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  • Godenhjelm, Sebastian (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Over the past few decades, contemporary public policy and governance systems have been transformed in response to both local and supra-national societal problems and demands. Clear-cut means of tackling these problems and demands are rare. Public policy problems seldom fall neatly within specific jurisdictions or agencies. The state has become increasingly dependent on a wide range of policies and arrangements that produce public services, provide rapid results and facilitate timely interventions. As a response, the choice of governance mechanisms and organizational forms that enable collaborative, dynamic and flexible arrangements in the implementation of public policy becomes highly relevant. This study analyses the increasing use of temporary project organisations as new governance mechanisms in contemporary policy implementation and the prospects for action that this entails. The main argument is that project organisations could yield significant benefits and can play a vital role as horizontal as well as vertical interlinking mechanisms between various administrative levels. They could also include challenges that have not yet been fully understood. The overarching aim of the study is to conceptualise and understand the benefits and challenges related to the increasing number of temporary governance mechanisms in the form of project organisations in the public sector context. The study analyses the potential consequences and advantages of public sector projectification in four research articles and this summary article, focusing on how projectification is driven forward, as well as what the consequences of projectification are in the European Union (EU) context and the public sector in general. It considers the long-term effects of project organisations and the extent to which the added value they produce can be utilized. Who are the beneficial social partners and what types of collaborative procedures and actions are needed to achieve innovation in EU structural fund projects? The multifaceted and ambiguous nature of public sector project research, the uniqueness associated with the various actor objectives, interests and participatory procedures regarding projects, as well as their management requires a broad theoretical view and a variety of methods. Three interrelated strands of research in this respect are particularly relevant: the New Public Management (NPM) discourse, theories of Governance, and project management ideals and Governance of Projects (GoP). They represent a mixture of old and new, which is necessary in order to understand the functioning of projects and projectification as well as their embeddedness in the public sector environment. The study follows an empirically informed interpretive approach, which emphasises the intentionality of actions, practices, and social life. It uses a mixed-methods approach and advocates multi-perspectivism and paradigm interplay. It also combines different interpretations of the existing governance frameworks and public sector projects, thus acknowledging that alternative views might exist. The methods used in the individual articles represent metaevaluation, qualitative content analysis, logistic regression analysis and social network analysis (SNA). The findings highlight the lack of conceptualizations concerning the relationship between temporary and permanent structures, and suggest that an increasing temporality in public decision-making may challenge fundamental administrative values such as transparency and democratic accountability. The findings question the often over-emphasised value of using projects as opposed to other more permanent mechanisms in the public sector environment and suggest that there is a potential mismatch between the operational logic of projects and the prevailing project and program evaluation system in the public sector. Projects can act as hubs where valuable information is produced, and project stakeholder networks and various collaborative efforts can play a role in predicting project innovations. There is, however, an overly optimistic view of collaborative efforts in achieving project innovations, calling collaboration in projects into question as a direct remedy for a lack of innovation. The study concludes that an increasing use of project organisations in the public sector may have significant consequences, as well as showing that the expected advantages of project organisations are related to the rationalistic ideals, but also that temporality as such poses challenges to permanent administrative structures. Although projects might be superior to permanent structures in producing quick outputs, too much focus on the rational logic of project organisations means that their added value remains underutilized in a public sector context. The study contributes to a theoretical understanding of projectification, what the key drivers of projectification are, as well as specific public sector features that need to be accounted for in a projectified public sector. The study concludes that contextually sensitive interlinking mechanisms between temporary and permanent organizations are vital in explaining the outcome of temporary organizations in a politico-administrative context.
  • Kohonen, Anssi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This thesis consists of four chapters: an introduction and three independent research papers. The red line in the thesis is to study with time series methods how financial markets propagate financial shocks both across countries and from the financial sector to the real sector of an economy. The introductory chapter presents the three main themes of the thesis contagion, volatility spillovers and real effects of uncertainty and introduces the basic models that the thesis applies. These models are structural vector autoregressive (SVAR) model and (multivariate) generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (GARCH) model. The introduction also discusses the identification of the SVAR models which is also an important theme in the thesis. Chapter 2 considers volatility spillovers in the Eurozone during the beginning of the recent euro crisis, in the years 2010-2011. The chapter proposes a way to identify a structural model which explains volatility spillovers being a result of information asymmetries between investors. The identification of the model is based on recent ideas of using particularities of residual distribution and, as a novelty, Google trends data, not parameter restrictions, to identify a SVAR model. The empirical results confirm the existence of volatility spillovers between the euro countries of the sample (Greece, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain). Especially, we find that stock market volatility shocks in large countries have significant effects in all countries but those in the small countries mainly affect only other small countries. Chapter 3 extends an existing SVAR model in multiple ways to study the interdependencies between the government bond spreads over the German bond of the main crisis countries of the Eurozone (Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy). We are especially interested in studying the possibility of contagion of government default risk between the countries. The identification of the SVAR model is again based on non-normalities and heteroskedasticity in the residual distribution of the model. The results of the paper suggest that contagion explains a great part of the increases in the spreads during 2010-2012. However, there are substantial differences between the countries. For Ireland, Italy and Spain also the idiosyncratic risk factors seem to play an important role. Also, perhaps contrary to the common belief, there is evidence of substantial contagion from the spreads of the other countries to the Greek and Portuguese spreads. Chapter 4 considers the real economic effect of uncertainty. The data include the monthly change in the US industrial production and the monthly US stock market return. As a measure of uncertainty we consider the volatility of the stock market return, and to study its effect on the growth rate of the industrial production, we consider a bivariate vector autoregressive (VAR) model with GARCH-effect in the residuals and where volatility is allowed to affect the conditional means (GARCH-in-mean-model). The data cover the years 1919-2013, and we find that stock market volatility has a statistically significant, counter-cyclical effect on the growth rate of the industrial production.
  • Hankonen, Nelli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    Background: The onset of many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented by changes in diet, physical activity and obesity. Known predictors of successful behaviour change include psychosocial factors such as selfefficacy, action and coping planning, and social support. However, gender and socioeconomic differences in these psychosocial mechanisms underlying health behaviour change have not been examined, despite well-documented sociodemographic differences in lifestyle-related mortality and morbidity. Additionally, although stable personality traits (such as dispositional optimism or pessimism and gender-role orientation: agency and communion) are related to health and health behaviour, to date they have rarely been studied in the context of health behaviour interventions. These personality traits might contribute to health behaviour change independently of the more modifiable domain-specific psychosocial factors, or indirectly through them, or moderated by them. The aims were to examine in an intervention setting: (1) whether changes (during the three-month intervention) in psychological determinants (self-efficacy beliefs, action planning and coping planning) predict changes in exercise and diet behaviours over three months and 12 months, (2) the universality assumption of behaviour change theories, i.e. whether preintervention levels and changes in psychosocial determinants are similar among genders and socioeconomic groups, and whether they predict changes in behaviour in a similar way in these groups, (3) whether the personality traits optimism, pessimism, agency and communion predict changes in abdominal obesity, and the nature of their interplay with modifiable and domain-specific psychosocial factors (self-efficacy and social support). Methods: Finnish men and women (N = 385) aged 50 65 years who were at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes were recruited from health care centres to participate in the GOod Ageing in Lahti Region (GOAL) Lifestyle Implementation Trial. The programme aimed to improve participants lifestyle (physical activity, eating) and decrease their overweight. The measurements of self-efficacy, planning, social support and dispositional optimism/pessimism were conducted pre-intervention at baseline (T1) and after the intensive phase of the intervention at three months (T2), and the measurements of exercise at T1, T2 and 12 months (T3) and healthy eating at T1 and T3. Waist circumference, an indicator of abdominal obesity, was measured at T1 and at oneyear (T3) and three-year (T4) follow-ups. Agency and communion were measured at T4 with the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ). Results: (1) Increases in self-efficacy and planning were associated with three-month increases in exercise (Study I). Moreover, both the post-intervention level and three-month increases (during the intervention) in self-efficacy in dealing with barriers predicted the 12-month increase in exercise, and a high postintervention level of coping plans predicted the 12-month decrease in dietary fat (Study II). One- and three-year waist circumference reductions were predicted by the initial three-month increase in self-efficacy (Studies III, IV). (2) Post-intervention at three months, women had formed more action plans for changing their exercise routines and received less social support for behaviour change than men had. The effects of adoption self-efficacy were similar but change in planning played a less significant role among men (Study I). Examining the effects of socioeconomic status (SES), psychosocial determinants at baseline and their changes during the intervention yielded largely similar results. Exercise barriers self-efficacy was enhanced slightly less among those with low SES. Psychosocial determinants predicted behaviour similarly across all SES groups (Study II). (3) Dispositional optimism and pessimism were unrelated to waist circumference change, directly or indirectly, and they did not influence changes in self-efficacy (Study III). Agency predicted 12-month waist circumference reduction among women. High communion coupled with high social support was associated with waist circumference reduction. However, the only significant predictor of three-year waist circumference reduction was an increase in health-related self-efficacy during the intervention (Study IV). Conclusions: Interventions should focus on improving participants self-efficacy early on in the intervention as well as prompting action and coping planning for health behaviour change. Such changes are likely to be similarly effective among intervention participants regardless of gender and educational level. Agentic orientation may operate via helping women to be less affected by the demands of the self-sacrificing female role and enabling them to assertively focus on their own goals. The earlier mixed results regarding the role of social support in behaviour change may be in part explained by personality traits such as communion.
  • Ehrling, Leena-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    In the field of psychiatry semi-structured interview is one of the central tools in assessing the psychiatric state of a patient. In semi-structured interview the interviewer participates in the interaction both by the prepared interview questions and by his or her own, unstructured turns. It has been stated that in the context of psychiatric assessment interviewers' unstructured turns help to get focused information but simultaneously may weaken the reliability of the data. This study examines the practices by which semi-structured psychiatric interviews are conducted. The method for the study is conversation analysis, which is both a theory of interaction and a methodology for its empirical, detailed analysis. Using data from 80 video-recorded psychiatric interviews with 16 patients and five interviewers it describes in detail both the structured and unstructured interviewing practices. In the analysis also psychotherapeutic concepts are used to describe phenomena that are characteristic for therapeutic discourse. The data was received from the Helsinki Psychotherapy Study (HPS). HPS is a randomized clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of four forms of psychotherapy in the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. A total of 326 patients were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: solution-focused therapy, short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. The patients assigned to the long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy group and 41 patients self-selected for psychoanalysis were included in a quasi-experimental design. The primary outcome measures were depressive and anxiety symptoms, while secondary measures included work ability, need for treatment, personality functions, social functioning, and life style. Cost-effectiveness was determined. The data were collected from interviews, questionnaires, psychological tests, and public health registers. The follow-up interviews were conducted five times during a 5-year follow-up. The study shows that interviewers pose elaborated questions that are formulated in a friendly and sensitive way and that make relevant patients' long and story-like responses. When receiving patients' answers interviewers use a wide variety of different interviewing practices by which they direct patients' talk or offer an understanding of the meaning of patients' response. The results of the study are two-fold. Firstly, the study shows that understanding the meaning of mental experiences requires interaction between interviewer and patient. It is stated that therefore semi-structured interview is both relevant and necessary method for collecting data in psychotherapy outcome study. Secondly, the study suggests that conversation analysis, enriched with psychotherapeutic concepts, offers methodological possibilities for psychotherapy process research, especially for process-outcome paradigm.
  • Meincke, Maylin (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This is an ethnographic and discourse analytical study into the onto-politics of traditional medicine in Namibia. The discourses and practices that shape, make and imagine traditional medicine at the international, national and individual level are examined. Traditional medicine in this study is not something that can be discovered, institutionalised, controlled and improved to be part of the modern Namibian state. Instead, traditional medicine is created through the multiple ways, in which Namibians and others already engage, to define what it is and what role it can officially play. It is not a system that consists of traditional healers, their practices and the natural resources they utilise, but it entails practices and discourses of the state, researchers, aid and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the Namibian society at large. Traditional medicine is a product of international, national, local and individual utterances and practices, and it feeds into the imaginary space of a developed and modern Namibia. Methodologically, this thesis departs from conventional research into traditional medicine in Africa, which primarily focuses on in-depth studies of individual healers practices. These are framed either as cultural-specific therapeutic methods, as individual herbal medical exercises based on plants containing active compounds for potential new drugs, or as occult practices within the realm of witchcraft. This study deflects from the conceptualisation of traditional medicine as a traditional healing practice that is local or individual, and distinctly African. Instead, it seeks to ontologically re-define and re-politicise traditional medicine and to bring it into the wider global formations of subjects and objects in the field of health, sciences, and politics. This is achieved by decentring and deconstructing traditional medicine as a folk category that receives meaning either as a national cultural heritage, an alternative medical system, as a traditional knowledge system, or as an anti-witchcraft practice. The respective discourses and practices on international, national and individual level are analysed through applying the Logics and Critical Explanation (LCE) approach by Jason Glynos and David Howarth, which draws from Foucauldian genealogy, Derridan deconstruction and Lacanian psychoanalysis. To this was added the insights by Lene Hansen s discourse analysis, Homi Bhabha s concept of mimicry, and Gayatri Spivak s subaltern. The data of this study is based on five months of ethnographic fieldwork in Namibia, mostly Windhoek, and poststructural discourse analyses of policy documents. The study s results indicate that traditional medicine in Namibia is discursively split between culture and knowledge. What is envisioned, negotiated and created is a traditional medicine that is, on the one hand, a cultural artefact, a traditional heritage that is part of a national and African identity. It is something that can be staged, exhibited and celebrated. On the other hand, it is a knowledge resource that, once appropriated and tested, is subsumed under biomedical knowledge and practice or under the economic system with the aim to improve and develop Namibia. Traditional medicinal knowledge, therefore, transforms into scientific knowledge or a potential commodity governed by the state. Knowledge that is considered profitable and true is transferred to other systems of knowledge and practices, relinquishing traditional medicine to performances of culture and traditions with traditional healers as main actors. At the national and international level, traditional healers are spoken for and about. They remain in a subaltern position in Namibia. Despite using subjectivities and objectivities created by these discourses and practices for their own advantages, traditional healers do not have the power to change and forge traditional medicine in Namibia according to their imaginations and preferences. Instead, they inhabit and claim for themselves the discursive field that is outside of official and state discourse and practices: witchcraft. On the basis of its ethnographic material this study proposes to read witchcraft discourse as a re-/deflection of the fantasies of development that is, of a healthy Namibian population, economic development and independence, and the development of a modern democratic nation state. Traditional medicine articulated as an anti-witchcraft practice, therefore, addresses the negative side-effects and by-products of social and economic development and its failures. By decentring and deconstructing traditional medicine at international and national level, this study reveals the phantasmagorical and arbitrary character of the various constructions. The occult aspects, which are generally considered beyond reason and an uneasy fit, become just one of the imaginative and performative aspects of traditional medicine . Traditional medicine and its occult aspects, therefore, are not relics from the past. On the contrary, traditional medicine as a folk category is already an integral aspect of contemporary international and national imaginations in the context of health and development.
  • Arppe, Tiina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • Smolander, Sampo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    This work develops methods to account for shoot structure in models of coniferous canopy radiative transfer. Shoot structure, as it varies along the light gradient inside canopy, affects the efficiency of light interception per unit needle area, foliage biomass, or foliage nitrogen. The clumping of needles in the shoot volume also causes a notable amount of multiple scattering of light within coniferous shoots. The effect of shoot structure on light interception is treated in the context of canopy level photosynthesis and resource use models, and the phenomenon of within-shoot multiple scattering in the context of physical canopy reflectance models for remote sensing purposes. Light interception. A method for estimating the amount of PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) intercepted by a conifer shoot is presented. The method combines modelling of the directional distribution of radiation above canopy, fish-eye photographs taken at shoot locations to measure canopy gap fraction, and geometrical measurements of shoot orientation and structure. Data on light availability, shoot and needle structure and nitrogen content has been collected from canopies of Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis (Dougl.) Forbes) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). Shoot structure acclimated to light gradient inside canopy so that more shaded shoots have better light interception efficiency. Light interception efficiency of shoots varied about two-fold per needle area, about four-fold per needle dry mass, and about five-fold per nitrogen content. Comparison of fertilized and control stands of Norway spruce indicated that light interception efficiency is not greatly affected by fertilization. Light scattering. Structure of coniferous shoots gives rise to multiple scattering of light between the needles of the shoot. Using geometric models of shoots, multiple scattering was studied by photon tracing simulations. Based on simulation results, the dependence of the scattering coefficient of shoot from the scattering coefficient of needles is shown to follow a simple one-parameter model. The single parameter, termed the recollision probability, describes the level of clumping of the needles in the shoot, is wavelength independent, and can be connected to previously used clumping indices. By using the recollision probability to correct for the within-shoot multiple scattering, canopy radiative transfer models which have used leaves as basic elements can use shoots as basic elements, and thus be applied for coniferous forests. Preliminary testing of this approach seems to explain, at least partially, why coniferous forests appear darker than broadleaved forests in satellite data.
  • Nikkonen, Ahti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2005)
  • Janzon, Max (Max Janzon, 2014)
    Abstract The study offers a strong constructivist reading on Finnish border security. The objective of the study is to realize border security culture. Realizing Finnish border security culture implies constructing Finnish border territoriality and its social meanings thereof, and reconstructing the patterns of valorization. The first research objective is to construct the shared ideas and assumptions of Finnish border security by constructing border territoriality. The second research objective is to define socially constructed spatial strategy. The third research objective is to realize border security culture and implies framing the social practices that confirm social meanings and patterns. Accordingly, the study has three research objectives and three research questions. The first research question is about how Finnish border security is socially constructed. The second research question concerns Finnish socially constructed border strategy. The third research question asks the question of what about border security culture is realized. The empirical agenda of the study is concluded with a main empirical argument regarding border security culture realized. Border security culture is regarded constructivist and thus as a holistically embedded social structure, which by social constructivism is made known, obvious and then understandable. Social constructivism is treated as a metapractice of border security culture and derives its character from the perceived logical and pragmatic relationship to its object of inquiry. Scientific realism in this study is understood in terms of constitutive realism. Constitutive realism draws from the assumption that there is social knowledge and that this social knowledge is expressed in and by social structures. The epistemological position argues for a constitutive framing of Finnish border security that draws from practical knowledge and its contextual horizon. For empirical purposes, the study applies constitutive framing. The act of constitutive framing produces specific frames by organizing and interpreting the language used to communicate border security meaning, patterns, and practices. A total of twenty Finnish border security professionals in senior or executive positions were interviewed for the study. Border security culture in this study is understood to constitute spatial strategy and bordering practices shared by border security professionals. For the purpose of realizing border security culture, the study develops a constructivist argument according to which constructing border security is by application of securitization theory wedded to border security professionals and by using territorialization theory rooted in how border security professionals construct territoriality. Rooted in the social ontology of international border security, the social constructivist argument forms a territorial political sociology that develops by combining the securitizing practices of border security agents and their shared territoriality. According to the empirical agenda, the master constructs of Finnish border security are Eastborderness, Schengenization, Integration, and Cooperation. Eastborderness and Schengenization are acts for communicating territoriality while integrated and cooperational borderwork are acts for enforcing territoriality. The two patterns of valorization that emerge are territorial consciousness and (securitized) spatial order. The pattern of territorial consciousness constitutes pragmatic and constructive territoriality. The pattern of securitized spatial order constitutes coherent and coordinated spatial order. While pragmatic and constructive territoriality are influential acts for communicating border territoriality, coherent and coordinated spatial order are influential acts for enforcing territoriality. Such influential territoriality constitutes effectively a socially constructed convincing border strategy. Border security culture is then realized by the practices that confirm shared meanings and shared patterns. The practices of eastbordering, social bordering, and spatial bordering confirm Finnish border strategy. Further, these bordering practices constitute influential bordering culture and Finnish (and European) border security culture realized. The main empirical argument regarding a border security culture realized is as follows. Rooted in convincing border strategy, the practices of eastbordering, social bordering, and spatial bordering inhere in and constitute an influential bordering culture, and thereby Finnish (and European) border security culture is realized. Eastbordering refers to the practices of Finnish-Russian border security cooperation, while social bordering constitutes Frontex-like border security. Spatial bordering practices define networked border security. Finnish-Russian border security cooperation, Frontex-like border security, and networked border security constitute influential border security culture, while inhering acts for communicating and enforcing territoriality effectively influence interactions at the security borders.
  • Liimakka, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    The body relation of many contemporary Western young women involves experiences and practices of body dissatisfaction, habitual body monitoring and appearance management. This doctoral dissertation explores young Finnish women s body experiences and possibilities for embodied agency within or despite the constraints of their given socio-cultural surroundings. By drawing from Merleau-Ponty s phenomenology of the body, Bourdieu s reflexive sociology and feminist appropriations of these, both the stability of habitual body experience and the possibilities of transforming it are explored. The study focuses on the body experiences of young Finnish women who study in upper secondary school or university. The study is comprised of three sub-studies that explored the accounts of upper secondary school students, students of social sciences and students of women s studies. In order to explore the relationships between an individual, social groups and society as manifesting in the individual s body experience, the study analysed both collectively and individually produced accounts of body experience, focus group discussions and individually written accounts, and utilized in their analysis grounded theory-inspired coding and interpretative phenomenological analysis. The dissertation shows that the common experiences of self-critical body surveillance and body anxiety among contemporary young women rise from the experience of a representational self, constructed by a culture of appearances. In this study, young women s body experiences were constructed within contradictory demands posed by current cultural beauty and health imperatives and the current cultural self imperative requiring individual, resistant agency in not surrendering to the cultural body imperatives. The young women typically utilized a strategy defined in this study as Cartesian agency, emphasizing the young woman s independence from culture, other people and her own body. Yet Cartesian agency mainly maintained a state of bodily alienation. Through new corporeal experiences, in combination with critical (feminist) reflexivity, some of the young women were able to inhabit their bodies in new and more empowering ways. The agency of the body itself in acquiring new ways of being, thus enabling the young women to re-embody themselves, helped to cause a rupture in their previous socialization of disembodied selves inhabiting objectified and problematic bodies.
  • Heinonen, Hannu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    The study explores the role of the state in regional integration processes. The question is approached through theoretical discussion and two case-studies - SADC (Southern African Development Community) and the EU. The main research question of the study is, what are the possibilities and problems of the integration process in Southern Africa and how do they differ from the possibilities and problems of the integration process in Europe. The undelrying question of the study is why do states decide to participate in an integration process where they have to limit their sovereignty. Review of the theoretical discussion of the integration studies shows that the integration process is affected by several factors on different levels of the international system. But the state plays a central role in integration processes - integration processes are inititated and carried on by the participatig states. The European integration process shows that the interests of the state can change over time. At the beginning of the integration process, the objective was to strengthen participating states. Later EU member states have decided that it is in their interest to deepen the process even if it has meant limitation of their sovereignty. The determinant factor has been that the member states have considered it to be in their interst to deepen the process. In Southern Africa the integration process is only at the beginning. SADC aims to establish a free trade area by 2008. The biggest challenge is how to implement the integration process so that it benefits all member states in a region that is economically dominated by South Africa. In practice this can be achieved through establishment of corrective mechanisms, which ensure equitable distribution of benefits. This would require deeper integration and South Africa to adapt responsibility towards its regional partners. African integration processes in general have not been as successful as for example the EU. African states have been reluctant to limit their sovereignty in favour of regional organisations.This can be explained by the differences between European and African states. The EU member states have been democracies while African states have been characterised by concentration of power in the executive branch. Furthermore the political systems in Africa have been characterised by vertical clientelist reltionships. As a result it has not been in the interest of the political elite to limit the state sovereignty in favour of regional organisations. In recent years SADC has been relatively succesful in its integration process and reforms, but a lot remains to be done before the implementation of the free trade area can be succesful. The institutional structure and treaties of SADC differ from the structures of the EU. Member states are the main actors of the integration processes. Their differences are reflected in the process and produce different kinds of integration in different parts of the world.
  • Kjærnes, Unni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    The role of people as buyers and eaters of food has changed significantly. From being protected by a paternalistic welfare state, people appear to be accorded more freedom and responsibility as individuals, where attention is redirected from the state towards market relations. Many have asserted that these changes are accompanied by fragmentation, individualisation, and privatisation, leading to individual uncertainty and lack of confidence. But empirical observations do not always confirm this, distrust is not necessarily growing and while responsibilities may change, the state still plays an active role. This dissertation explores changing relationships between states and markets, on the one hand, and ordinary people in their capacities as consumers and citizens, on the other. Do we see the emergence of new forms of regulation of food consumption? If so, what is the scope and what are the characteristics? Theories of regulation addressing questions about individualisation and self-governance are combined with a conceptualisation of consumption as processes of institutionalisation, involving daily routines, the division of labour between production and consumption, and the institutional field in which consumption is embedded. The analyses focus on the involvement of the state, food producers and scientific, first of all nutritional, expertise in regulating consumption, and on popular responses. Two periods come out as important, first when the ideas of “designing the good life” emerged, giving the state a very particular role in regulating food consumption, and, second, when this “designing” is replaced by ideas of choice and individual responsibility. One might say that “consumer choice” has become a mode of regulation. I use mainly historical studies from Norway to analyse the shifting role of the state in regulating food consumption, complemented with population surveys from six European countries to study how modernisation processes are associated with trust. The studies find that changing regulation is not only a question of societal or state vs individual responsibilities. Degrees of organisation and formalisation are important as well. While increasing organisation may represent discipline and abuses of power (including exploitation of consumer loyalty), organisation can also, to the consumer, provide higher predictability, systems to deal with malfeasance, and efficiency which may provide conditions for acting. The welfare state and the neo-liberal state have very different types of solutions. The welfare state solution is based on (national) egalitarianism, paternalism and discipline (of the market as well as households). Such solutions are still prominent in Norway. Individualisation and self-regulation may represent a regulatory response not only to a declining legitimacy of this kind of interventionism, but also increasing organisational complexity. This is reflected in large-scale re-regulation of markets as well as in relationships with households and consumers. Individualisation of responsibility is to the consumer not a matter of the number of choices that are presented on the shelves, but how choice as a form of consumer based involvement is institutionalised. It is recognition of people as “end-consumers”, as social actors, with systems of empowerment politically as well as via the provisioning system. ‘Consumer choice’ as a regulatory strategy includes not only communicative efforts to make people into “choosing consumers”, but also the provision of institutions which recognise consumer interests and agency. When this is lacking we find distrust as representing powerlessness. Individual responsibility-taking represents agency and is not always a matter of loyal support to shared goals, but involves protest and creativity. More informal (‘communitarian’) innovations may be an indication of that, where self-realisation is intimately combined with responsibility for social problems. But as solutions to counteract existing imbalances of power in the food market the impacts of such initiatives are probably more as part of consumer mobilisation and politicisation than as alternative provisioning.
  • Metsola, Lalli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This is a study of Namibian ex-combatant and veteran policies after the country s transition to independence in 1990. Instead of assessing the successfulness of reintegration against its stated objectives or the perspective of post-conflict policy discourses, it examines the politics of reintegration as a process of multiform negotiation over recognition and entitlements for the ex-combatants, and political authority and legitimacy for party and government leaders. The study interrogates the ways in which this process reflects and contributes to postcolonial Namibian politics, state formation and citizenship. It is based on nine months of fieldwork in 2002, 2003 and 2009 and its main sources include ethnographic observation, life historical interviews with ex-combatants, thematic interviews with politicians and civil servants, grey literature as well as Namibian newspapers and internet sources. The study finds that instead of being a neutral exercise in post-conflict management and peacebuilding, Namibian reintegration has been motivated by more exclusive ideas of the nation and by the special bond between the ruling party and the former liberation movement Swapo and its formerly exiled cadres. This close tie and the characterization of Swapo combatants as heroes who hold a special place in the Namibian narrative of national liberation have repeatedly enabled Swapo ex-combatants to demand recognition, employment, monetary compensation and other benefits. Coupled with this, the relative strength of the Namibian state and economy has made it possible to plan and implement ex-combatant reintegration as a predominantly domestic process without the close involvement of international agencies. Hence, it has been possible to diverge from mainstream disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programmes and attempt to solve the ex-combatant question by broad-based public employment. After most ex-combatants were employed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, however, their demands and policy responses shifted towards monetary compensation. The domestic character of Namibian reintegration also made it possible to implement ex-combatant and veteran policies selectively so that former Swapo exiles have gradually been transformed into an officially recognized group of veterans while their former enemies, Namibian fighters of South African surrogate forces, have been sidelined. This process of domestically driven, selective reintegration has multiple broad implications. First, as Namibia has recently emerged from a long period of violent conflict, security concerns and the imperative to control organized violence are clearly visible. The targeting of Swapo ex-combatants in reintegration and their recruitment to the public service, particularly the uniformed services, have relinked their fates with that of the Swapo government, pacifying them and making them useful in consolidating the hold of the regime over the security agencies and the marginal and frontier areas and populations. Indeed, a key reason why the demand politics of the ex-combatants have been so successful is that their interests have been largely congruent with the perceived interests of the political elite. Second, the tendency of Namibian reintegration to entrench involvement in liberationist history as a criterion of full membership in the political community, creating an ever-widening circle of veterans versus others, provides and interesting comparison with struggles over recognition and citizenship elsewhere in Africa which are often framed in terms of language, religion, ethnicity, race or historical origins. The movements thus generated may adopt anti-national stances but they are as likely to seek to reformulate and colonize nationalism itself. Namibian ex-combatant reintegration, on the other hand, exemplifies a situation where nationalism as a supposedly unifying force still has salience but has been appropriated by a particular narrative of belonging. Thus, instead of representing a break from inclusive citizenship towards increasingly codified particular identities that compete within the national space, the Namibian case demonstrates the coexistence of a legal concept of universal national citizenship with a pervasive ideology of national belonging. The latter, however, inherently contradicts the supposed universalism of legal citizenship. The long-term effects of Namibian veteran politics remain to be seen. On the one hand, the aim to reconcile and build a nation, evident in some of the decisions and statements associated with reintegration as well as in Namibian political discourse more generally, is countered by the persistence of pre-independence political logics and divisions, and a concentration of power according to liberationist fault lines. It is not surprising that a militant version of nationalism seems appealing to certain political elites in their bid to justify the current regime and entrench their own positions in it. On the other hand, in the long run the politics of ex-combatants and veterans may also offer a template for more broad-based demands that question entrenched patterns of economic and political privilege, and provoke responses that may lead towards more inclusive citizenship and more broadly legitimate authority.
  • Hart, Linda (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    This study is a sociological analysis of the establishment and recognition of family relations in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. How are close personal relations between adult couples and children and their parents recognised in the case law of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)? What kinds of combinations of biological, legal, social and gendered personal relations are regarded as family life in legal disputes between individual applicants and Member States of the Council of Europe? Following Nicola Lacey, the analysis develops a notion of relational subjects framed by perspectives from feminist legal theory, relational sociology and contemporary debates on the law and politics of family formation. It also offers a sociological reading of relevant ECHR case law. Relevant judgements from 1979 2014 act as primary data, supported by relevant inadmissibility decisions and reports from 1960 onwards (90 cases in total). In the data, a historical shift from emphasising status (married/unmarried, male/female) towards identity (sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic origins, genealogy) in recent case law may be identified. The notion of individual rights holders is examined from a relational perspective inspired by sociological and anthropological theory and gender studies in law, emphasising the importance of life-sustaining relations of care and dependency in the spirit of feminist relational (legal and political) theory that do not always follow preconceived structures of kinship recognition. Furthermore, it is enquired whether relations between legal subjects are more fruitfully viewed as transactional or transcendental from the point of view of two differing academic schools in the field of relational sociology, one among many other general theories on the constitution of society. It is argued that a process of divergence between alliance (marriage, civil unions, cohabitation) and filiation (legally recognised parent-child relations) has been intensified with the emergence of same-sex marriage and civil unions in the European legal arena in recent years. Politically and legally, alliance is simpler to transform into a gender-neutral legal relation than filiation. Both gender and physical sex, as social and biologico-legal dimensions of the dichotomy of masculine/feminine, provide critical perspectives to the establishment of relations of filiation. It is argued that from a human rights perspective, a gender-sensitive approach is required in relation to questions of corporeal maternity and paternity, as complex issues such as access to knowledge of one s genetic origins and the inalienability of the human body in processes of assisted reproduction crop up in many contexts of which ECHR case law is just one arena.
  • Weiste, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The quality of the therapeutic relationship is highly significant for treatment outcomes in mental healthcare. While the value of the relationship has been clearly documented, the various aspects of how the relationship is actualized in clinical practice have remained unclear. This dissertation breaks new ground in understanding how the therapeutic relationship is manifested in three forms of therapeutic interaction: psychoanalysis, cognitive psychotherapy and resource-centred counselling. The method of conversation analysis is applied to compare these approaches and reveal how specific aspects of the therapeutic relationship are managed in interaction: 1) how therapists express empathy and respond to clients talk on their subjective emotional experiences, 2) how therapists work with experiences that belong to clients personal domains of knowledge, and 3) how disagreements are expressed and relational stress managed in therapeutic interaction. The data comprise audio- and video-recorded encounters from each therapeutic approach (86 encounters in total). The data analysis reveals the fine-grained interactional practices used in the management of the therapeutic relationship. In all the therapeutic approaches, formulating the client s emotional experience allowed the therapists to display empathic understanding, and prosodic features were important for marking the formulation as either empathic or challenging. In psychoanalysis and cognitive psychotherapy, the client s emotional experiences were typically validated, interpreted or challenged. In the resource-centred approach, the clinicians sought to focus on successful experiences and praised clients agency and competence, while shifting the focus away from their difficult emotional experiences. The data analysis also highlights the complex relationship between emotions and epistemics and describes how a delicate balance between empathic and challenging interventions is manifested in therapists supportive and unsupportive moves during extended disagreement sequences. This dissertation contributes to three areas of research: 1) clinical research, as it underlines the importance of investigating the actions of the therapist and client in a relational way, furthering comprehension of how the processes associated with the therapeutic relationship appear in the context of interaction between therapist and client; 2) sociological studies on mental health, as this study illustrates some important institutional differences between psychotherapy and psychiatric outpatient care; 3) conversation analysis, as this research provides the first broader systematic comparison of interactional practices in different therapeutic approaches.
  • Vehkalahti, Kimmo (Helsingin yliopisto, 2000)
  • De Simone, Emiliano (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    It is well known that an integrable (in the sense of Arnold-Jost) Hamiltonian system gives rise to quasi-periodic motion with trajectories running on invariant tori. These tori foliate the whole phase space. If we perturb an integrable system, the Kolmogorow-Arnold-Moser (KAM) theorem states that, provided some non-degeneracy condition and that the perturbation is sufficiently small, most of the invariant tori carrying quasi-periodic motion persist, getting only slightly deformed. The measure of the persisting invariant tori is large together with the inverse of the size of the perturbation. In the first part of the thesis we shall use a Renormalization Group (RG) scheme in order to prove the classical KAM result in the case of a non analytic perturbation (the latter will only be assumed to have continuous derivatives up to a sufficiently large order). We shall proceed by solving a sequence of problems in which theperturbations are analytic approximations of the original one. We will finally show that the approximate solutions will converge to a differentiable solution of our original problem. In the second part we will use an RG scheme using continuous scales, so that instead of solving an iterative equation as in the classical RG KAM, we will end up solving a partial differential equation. This will allow us to reduce the complications of treating a sequence of iterative equations to the use of the Banach fixed point theorem in a suitable Banach space.