Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Huotari, Antti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation focuses on stochastic and computational finance. It contains an introductory chapter and four essays. The first three of the essays are related to the optimal consumption and portfolio choice problem. The last essay deals with implied volatility modelling of swaptions. The first two essays are devoted to optimal portfolio and consumption when a consumer has habit preferences. The first essay focuses on finding an explicit solution when the underlying assets are allowed to follow non-Markovian dynamics and the preferences of the consumer are determined by the hyperbolic risk aversion utility function (HARA). The second essay presents a numerical method for solving the optimal portfolio in the habit case. By exploiting the Monte Carlo covariation method, it is possible to solve the optimal portfolio problem in the habit case. The approach is flexible in the sense that it is allows to make different kinds of assumptions about the behaviour of financial assets. The third essay considers the consumption-portfolio choice model when the stock prices follows a geometric Lévy process. Due to the lack of closed form solutions, numerical methods have been developed. In the case of the Lévy process, it is possible to form a so-called partial integro-differential equation (PIDE) and solve it by using a finite difference method. In the essay, an explicit-implicit option pricing method is utilized and a Markov chain approximation method is proposed for solving an optimal consumption and portfolio choice in the Lévy process case. The standard procedure for finding implied volatilities is based on Black's model which assumes a lognormal distribution of underlying prices and constant volatility. The last essay of this dissertation proposes pricing swaptions by assuming normally distributed swap rates with jumps rather than log-normally distributed rates. The pricing formula has been used to find implied volatility. The method is a combination of Bachelier's option pricing formula with normally distributed stock prices and a jump-diffusion formula for modelling variation which is based on swaption data. It is particularly useful in the case of a low interest rate and high volatility market.
  • Tepora-Niemi, Suvi-Maaria (2020)
    Inequality in work and rehabilitation. Agency in the life course of a person with a chronic illness or disabilities In this qualitative longitudinal study, I report on analyses of the agency of people diagnosed with a severe chronic illness when young and the change of agency in the course of their life in relation to the illness, rehabilitation and work. The research subjects had been treated as persons with a chronic illness or disabilities, and disability is understood broadly as limitations of functions and participation in society. The research material consists of deep narrative interviews conducted between 2012 and 2018 of the same people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) when young. In this study, MS is treated as an example of a disabling illness in illustrating the relationship between society, a chronic illness and disability, since the social experiences of chronic illness and disability are often similar regardless of the specific illness or disability. One goal of the study was to broaden the overall view of disability in Finland from the perspectives of work and rehabilitation. The results of the study are experience-based knowledge on the processes of falling ill, rehabilitation and changes of agency. It is possible to follow these processes in a qualitative longitudinal study. The theoretical basis of the study are the ideas of Anthony Giddens on the relationship between an agent and a structure, the capability approach of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, the actantial model and types of pragmatic modality of Algirdas Julien Greimas, and the theoretical-methodological framework of the modalities of agency, developed further from the types of pragmatic modality by Jyrki Jyrkämä. The concept of modality makes it possible to analyse the nature of a chronic illness and disability in relation to society and to understand health, chronic illness and disability in the course of life as a continuum, in which different phases of chronic illness and comprehensive well-being alternate. The objective of the study was to investigate the kind of agency that is developed in a person diagnosed with a severe chronic illness when young, along with the life course in work and in rehabilitation supporting daily life. The research questions are: 1. What kind of agency is developed in such a person with relation to the illness and rehabilitation, and how does the agency change as the illness progresses and as time passes from the diagnosis? 2. What are the options for such a person to self-determination in planning their rehabilitation and how do these options change as the process of accepting the illness progresses? 3. How does the agency of such a person in relation to work change as the illness and the process of accepting it progress? 4. How is the course of life related to the development of the agency of such a person? The study is based on three sub-studies, from which empirical articles have been written. The research method of the first and third sub-studies was theory-driven content analysis, and that of the second sub-study is narrative actantial analysis. Accepting the diagnosis of a chronic illness is a sensitive process, which requires time. The process comprises the person’s desire, knowledge, abilities and opportunity to process their falling ill and to promote their own cause in social and healthcare services. Significant factors for the acceptance process are the time elapsed since the diagnosis and being admitted to rehabilitation or being left out of it. A recurring experience in the study has been the experience of the interviewees as being left alone without the long-term support of social and healthcare professionals immediately after the diagnosis. The lack of long-term early psychological rehabilitation is related to the difficulty of developing a rational agency to promote one’s own cause in social and healthcare services. Instead, strong emotions dominate the agency of the interviewees in relation to their own illness and rehabilitation soon after the diagnosis. Changing doctors made it more difficult for the interviewees to be admitted to rehabilitation and to initiate it. The difficulty participating in rehabilitation and the rehabilitees’ inadequate understanding of the content, objective and purpose of rehabilitation are related to the paucity of interaction between professionals and the rehabilitees, to missing rehabilitation plans, to beginning rehabilitation too late and to the prejudices associated with rehabilitation and the fears of its stigmatising effect. These are problems of the multi-sectoral rehabilitation service system that are difficult to discern. They also reduce the opportunities of persons with chronic illness or disabilities to self-determination in planning their own rehabilitation. The agency of the interviewees in relation to work changes as the symptoms of chronic illness and the process of accepting it progress individually. The change can be explained by the ability of the interviewees to accept the decline of their abilities and the options to adjust their existing work to it, part-time work or the opportunity to change their job description or line of work. Confidence in staying in work is provided by the support of the employer and work community, whereas distrust in the employer experienced by the interviewees reduces most their desire to negotiate on reconciling their chronic illness and work. Occupational and medical rehabilitation maintain the person’s capacity to function and work, even when the illness progresses or when changes take place at work. In contrast, staying outside rehabilitation creates uncertainty to the chronically ill or disabled person on the sufficiency of their own abilities and reduces their opportunities to negotiate in the workplace. Due to their education and social background, persons with a chronic illness or disabilities are in unequal positions with each other both in work and in social and healthcare services. A severe chronic illness or disability cannot be separated from other parts of life. Instead, agency in work and rehabilitation are built on the basis of their agency in relation to the surrounding community that these persons had before suffering from the illness or disability. People with a strong foundation for life are best able to process their own illness, being disabled or being a rehabilitee. Similarly, they have an opportunity to realise their self-determination in planning their rehabilitation and they are in an easier position to negotiate at work. The situation is weakest for persons with multiple chronic illnesses, depression and economic or emotional needs, and no support from their employer. These factors hinder implementing self-determination in planning rehabilitation and the negotiation of options at work. Keywords: agency, chronic illness, disability, life in the workforce, rehabilitation, course of life, longitudinal study  
  • Nortio, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Social psychological research on multiculturalism has demonstrated its potential to promote ethnic equality and reduce interethnic conflicts in society. However, it has also shown that ethnocultural majorities tend to support multiculturalism less than minorities. This result has been explained through the majority members’ uneasiness, which is related to minorities’ claims for cultural maintenance. While the dilemmas of multiculturalism—especially in regard to politics, policies and ideology—have been widely discussed in social psychological and social scientific research, there has been a limited interest in studying the accounts of those who live multiculturalism in their everyday lives. In this research, I focus on multiculturalism as a lived ideology. I argue that understanding the ways in which multiculturalism is oriented in the lay discourse could shed more light on its potential to promote harmonious intergroup relations. To foster this understanding, this research examines the lay discourse of multiculturalism in Finland, a country that ranks as one of the world’s most policy-wise multicultural societies, which concurrently is witnessing the mainstreaming of anti-multiculturalism and xenophobic political discourses. More specifically, this research asks, what kinds of discursive tools and resources do ordinary people living in Finland use to account for multiculturalism. In other words, how they construct, negotiate, and manage ethnocultural diversity and intergroup relations in their talk. This study consists of four sub-studies, all of which draw from discursive social psychological approaches stemming from social constructionism. Study I analyses focus groups held among majority Finns; Studies II and III analyse focus group discussions held among minority and majority Finns; and Study IV combines frame analytic and discursive psychological perspectives to examine the accounts of multiculturalism in a popular online forum. This dissertation contributes to social psychological research of multiculturalism in four ways. First, by analysing minority and majority discourses together, it shows how they are intertwined instead of contradictory. Second, it demonstrates the central role that justifying hierarchical relations between the majority and immigrants plays in the lay discourse of multiculturalism. Third, by examining the interplay between political, media, and the lay discourse online, it exemplifies how negotiations of multiculturalism are situated in wider political and cultural discourses. Finally, by employing a discursive approach, this research shows the complexities and dilemmatic aspects of the lay discourse of multiculturalism. More specifically, these complexities relate to three discursive constructions of multiculturalism and their functions. The first construction, threatening multiculturalism, served to represent majority and immigrants as essentially different groups and to justify their inequality. The second construction, valuable multiculturalism, enabled accounts celebrating diversity, and served as a tool to demonstrate a speaker’s open-mindedness. Third, the construction of limiting multiculturalism enabled the criticising of the essentialist and hierarchical categorisations of “us” and “them”, and the claiming of immigrants’ cultural citizenship.
  • Kutkina, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This dissertation is a study of (post)Euromaidan Ukraine as a socio-political and cultural space which undergoes a multilayered process of struggle over meanings. As a physical and political domain that emerged in a see-saw between Europe and Russia, the Euromaidan revolution was a unified protest that exposed multiple, at times contradictory beliefs: dreams of a just Europe, ultra-nationalist, Far-Right values, demands for prompt democratic transformation, hatred of authoritarian, corrupt government and naming of the ‘enemies’ or the ‘other.’ This research is a critical analysis of the articulation of such socio-political multivocality of the Ukrainian population, which found its physical and discursive expression within the process of post-2013 decommunization. This dissertation examines the evolution of post-Euromaidan de-Sovietization beyond the framework of passing and implementation of the 2015 decommunization laws. I address the process of decommunization as a political and cultural phenomenon at both the regional and national level, where the ordinary citizens and the government are involved in diverse forms of the meaning-making (e.g. political poster exhibitions, preservation or demolition of communist symbols, or renaming of the streets). I examine the process of de-Sovietization of (post)Euromaidan Ukraine as both fragmented and unified in its multivocality, where old symbols and/or judicial structures such as the statues, posters or laws are being replaced by new physical (e.g. architectural) and narrative formations. This dissertation consists of nine chapters, and is an outcome of 4.5 years of fieldwork conducted in western, central, southern, northern and eastern regions of Ukraine. It is an ethnographic study of data that includes 64 interviews, images and videos with the protestors, civic activists, members of non-governmental organizations, politicians, soldiers, artists, and ordinary citizens. To provide comprehensive understanding of different types of material, the method of ‘layered textual analysis’ (Covert 2014) is used. It involves structural analysis of the narratives present in the interview text, visual analysis of the photos, and guiding questions related to the content and relationship of the photos, objects and narratives. In this work, I use the concept of narrative to create a broader framework for categorization of the collected data-- to analyse, for instance, interviews, images, or videos of the protest or toppling of the communist statues as means of construction of the discursive narratives at both the grassroots and state level. As means of examining the empirical data, this work draws theoretical parallels between theory of hegemony (Laclau and Mouffe 1985; Cox 2019; Modelski 1991; Thompson 2015), Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1981) theory of heteroglossia and monologism, and Benedict Anderson’s (1983) idea of the imagined communities. The primary objective of bridging these theories is to examine multivocality in decommunization as both the process and outcome of articulation of polyglossic or multi-voiced practices of civic dialogical interaction. A broader purpose of ‘hegemonic’ reading of the collected data is to explore (post)Euromaidan decommunization as a social phenomenon which is mediated through discourse, where political meanings are articulated, contested, and, as a whole, never permanently fixed. As that of discourse analysis theory, the aim of this work is not to discover which groups exist within the society, or to unravel particular formations that object or support the process of decommunization. The primary objective of this research is to examine multiple mechanisms of selection of the discursive and physical elements that were included (or erased) from the physical space of (post)Euromaidan Ukraine (2013-2018), as well as to identify political and cultural means of the citizens’ and ruling elites’ consolidation of a politically and culturally diverse state.
  • Wilenius, Heikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The thesis is a study of the public activities of East Javanese regional councillors. Analysing the communication of these politicians, the thesis focuses on the ways they authorize their status as representatives of their constituency. The study finds that politics in East Java has a wide selection of authorizations, the use of which depends on the party, the political history, the age, and the gender of the politician. For the councillor, the most decisive factor for the choice of authorizations, however, is the political context. Different public institutions of politics are examined: meetings with the constituency during council recess, public hearings on draft bylaws, election campaign events, and regional council plenary sessions. The authorizations used in these contexts vary greatly, for example, concerning their aspect of ritualization, style of oratory, or way of evidence presented. A central theoretical contribution of the thesis concerns the idea that democracies have varying semiotic ideologies, that is, understandings of how signs work and what kinds of consequences are possible for them in the context of political practices. Using this analytical framework, different political traditions and ways of communicating with voters are compared. Another central theme of the thesis is the mixed legacy of the Orde Baru regime (1966–1998) in politics. While the plenary sessions of the regional councils evidence a lot of continuities from the Orde Baru in their focus on the celebration of consensus and ritualist oratory, other political contexts demonstrate how new political practices have institutionalized since the onset of the Reformasi era (1998–). Finally, the study argues that Indonesian democratic practices should be analysed from a perspective that does not postulate a liberal democracy as a normative yardstick, but instead, by examining the way politicians use authorizations and are made accountable for their actions. The thesis contends, against recent literature on the quality of democracy in Indonesia, that a more refined understanding is needed of the ways hierarchical and egalitarian aspects of democracy are intertwined in political practice. For example, by analysing on how hierarchical positions are authorized and ritually reproduced in politics, the contemporary challenges for politics in East Java and elsewhere are understood better.
  • Sihvonen, Ella (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This study aims to examine parenting support as provided through family support projects. The need to support parenting arose out of parenting-related anxiety, along with public and political attention regarding proper parenting and the wellbeing of children and youth in the late 1990s and early 2000s in Finland. In political and public debates, parenting was perceived as a source of many social troubles, causing multiple problems for children and youth, ranging from depression and irresponsible behavior to social exclusion. Par¬enting-related anxiety became a concrete issue in numerous projects aimed at supporting parenting, of which 310 projects are analysed in this study. The projects examined here were implemented by public organisations as well as non-governmental organisations, and were carried out between 2000 and 2010 in Finland. The data analysed in this study draw upon diverse project management documents, such as funding applications, midterm and final reports, as well as other project documents, including project plans and brochures. The documents were analysed through qualitative text analysis. Considering the large amount of data, some of the central characteristics of the data were categorised and quantified in order to describe the data at a general level, although the main focus lies on the qualitative analysis. In this study, I examine how and why parenting support became such an important element in family policy in early twenty-first century Finland. The increased attention on parenting support within family policy is called here a ‘turn to parenting’. This turn to parenting is not a Finnish peculiarity, but was identified in other Nordic counties as well as in many other parts of Europe. This study contributes to the recent critical research discussions around parenting support and parenting determinism. Parental determinism refers to the uncomplicated idea regarding how the absence of particular parenting skills represent a cause-and-effect relationship linked to multiple childhood dysfunctions, and which relate to virtually all that parents do or which remains undone. This study was also motivated by the question regarding what exactly is supported in parenting support. In my assessment, ‘parenting’ is not taken as self-evident, but as something that needs to be closely scrutinised. By examining parenting support, we can enhance our understanding of what parenting itself signifies, as well as what kinds of responsibilities and com¬petencies parenting requires. Hence, I study how parenting is understood within Finnish family support projects and how it can be conceptualised from the sociological point of view. In this study, I also frame parenting and parenting support historically and place the ‘turn to parenting’ along a continuum within the long history of family, parenthood and childrearing. Furthermore, I emphasise ‘parenting’ as a unique concept in relation to, for example, parenthood, which denotes the kin relationship between a parent and a child. Moreover, parenting also contains certain new connotations different from those related to ‘childrearing’, which are also important to delineate carefully. My results demonstrate that parenting support is either targeted towards supporting interactions between family members—more accurately, the relationship between the parent and the child—or towards (re)building community and strengthening parents’ peer relationships with other parents in their community. I suggest that there are two different approaches to par¬enting support identified within the family support projects: individualised parenting support and communal parenting support. These two approaches are employed in family support in order to increase the wellbeing of the family in general and specifically to prevent ill-being amongst children and youth. To carry out parenting support, family support projects employ particular techniques such as activation, responsibilisation, empowerment and highlighting parents’ own expertise. In this study, I indicate how in individualised parenting support these techniques aim to increase parents’ active awareness—their own inner expertise in parenting—and, hence, emphasise a kind of reflexive parental agency. As a consequence, good parenting seems to be connected to parents’ constant reflexive evaluation of all possible options related to childrearing, often from a child-centred perspective. Furthermore, in communal parent¬ing support, parents are encouraged to rely on their contemporaries when addressing parenting issues. This is what I have labelled the ‘horizontal expertise of parenting’, wherein the intention is to strengthen parenting with help from the community and peer relations. I raise the following sociologically intrinsic question in this study: How can we better study, conceptualise and understand ‘parenting’, ‘childrearing’ and the ‘socialisation of children’ from a sociological point of view? I propose that by turning our gazes from parenting and primary socialisation to the socialisation of children from a broader perspective, we can increase our understanding of childrearing and how the parent–child relationship is also constructed in relation to wider structures within contemporary society.
  • Novkunskaya, Anastasia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The system of healthcare in Russia since the 1990s undergoes perpetual and considerable transformation and has become a particular field of concern to the state. Maternity care services, in particular, appear to be even more symbolically significant to the authorities, provoking additional efforts to redesign their provision and organisation. This study addresses institutional changes that have occurred since 2006, when the most appreciable state measures to improve maternity care were taken and a new, ‘statist’ policy model emerged in Russian healthcare. It focuses on the perspective of healthcare practitioners, working in maternity facilities in small-town Russia. The research is designed as a multiple case study and allows comparison of the differing limits to and opportunities for professional agency emerging in formally similar institutional settings. Each case (n = 4) addresses a complex of antenatal and maternity care facilities located in one small Russian town, located in a distance from regional, economic and cultural centres. The data were collected between 2011 and 2017 years. The qualitative methods of in-depth interviews (N= 28) and participatory observations in two cases under investigation have been applied in the study. The main method of data analysis is common thematic content analysis. This study revealed the diversity of medical approaches, doctor–patient relations, dispositions toward change and notions of professional commitment in practices by a formally homogeneous social group of practitioners providing maternity services. Focusing on the provision, regulation and arrangement of maternity care, analysis of the health professionals’ narratives provided evidence of aggravated working conditions in terms of a growing domination of managerial and market institutional logics. In such conditions of the institutional complexity, healthcare professionals find some forms, in which professional agency can be practices in the field of maternity services. As a result, both organisational transformations and micro-scale changes took place in one of the cases under investigation over the course of a decade from 2007. The case of ‘stealthy innovators’ exemplified the substantial internal restructuring initiated by healthcare professionals in order to integrate a new, more patient-centred and family-friendly approach to childbirth. The study results confirm a top-down approach to change in the field of maternity care in Russia, and suggest that most recent state-led changes have been centralised in character and have resulted in the predominance of managerial and market logics of regulation. Different organisational settings present various combinations of institutional logics and their hybrids, and some of them favour institutional alterations initiated by health professionals, at least at the level of their practices. In spite of some positive examples of the institutional change occurred in the field of maternity care, this work has identified that some state reforms may have unintended consequences for healthcare professionals working in the maternity units of small Russian towns, and that there is a particular vulnerability of health practitioners in Russia. The key suggestion of the study is to consider healthcare professionals’ perspective in future reforms, in order to provide more space for their agency in terms of the institutional work they might accomplish to make the system of maternity care more safe, accessible and patient-friendly.
  • Koskimies, Emanuela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This doctoral dissertation investigates the development of the norm of sovereignty as responsibility by focusing on its institutionalization in the framework of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Prominent observers have regarded the emergence of a new norm of sovereignty as responsibility as one of the most significant normative shifts in international society since the aftermath of World War II. Against this backdrop, accounts have proliferated situating the ICC at the cutting edge of normative change. The present study critically engages with the whole set of theoretical foundations underlying this view, including the conventional constructivist understanding of norm development upon which the latter is premised. This, on the one hand, emphasizes the importance of norm institutionalization within “tangible” sets of rules or organizations. On the other, it understands institutionalization itself as a moment of clarity and stabilization, thus largely reducing it to an end-point of the norm emergence process. In other words, norm institutionalization is confined to a positivist view in which institutions fall back to the role of neutral fora. The result is a linear, static, and largely depoliticized account of norm content, which, while yielding to the traditional lack of communication between normative and empirical studies, ends up reiterating a dichotomic and simplistic view in which norms are scripts of emancipation, and power a practice of domination. The dissertation aims to unravel this dilemma altogether by offering a step forward in the development of a post-positivist constructivist approach. In other words, it takes a genuinely trans-disciplinary perspective and delves into the configuration of normativity as part of institutional practice, paying special attention to how the relative power of relevant actors reconstitutes norms during norm negotiation and implementation. Hence, the study unfolds from an unusual location – at the intersection between normative international theory and the politics of international criminal law; and from there, it seeks to revive discussions about the power-laden nature of the normative fabric of international society, its own dis-symmetries, and its outright hierarchies. To this end, the dissertation asks two major sequential questions: how the overarching system negotiated by states at the Rome Conference affects the selection of situations and cases before the ICC and their outcomes; and how the selection of situations and cases and their outcomes, in turn, “feeds back” to the norm of sovereignty institutionalized through the Court’s practice. The resulting analysis shows the following. While the Rome Statute reflects the persistence of the state as the primary site of political authority and coercion, it also cuts against the normative aspirations of sovereignty as responsibility by leaving the Court specifically ill-equipped to break with a notorious pattern of hyper-protected sovereignty. Outstanding issues such as the ICC’s selectivity and African bias, as well as the Court’s future prospects, are then reconsidered under this light. Those findings are then discussed in the final part of the study. Focusing on questions of delegation to international institutions, this ends with a note of caution. It concludes that the prospects of sovereignty as responsibility, as well as the broader discussion about cosmopolitan governance, lie more with the re-politicization of the debate than a straightforward invocation of greater forms of supranationalism.
  • Turjanmaa, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Migration and acculturation cause individual growth and changes in different spheres of adolescents’ lives, including family relations. Migration is known to challenge family relations and to mobilize immigrant adolescents to take the dual role of a pioneer of acculturation and a convoy of familial adaptation into a new society. This role is not taken and given without negotiations. For adolescents, the process of acculturation (e.g., learning the language, familiarizing with norms and values of the society, coping with discrimination) overlaps with the developmental phase where adolescents (re)negotiate their identities and relationships with their parents. According to previous research, much of the negotiation takes place along the continuum between autonomy and relatedness. To support the adaptation of immigrant families and adolescents in particular, it is crucial, however, to better understand the ways adolescents perceive their social environment, deal with the changes in intergenerational relations, and act as agents of acculturation and family adaptation. This is also crucial in terms of the potential consequences of adolescent-parent relations for adolescents’ adaptation. This study explores the perceptions of immigrant adolescents of intergenerational relations in their families after migration. It also examines how intergenerational relations are manifested and negotiated in the school context and are associated with the adaptation of adolescents in Finland. The theoretical background of the study combines an ecological perspective on adolescents’ development with acculturation psychology, cultural psychology, and youth and family studies. The study includes qualitative and quantitative research methods. The main data used in the study consists of 80 semi-structured interviews of 1.5-generation immigrant adolescents (aged 13 to 18). The Finnish School Health Promotion Study (N = 2697) is utilized to analyse the association between perceived intergenerational relations and the adaptation of immigrant adolescents with different immigration and cultural backgrounds in Finland. The thesis includes four sub-studies of which each illustrates particular characteristics of adolescent-parent relationships after migration from the perspective of adolescents. Study I explores the contexts of immigrant adolescents’ autonomy negotiations in intergenerational relations, and examines the multiple positions that adolescents use in their reflections on autonomy after immigration. Study II focuses on adolescents’ experiences of gratitude and indebtedness towards parents and asks how these emotions shape intergenerational relations after migration. In Study III, intergenerational negotiations are studied in relation to the school context, focusing on information flows between adolescents, parents, and school personnel. Finally, Study IV examines how the perceptions of adolescents of their relationhips with parents, particularly perceived parental knowledge, are associated with their psychological (i.e., anxiety symptoms) and socio-cultural (i.e., school achievement) adaptation, and whether the effect of perceived parental knowledge on adaptation outcomes depends on their migration backgrounds and social characteristics (i.e., generation status, gender, and family’s socioeconomic status). The findings of the study show how adolescents’ experiences of acculturation- and development-related changes are manifested and negotiated within the families and in a larger social context (i.e., school), and how they shape adolescent-parent relationships and the adaptation of adolescents after migration. The study highlights the ambivalent nature of intergenerational relations. It shows the effort and resilience of immigrant adolescents in mastering acculturation and developmental demands. The study results suggest that intergenerational conflicts as such do not necessarily impede adolescents’ adaptation but may, on the contrary, support adolecents’ and their parents’ adaptation in a new society. From the perspective of adolescent-parent relationships, this study proposes improving open communication within families and carefully recommends that immigrant parents, like all parents, even though obviously often thinking of the best for their children, could pay more attention to listening to their children and to perspective taking – that is something their children often master skilfully. The study also sees it as crucial that building a dialogue between school personnel and parents should be encouraged in order to increase parents’ agency and knowledge. This contributes to their children’s positive development and adaptation. Keywords: Adolescents, immigration, immigrant families, intergenerational relationships, adaptation, acculturation
  • Isoaho, Karoliina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Decarbonisation is an urgent, global challenge now widely recognised by policymakers, researchers, businesses and citizens alike. While decarbonisation presents a systemic challenge to our societies, it is increasingly framed as a political challenge. Shifting towards a fossil free future is a value-laden process, prone to political contestation. It is thus critical to examine politics and policy processes that influence and condition energy system change. This dissertation advances research on decarbonisation policy and politics by exploring methodological questions that help improve synergies between policy studies and energy transition studies. It sets out to answer the following research question: What novel contributions can textual methodologies bring to the study of decarbonisation policy and politics, both in terms of methods and empirical insights? The dissertation takes an interest in discursive approaches and unsupervised machine learning methods, in particular that of topic modelling, while having decarbonisation as the empirical context. The methodological exploration is carried out on two levels. First, the potential and limitations of each group of method are studied on the meta-level. Second, each method is applied to an empirical case. A topic modelling analysis is conducted on the development of the European Energy Union project, while the decline of coal-fired power generation in the United Kingdom is examined through a discourse analysis. The findings indicate that discursive methodologies can enhance our understanding of the role of political ideology and state orientation, publics, institutional and policy change in decarbonisation processes. In addition, discursive approaches are found to complement the classical energy transition frameworks. The examination of topic modelling shows that while the method can be used to examine policy-relevant corpora with an unprecedented scale and scope, seeking to gain straightforward qualitative or policy relevant value from the topic modelling output risks being misleading. As a novel methodological contribution, this dissertation suggests that topic modelling brings added value to textual analysis when used in mixed-method designs. To exemplify this, the study proposes embedded and sequential designs for incorporating topic modelling into the analytical processes of different qualitative textual methods. Taken together, the findings encourage scholars to further experiment with the use of computer mediated textual analysis approaches in practice. This study also highlights several higher level implications for research and policy. It calls for in-depth methodological dialogue among computational scientists, statistical experts and social scientists. This is because developing computational social science approaches requires that the models are designed to match the real-world societal phenomena they are applied to. Furthermore, the results provide important lessons learnt for transition scholars and policy-makers. The UK case shows that coal declined rapidly and with relatively little resistance by incumbent actors. The results also reveal how the Energy Union’s policy priorities have been increasingly geared towards decarbonisation objectives by furthering policy convergence between climate-security and energy efficiency-affordability paradigms.
  • 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.

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