Browsing by Title

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 107-126 of 392
  • Van der Vet, Freek (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Through interviews with 40 human rights practitioners, this dissertation broadens our knowledge as to how international litigation before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) (a) contributes to finding remedies for victims of grave atrocities and (b) impacts on the compliance of Russia to the European Convention on Human Rights. In particular, this dissertation examines the work of a group of nongovernmental human rights organizations (NGOs), and the lawyers working for them, who litigate at the ECtHR on behalf of victims of the Russo-Chechen conflicts, discrimination based on ethnicity, or victims of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment during police detention. This research examines the diffusion of human rights by connecting four previously unconnected social processes of international human rights practice: claim-making, translation, implementation, and protection. First, the influence of the political context on litigation strategies, second, the translation of human rights from the claims of the victim to the Court and vice versa, and third, the contention surrounding the implementation and search for domestic remedies following litigation. A fourth process evaluates the issue of protection in Russia: how human rights defenders manage risk and practice advocacy in a dangerous environment. This dissertation contributes to socio-legal and human rights research by examining how Russian human rights lawyers use legalism and how they operate in transnational networks of human rights experts and activists. The author argues that lawyers do not only make legalistic claims to rights, but experiment with how rights can be used to expand their potential protection to their clients: by managing expectations of clients, expanding the scope of the European Convention, and developing novel ways of protecting themselves against government repression. This dissertation is based on semi-structured interview methodologies and deterritorialized human rights research on expert human rights practitioners working in the same network but in various places. The author conducted the interviews between 2009 and 2012 during various fieldwork trips in the Russian Federation, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Finland. The dissertation consists of four peer-reviewed articles and an introduction. Article 1, Holding on to Legalism: the Politics of Russian Litigation on Torture and Discrimination before the European Court of Human Rights , examines the position of the human rights practitioner between the State and the victim before and during litigation with the ECtHR. It observes how the human rights practitioner selects applicants, conducts public investigations, and uses international litigation as leverage in cooperation with the State to find suitable remedies for the applicant. In particular, the article argues that Russian lawyers do not simply have a belief in legalism, but use legalism as a political strategy. Article 2, Seeking Life, Finding Justice: Russian NGO Litigation and Chechen Disappearances before the European Court of Human Rights , analyzes the interaction between the ECtHR and the victim. The practitioner mediates in struggles that have no easy solution. The author specifically investigates the lawyers dilemma whether to discourage the expectation of relatives of the disappeared on finding their family member alive after their enforced disappearance. This expectation at times conflicts with the NGOs and Court s aim to presume the death of a disappeared person and establish a violation of the right to life. Article 3, Transitional Justice in Chechnya: NGO Advocacy for implementing Chechen Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights , presents the interplay between the ECtHR and the Russian State. In particular, this article argues that the judgments of the ECtHR inform processes of transitional justice. Moreover, it argues that favorable judicial attention to litigation is insufficient to implement a judgment at home. Instead, the judgments provide political leverage for NGO domestic advocacy campaigns promoting the implementation of the judgment, criminal prosecution of perpetrators, remedies for victims, and transitional justice in post-conflict Chechnya. The practitioner lobbies with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) to promote the judgments domestic execution. Accordingly, the litigation process before the ECtHR does not end after a final judgment; instead, it prompts a series of broader political claims to ending impunity and truth seeking, informed by the NGOs strategies. Article 4, Violence and Human Rights in Russia: How Human Rights Defenders develop their Tactics in the Face of Danger, 2005-2013 (awaiting editorial decision) adds to the subject matter of the dissertation by revealing how human rights defenders respond to the curtailing legal measures by the Russian State. It analyzes how Russian human rights defenders take protective measures, practice advocacy under high-risk situations, and manage fear in dangerous situations. Moreover, it identifies how the State uses law to regulate the behavior of civil organizations and popular movements. This domestic struggle is vital to our understanding of human rights practice in Russia, since these human rights defenders are reliant on the government to guarantee their autonomy.
  • Kesälä, Meeri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The research in model theory has extended from the study of elementary classes to non-elementary classes, i.e. to classes which are not completely axiomatizable in elementary logic. The main theme has been the attempt to generalize tools from elementary stability theory to cover more applications arising in other branches of mathematics. In this doctoral thesis we introduce finitary abstract elementary classes, a non-elementary framework of model theory. These classes are a special case of abstract elementary classes (AEC), introduced by Saharon Shelah in the 1980's. We have collected a set of properties for classes of structures, which enable us to develop a 'geometric' approach to stability theory, including an independence calculus, in a very general framework. The thesis studies AEC's with amalgamation, joint embedding, arbitrarily large models, countable Löwenheim-Skolem number and finite character. The novel idea is the property of finite character, which enables the use of a notion of a weak type instead of the usual Galois type. Notions of simplicity, superstability, Lascar strong type, primary model and U-rank are inroduced for finitary classes. A categoricity transfer result is proved for simple, tame finitary classes: categoricity in any uncountable cardinal transfers upwards and to all cardinals above the Hanf number. Unlike the previous categoricity transfer results of equal generality the theorem does not assume the categoricity cardinal being a successor. The thesis consists of three independent papers. All three papers are joint work with Tapani Hyttinen.
  • Saarentalo-Vuorimäki, Johanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Finnish expatriates' adaptation to a multicultural environment This study addresses Finnish expatriates adaptation to a multicultural environment. The study focuses on the role of individual values and empathy in adaptation, using Van Oudenhoven and Van der Zee s (e.g., 2000) work on the multicultural personality as the frame of interpretation. The target group were Finnish expatriates and expatriate spouses (N=52) in Brussels. The method used was conversion mixed data analysis. Adaptation was studied with a semi-structured interview, where the respondents were also encouraged to talk freely about any issues that they felt were important concerning living abroad. The goal was to bring out the conceptions and understanding of the participants of the study themselves. This data was analysed mainly with grounded theory methods, applying also some techniques of interpretative phenomenological analysis. In this first phase the major interests were: 1) to find dimensions and other components of adaptation, and 2) to form types of adaptation. Dimensions refer to qualities and attributes the individuals either possess before moving or learn and gain while living abroad. In addition, any additional components affecting adaptation were searched. The types of adaptation were formed by examining main commonalities and differences between the respondents answers. By classifying the respondents into different types I attempted to find out how individuals differed in their adaptation. The data in the second phase of the study was collected by means of Schwartz s Portrait Value Questionnaire (PVQ) (Schwartz et al., 1999) and Davis s (1994) Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI). This data was related to the results of the first phase converted into numerical form by examining correlations between converted variables, values and empathy. The value rank order was compared to studies conducted in Finland with persons of similar education. In the first phase five dimensions of adaptation were found: broadmindedness, flexibility, extroversion, self-efficacy and adventurousness. The dimensions were closely connected to each other. In addition, such competencies and concepts as fluency in the language of the country and social networks, and time spent abroad, were associated with certain dimensions. Based on two major axes, motivation and competencies, four types of adaptation were established: ideally adapted, positively adapting, ambiguously adapting, and not adapted. In the second phase the five dimensions were converted into numerical form, each dimension forming a bipolar category, following the initial continuums found in text analysis. Broadmindedness was divided into growing and extensive broadmindedness, flexibility into evolving and inclusive poles, and extroversion into striving and natural extrovert. Self-efficacy and adventurousness were coded as dummy variables as a function whether they were mentioned of not. The not adapted group was discussed separately in the analysis, since it could not be included into the statistical analysis due to its small size. Among the expatriates, universalism was the most important value, followed by self-direction. Conformity and security ranked lower than in the Finnish samples with a university-level education. Self-direction values were related to several dimensions of adaptation. Self-direction correlated with extensive broadmindedness, inclusive flexibility, natural extrovert, and adventurousness. Those categorized as ideally adapted also scored significantly higher on self-direction than the positively adapting or ambiguously adapting group. Universalism was related to inclusive flexibility, and the natural extrovert group had significantly lower scores on conformity than the striving extrovert group. Regarding empathy, the extensive broadmindedness group scored higher than the growing broadmindedness group on perspective taking. The natural extrovert group and the ideally adapted type had lower scores on personal distress. Combining the results of both phases of the study, what stood out were the relevance of high priority for universalism and self-direction values, and low priority for conformity, as well as the significance of perspective taking and low personal distress in adaptation. The qualitative analysis was also consistent with the assumption that these values and aspects of empathy could change in the process of adaptation.
  • Godenhielm, Mats (2012)
    In this thesis I analyze the role of firm size in a decentralized economy with search frictions. The frictions are modeled using a directed search framework as it captures a sensible tradeoff: sellers who try to ask a high price attract fewer buyers and trade more slowly. This tradeoff describes many markets, such as labor markets, housing markets or commodities markets. I focus on commodities markets with buyers and sellers, but the results easily translate to other markets as well. The reason for the search frictions is that buyers cannot coordinate on which seller to visit and as a result some sellers receive too many buyers and some receive too few buyers. The severity of the coordination frictions depends on the distribution of items for sale across sellers. Coordination frictions are much more severe when each seller has only a single unit for sale, as opposed to when each has many units. This is intuitively understood in the search literature but the result has not yet been formalized. The main contribution of this thesis is to formalize this intuition. The thesis is structured as follows. In Chapter 2 I present a tractable setup for understanding trade in directed search markets and show that the case of finite capacity can be handled in a straightforward way as long as there is an increasing per unit cost of holding inventory. I allow firms to choose their capacity and whether to be active on the market. I show that the ensuing equilibrium is constrained efficient, a planner constrained by the same search frictions would choose the same capacities and the same number of active sellers. In addition, I show that posted prices and auctions lead to the same expected payoffs for all market participants. I also demonstrate how firm size affects the economic activity and welfare. In an extension I show how the equilibrium size of the firms affects wages, unemployment, and the expected duration of an unemployment spell. The results can be used to evaluate the expected effectiveness of job creation policies. In Chapter 3 I attempt to replicate the results when capacity is perfectly divisible. One unexpected result is that when buyers are interested in at most one unit of a good the equivalence between posted prices and auctions no longer holds. In Chapter 4 I show that the pricing strategies of capacity constrained sellers and the buyers beliefs about the level of demand in a finite model of a centralized economy converge to those of the limit economy. These results, together with the known results establishing the finite economy foundations of directed search, allow me to simplify the setup by starting directly with a limit economy in Chapter 5, where I compare three common market structures in terms of price and expected utilities when there is a large firm and a fringe of small capacity constrained firms.
  • Collavin, Elena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This dissertation presents an analysis of the representations of food biotechnologies in Italy. The thesis uses the analysis of discourse to illustrate the articulated ways in which representations are instantiated in different contexts. The theoretical thrust of the work resides in its discussion of the basic tenets of both Social Representations Theory and Discursive Psychology. The thesis offers a detailed description of the two frameworks; affinities and difference are highlighted, and a serious effort is made to develop an integrated set of theoretical resources to answer the research questions. The thesis proposes to combine a discursive methodology with Social Representations Theory. After a description of the relevant legislative framework follows an illustration of the categories used for the textual analysis. The study proposes the textual analysis of the following data: the first declaration issued by a small Italian council rejecting biotechnologies; four texts which focus on positions taken by the Catholic Church in the matter of food biotechnologies; several transcripts from a public debate in a small community of the north west of Italy. The latter study, which included an ethnographic dimension, focuses on recordings from interviews, a focus group, a public meeting and newspaper articles. Particular attention is paid to ideological representations and to the relevance of citizenship and governance to debates about food biotechnologies.
  • Sottinen, Tommi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2003)
  • Krivy, Maros (Helsingin yliopisto, 2012)
    The thesis analyses transformation of obsolete industrial space as a contested socio-spatial process of urban restructuring and examines the way 'culture' becomes a planning instrument of the transformation. The thesis studies social practices that have influenced the process and examines the main actors, conflicts, and perceptions of obsolete industrial space. The main argument is the following. Artistic practices challenged negative perceptions of obsolete industrial space and represented and practised it as a space of the everyday. The practices have recognized and defended obsolete space in its present reality of obsolescence and their success has influenced urban planning and policies. Artistic practices have been labelled as 'culture' and 'culture' has become a planning instrument of regenerating obsolete industrial spaces. Case studies of the Cable Factory and the Suvilahti in Helsinki and the influence of the former on the latter give empirical evidence to the argument. The main body of the thesis consists of four articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Drawing on discussions from critical economic geography, art history, and urban semiology, the first article analyses speculative redevelopment, conservation, and speculative conservation as ideal-typical practices of transforming obsolete industrial space. In these practices, obsolescence of industrial space is understood as a 'problem to be fixed'. The role of architecture as signifying a static notion of time is discussed. By representing architectural object as situated in the future or in the past, respectively, the analysed practices obscure social and political context of the architectural process. The second article presents a study of art works by Gordon Matta-Clark, Robert Smithson and Bernd and Hilla Becher and introduces the concept of negativity in industrial architecture. Rather than representing and practising obsolete industrial space as a 'problem to be fixed', these works acknowledge obsolete industrial space in its present reality of obsolescence. The notion of representing negativity in industrial space is theorized in contrast to representing obsolete space as 'negative'. The third article studies the Pro Kaapeli movement and its role in the transformation of the Cable Factory in Helsinki during the years 1989-1991. The conflict between the Helsinki city administration and the Pro Kaapeli is examined. Introducing the concept of empty space, the article studies how the Pro Kaapeli made use of the emptiness of obsolete industrial space. The Pro Kaapeli did not contest the perception of obsolete space as empty; rather, it contested the interpretation of emptiness as negative. The movement challenged the planned demolition and redevelopment of the factory by appealing to its emptiness, not to its use or function. For the Pro Kaapeli, the emptiness of space was not something to be 'fixed'. Empty space, in its emptiness, was accepted as the starting point in the spatial practice of continuous alterations. The fourth article is a case study of the ongoing transformation of Suvilahti in Helsinki. The transformation of the industrial premises of Suvilahti has been a planning project of the city of Helsinki and 'culture' has been the main instrument used. The article introduces the concepts of culture factory and cultural governmentality and examines the influence of the Cable Factory case on the planning of Suvilahti. The success of the Pro Kaapeli movement's defence of the Cable Factory contested negative perceptions of obsolete industrial spaces, but, unintentionally, it laid foundation for using 'culture' as an instrument of regenerating the obsolete spaces. Spontaneous practices of the Pro Kaapeli have been recognized as 'culture' and 'culture' has been employed as a planning instrument in the regeneration of the Suvilahti. The article discusses culture factory as a model of regenerated obsolete industrial space, which is the objective of planning in the Suvilahti. The planners encourage spontaneous 'cultural' practices for their perceived effects on regenerating obsolete industrial space. A form of planning practice that withdraws from planning the content of culture and instead plans or wishes for the social and urban effects of culture is conceptualized as cultural governmentality.
  • Portman, Anneli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This study looked at the values expressed in rulers’ (Czars and Presidents) public speeches in Finland from 1809-2000. Society’s values are manifested and upheld also through rituals and ceremonies, e.g. recurring public speeches. These speeches are most often held by the head of state, acting as a spokesperson for the entire society. Three types of written collections of speeches (N=355) directed to the entire population were used: Parliament Opening Speeches (1809-2000), Prayer Day Declarations (1812-1999) and New Year’s Speeches (1935-2000). The texts were analyzed using qualitative theory-driven content analysis. For the analysis a coding manual was created, which was based on Schwartz’ Theory of Basic Human Values and on previous Finnish value research. The results show that rulers present themselves as promoters of the society’s goals; they also act as creators and protectors of societal cohesion, which results in the emphasis on Self-transcendence and Conservation values. Towards the end of the time included in this study there is a marked rise in Universalism values, as questions of nature conservation and maintenance of global peace come to the forefront of the larger political agenda. Overall changes of values in the data follow the predicted pattern of societal pluralization, but not of secularization. The findings confirm the applicability of the survey-based Schwartz Value Theory also for archival value research. However, the findings also demonstrate that the two value types found in previous Finnish studies (Spirituality, Work-related values) are also necessary to depict the promoted values. Contrary to the theory-based expectations, Self-enhancement values and Self-direction values are only presented as values for the collective, not the individual. The Czars and Presidents mostly differ on the scope of their value emphasis. In their speeches the Czars emphasize values relating to spirituality, and to the in-group and its welfare. The Presidents, appeal to a wider variety of values, reflecting more the contemporary political situations, e.g. Work-related values are accentuated especially in the times of crisis (e.g. war, recession). The results of this study underline the importance of the context in value research, and contribute to the widening of value research into political and archival data. This study adds to the research of how societal cohesion is rhetorically maintained. This thesis bridges social psychology and political history, thus also adding to historical research, but results can also be applied in larger societal context to better understand the links between leaders and their followers, be they democratic rulers or not.
  • Konkka, Jyrki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Larjavaara, Ilmari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Functional transition theory: administration, legal order and institutions in Russia This dissertation examines some of the salient characteristics of Russia that are deemed to have impeded the growth of its economy and investments in particular. These characteristics are the volatility of the administrative and legal systems, corruption, and the perceived irrationality and difference in the operating environment in comparison with European conditions. The dissertation is one of the first studies on Russia that approaches the subject from the perspective of comprehensive social scientific theories. The study is based on the structural functionalistic theory, which is widely used in the social sciences. Adopting a sufficiently ambitious theoretical examination will provide a systematic and logical explanation of the characteristics of Russian institutions and ways of operations, such as corruption, that are commonly perceived as inexplicable. The approach adopted in the dissertation sheds light on the history of Russia's development and provides a comparative view of other societies in transition. Furthermore, it suggests recommendations as to how the structures of Russian society could be comprehensively strengthened.
  • Kuparinen, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    The future use of genetically modified (GM) plants in food, feed and biomass production requires a careful consideration of possible risks related to the unintended spread of trangenes into new habitats. This may occur via introgression of the transgene to conventional genotypes, due to cross-pollination, and via the invasion of GM plants to new habitats. Assessment of possible environmental impacts of GM plants requires estimation of the level of gene flow from a GM population. Furthermore, management measures for reducing gene flow from GM populations are needed in order to prevent possible unwanted effects of transgenes on ecosystems. This work develops modeling tools for estimating gene flow from GM plant populations in boreal environments and for investigating the mechanisms of the gene flow process. To describe spatial dimensions of the gene flow, dispersal models are developed for the local and regional scale spread of pollen grains and seeds, with special emphasis on wind dispersal. This study provides tools for describing cross-pollination between GM and conventional populations and for estimating the levels of transgenic contamination of the conventional crops. For perennial populations, a modeling framework describing the dynamics of plants and genotypes is developed, in order to estimate the gene flow process over a sequence of years. The dispersal of airborne pollen and seeds cannot be easily controlled, and small amounts of these particles are likely to disperse over long distances. Wind dispersal processes are highly stochastic due to variation in atmospheric conditions, so that there may be considerable variation between individual dispersal patterns. This, in turn, is reflected to the large amount of variation in annual levels of cross-pollination between GM and conventional populations. Even though land-use practices have effects on the average levels of cross-pollination between GM and conventional fields, the level of transgenic contamination of a conventional crop remains highly stochastic. The demographic effects of a transgene have impacts on the establishment of trangenic plants amongst conventional genotypes of the same species. If the transgene gives a plant a considerable fitness advantage in comparison to conventional genotypes, the spread of transgenes to conventional population can be strongly increased. In such cases, dominance of the transgene considerably increases gene flow from GM to conventional populations, due to the enhanced fitness of heterozygous hybrids. The fitness of GM plants in conventional populations can be reduced by linking the selectively favoured primary transgene to a disfavoured mitigation transgene. Recombination between these transgenes is a major risk related to this technique, especially because it tends to take place amongst the conventional genotypes and thus promotes the establishment of invasive transgenic plants in conventional populations.
  • Myrskylä, Mikko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    This study examines the properties of Generalised Regression (GREG) estimators for domain class frequencies and proportions. The family of GREG estimators forms the class of design-based model-assisted estimators. All GREG estimators utilise auxiliary information via modelling. The classic GREG estimator with a linear fixed effects assisting model (GREG-lin) is one example. But when estimating class frequencies, the study variable is binary or polytomous. Therefore logistic-type assisting models (e.g. logistic or probit model) should be preferred over the linear one. However, other GREG estimators than GREG-lin are rarely used, and knowledge about their properties is limited. This study examines the properties of L-GREG estimators, which are GREG estimators with fixed-effects logistic-type models. Three research questions are addressed. First, I study whether and when L-GREG estimators are more accurate than GREG-lin. Theoretical results and Monte Carlo experiments which cover both equal and unequal probability sampling designs and a wide variety of model formulations show that in standard situations, the difference between L-GREG and GREG-lin is small. But in the case of a strong assisting model, two interesting situations arise: if the domain sample size is reasonably large, L-GREG is more accurate than GREG-lin, and if the domain sample size is very small, estimation of assisting model parameters may be inaccurate, resulting in bias for L-GREG. Second, I study variance estimation for the L-GREG estimators. The standard variance estimator (S) for all GREG estimators resembles the Sen-Yates-Grundy variance estimator, but it is a double sum of prediction errors, not of the observed values of the study variable. Monte Carlo experiments show that S underestimates the variance of L-GREG especially if the domain sample size is minor, or if the assisting model is strong. Third, since the standard variance estimator S often fails for the L-GREG estimators, I propose a new augmented variance estimator (A). The difference between S and the new estimator A is that the latter takes into account the difference between the sample fit model and the census fit model. In Monte Carlo experiments, the new estimator A outperformed the standard estimator S in terms of bias, root mean square error and coverage rate. Thus the new estimator provides a good alternative to the standard estimator.
  • Wass, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    The relationship between age and turnout has been curve-linear as electoral participation first increases with age, remains relatively stable throughout middle-age and then gradually declines as certain physical infirmities set in (see e.g. Milbrath 1965). Alongside this life-cycle effect in voting, recent pooled cross-sectional analyses (see e.g. Blais et al. 2004; Lyons and Alexander 2000) have shown that there is also a generational effect, referring to lasting differences in turnout between various age groups. This study firstly examines the extent to which the generational effect applies in the Finnish context. Secondly, it investigates the factors accounting for that effect. The first article, based on individual-level register data from the parliamentary elections of 1999, shows that turnout differences between the different age groups would be even larger if there were no differences in social class and education. The second article examines simultaneously the effects of age, generation and period in the Finnish parliamentary elections of 1975-2003 based on pooled data from Finnish voter barometers (N = 8,634). The results show that there is a clear life cycle, generational and period effect. The third article examines the role of political socialisation in accounting for generational differences in electoral participation. Political socialisation is defined as the learning process in which an individual adopts various values, political attitudes, and patterns of actions from his or her environment. The multivariate analysis, based on the Finnish national election study 2003 (N=1,270), indicated that if there were no differences in socialisation between the youngest and the older generations, the difference in turnout would be much larger than if only sex and socioeconomic factors are controlled for. The fourth article examines other possible factors related to generational effect in voting. The results mainly apply to the Finnish parliamentary elections of 2003 in which we have data available. The results show that the sense of duty by far accounts for the generational effect in voting. Political interest, political knowledge and non-parliamentary participation also narrowed the differences in electoral participation between the youngest and the second youngest generations. The implication of the findings is that the lower turnout among the current youth is not a passing phenomenon that will diminish with age. Considering voting a civic duty and understanding the meaning of collective action are both associated with the process of political socialisation which therefore has an important role concerning the generational effect in turnout.
  • Onkamo, Päivi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Jallinoja, Piia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2002)
  • Laako, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    This study explores the meaning, content and significance of the political as manifest in the Mexican Zapatista movement as historically and geopolitically situated struggle. The case study undertakes a critical analysis of the development, organization, practice and discourse of the movement by drawing on fieldwork experiences, interviews, discussions, documents, films and other material produced by the movement, and the critical engagement with the research of others, especially in Latin America and Mexico. The dissertation poses the need to reconsider what constitutes and what we understand by the political , related particularly to the challenges provided by the critical globalization literature, decolonization and the study of social movements. The analysis encompasses several inter-related levels: the theoretical knowledge regarding the conceptualization of the political; the methodological level, regarding how such research can and should be conducted and knowledge claims formulated given the inescapable context and effects of global power relations; and the substantive level of adding specific information and analytical insights to existing knowledge of the Zapatista movement. As a result of conceptualization of a range of practices and processes, distinct understandings of the political can be underlined. Firstly, the conception of the indigenous and the struggles as indigenous movements as specifically political, not just a cultural or ethnic identity or a static quality but rather, an active consciousness integrally linked both to a longer history of oppression and as political articulation in the concrete context and lived experience of contemporary struggle. Secondly, the practice of autonomy as central to an understanding of the political in the context of the Zapatista struggle as a practical response to the situation of oppression, counter-insurgency, siege and conflict in Chiapas, as well as a positively informed mode of political self-understanding, expression and practice in its own right. Thirdly, the notion of geopolitical positioning as important to understanding of the political that encompasses the historicity of specific context and the power relations which shape that context, developed in two different ways: in regard to the positioning of the researcher and knowledge production with and about the Zapatistas, and in regard to the practice and knowledge of the Zapatistas as a decolonizing force in their encounters, interaction and relations with others, especially the global civil society. Finally, the role of silence, absence, invisibility, revelation and hiding in political practice as a deliberate strategy in response to oppressive power. -