Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta: Recent submissions

Now showing items 1-20 of 544
  • Erpyleva, Svetlana (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In this monograph, the author analyzes a new type of politicized local activism that emerged as an outcome of the nationwide post-election 2011-12 protests in Russia, while these protests have been widely criticized for their political vagueness. Outwardly, new local groups resembled numerous activist groups that were active before the post-election mobilization. However, the pre-protest local activism was deliberately “apolitical” and focused on concrete and small problem-solving, while the post-protest local activism combined oppositional politics and “real deeds” tactics. This integration of opposite practices and meanings led to the emergence of the new politicized civic culture. The question the author answers is how the event of the protest mobilization could lead to the long-term changes in activist political culture. Considering this political evolution, she focuses on activists’ biographical trajectories. Basing on qualitative data (interviews, focus-groups, and observations of local activists groups organized in Moscow and St. Petersburg) and the existing theories of social movement studies, social events, and political socialization, the monograph proposes a new approach to the analysis of social and cultural changes through an event. The results show that patterns of activists’ socialization highly influenced the types of their future political involvement. Moreover, the post-election protest as an event (in terms of W. Sewell, 1996) helped people with different experiences who would never meet and act together before (e.g., apolitical volunteering and oppositional struggle) suddenly find themselves together and pushed them to continue their activity. Meanings and know-how that ordinarily are at odds (apolitical ideology of “helping people” and politics) met in post-protest local activism, thus creating new hybrid forms of civic participation and negotiating the opposition between the apolitical and the political. In the scholarly literature on an event and a biography, biographies are considered usually among the things an event can influence on, together with social structure, cultural meanings, etc. In the monograph, it is argued that the biography can be considered as an important tool, helping scholars to understand how exactly an event influence on structure or culture. The socialization taken in interactionist perspective, i.e., as the careers and not as the set of more or less stable dispositions, is a necessary tool to study how different experiences, visions, and know-how are accumulated, transferred from one place to another, find each others in the same groups or even the same lives, and how all these processes finally contribute to the creation of new elements of political culture. In this monograph thus, the author claims that in order to explain social movement transformations and changes produced by an event, people’s biographies should be brought back into the analysis.
  • Warpenius, Katariina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Local alcohol policy as moral governance – Methodical and ethical questions raised by quasi-experimental effectiveness research The research analyses the effects of a local alcohol policy and discusses the problematics related to methods and ethics in quasi-experimental research into the effectiveness of an intervention programme. The first part of the research assess the effects of a local alcohol policy programme (PAKKA) on the frequency of alcohol served to intoxicated clients and the occurrence of violent assaults in licensed premises. The second part of the research discusses how effectiveness research per se can be used in the decentralised governing of local alcohol markets and communities. PAKKA was a community-based programme combining law enforcement, responsible beverage service-training (RBS), information and media campaigns and local structures for co-operation in two areas of Finland carried out in 2004–2007. The research design was a controlled quasi-experimental pre- and post-intervention study. In the field work, a male actor pretended to be clearly under the influence of alcohol and attempted to purchase a pint of beer from licensed premises in the study area. For the baseline measurement, every bar and night club was visited in the intervention and the control areas (94 licensed premises in total). Post-intervention data was gathered using the same method (100 licensed premises in total). The results were reported in terms of the service refusal rates. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to study the statistical significance of the results. In the post-intervention study there was a statistically significant increase in service denials to the actor in the intervention area (from 23% to 42% of the licensed premises) compared to the control area (OR = 3.7; p < 0.05). The refusal rates increased statistically significantly among the young servers. The findings demonstrate that multi-component community-based interventions can have a significant impact on over-serving alcohol to intoxicated customers. The most crucial element of the interventions seemed to be effective law enforcement. The local alcohol policy interventions had no scientifically demonstratable effects on the frequency of police-reported violent assaults in licensed premises. Quasi-experiments based on test purchases are open to criticism on methodological and ethical grounds. It is a challenge to control for methodical problems such as the validity of the comparative experimental setting, the standardisation of research assistants’ performances and the disclosure of covert field work. Ethical concerns relate to the fact that covert research is not declared to the research participants especially if the object of the study is an illegal action (i.e. selling and serving alcohol to intoxicated clients or minors). In this research, the concept of moral governance was developed as a theoretical perspective based on two traditions: Foucauldian analytics of government and theories of moral regulation. Local alcohol policy was viewed as a practice of moral governance, in which the responsibility for the regulation of lifestyle-related harm is decentralised from the central state to other actors. Confusion in terms of moral governance arises when market actors deploy the test purchasing method in order to highlight their own social responsibility and to promote private business interests in alcohol policy debates. Keywords: local alcohol policy, analytics of government, moral regulation, test purchase experiment, covert research
  • Tarkkala, Heta (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In recent decades biomedical samples and data have been organized into large depositories such as biobanks. These biobanks have also been founded in Finland to allow for increasingly large-scale, international, and data-intensive biomedical research. Simultaneously expectations of personalized medicine have increased – in the future individuals instead of averages will be treated, and genomic data may be utilized in the clinics or in disease prevention. This study – rooted in science and technology studies, and linking to discussions of the role of expectations and imaginaries – examines biobanks as conditions of possibility for personalized medicine to become reality: that is, how biobanks are expected to make personalized medicine possible. The rearranging of biomedical research through biobanks is investigated against the backdrop of personalized medicine as a sociotechnical imaginary: a vision of a desirable future, which is both built on, and continuously requires, science and technology, and therefore societal efforts, for its fulfillment (Jasanoff and Kim, 2015). Consequently, this study asks: What do the expectations related to biobanks as conditions of possibility for personalized medicine tell us about the knowledge production in which biobanks are supposed to participate, and the role biobanks play in it? To answer this question, biobanking is studied through three different lenses. The analytical sections unpack, first, the claims of high quality samples they store; second, the ideas related to research population(s) seen to be stored in biobanks; and third, their link to the expectations of translational medicine. Thus, it is explored how biobanks are expected and said to contribute to contemporary biomedical knowledge production that takes place in highly regulated settings. The main argument of the study is that the very idea of biobanks is being reshaped as operations, conventions, regulatory frameworks, and new expectations are linked to the imaginary of personalized medicine and require that action be taken. The different layers of stakeholders, regulations, developments, and projects that condition and constrain biobanking and hence knowledge production, have, and continue to have, an effect on what biobanks are considered and understood to be, and the kind of knowledge and scientific practices they could foster. The analytical chapters illustrate the multiplicity of tendencies and linkages attendant on biobanks as they begin to reorganize biomedical research.
  • Inkeri, Raakel (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study explores whether and how race effects and shapes social integration in the post-apartheid Cape Town neighbourhood. The underlying questions are whether and how the racial classifications inherited from apartheid are meaningful when residents negotiate, determine and arrange their changing neighbourhood and neighbours. The object of this study is Thornton, a lower middle-class neighbourhood where the economic class of residents is homogeneous. Instead, racial diversification has been substantial during the post-apartheid decades. Thus, this study examines how race is processed and managed inside class. I built my research design on the concept of social cohesion which relates to the ideal of Rainbow Nation. Neighbourhood social cohesion presents Rainbow Nation on a small scale, a local and space-specific interpretation of the present stage of overcoming previous segregation structures. I analysed cohesion through two approaches, with the first considering collectivities and the second individuals. First, I ask how race is visible in neighbourhood social and spatial practices. This approach explores the forms of participation, community building and using public space. Second, I ask in which way residents of different race conceive their changing neighbours and neighbourhood. This approach explores residents´ attitudes towards people from another race group than their own. It also explores individual residents´ socializing patterns and interaction orientation. The underlying discipline is urban sociology; however, this study has drawn inspiration from several disciplines and research fields. Theoretically this study draws from socio-spatial integration research which examines whether physical residential proximity produces closer social interaction between people of diverse backgrounds. Methodologically this study follows ethnographic research methods and qualitative methodology. The main research material was gathered over a period of 11 months of fieldwork during 2016 and 2017 in Thornton, Cape Town. The analysis was based on interviews of the residents in Thornton, and observation of civic and religious communities and public places and spaces. The results of this study indicate that race is both significant and insignificant when explaining neighbourhood social cohesion. There is a complex relationship between post-apartheid reconciliation speech and lived mundane realities. The results of this study contribute to the discussion on the persistent nature of social classification and categorizing difference and can be drawn to wider than South African debates. In the South African context, this study adds to the discussion of the fairly new research field focusing on the new black African middle class. In addition, results of this study correlate with previous research on the patterns and success in dismantling apartheid´s spatial planning. Keywords: urban integration, South Africa, race, social cohesion, neighbourhood, middle class
  • Brander, Richard (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The aim of this thesis is to clarify and understand the limits on Finnish foreign policy in relation to early Western European integration during the decade after World War II, studied through the actions of former Finnish foreign minister Hjalmar J. Procopé. During the years 1948 to 1954 Procopé acted as an informal and unappointed liaison between Finland and the European Movement (EM). The European Movement served as a platform for different organisations working towards European unity. Its most notable achievement was the impetus given to the founding of the Council of Europe in 1949 In this thesis, Finland’s relationship with the burgeoning European integration project is studied using primary sources chiefly comprising Procopé’s diaries, correspondence, as well as his written reports on European integration efforts and related affairs. Early European integration is also assessed in relation to anti-communism and resistance to the expansion of the Soviet Union, with a particular focus on the role of the United States and its secret services as promoters of (Western) European unity. The close proximity of the Soviet Union put considerable constraints on Finnish foreign policy. However, this sparked both a need and an opportunity for a private citizen to engage in unofficial and secretive interaction with the European Movement. Procopé wished to safeguard Finnish interests through the early European integration process. Both Procopé himself and national officials in Helsinki wished to avoid drawing parallels with the actions of Eastern European exiled politicians, as that could have signalled that Finland was part of the Eastern bloc One significant finding is that the empirical study of Procopé’s activities reveals much about the restrictions on Finnish involvement in the early political integration of Western Europe.  Procopé knowingly chose to engage himself in areas where official authorities had no part and where he thought he could benefit Finland. The study of Procopé is part of a broader and emerging line of research in European integration history. The aim of this new agenda is to gain better understanding of the integration process, and thereby the present-day European Union, by studying the lives and thinking of transnationally connected individuals who worked towards European unity. Procopé, who was living in self-imposed exile in Stockholm, both discovered and was offered a niche that played to his strengths. The leadership of the European Movement trusted Procopé, as did the movement’s sponsors in the United States, which included backing by the Central Intelligence Agency. Procopé maintained a network of old contacts in Finland, although his reputation was marred by his defence of former President Risto Ryti in the War Responsibility Trials. For Procopé, Western European integration and anti-communism were two sides of the same coin. Procopé maintained an amicable relationship with President J.K. Paasikivi, while Urho Kekkonen was a strong adversary to the former foreign minister, the study shows. Finland’s political room for manoeuvre was undoubtedly limited after the war, with its international standing largely defined by its relationship with the Soviet Union. This thesis, however, reveals that beneath the official surface lay unofficial networks, where promotion of Western European integration was matched with fierce anti-communism. Key words: European integration history, Europe, European Movement, Council of Europe, European Union, Western European integration, anti-communism
  • Hyötyläinen, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This is a study concerning land and housing policies and urban inequality in Finland. Land policy refers to the management of state and municipal land. Housing policy refers to public involvement in the supply and demand of housing. Urban inequality refers to the unwanted spatial differentiation of people in the city due to the unequal chances of individuals to choose where they live. An often-overlooked feature of urban inequality is the stigmatization of particular areas and neighborhoods of the city, and their symbolic differentiation from the rest of the city. Previous research on spatial differentiation in Finland has focused primarily on mapping the spatial differentiation of people. Although empirically rich, previous research has left explanations for urban inequality wanting. This dissertation addresses this research gap and contributes to our understanding of urban inequality from the policy perspective. It also reflects critically on the problems caused by the very lack of explanation in previous research. This dissertation consists of four original research articles. The main body of data used in the articles are interviews with representatives of urban authorities making decisions and recommendations on land and housing policies. The first article explores the means and objectives of land policy adopted in three Finnish cities at the time when new land use legislation was introduced and municipalities and the state introduced a new type of real estate policy. The second article is a study of that new land and real estate policy, which it calls the “entrepreneurial public real estate policy”, in Helsinki. Article three dives into the history of Finland’s housing policy. It presents critical discussion about the adopting of the dubious policy term “special groups” and investigates why social rental housing is increasingly targeted at those labeled “special”. The fourth article is a critical examination of the theories and concepts used in Finnish segregation research. Based on the findings of these research articles, the main argument of this dissertation is the following: state and municipal land and housing policies provide conditions for the spatial and symbolic division of the urban population. The land policy implemented in Finnish cities has increasingly prioritized competitiveness and attracting investments and businesses. This has left other goals of land policy, such as the prevention of urban inequality, secondary. Entrepreneurial public real estate policy is responsible for alienating municipal land and providing the conditions for spatial divisions, such as the development of the first exclusive, fenced residential area for the wealthy in Helsinki. In Finland’s housing policy, social housing is increasingly viewed and treated as a social service for the market-incapable, those deemed by policy language to be members of “special groups”. The dissertation calls this the “specialization” of social housing. The specialization of social housing and the derogatory category of “special groups” used in policy jargon provide conditions for symbolic divisions between social housing tenants and others. Land and housing policies that could and should work to prevent urban inequalities actually exacerbate those inequalities and provide the conditions for deepening urban divides. This dissertation investigates why these policies are so toothless.
  • Rautio, Suvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    What constitutes and defines a village in China today? This study seeks to answer this question within the space of an ethnic minority Dong village in southwest China acknowledged for its natural and architectural beauty in national and international official heritage programmes. "The Jade Emperor’s Last Taste of Water" takes an ethnographic approach to deconstruct how an ethnic minority village is constituted, adjusted and redefined from the vantage point of where one stands. Distancing itself from a more comprehensive village ethnography, this thesis structures around scales, both spatial and perspectival. The thesis comprises of four parts whereby each part reverses the vantage point of the onlooker to consider a different scale. In shifting vantage points, this study argues that the conception of a village space, from whatever angle, is not a fixed phenomenon. Instead, it is a continuously reconstructed effort adopted by people according to the social hierarchical constructions that get attached to a village space. Often leading to tensions and conflicts that arise in response to these inclusive social orderings, my thesis argues that places, in this case a village space, are continuously made and remade through these responses. Drawing on broader discussions such as the dynamics of cultural heritage politics; ethnic representation; landscape and belonging; and rural ethnic subjectivities and male status, this thesis provides a comprehensive analysis of the workings behind China’s top-down policies of rural heritage reconstruction efforts to reveal the incongruences and layers of social difference that characterise rural China today.
  • Halen, Katri (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The research is localized at the intersection between research on ageing, the life course and working life. It explores the experiences and thoughts of older employees about whether to continue working or to retire. The research asks how older employees experience the targets of the new age policy, and what choices and commitments do older employees have available to them, when they are planning either to continue working or to retire. The data consists of 164 texts and 13 thematic interviews, and it was gathered in the period 2011–2013. Abductive reasoning and Derek Layder’s (1993) multilevel research map revealed a new perspective on the conversation of extending the careers. It highlights the entity of the life of an individual. Older employees live their everyday lives as a party to several simultaneous contracts. Most of them are unwritten and implicit. They are not only ‘old’ and an ‘employee’. They are often simultaneously also a spouse, a parent, a grandparent and a child of older parents. At the same time, they are also a representative of their generation and a member of society, a working citizen. In different roles, they face expectations and obligations, which can come into direct conflict with each other. They also have expectations, both of themselves and also of the other party in their contracts. The contract violations, which older workers notice in working life, such as experiences of poor management and age discrimination, mainly increase the intention to retire. Contract violations in the context of family, like divorce, can instead influence them in extending their careers. In macro-level contract violations, like the sense of guilt for taking jobs away from a younger generation and unfair changes in the pension scheme, undermines the confidence in equity and functionality of pension schemes. In addition, it affects generational fairness. Older employees are aware of the new age policy and its targets to extend working careers, but they are not experienced as being so binding. Flexible retirement age and the financial ‘carrots’ encourage one to continue working, but their effect is limited. Obligations towards family are often experienced as being more relevant. The pressure to raise the retirement age, the inculpatory discourse against older employees and the age discriminatory practices in work places, are sending contradictory messages to older employees about what they are expected to do. Acting in the ‘right’ way at the intersection between expectations and obligations coming from different directions is tricky. Key words: extending working careers, continue working, retiring, abductive reasoning, psychological contract, contractuality
  • Koskinen, Heli I. (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The task of environmental health care is to ensure the safety of the living environment. Infectious diseases dangerous to health are not present in a safe living environment. Several authorities of different administrative sectors from all levels of government are involved in preventing and resisting infectious diseases. Often, cooperation between these different authorities is also needed. Cooperation between authorities is governed by several national laws and supplementary regulations, so cooperation between authorities must be considered in the discursive reality created by the statutory texts. Review of the reality created by the statutory text is particularly important in the context of regional government reform when the statutory tasks of environmental health care are transferred from municipalities to provinces. In the reform, many laws change and some are even abolished. It is reflected in the activities of the authorities in a way that is as yet unknown. At this stage, it is only known that the notification practices between municipal veterinarian and regional state administrative agency’s provincial veterinarian regulated by the laws currently in force will change with the abolition of regional state administrative agencies when anyone suspecting an animal disease or observing such notifies about the suspicions or observation directly to the province instead of a municipal veterinarian. The strategic level of legislation on environmental health care and the practical activity level of authorities form two interrelated activity levels which, however, deviate from each other. This study observed the cooperation between authorities from the point of view of legislation and a situation requiring practical activity. The aim was to study the way in which the reality of cooperation between authorities is manifested in the discourses of previous and current laws regulating environmental health care and what kind of cooperation and communication between authorities is in practice in the field of animal disease control and resistance. As laws were chosen both Finnish national laws (the state’s internal cooperation between authorities) and Russian animal disease and foodstuffs legislation (cooperation between authorities of the states). A case study of cooperation between authorities was carried out in connection with intensive surveillance situations of pet imports. The study was conducted in the framework of social constructionism, in which the language and the meanings generated by it play a central role, but the study also observed the symbolic meanings generated by the images. The research material was a collection of legislative and law proposal text dealing with cooperation between authorities and regulations, instructions, circulars and decisions related to the law, the observation logs produced in the observation of the cooperation between authorities, and the freely available image material on the Internet taken from cooperation situations between authorities. The analysis was based on the qualitative analysis of the texts formed by the language and image material. As an aid to the analysis, the question-answer technique, verb analysis and personal relationship analysis were used, complementing the principles of hermeneutics. The cooperation between the authorities was communication between the authorities either in the chain from lower to upper or back and forth between two authorities. The legal texts answered to who notifies and who shall be notified types of questions. The position and status of the Finnish authorities and the resulting responsibilities and powers were clearly defined in the statutory text. The Russian statutory text also included recommendations concerning cooperation. The Act and the Regulation text were used to make sure that the authorities of both countries knew what to notify and how quickly to notify. Active and mandatory verbs dominated the two countries' statutory discourse. In import control cases, the authorities had more room for discretion to form communication chain reactions appropriate for the situation without separately agreeing on them with other authorities, and the cooperation between authorities was tightened around some authorities. The cooperation between the authorities was also tightened around the target of inspection, i.e. the dog to be imported. In the cooperation situation, adaptation to the prevailing situation was made and, therefore, intermittent exclusion from the center of the most active activity was experienced. Cooperation between the authorities is, according to the situation, a live, dynamic activity open to various interpretations, which should continue to form more coherent practices. This would be particularly important now in the change phase of administration. In their background Finnish authorities have a common language and culture and, in particular, the common symbols provided by culture, which may have surprisingly profound meaning in times of change. Above all, it should be remembered that cooperation between authorities is not merely a linguistic activity between human beings, which is intensified around some authorities and personified in some specific person, but an authority in interaction is in a nonverbal and symbolic interaction also with the wider physical environment.
  • Nåls, Jan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The dissertation investigates the varied roles and functions of empathy in intercultural film narrative, in both text and process. The overall purpose is to gain an understanding of empathy as a key element in intercultural communication. The research aim is two-fold: first, to determine the general functions of empathy in intercultural communication, and second, to uncover ways in which empathy can be enhanced in non-fiction text and process. As a compilation of four articles, this dissertation uses a mixed methods approach and different sets of material for each article. The dissertation material consists of non-fiction texts, case studies, and observations linked to the process of intercultural communication. Three of the articles focus specifically on non-fiction narrative and its production process. The material is rooted in the authors’ personal experience as a film practitioner and educator, as two of the four articles exhibit cases in which the author was a participant observer. The methods used to examine the material are qualitative, including textual analysis, qualitative interview, case study, and participant observation. The theoretical approach is interdisciplinary, combining film studies, cultural studies, post-colonial studies, and narrative and literary studies. In light of the results, a general function of empathy is to create an understanding of and between others and of the self, enhancing trust and fostering shared meaning between different stakeholders in the narrative process. Thus, empathy can undo otherness and counter stereotypical representations. Additionally, one function of empathy is to challenge power hierarchies in non-fiction film production. The results of the dissertation further reveal that empathy can be enhanced by allowing for relational empathy during the production process, and by enabling non-fiction subjects to take part in the design of the narrative. In the initial phase of a narrative process, empathy can be encouraged between author and subject by mutually sharing similar life experiences related to the central themes of the narrative. Elements in non-fiction texts that invite empathy include a clear narrative structure and characterisations that allow for appraisals that precede empathy. In distribution and viewing, empathy can be enhanced by the construction of spaces that allow for uninterrupted viewing and immersion.
  • Ranna, Pia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation enquires into the Islamist and secularist discourses in Turkey by examining the headscarf debates. The debates on the headscarf are perceived as a way through which the polarization between the Islamist and secularist blocs becomes visible. Moreover, the work intends to explain the construction of the collective identity formation by studying through which kinds of articulations the discourse has been constructed. Due to Turkey's sociopolitical and historical development, this thesis considers secularism and Islamism as the two hegemonic discourses in Turkey. The main empirical data consists of Turkish newspaper articles from five different newspapers: Cumhuriyet, Hürriyet, Milliyet, Yeni Şafak, and Zaman. The articles concern the headscarf debates on four different women: Fadime Şahin, Merve Kavakçı, Leyla Şahin and Hayrünnisa Gül. These women became focal points of the media because of their headscarf. These cases illustrate how the headscarf debates bring the two hegemonic fronts together. The data was limited to the period of 1996-2011. This period consists of 2785 newspaper articles, out of which 228 most relevant ones have been chosen for the purpose of this study. The precise research questions of the thesis are: How is the polarized nature of Turkish society reproduced within the headscarf debates during 1996-2011? And how are the two hegemonic discourses contested and deconstructed within the articulations that form the headscarf debates? In answering these questions, the research uses the methodological apparatus of the Essex school by focusing on the constitution of political identities, the construction of social antagonisms, the establishment of political frontiers, and the different ways the hegemonic demands are being addressed. The final purpose is to describe and explain the articulation processes of the two hegemonic projects. Among other things, the data showed that the Islamist discourse was successfully employing the creation of "we-community" by combining different elements or groups of people who have similar interests. Hence its main theme was not aimed at constructing a social antagonism against the secularist frontier. Rather, it managed to absorb some elements of secularism and provide an alternative version of it via the AKP politics. Contrary to this logic, the secularist discourse seemed to revolve more around the establishment of social antagonisms. Often the secularist discourse turned into an "anti-AKP" discourse. Even though this type of rhetoric aims at building a common identity, it failed in making chains of equivalences in which common interests would meet. Neither of these discourses has managed to create an environment in which an identification with democratic values could have taken place. However, while contesting each other, they managed to further Turkey's democratization. Hence, at the end this research poses a question as to whether this polarization has actually served as a prerequisite for democracy in Turkey's context, as the country today seems to be de-trailing from the path of democracy.
  • Nelimarkka, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This dissertation contains three essays that examine causal effects in macroeconomics by identifying structural shocks and measuring their propagation through higher and time-varying moments of data. In particular, the use of non-normal distributions provides more conditions for identification when conventional methods cannot distinguish the underlying macroeconomic shocks. I complement the conventional structural vector autoregressive analysis with techniques that facilitate the recovery of exogenous variation from economic time series based on these additional features of data. In the first essay, I empirically analyse monetary policy transmission. The surprise announcements by the central bank allow to identify the causal effects of monetary policy. However, this conventional identification strategy becomes problematic when a combination of shocks moves the market surprises. I introduce a flexible structural vector autoregression to identify several types of monetary policy actions triggering the market surprises. The identification is based on a novel combination of high-frequency proxies and higher moments of data. I estimate three distinct shocks from the surprise component of monetary policy: a conventional monetary policy shock, a long-term shock and an information shock. With the policy reflected in the long-term shock, the central bank is able to influence the economy similarly to conventional monetary policy, but with instruments other than the short-run interest rate. The second chapter studies the effects of government spending under anticipation of fiscal policy. When economic agents foresee future fiscal policies, measuring the causal effects of government spending is confronted by econometric challenges. The essay explores the propagation of government spending shocks using a noncausal model that allows for the anticipation of exogenous fiscal policy changes. Overcoming the issue of insufficient information, the shock is extracted from an anticipated error term by using institutional information about the conduct of fiscal policy. In the U.S. economy, the shock increases investment, employment, and wages one and a half years prior to its arrival, and consumption eventually rises. The estimated fiscal multiplier is above but close to unity. Importantly, neglecting the anticipation leads to underestimation of the multiplier. In the last essay, I provide evidence on the effects of news shocks under insufficient information. News shocks about future productivity can be correctly inferred from a conventional vector autoregressive model only if information contained in the observables is rich enough. The methodology of the essay is able to measure the anticipation of permanent changes in total factor productivity independent of available information. By means of a noncausal model, economic shocks are recovered from both past and future variation, which solves the problem of insufficient information per se. Consequently, the model produces impulse responses to the anticipated structural shocks. In the U.S. economy, news about improving total factor productivity moves investment and stock prices, but the measured impact effects are modest. The estimated news shock gradually diffuses to productivity and generates smooth reactions of forward-looking variables.
  • Rönkä, Sanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study examines drug-related deaths in Finland. The aim is to examine how pharmaceuticalisation (i.e., the growing societal relevance of pharmaceutical drugs) is reflected in drug-related deaths, which social determinants are associated with drug-related mortality, and what is the role of drug use contexts in drug-related deaths. The background of this study is the development of the Finnish drug problem from a minor issue to approximately the European average since the mid-1990s. The special characteristic of the Finnish drug situation is non-medical use of prescription opioids among people who inject drugs. The research material used in this dissertation consists of register data, interviews with elderly drug users, and analysis of discussion threads on drug users’ online forum. The research deploys both quantitative and qualitative methods. The results indicate that besides prescription drugs sold in the illicit market, personally prescribed pharmaceuticals are also linked to drug-related deaths. People on disability pension are especially likely to experience drug-related deaths related to purchases of prescription drugs. Qualitative analysis further shows that pharmaceuticals are obtained from the health care system either for the purpose of self-medication or intoxication. Drug-related mortality was associated with social disadvantage. Lower education, long- or short-term unemployment, early retirement, divorce, not living in a private household, and living alone were associated with total drug-related mortality in men and women—and also in all subcategories of drug-related deaths. Social disadvantage was strongly associated with mortality related to psychoactive substance use disorders. It is noteworthy that individuals with only secondary education had a marginally higher risk for drug-related death than the highly educated. Online forums enable the sharing of rather sophisticated drug combination recommendations. The forum works as a platform for harm reduction inspired exchange of knowledge. However, accumulating and sharing knowledge may actually lead to the user experiencing an extreme sense of ability or a ‘competence fallacy.’ The user community’s knowledge sharing practices can generate a shared perception of a sufficient or even superior drug use experience and knowledge to evaluate bodily limits. In addition, the exact dosages shared in the forum can contribute to the experience of control, thereby heightening the sense of capability and safety in drug-use. The study shows that prescription drugs which are relatively safe in a medical context are not safe in the context of non-medical drug use; the process of marginalisation leading to drug-related death starts at an early age; and drug-related deaths are linked to high confidence in personal drug use competence, often as a result of cumulated user knowledge on online forums.
  • Aura, Otto (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The main question of this dissertation is to study how labour was used for military purposes in Finland during the Second World War. The research questions are answered by mixing together institutional macro-level and executive micro-level of work. The macro-level focuses on organizations and execution of law on obligatory work. The micro-level focuses on the wartime of two construction professionals, engineer Matti Janhunen and master builder Veikko Mäkinen. The law on obligatory work saw the daylight in June 1939. This law was also applied during the mobilization of Finnish Defence Forces in October 1939. The main organization responsible for supplying labour was the newly founded Ministry of Supply. The law on obligatory work was first planned to be used in agriculture and war industry. By the time of the Winter War (1939–1940), a new demand arose: fortification works. This was the area engineer Matti Janhunen found himself leading a work group of circa 700 workers. During the Winter War, circa 50 000 obligatory workers were acquired for the fortification works. The military use of labour during the Winter War was highly improvised. After the Winter War, it was time to gather the experiences and fix problems. The overall command of labour was dedicated to the Ministry of Communications and Public Works. New plans were made for the use of obligatory work. During the Continuation War (1941–1944), the acquisition of labour for fortification works was managed by the Home Headquarters Office of Labour. Offices personnel were from the Ministry of Public Works. Fortification construction corps needed labour and Home Headquarters delivered it. Obligatory workers were mainly sent to the Fortification Construction Battalions. Master builder Mäkinen was a construction platoon leader in one of those battalions. This platoon worked under his leadership until October 1941. At that time his subordinates were replaced by prisoners of war. These prisoners of war worked in the theater of operations, under the command of army corps. In the spring of 1942, Mäkinen got transferred. He would take duties in the Salpa Line, as a foreman overseeing the fortification repairs. There he got yet again new subordinates, nervous convalescents. The situation regarding labour was very strained during the war. In 1942, the law on obligatory work was redesigned granting more authority for the state. The performance of the Defence Forces was maintained partly by the military use of labour. In the rear echelon there were many jobs that could be done using labour thus relieving the soldiers for more militarily duties than, for example, building roads. For the labour used for military purposes, this could mean a period of 1941 to 1944 in Eastern Karelia, perhaps hundreds of kilometers from home territory. By the time the Continuation War ended, Home Commands Office of Labour had acquired approximately 74 000 obligatory workers. However, not all of them were sent to fortification works. By the labour of obligatory workers, prisoners of war, and nervous convalescents, the labour authorities tried to solve the military use of labour in the fortification works. Obligatory workers were the main component of both fortifications works and the military use of labour. Using prisoners of war, was one solution for the strained labour situation. Due to this solution, it was possible to relieve approximately 10 000 Finnish workers to other duties in the theater of operations. The convalescents were a peculiar form of using labour: it was partly the contemporary thinking of using hard work as a cure and partly still urging everyone to do one’s responsibilities. All in all, the military use of labour was mostly done with shovel and axe. Of course, there were also jobs that needed professional skills. The use of labour resources was a constant search for balance between military needs and societal resources and realities.
  • Yin, Ming (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This thesis is a collection of three self-contained essays on using sequential Bayesian methods together with efficient parallel computing strategies, to estimate nonlinear and non-Gaussian econometric/financial time series models. In the past few decades, Bayesian inference has played an increasingly important role in time series econometrics, which, in my opinion, is the consequence of the continuous availability of new efficient algorithms and more powerful computing infrastructures. Concurrent with the fast developments in the semiconductor industry, most previously challenging non-linear and non-Gaussian time series models can now be readily estimated through simulation-based Bayesian methods. In addition, using posterior odds, Bayesian theory also provides a formal framework of conducting model comparison. The first topic of this thesis is the Gaussian mixture autoregressive (GMAR) model. Comparing to other nonlinear autoregressive type models, the GMAR model is unique in several respects: For example, the conditional distribution of each observation is a mixture of several Gaussian distributed components. In particular, this mixture is governed by endogenously determined mixing weights, which are functions of past observations. In addition, the GMAR model is defined in a sensible way that its stationarity and ergodicity conditions are straightforward to establish. It is even possible to obtain the explicit expression of the stationary distribution. These appealing properties make the GMAR model an ideal modeling alternative for the (Markov switching autoregressive) MSAR model, which has been used extensively as the workhorse model to study many aggregate economic time series. In the first essay, I consider sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) algorithm as a novel solution to estimate the GMAR model. In contrary to conventional algorithms (like MCMC), the SMC is robust to multimodal posteriors, and can be used in high dimension scenarios. In addition, the SMC algorithm is based on the sequential importance sampling (SIS) strategy which admits a competitive linear computational complexity at each time, and therefore ready for parallelism. To produce a comprehensive comparison of the MSAR and the GMAR model, as well as to evaluate the evidence of different model specifications, in the second essay, I conduct the Bayesian model selection between these two models with different settings. In contrast to conventional information criteria-based methods, Bayesian model selection offers a simpler and more adaptive way to determine not only the right model, but also the right specification (for example, number of regimes and lags) of the model that better describes the real economy. The third essay is dedicateed to the second topic of this thesis, which focuses on tailoring the Particle Learning (PL) algorithm of Carvalho et al. (2010), to estimate the Markov switching stochastic volatility model with fat-tail innovations (MSSVt). The MSSVt model is not only capable of explaining volatility persistence, but also capable of capturing changes in volatility due to exogenous economic variables or unusual market events. More importantly, the fat-tailed innovations are designed to account for extreme variations in the observations. Despite its attractiveness, its multi-latent-layer structure makes it very difficult to estimate. To fill this research gap, I tailor the PL algorithm to estimate the MSSVt model.
  • Tacey, Ivan (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Animism and Interconnectivity is an ethnographic study of Batek Dè’ and Manya’ religion on the periphery of the Malaysian rainforest. In the twenty-first century, the lives of these two small-scale groups of former hunter-gatherers take place on the interconnected frontier between forest and the outside world, a nexus of different ideas, peoples and objects of diverse origins. Through an examination of specific events occurring in particular places on the forest periphery, the thesis highlights changes and continuities in shamanistic practices, myths, cosmologies and relations with other-than-human beings in the transformed physical and social landscape. Each chapter presents ethnographic vignettes and case-studies as a means of providing concrete examples of how contemporary Batek and Manya’ animism is shaped by ongoing socio-economic, political and environmental change in twenty-first century Malaysia. Recent approaches to animism have frequently focused on constructions of distributed agency and personhood within local environments while downplaying, or even ignoring, complex historical and contemporary interactions between indigenous peoples and other social groups. This thesis rebalances this through an examination of contemporary forms and practices of animism within a context of political exclusions, environmental degradation and marginalization. In theorizing animism through interconnectivity, the thesis draws attention to the multiple and convoluted entanglements which emerge on the interconnected zone of the forest periphery. For Bateks, these entanglements entail oscillating between connectivity and separation, integration and rupture. Connectivity is both empowering and debilitating, the various modalities it takes must be understood as shaping animistic forms and practices within a context of shifting political and ecological conditions.
  • Sulander, Juhani (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    The study consisted of four sub studies including a justice perspective. The aim of Study I was to find out if there was a link between psychosocial learning environment and physical health, mental well-being and study success of students. The sample included 305 students in vocational institutes, polytechnics and universities in Finland. The results showed that good atmosphere had a statistically significant connection to mental well-being and self-rated study success of students. Procedural justice, as participation of students was not connected to dependent variables. The aim of Study II was to investigate consequences of organizational injustice. The study consisted of 111 students from the Open University of Helsinki. The results showed that inner turmoil was the most likely felt emotion. In long-lasting situations respondents felt also depressed. An interaction effect of distributive justice and interactional justice on inner turmoil showed strongest effect in a situation where violation of one of the rule dimensions was considered very serious and the other not at all serious. In Study III a sample of 114 social science and economics students of Laurea University of Applied Sciences and University of Helsinki were compared in power priming situations. In the high power condition social science students saw the victim of injustice as less warm than in the low power condition. Interactional and procedural justice dimensions were higher for social science students. In Study IV the sample consisted of 446 practical and registered nurses, 50 years or over. Among nurses with low job involvement, those who experienced unjust treatment, and evaluated organizational procedures as unjust had significantly stronger retirement intentions than nurses with high levels of interactional and procedural justice. In sum, organizational justice may act as a buffer against retirement intentions as one consequence of nurses´ low job involvement. In conclusion, procedural justice has slightly different meaning in working life and in study environment. Secondly, organizational justice seems to be a value that is quite stable across situations, even though it was more important to students of social sciences than to students of economics. Thirdly, more attention should be paid to the time dimension. Long-lasting injustice experience may give rise to strong negative feelings, like feeling depressed. Fourthly, when studying justice, the different justice dimensions should all be taken into consideration. Keywords: psychosocial learning environment, well-being , health, study success, organizational justice, good atmosphere, mental violence, emotions, empathy, responses to injustice, power priming, personality traits, job involvement, retirement intentions, nursing workforce.
  • Sibinescu, Laura-Elena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation addresses three research questions about democratic deconsolidation in Central and Eastern Europe after EU accession: what are the conditions under which it occurred? What intervening, case-specific processes explain deconsolidation? And what was the nature of the EU’s domestic impact relating to this phenomenon? To operationalize deconsolidation, I use the democratic embeddedness model proposed by Wolfgang Merkel in 2004. It states that consolidated democracies feature two dimensions of embeddedness. Internally, five interconnected elements ensure democracy’s proper functioning: elections, civil rights, political rights of participation, horizontal accountability and the guarantee that elected officials have the effective power to govern. Externally, three conditions protect democracy against destabilizing factors: a favorable socio-economic context, active civil society and a high degree of international integration. Using the embeddedness model in combination with a set-theoretic multimethod approach, I examine the conditions responsible for facilitating deconsolidation in Central and Eastern Europe. The study presents three main findings. Firstly, at a regional level, there are two alternative, non-exclusive combinations of conditions for deconsolidation: a deteriorating socio-economic context, and a sequential combination of declining economy, rising populism and increased bargaining power in relation to the EU. Secondly, examining the processes behind deconsolidation in two cases, Hungary and Romania, shows that domestic factors provide a more coherent explanation than the EU’s failure to address democratic backsliding effectively. In Hungary, it is populism in power coupled with a constitutional reform that constrained democratic institutions. In Romania, deconsolidation occurred because of a dysfunctional system of checks and balances and low government capabilities. Thirdly, the EU’s capacity to implement formal sanctions is decisive in whether its interventions against deconsolidation are effective. The EU’s impact was more limited in Hungary, while in Romania, it was more efficient in keeping deconsolidation in check due to dedicated instruments focusing on fighting corruption and preserving the rule of law. Overall, the EU as a guarantor of democracy is not yet vulnerable, but it is at risk, as has become evident more recently. Finally, this dissertation proposes two topics for future research. The first deals with examining the EU’s relationship with its member states through the lens of democratic credibility, rather than that of legal compliance, which has thus far produced a limited understanding of post-accession democratic promotion. The second is based on the European Commission’s recent proposal to apply budgetary sanctions in response to rule of law violations from member states. Although still in its preparatory stage, this proposal will introduce formal, targeted sanctions with implications for democracy. Its process of adoption and future effects are a promising topic for empirical research.
  • Kukkonen, Anna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This dissertation examines the role of discourse networks—defined as networks of policy actors who are related through shared political discourse—in climate change policy in Canada, the US, Finland, France, Brazil and India. The research material consists of statements from policy actors in over 2700 articles from 14 newspapers. My approach is guided by recent developments in the study of public policy and climate change policy. First, public policy studies have increasingly stressed the role of political discourse in the policy process. These approaches emphasize how political problems such as climate change are socially constructed in a specific context, and how policy actors compete over the framing of policy problems in political arenas such as the media. Second, the importance of comparative approaches that increase understanding of how different contextual factors affect climate policymaking in different countries is emphasized in the study of climate change policy. This study examines the role of discourse networks, their variation and reasons for the variation in six countries: two high-income countries where greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per capita are high, two European Union (EU) countries where GHG emissions per capita range from high to low, and two middle-income countries where GHG emissions per capita are low. The dissertation contributes to the study of climate change policy by using the methodology of discourse network analysis and three culturally oriented theoretical approaches to policymaking. The methodology is useful, as it allows the examination of political discourse as a network. This enables analysis of the relational dimension of the policy debate which, in this case, includes competing coalitions, and central policy actors and discourses. The culturally oriented approaches are the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF), the world society theory and the justification theory. The ACF examines how policy actors divide into competing advocacy coalitions based on shared beliefs in limited policy subsystems. World society theory investigates how international organizations (IOs) and global norms influence national policymaking. Justification theory examines how policy actors use different moral justifications to justify their arguments in a specific political context. Together these three theoretical approaches enable the analysis of discourse networks in ways that increase comparative knowledge on climate change policy. In Article I, we show how general beliefs concerning value priorities, the role of government and validity of climate science divide policy actors into three competing coalitions—the economy, environment and science coalition—in the US climate policy debate. Specific beliefs concerning policy instruments such as cap and trade do not divide policy actors into coalitions. Article II demonstrates how the role of IOs varies between high-income and middle-income countries. IOs have a stronger role in the policy debates in middle-income countries (Brazil and India) where GHG emissions per capita are low. In the high-income countries (Canada and the US) where GHG emissions per capita are high, IOs have a weaker role and the global norms face opposition from coalitions of national policy actors. Article III examines the Arctic climate change policy debate in Finland and Canada which represent different institutional and political-economic contexts. In both countries, market and ecological justifications are common and often in conflict. In corporatist Finland, where the fossil fuel industry is not as influential, policy actors use ecological justifications and civic justifications that value international cooperation more. In pluralist Canada, where the fossil fuel industry is influential, policy actors use civic justifications that underline national sovereignty and industrial justifications that emphasize climate science more. Article IV shows how the use of justifications varies across two different political cultures. Market justifications, that emphasize monetary value, are more common in the US climate change policy debate. Civic justifications, that underline the importance of state regulation and justice, are more prevalent in the French debate. As a whole, this dissertation argues that discourse networks play an important role in national climate change policy. Future studies should further analyze what types of climate policy instruments can find support among competing coalitions in different national contexts. This would generate valuable theoretical and practical knowledge on climate change policy in 21st century capitalist societies.
  • Harkko, Jaakko (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Background: While the majority of Finnish young adults make transitions to adulthood rather uniformly and successfully, many individuals face exclusion from employment or low pay and job inequalities associated with insecure labour markets. The general aim of this study is to examine the transitions to adulthood of Finnish young people. The research describes how the processes of transition to adulthood emerge in terms of human capital (education / skills / health) acquisition and development, and labour market transitions. It describes how the welfare state interventions operate as a structure in this process. The study aims to explicate how the work disabilities are associated with the processes of social stratification in young adulthood. Methods: The study was conducted using a mixed methods approach. Sub-studies I-III were cohort studies using a nationally representative 60 % sample of children born between 1983-1985 in Finland, and who were living in Finland in 2001 (N= 119,600, 49% female). The register data were collected from several administrative registers (Statistics Finland, Social Insurance Institution, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, National Institute for Health and Welfare). The follow-up period lasted 10 years to cover the age period between the ages between 17 and 26. In sub-study IV, interviews with professionals of the service system provided in-depth information about the services provided to young people at risk of marginalization (n = 40). Results: Most of the studied young people were integrated into the labour market at the end of the ten-year follow-up. Persons with low educational qualifications, sickness and disability benefit claimants and those with a history in the foster care system were in a considerably weaker socio-economic position than the general population at the end of the follow-up. The results from quantitative analyses confirm dynamic and reciprocal relations between all core variables of the study, i.e. education, disability, income, employment. The analyses of welfare services reveal the intristic connections between different welfare state sectors. The quantitative analysis provided an account on the prevalence of these connections, whereas the qualitative analysis revealed essential problems in the cooperation between welfare state sectors that are, most notably, related to integrating health services as a part of a holistic service processes and supported employment services that help in converting ‘received investments’ in human capital into employment relations. Conclusion: It is concluded that the patterns of social stratification are not a constant in the early adulthood. Individual attributes of social stratification are best understood as co-occurring dimensions in the multidimensional process of becoming an adult. It is further concluded that the social investment approach as a life course approach to social policies could serve the normative function of construing the heterogeneous needs of both population in general and the heterogeneous disadvantaged groups as universal, in a strategy combining the ‘curative’ and ‘preventive’ approaches to social risk management.