised and financialised capitalism. These processes have been spearheaded by the United States and Europe, as well as western transnational corporations and banks after World War 2. The objective has been to incorporate non-western elites into the project of economic liberalisation and to bring them into the institutions and mechanisms of global economic governance. Establishment of international forums and media that bring elites together has been a key part of these objectives. The production of elite culture and a public sphere enhances the potential of elites to bridge divides, formulate common outlooks and negotiate shared goals. Focusing on the World Economic Forum and the Financial Times as influential spaces for transnational elite communication, the study observes how they enable the powerful to network, develop shared ideas about the economy and negotiate differences between competing interests. Facilitating the definition of the values and principles of the globalising elite, international business-policy forums and media emerge as key pillars of the liberal international order. The relative weakening of the leadership role of the United States in the 2010s is accompanied with growing questioning of the world order in which the US dollar and western-led international organisations have dominant roles. This is why elites appear to be increasingly divided. However, despite the rise of nationalist and mercantilist tendencies, transnational elites still tend to share a commitment to an integrated global economy characterised by relatively free movement of the factors of production. Insofar as international elite forums and media are capable of incorporating non-western elites as well as alternative economic-policy ideas, they have the potential to bridge elite divides and to promote the kind of policy shift that addresses the multiple crises of contemporary capitalism.
  • Virta, Ari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This dissertation aims to provide an alternative way to look at morality. This means changing the traditional division of labour in metaethics between moral semantics and moral psychology. This gives grounds for disconnecting morality from moral judgments and strengthening the connection to human well-being. Finally, in at least one area of applied ethics, in business ethics, this means acknowledging the minorities of one, the unique individuals as the vital actors whose very individuality is the most valuable resource for promoting our wealth and well-being. It also means organising our society in a way that allows the widest possible individual liberty. Concentrating on moral psychology means following the thought expressed by Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments that we study how actual human beings make moral judgments. This has been done in many areas outside philosophy. It appears that our moral judgments are mostly driven by their possible consequences to us, not any thoughts about judging in a coherent manner the deeds done. Our actual morality thus appears to mostly concern our own well-being. Also, the moral judgments appear to be consequences or post hoc rationalisations of the preceding choices, decisions, or judgments made subconsciously and under framing and priming effects. In other words, we are guided more by our instincts and situational factors than any theoretical deliberations. This accumulated knowledge conflicts with our philosophical tradition about normative human nature. Skeptical naturalism in ethics means acknowledging the obvious: a lot of people believe in objective moral facts and some construct elaborate arguments to defend this belief, but so far there is no scientific proof that the belief is justified and thus no proof that the arguments are valid. A different approach is recommendable. As Smith puts it, we have a propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another, which means that we are ultra-social animals. We constantly observe our conspecifics and interpret their actions as intentional behaviour. We also instinctively care for their well-being, and these prosocial actions of ours are more dependent on our prosocial emotions than our prosocial judgments. Our social coherence thus depends more on our inhibitions than our prohibitions. It depends mostly on our generally decent behaviour which is most probably produced by the biological, not the cultural evolution. We can use the effects of the biological evolution on the level of cultural evolution by designing our commercial and social institutions accordingly. We can acknowledge that our wealth and well-being depend on our individuality, our different ways of seeing life and world and thus our different aspirations, desires, and evaluations that make possible our division of labour. This drives voluntary exchange and innovation which produce our wealth and well-being.
  • Munck af Rosenschöld, Johan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    Research has shown that we are facing multiple urgent sustainability challenges in the ways in which our societies are organized. To address these challenges we need governance systems that are adaptive in order to absorb new knowledge and creative in order to generate innovative solutions. Yet, institutional inertia , or the tendency of institutions to resist change, slows down the adaptation to these complex challenges. A core concern is thus, how to address institutional inertia in the context of sustainability. The goal of this dissertation is to evaluate the role of projects in generating institutional change toward sustainability. The use of projects cross-cutting organizations that are employed to reach well-defined objectives during a specified period of time to implement public policy has lately attracted scholarly attention. The increasing reliance on projects, or projectification , resonates with the need for managing uncertainties and unpredictabilities in contemporary environmental governance and involves cross-sectoral cooperation in society. To explore the role of projects in institutional change processes, this study focuses on two dimensions of institutional work : participation the processes of including actors and different knowledges in projects as well as promoting deliberation among project participants and innovation the generation and diffusion of new knowledge and ideas produced in projects. This dissertation studies two programs that fund projects to implement public policy: the European Union s LEADER Program and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) implemented by the Natural Resource Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. While both programs rely on projects as funding mechanisms, they differ in how they are organized and in terms of their historical significance. Taken together, the differences between the two programs provide interesting insights into the role of projects in institutional change processes. The data from the two cases, including interviews and central policy documents, was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. This dissertation highlights important contradictions regarding the question of projects serving as fruitful sites for instigating institutional change. The findings emphasize that institutional inertia is generated by a list of mechanisms including cost, uncertainty, path dependence, power, and legitimacy. The results also highlight that inertia has important temporal implications. Not only does inertia slow down change processes, challenging the development of timely responses to sustainability problems, but also calls for a temporally sensitive approach that acknowledges the multifaceted nature of time. The analysis of the empirical cases shows that projects can serve as vehicles for including actors from different sectors with different knowledges. The analysis also highlights the deliberative nature of project work, which serves as a basis for social learning among project participants. The lack of external participation in projects once they were initiated, however, raises some doubt as to the full extent of inclusion of actors and prompts the question of excluded critical voices in project work. The question of innovation sheds critical light on the capacity of projects to initiate institutional change. The analysis suggests that the ability of projects to engage in exploration and generate innovations can be significantly restricted by bureaucratic rules and traditions of administrative top-down control. The dissertation also points to the challenges of diffusing project knowledge to permanent organizations. Two types of innovation diffusion in projectified environmental governance are identified. Vertical diffusion refers to the process of scaling up project knowledge to higher levels of decision making in permanent organizations, such as regulatory agencies and project-funding organizations. The analysis highlights the challenges of vertical diffusion for projects that are locally situated and have decentered decision-making procedures. Horizontal diffusion, in turn, assigns more weight to the project participants themselves to make sense of and utilize project knowledge in future instances, either in their own work or in new projects. Here, projects function as points of contact, where aggregated and accumulated knowledges converge, which in turn generates new combinations and the potential for broader change. The dissertation expands the discussion of projectification in two ways. First, previous research on projectification has thus far relied on single-country or single-region analyses. While the aim of this dissertation is not to conduct a formal comparative analysis of LEADER and RCPP, it represents one of the first attempts to illustrate the significance of projects and projectification by building on empirical findings from Europe and the USA. Second, this dissertation introduces two ideal types, mechanistic and organic projectification, proposing an alternative approach to conceptualizing projects and their role in institutional change in a public policy setting. Deemphasizing rationalism and embracing tensions, inconsistencies, and the untidiness of projectification could help us gain a fuller understanding of different institutional change processes toward sustainability.
  • Mäkinen, Liisa A. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This doctoral thesis investigates private surveillance practices in everyday life, ranging from control-related monitoring to watching for familial care, for both practical and playful purposes. The focus is on individual camera surveillance practices in private and semi-private places such as homes and recreational surroundings. The work is located in the field of Surveillance Studies. The research builds on the view that surveillance in its current form cannot be conceptualized merely in the framework of control, and recognizes that play can be offered as an alternative. Consequently, the objective is to examine how private surveillance practices can be placed in between, and beyond, frames of control and play. Furthermore, the aim is to examine how surveillance traditionally understood as a control-related activity can be connected to game-like and playful practices on a theoretical level. The study includes four research articles and a summary article. The main body of the empirical data is comprised of qualitative interviews (N:23) collected in Finland with users of private surveillance equipment. Two articles build on interview data, one is a case study (on an online surveillance application) and one is grounded on a theoretical analysis of playful traits in surveillance practices. The main result from the empirical data is that while private surveillance practices connect to forms of control-related monitoring and playful watching practices, uses are not limited to either but combine and add to them. A particularly interesting combination of the two is manifested in gamified surveillance, where surveillants might operate playfully, but surveillance is still authoritative. Control and play can indeed happen simultaneously. Five types of surveillance produced with domestic surveillance systems are recognized: controlling, caring, recreational, communicational and sincere. Furthermore, online cameras are analysed as practical devices which enable a convenient way to monitoring places and property which are important to the users. The key result on the theoretical level is the metaphorical model of surveillance analysis presented in two of the articles. This research introduces five novel metaphors for future surveillance analysis: 1) cat-and-mouse, 2) hide-and-seek, 3) labyrinth, 4) sleight-of-hand, and 5) poker. The metaphorical approach to surveillance practices proposes that control-related surveillance can be analysed from a ludic perspective. This study furthers both empirical and theoretical understanding of private surveillance practices and surveillance taking place at the interfaces of control and play. The underlying argument is that, in addition to control and play, convenience should be considered a framework for analysing private surveillance practices. Consequently, the positions of surveillance subjects should also be rethought.
  • Hämäläinen, Hans (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    This doctoral dissertation explores the provision of financial aid and time transfers (care, childcare and practical help) by Finnish baby boomers (born 1945 - 1950) to their elderly parents and adult children. The research questions are: Do baby boomers provide more help to their adult children than elderly parents? How are the opportunities and needs associated with the help given by baby boomers to their elderly parents and adult children? How do the baby boomers reason their support to elderly parents and adult children? To answer these questions, the study utilizes three datasets: theme interview data and two nationally representative postal questionnaires which were all collected from Finnish baby boomers as a part of General transmissions in Finland project. The dissertation consists of four articles and a summary chapter. Articles I and II explore the direction of intergenerational support provided by baby boomers who are in the position of a middle generation. Article I shows that the financial aid given by baby boomers is directed almost entirely to adult children while only a few supports their parents financially. According to article II, baby boomers are also more likely to offer childcare help to their adult children (i.e. grandparental care) than care to their own elderly parents. However, baby boomers provide more practical help to their parents than children. Article III investigates how opportunities and needs are associated with the intergenerational time transfers. According to the results, care and practical help to elderly parents are primarily associated with the parents needs for support. In contrast, the childcare as well as practical help to adult children are positively associated, along with the needs, more widely with the baby boomers opportunities to help. Respectively, according to article I the opportunities and needs are related in the same way to the financial aid provided to adult children. Article IV explores how baby boomers reason the intergenerational support they provide. The results indicate that baby boomers reason the help they give to their parents with their parents needs for support. Needs are also an essential reason to support children. However, in addition baby boomers emphasize their willingness to help their children as much as possible, regardless of needs. The results are interpreted in the contexts of family sociology and evolutionary theory. These fields of research are perceived as complementary to each other. Sociological and evolutionary family studies often investigate the same subjects from different viewpoints. Therefore, combining these approaches is both necessary and productive.