Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta


Recent Submissions

  • Itkonen, Juha (Bank of Finland, 2015)
    Climate change is one of the greatest market failures of our time. This thesis consists of three essays in which we study the economics of climate change using networks as a theoretical framework. In the first essay, we discover flaws in the foundations of a recent strand of literature estimating the carbon Kuznets curve (CKC). The CKC hypothesizes that carbon dioxide emissions initially increase with economic growth but that the relationship is eventually reversed. The recent literature attempts to estimate the CKC by adding energy consumption as a control variable. Due to model misspecifications related to the econometric methodology and database definitions, the results are biased to support the existence of a CKC. Consequently, the literature underestimates the need for climate policies. In the second essay, we study how social networks might help to explain why differences of opinion about climate change persist across segments of the lay public despite the scientific consensus. To do this, we programmed a Facebook application that collected survey data on concerns about climate change and network data on friendships. We found that respondents tend to have friends with similar concerns as their own, the unconcerned respondents have fewer friends, and any two respondents who disagreed about the seriousness of global warming were less than half as likely to be friends. The results indicate that the structure of the social network may hinder changes in opinions, explaining why opinions persist despite the scientific consensus. The results suggest that the communication of climate science could be improved by strategies that aim to overcome these network effects. In the third essay, we study permit markets which are connected by a network of links. A link allows participants of one emissions trading system to use permits of other systems. In a linked network of markets, foreign regulators can influence domestic policy outcomes even without a direct link. We apply graph theory to study these dependencies between markets to determine who exactly can affect domestic emissions and prices. We characterize the equilibrium's dependency structure assuming perfect competition and an exogenous trading network. The results help to avoid unexpected foreign interference with domestic policy outcomes and to secure the effectiveness of climate change policies.
  • Outinen, Sami (Into Kustannus Oy, 2015)
    Abstract The study puts into historical context the continuities and discontinuities of the employment concepts and policies of leading social democrats in Finland from 1975 to 1998. It concentrates on the decision-making of the most influential political party in Finland at that time, the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The study applies the methods of social science history and conceptual history by researching both the strategic decision-making and public argumentation of the social democrats. The framework of the analysis is based on regulation theory, which distinguishes five fundamental institutional forms in capitalist societies: (1) the nature of the state (economic, employment and unemployment security policy), (2) the wage-labour nexus (labour market policy),(3) the monetary regime (monetary policy and the regulation of capital markets), (4) the forms of competition (state company, privatisation and competition policy) and (5) international interconnectedness (European integration, economic globalisation as well as the impact of Sweden and international organisations). Finnish social democrats moved towards emphasising private sector-led employment, approached the middle class, adopted monetarist ideas, accepted the market economy and favoured controlled restructuring over counter-cyclical measures in a series of steps in 1975 1998. Export sector competitiveness in global markets, European integration, active labour market policy and R and D investment were the cornerstones of social democratic employment policy in Finland at the time. Finnish social democrats also partly adopted neoliberal practices such as activation, privatisation, financial market deregulation and labour market flexibility. The deregulation of financial markets meant a shifting of the basis of social democratic employment policy from steering the capitalist economy to seeking market acceptance of the party s politics. This did not manage to guarantee full employment in Finland during the period, and exacerbated the poverty of the unemployed. Furthermore, Finnish social democrats practised a third way type of Bad Sillanpää policy long before its adherents such as Tony Blair in the UK. After the mid-1970s, the Finnish social democrat-led governments implemented many reforms which also resembled the premises of the Swedish social democrats Third Way Programme in the 1980s.
  • Kullman, Kim (2015)
    Working between and beyond the interdisciplinary areas of childhood studies and children’s geographies, this thesis explores how children learn practices of everyday mobility in metropolitan Helsinki (population 1.4 million). Children’s urban movement has become a contested issue in Euro-American settings due to a range of developments, among them the growth in car traffic, the increase in travel distances to school and the widening influence of risk thinking on cultural understandings of childhood. Such tendencies have conspired to intensify the regulation of children’s engagements with urban environments, thereby circumscribing their agencies and sociabilities. Elaborating a more affirmative account of children’s mobility, this thesis gives prominence to the varied competencies, experiences and knowledges of movement that are already in place in the daily lives of families. Through a close exploration of the actual practices whereby children foster their mobilities, the thesis indicates that some of the current concerns around children’s urban movement are misplaced and that societies need to reconsider how children are involved in the shaping of present and future mobilities. The thesis draws on empirical research in two specific sites where children in Helsinki learn mobility: a model traffic area for 5-10-year-olds and the school journeys of 7-12-year-olds, the first of these providing an entry-point into formal pedagogical practices, the second into informal learning through mundane urban travel. The study has deployed various qualitative and participatory methods—including mobile ethnography, digital picture-making and visual interviews—to create an open-ended and flexible arena for children, parents and educators to experiment with diverse ways of becoming mobile and to convey their experiences of such becomings. Further extending this approach, the thesis allies itself with Donald Woods Winnicott, Daniel Stern, Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour and other thinkers to trace out a series of mobility experiments, transformative relational arrangements, which suggest a three-fold argument about mobile learning. First, the thesis develops a detailed account of children’s mobility that eschews generalised assumptions about their agency, stressing instead its dynamic and relational emergence as part of daily practices of movement. Children’s mobility in Helsinki is often constituted in collective experiments that draw together a variety of people and materials, from parents and siblings to zebra crossings and bicycles—all carefully composed to engage children in an equally safe and playful elaboration of their agency in relation to other urban bodies. Describing these heterogeneous set-ups and their intricate workings, the thesis brings out the creativity and diversity of children’s everyday movements. Second, the thesis proposes an affirmative view of children’s mundane mobilities by demonstrating that the experimental forms of learning cultivated by the families and educators in Helsinki contribute to children’s sense of belonging in urban and traffic environments. Such experimental learning speaks of more caring and collaborative styles of movement that this thesis further clarifies in an attempt to develop alternative ways of understanding children’s mobility that bypass some of the control-oriented and risk-averse attitudes surrounding the geographies of childhood in present Euro-American societies. This also enables a closer examination of how mobility experiments could help academics, educators, planners and other professionals to support and stimulate children’s mobility in a manner that enriches their civic agency and participation. Third, the thesis elaborates a methodological argument about the importance for childhood research to move beyond the effort to describe the world as it appears towards a more active and collective experimentation with the ways in which the world could become otherwise, as dealing with ever-complex empirical challenges asks for more dynamic and open-ended modes of working. The thesis indicates that understanding issues such as children’s mobility requires continuous experimentation with concepts, devices and methods so that both researchers and participants have an opportunity to detect and amplify unexplored possibilities in their practices. The areas of childhood studies and children’s geographies, through their interdisciplinary inclinations and sensitivities to human potential and transformation, are particularly well placed to contribute to such an exploration of more responsive forms of engagement.
  • Peltola, Marja (Nuorisotutkimusverkosto/Nuorisotutkimusseura, 2014)
    Respectable families - Immigration, generations and social position The objective of the study is to determine how two generations of people with an immigrant background talk about their families and how they see their families positioned as a community. The study asks, on the one hand, what position the families have in the intersecting hierarchical orders of ethnicity and social class and, on the other hand, how the hierarchical differences defined by generation and gender within the family are interpreted and negotiated. Theoretically the study falls within various fields of research: ethnic and migration research; Bourdieuian research on social class and research on the intersectionality of social distinctions; sociological family research; and youth research. By means of a frame of reference composed of these fields, the lives of families with an immigrant background is examined from an angle that challenges problem-centred interpretations that stress issues pertaining to culture and integration . The core of the research data consists of 45 interviews of an ethnographic nature, which have been conducted with the parents and children of 16 families. The parents interviewed had moved to Finland from outside Western affluent societies as adults. The representatives of the young generation are their children, young people and young adults who were born in Finland or had moved to Finland as children. Observations made in the interviewees homes serve as background material for the interviews. In the empirical chapters of the study, I take up the following themes: socio-economic status; ways of speaking about the family; relations between generations; gender equality; and the future of the young generation. The supporting overarching theme is the idea that presenting one s own way of life and family as respectable and good is an important element of the social positioning carried out by the interviewees. Interpretations concerning the interviewees social status were not constructed only in relation to Finnish society - where their socio-economic and discursively produced status was rather weak - but were also based on their middle-class background in their former home countries. The organization of relations between generations and genders takes place through negotiation and in ways moulded by situation-specific requirements. They are also organized in relation to the (class) structures and hierarchies of the former home country and Finnish society. Although the generations differed from each other in terms of their relations with Finnish society and the former home country, there was also significant inter-generational continuity. This was visible, for instance, in efforts to convert the existing social and cultural resources into legitimate capital in Finnish society, and in the discursive techniques whereby interviewees presented their own family as respectable and distanced themselves from the problem-centred immigrant category.
  • Dragomir, Elena (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    This study investigated Romania's early 1960s policy change towards the Soviet Union, focusing on two questions why the change occurred and what actually changed. Calling it detachment from Moscow, dissidence, new state security strategy, independent or autonomous line, historiography focuses from an objectivist perspective on the external permissive conditions that allowed the change. It works within a paradigm which maintains that after the war Romania allied (balanced) with the USSR against the Western threat but contends that Romania s alliance with the USSR and its (post-1960) opposition to the USSR were mutually exclusive. In tackling this dichotomy, some scholars argue that the change was simulated or apparent, while others acknowledge a partial, incomplete detachment but pay little attention to what actually changed. Drawing from recently declassified archive materials, this study used a perceptual approach and a paradigm which argues that post-war Romania allied not against the threat but with the (perceived) threat the USSR. It focused on the proximate causes triggering the change and explained what changed. It investigated the emergence of Romania s opposition to the USSR mainly through two case studies (the CMEA reform process and the Sino-Soviet dispute) and covered the period between 1960 and 1964 between Romania s first categorical (albeit non-public and indirect) opposition to the USSR and the issuing of the Declaration marking Romania s first public and official (although indirect) acknowledgement of the disagreements with the USSR. This study found that the proximate causes of Romania s policy change towards the Soviet Union resided in the Romanian leaders perceptions of the threats posed to Romania s interests by various specific Soviet policies, such as the attempts to impose the CMEA integration or a strong collective riposte against China. The Romanian leaders considered that such Soviet policies had to be blocked, but they feared that opposition risked triggering even bigger threats or even the ultimate (perceived) threat to Romania s security an open confrontation with the USSR. Thus, they responded to the perceived threats by conceptualising the change in Romania s policy towards the USSR not in terms of breaking off the alliance, but in terms of finding practical ways (tactics) to block specific (perceived) less-than-ultimate Soviet threats, without provoking a confrontation with the USSR. Through its findings, this study opens new research perspectives on the Romanian-Soviet post-war relations and on the role of the leaders beliefs in Romania s foreign policy choices. It may also be a starting point to understand the unusual present-day relations between Romania and the Russian Federation.
  • Kulmala, Meri (Deaprtment of Social Research, 2013)
    This study explores state-society interrelations in contemporary Russia through citizens involvement in civil society by asking: What kinds of organizational civic activities occur? How are these forms of civic activity interwoven with the state and public structures? Finally, why do particular forms occur? The state-society relationship is analyzed through the following concepts: 1) state-society patterns, 2) role of civil society organizations, 3) transnational interaction, and 4) gender. Instead of the conventional sectoral thinking, the society is treated as spaces interdependent of one another. Messy conceptions of civil society and the state are opened up empirically. The analysis is grounded on an extensive ethnographic investigation within the Sortavala district (incl. villages) in Russian Karelia. The data includes more than 150 interviews; participant observation in many events; over 500 pages of field notes; and documents. Sortavala s location on one hand in Russian Karelia, outside big Russian cities, and on the other hand on the border of Finland and the EU allows a fascinating view that is peripheral and transnational at the same time. By zooming in on a very local setting allows revealing what really goes on concerning the studied relationship in its daily practices. Nevertheless, the analysis is not restricted to this micro world but is extended to a larger macro-level environment. The study performed a thorough consideration of a wide set of citizens organizations, explored the understanding and disaggregation of the state, thus concentrated on both sides of the studied relationship, and focused on the boundaries and convergences of those two spheres. In doing so, it diversified the rather stereotypical picture of the weak and apolitical Russian civil society co-opted by the state. The research showed complexities of the Russian state-society relationship: perhaps the most compelling finding concerns the significant overlap and interdependence between the state structures and civil society organizations when it came to the social organizations in particular. Sometimes it is impossible to draw the line where the state ends and society begin. The study also illuminated the multiple parallel roles of Russian socially oriented civil society organizations, which were solely apolitical in their activities. It diversified also the picture in terms of gender: women dominated the sphere, but also men participated, in membership organizations in particular. Concerning the transnational (Finnish, in particular) impact, the study showed some benefits of foreign support. Through differentiation of the studied organizations into the categories of the social and membership organizations, the study showed the ignorance of such support for the Soviet-type membership organizations that have large constituencies and, consequently, potentially the ability to challenge state policies.
  • Pankakoski, Timo (2013)
    The study deals with the ideas of political conflict, politics as conflict, and concepts as weapons in the work of the German conservative political theorist Carl Schmitt (1888–1985) and, by methodological extension, in the conceptual history of the German historian and theorist Reinhart Koselleck (1923–2006). The study poses a series of critical questions regarding the conflictual aspect of politics and underlines the historically contingent and contextually determined nature of the idea of politics as conflict. By critical examination of the Schmittian perspective, the study underlines the need for an alternative view in which political conflict is taken seriously, but politics is, however, not identified with its conflictual aspect, on the one hand, and political conflict is not reduced to the paradigm of physical and military conflict, on the other. Rather than a substantial core of politics, conflict is a category open for many valuations and argumentative functions, and these must be studied by means of linguistically and historically sensitive form of theorizing. In its methodology, the study supplements the approach of political theory with conceptual history and metaphorology. Extending the critical analysis of conflict to methodology – including that of its own – the study warns against a too easy adoption of conflict as a methodological category, a metahistorical structure, or a near-synonym to either context or contingency that would introduce vicious circularity and jeopardize the historical contingency of the category itself. The study shows in detail the manifestation of the Schmittian view of conflict in Koselleck’s history of concepts. Koselleck adopts from Schmitt not only individual expressions but also the narrative structure that binds together many of Schmitt’s analytical and methodological categories. Particular attention is paid to the link between the ideas of reading concepts in their particular contexts and the idea of reading them as manifestations of particular political conflicts – a double assumption deriving from Schmitt’s analysis of the “concreteness” of concepts. The study also offers a novel reading of Schmitt’s thought on political conflict in both domestic and international settings by means of the neglected category of the “intermediate state” between peace and war. By analyzing this partly metaphorical motif, the study maps the links between Schmitt’s theory of war and his view of domestic conflict in pluralist democracy and further unearths connections between Schmitt’s view of conflict and his theologically oriented philosophy of world history. By a close reading of the concept of secularization in tandem with that of “reoccupation,” the study provides a new interpretation of the secularization debate between Schmitt and the philosopher Hans Blumenberg (1920–1996) and thereby simultaneously sheds new light on the tension-ridden relationship between Blumenberg’s metaphorology and Koselleck’s history of concepts. For both Schmitt and Koselleck, secularization is inherently linked with the question of political conflict, and once these contingent political-theoretical starting points are explicated, it is possible to aim at more wide-reaching combinations of the perspectives of conceptual history and metaphorology.
  • Lunabba, Harry Torsten (Ab Det finlandssvenska kompetenscentret inom det sociala området, 2013)
    The aim of this thesis, is to realistically describe how the need for help and support among boys are expressed and recognized, as well as to show how relationships between boys and adults condition the way boys are approached in school. The analysis draws upon an ethnographic study that was conducted in two upper level-secondary schools in Helsinki. The field work took place from 1. September 2008 to 29. May 2009. The theoretical framework is based on Roy Bhaskar s and Margaret S.Archer's work on critical realism. In the analysis I have also employed Derek Layder s domain theory and Thomas J. Scheff's theory on social bonds. The study approaches two questions: (1.) How are boys' problems and need of support recognized in the everyday life activities in classrooms? (2.) How do relationships between adults and boys condition adults ability to recognize boys' problems in school and how do relationships condition the encounters between adults and boys in school? The first research question focuses on how boys' need for support are recognized in everyday practice in the classrooms. The offset is that supportive practices in schools derive from teachers observations of a problem within the everyday life setting in class. The second research question focuses on relationships between adults and boys in school, and on social encounters between boys and adults. The premise is that problems in schools can be defined as relational and that relationships condition everyday life encounters between adults and pupils in schools. The ethnographic description begins with an analysis of how boys' problems and need for support manifest themselves in the classroom. Observations from within the classroom walls help to make descriptions of everyday school-problems concrete. However, since classrooms are primarily social contexts constituted by individuals and relations between them and each classroom have its own social "setting," descriptions of problems that arise within a classroom, and the discussion of these descriptions, must be seen as "situated". That a given problem that arises in one classroom is concrete,does not mean that this problem exists - at least not in the same shape - outside this particular classroom. There are problems in classrooms that are more clearly linked to boys than to girls. Boys tend to show more problems regarding school motivation and have more problems with disturbing behavior. This does not mean that all problems regarding boys on classrooms are gender specific. Boys, just like girls, have various kinds of problems in class, and "boys" must be understood as a heterogenic category when it comes to problems in school. From a social relationship perspective, problems with boys in schools can be understood in terms of un-attuned or unsecure social bonds. An insecure relationship can be defined as constituted by either too tight or too loose bonds. Too loose bonds often manifest themselves in terms of indifference in the child - in particular towards school or towards adults in school. Another way in which "loose bonds" manifest themselves is by the pupil becoming invisible in class and lack social influence within social interplay in school. Adults' ability to recognize different pupils vary and some pupils are more commonly left unnoticed than others. Too tight bonds can be defined as conflicted relationships or as strained relationships. The conclusion of the relationally oriented study is that the quality of social bonds between students and adults effects adults' ability to recognize boys and encounter boys needs and desires. How boys experience welfare workers is also conditioned by the quality of social bonds between boys and welfare professionals. The study shows that there are three types of adult-boy relationships in school that do not enable constructive encounters between adults and boys. Boys' that are not taken seriously is a category of boys whose problems are not recognized as "real" problems. Motivational problems and boys reluctant attitudes towards schoolwork can be often viewed as a natural boy feature, and not as a real problem. Boys' who don't evoke feelings is another category of boys whose problems are unnoticed in school. The study suggests that the typical boy, who is neither particularly loud nor overly quiet, is often left unnoticed. Boys who do well do not evoke emotions within the everyday life in classrooms. The typical boy is easily regarded as someone who is doing just fine, in reference to the noisy and loud boys' and the silent poor boys. Boys who evoke negative emotions is a category of boys whose problems are mainly regarded as a problem for the class environment and not as a problem for the individual. Behavioral problems are often recognized in class, but it is common that interventions target the problem with the classroom environment and not the problem with the individual. The study concludes with a model that can be used to identify different qualities in social bonds between adults and pupils in school. The foundational thought of the model is that adults in schools can evaluate their relationships to pupils by reflecting on three elements in social relations. (1.) The level of insight: the extent to which the adult know about the individual life career of a pupil. (2.) The level of influence: the extent to which the adults' initiatives are recognized by the pupil. (3.) Emotional atmosphere: the quality of emotions that derives from the interplay between and an adult and a pupil.
  • Katainen, Elina (Työväen historian ja perinteen tutkimuksen seura, 2013)
    My doctoral dissertation Liberty, Equality, Comradely Love The politicization of family, marriage, and gender in the Finnish Communist movement before 1930 deals with discussions among Finnish Communists, both refugees of the Finnish Civil War who had escaped to Soviet Russia and those living in Finland, about a new gender order. These discussions were inspired by the debates, law reforms, and new practices in revolutionary Russia, which were transmitted to Finland by these refugees. The Bolsheviks basic ideas concerning women s emancipation was that this could be achieved through wage labour, which in turn would be enabled by the socialization of housework. In the process, the family would gradually wither away and be replaced by free unions between men and women. I approach the subject by examining a network of Finnish communist activists that was interested in these themes. They translated, interpreted, modified, and circulated revolutionary texts, among them those written by Alexandra Kollontai and Lenin. The two key texts here are Kollontai s Communism and the family that was first published in Russia in 1918 and subsequently translated into Finnish in 1919 and 1920, and a collection of essays The New Morality and the Working Class that was partly translated into Finnish in 1922 and then translated in full four years later. The network comprised, for example, the editorial staff of Finnish communist newspapers both in Finland and in the Soviet Union. I compare these Finnish discussions with those taking place at the same time in other Nordic countries and in the Weimar Republic, and also locate them in relation to earlier discussions on the subject within the international labour movement. I also contrast them with the prevailing discourse in Finland in which men and women had their own sphere of responsibilities and women answered for family matters both at home and within society at large. The Finnish communists discussed various parts of the Bolshevik vision but didn t see it as an integrated whole resting on women s wage labour. There were also differences between the communist movements of the countries mentioned above. The Finnish communists, for example, didn t politicize abortion or discuss a woman s right to make reproductive choices, both of which were important issues in the communist movements of other countries, such as the German and Danish movements. Yet they formulated a distinctive agenda and participated in both the public debate and parliamentary discussions on this subject in Finland.
  • Falk, Hanna (Sosiaalitieteiden laitos, 2013)
    This dissertation examines the institutional interaction in the treatment of anorexic patients. The research describes how challenges of the treatment of adolescent eating disordered patients described in the literature and standard care guidelines are visible in the interaction of the treatment discussions between the professionals and the patients. This study shows how these different challenges and central concepts are visible in the interaction, how they are manifested by interactional choices and how the challenges are thus reproduced in the interaction. The four empirical chapters look at the professionals interactional ways of pursuing the patient s recognition of illness, confronting her by suggesting a problem in the treatment and producing psycho educative turns using a supportive, understanding approach . One chapter focuses on the psychiatrist s ways of creating a co-operational, shared situation in a half-structured diagnostic interview. The last empirical chapter examines the notion of resistance from the patient s perspective: the patient s ways of producing resisting turns using the turn-initial I don t know. The data consists of one-on-one discussions between the patients and professionals involved in the treatment. All the patients in this data suffer from anorexia nervosa and are 13-17-year-old girls in the fairly early stages of this treatment program. The analysis is conducted using conversation analysis as method. The main result is that the central challenges considered by the professionals involved in the treatment can be clearly pinpointed in the interaction. The analysis of this study shows that professionals use specific interactional ways to work with the different challenges and to implement an approach. One central finding of this study is that professionals use the patients own words to carry out their interactional projects, be it suggesting a problem in the patient s thoughts and desires or producing psycho educative turns. The study shows on the level of immediate interaction how professionals direct the discussion towards showing patients their relation to the illness, its symptoms, and the actions they take due to the illness. The study also shows how patients carry out the resistance mentioned in the textbooks. On the level of immediate interaction, resistance is not by any means limited to a clear denial of the illness or unco-operative behavior. The results relate strongly to results found in conversation analytical studies on psychotherapeutic interaction and interaction concerning the treatment of addictions.
  • Liukko, Jyri (Gaudeamus, 2013)
    Solidarity machine. Life insurance and transformations of responsibility During the past two centuries, insurance has increasingly contributed to the transformation of traditional forms of self-help and joint responsibility into more standardized and calculable forms of risk sharing. First through voluntary private insurance and later through compulsory social insurance, the technology of insurance has become a crucial mechanism with which joint responsibility is enacted in contemporary societies. This is obvious in the case of social insurance and social welfare schemes, where redistribution of income and equalization of risks have been important elements. However, to some extent, solidarity has been an essential feature in private insurance as well. Private insurance has significantly shaped social relations. The main question of the study is: how do insurance practices shape relations of responsibility and ways of governing uncertainty? The thesis explores these questions by focusing on the changing ethos of insurance, particularly in Finland, during the past century and in the present. Empirically the work is based on the analysis of published talks, interviews and writings of the ‘insiders’ in the field of insurance, i.e. executives and officials of insurance companies, their interest groups and supervisory authorities. Additionally, the material analyzed includes insurance advertisements and governmental and academic literature. By analyzing the transformations of insurance thought and specific techno-institutional practices of insurance – such as pricing of the coverage, investment practices of the companies and other organizational issues – the study claims that, in the context of insurance, solidarity appears as a technical principle that can be given various specific meanings. Secondly, the study shows how public and private actors are deeply intertwined in the practices of insurance in Finland. The technology of insurance has the capability to enact at least three different forms of solidarity. These forms are chance solidarity, risk solidarity and income solidarity. A key feature of insurance solidarity is that it refers to the logic of insurance (risk sharing) and its outcome (redistribution of economic risks and income). Insurance is a solidarity machine that can be programmed in different ways. The focal question is: who can be included in the collective of the insured and on what terms? Keywords: insurance, private insurance, social insurance, solidarity, responsibility, risk
  • Saarilahti, Ilkka (European Press Academic Publishing, 2013)
    This collection of studies analyses the various ways and means that the financial system of the European Union has at its disposal for handling the inevitable uncertainties of the future and traces their evolution since the creation of the general budget of the European Communities in 1968. Special attention is paid to the consequences of this evolution not only for the various actors involved namely the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and Member States but also for the financial system of the European Union as a whole. The question of the uncertainty of the future is addressed in the light of the theory of Budgetary Flexibility , which posits an essential distinction between External Flexibility and Internal Flexibility, on the one hand, and Annual Flexibility and Multiannual Flexibility on the other. External Flexibility differs from Internal Flexibility in that, in the case of the former, more resources (or fewer, in the case of budget cuts) can be allocated in the course of the budgetary year. In the case of the latter, budget limits (frames) are maintained, i.e. a reallocation of resources during the financial year will not lead to the growth in the overall size of the budget. At the same time, Multiannual Flexibility differs from Annual Flexibility in that the former can be considered as an exception to the principle of budgetary annuality as set out by the EC and EU Treaties. The theory of Budgetary Flexibility allows to place under a common theoretical framework processes that are often considered separate (and treated in the academic literature as such), and also enables to analyse the pros and cons and the consequences of such flexibility, and to draw conclusions at the level of the European Union. The studies also develop further the theory, devised originally in the 1990s to analyse the budgetary systems of the Member States. The studies focus on three recent major negotiations which led to the Financial Regulation of 25 June 2002, to its first modification, adopted on 13 December 2006, and to the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management and to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2007-2013. The main forms of flexibility identified in the studies are: the system of amending budgets, the quantity of various budget headings and operational budget lines in the general budget and the system of transfer of appropriations during the budgetary year ( structural flexibility ), the system of compulsory vs non-compulsory expenditure ( normative flexibility ), the system of provisional appropriations, reserves and Funds, the system of commitment appropriations, the system of carry-overs, and the various flexibility elements present in budgetary discipline system and the multiannual financial perspectives and framework of the European Union.
  • Vallaste, Katri (2013)
    This thesis contributes to a growing body of research on the relationship between Euroscepticism and the media, as well as that on Eurosceptic movements. The main purpose of the thesis was to answer the question What is (the meaning of) Euroscepticism? by comparing the meanings attached to Euroscepticism in leading Swedish, Finnish and Estonian newspapers to the meanings that Eurosceptic authors in these three countries attached to the phenomenon in their written discourse during 2000-2006. Instead of offering a normative definition of Euroscepticism as a phenomenon, this study analysed the actual empirical uses of this term, including its synonyms, as well as the self-perceptions of people who identify with this label (or its synonyms). The study employed framing analysis, with a special emphasis on how frames are embedded in texts, as well as on processes of self-framing. It introduced a constructivist, interpretive and qualitative approach to the study of Euroscepticism, which has so far received an overwhelmingly realist, positivist and quantitative treatment in research literature. The newspaper data was obtained by searching for keywords ( Euroscepticism and its various synonyms). Texts written by Eurosceptic authors were gathered through a modified snowball method, asking the respondents to suggest five of their writings for analysis. The results of the study indicated that leading newspapers in these three countries were biased against Euroscepticism, framing it as a problem to be solved , using pejorative terms and condescendingly framing Eurosceptics as people, whose fears are irrational, mainly resulting from a lack of familiarity with the European Union (EU) and a misguided projection of other grievances on the EU, by and large ignoring the content of Eurosceptic argumentation. By contrast, Swedish, Finnish and Estonian Eurosceptic authors framed themselves as knowledgeable, circumspect, perceptive, chivalrous, honest, highly moral, shrewd, patriotic, economical, responsible, fair and peace-loving, and presented Euroscepticism as a solution to various social and economic ills. The analysis focused on explicating the interpretive processes of inductively identifying (frequently subtle and culturally specific) framing devices such as metaphors and allusions.
  • Paju, Elina (Tutkijaliitto, 2013)
    What happens to the concept of agency if the materiality of the world and the embodied nature of the human being are taken seriously? This is the question the sociological ph.D. research thrives to answer. It criticizes the traditional notion that locates individual human beings as agents. Through a careful ethnographic study of everyday life in day care, agency is analysed as constituting of non-human as well as human actors that together to affect the course of action. Human individuals can also be only partly make up agency, for example the movement of the human body can be part of this assemblage. Agency is assembled in different ways in different times, places and situations. The threads constituting agency are dependent, they lead to different factors through time and space. Possibilities for action in day care are shaped by floors, chairs, spoons, milk, ponytails of girls, dresses, the height of the adults, doorways and so on. As a material object in itself the human body relates to the things and space around it. It also needs assistance, for example when children are not able to dress the outdoor clothes by themselves. This creates closeness between the adult caretaker and the child. The long hair of the girls and dresses with buttons on back require the adults help even when the girls are capable of dressing on their own. In these situations, the girls get to be close to the adults, talk with them and be In this way the material objects and the materiality of the body cause repeated experiences in the everyday life of children. Furthermore, the organising of space, furnishing of the rooms and placement of toys divert children from adults and girls from boys. For example the adult sized chairs and tables are located apart from those of child-size. These all have an effect on the emotional experiences of closeness and contact with other people. The data was produced during one year of ethnographic fieldwork in two day care groups where the children were aged from 3 to 5 and 5 to 7 respectively. The data consists of fieldnotes based on participant observation, photographs, videos and interviews with 22 children and eight members of the staff. Methodological questions concern the power relations between the researcher and the researched, especially in research conducted among children, how the experiences of the researcher affect the analysis of research data, and the specific issues relating to ethnography that is being conducted close to home. As agency is seen as constituting of multiple things dependant of each other, so the agency of the researcher is also put into question. Reflexivity from a distance might be more of an illusion than reality for the researcher. Key words: agency, materiality, embodiment, gender, day care.
  • Uddin, Mohammad Jasim (Helsingin yliopisto, 2013)
    This dissertation seeks to shed light on microcredit policies and practices, and attempts to contribute to the understanding of how microcredit relates to the lives of the borrowers in rural Bangladesh. More specifically, this study delves into whether the group-based micro-loans that are channeled through women facilitate social capital, reconstruct gender relations and provide a way out of poverty at the village level in Bangladesh. The empirical data of this study was collected from 151 married women microcredit borrowers of two project areas of the Grameen Bank (GB) and two project areas of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) in the Sylhet District, Bangladesh where both the GB and the BRAC have been operating micro-loans over a period of several years. The ethnographic description relates to the questions of how NGOs use neoliberal policies and credit on the one hand, and also how local people appropriate credit on the other hand. I have endeavoured to contribute to understanding the focuses of microcredit initiatives within the context of Foucault s disciplinary power (1977) and governmentality (1978, 1979, 1988) against the background of neoliberalism. I stress the power relations, implications of enforced institutional discipline of microcredit organizations, and vulnerability of microcredit borrowers. By applying Scott s notions of hidden resistance (1990) and weapons of the weak (1985), I have focused on how microcredit borrowers criticize rules of programmes and procedures out of earshot and out of sight of the officials of the NGOs. Following the entitlement approach detailed by Sen (1981, 1987, 1999) I have also addressed the mechanism whereby poor people take credit year after year and get further mired in debt. Fundamentally, the objective of this study has rotated around some complex questions: To what extent microcredit programmes, a product of neoliberalism and the capitalist world system, intersect and connect with the local women borrowers to facilitate social capital, women s empowerment and poverty alleviation in rural Bangladesh? Does the group lending tenet really work, or is it only a process of getting access to credit for the borrowers or does it fulfil a governing strategy of microcredit organizations to the borrowers in accordance with the market rationality? Are women microcredit borrowers really rational economic actors who invest credit themselves at the local level? Is credit through women a policy of women s empowerment or a project of covert regulative practice? Are the microcredit borrowers undergoing the win-win situation of increased financial outcomes and enhanced well-being that microcredit programmes have pledged to offer? My work draws attention to what microcredit NGOs aim to change, and the techniques they apply. My study is an analysis of what microcredit initiatives fail to do: mobilize social capital, reconstruct gender relations, and alleviate poverty. The study argues that microcredit can be regard as a form of governmentality that is exercised via a generalised control over people s behaviour and over their beliefs, and by spreading the values of entrepreneurship with the market as the solver of all ills. Whilst the much lauded microcredit organizations (such as GB, BRAC) push neoliberal ideologies onto rural borrowers, they have failed because many borrowers cannot yield sufficient profit and or use credit for the purposes for which it is supposed to be used for. The package of training and consciousness raising lessons that originally went alongside the GB or BRAC microcredit programme is now missing from their rural operations. Therefore, ensuring a win-win situation that microcredit originally promised has been failed. Microcredit organizations reinforce pre-existing kinship and gender structures, and there has been a wide scale mission creep, which has turned micro-lending NGOs into money-lending businesses or installment collecting organizations.