Browsing by Title

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-20 of 114
  • Kerttunen, Mika (Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu, Strategian laitos, 2009)
    This thesis examines the interrelationship and dynamics between the Indian United Progressive Alliance government’s foreign policy and its nuclear weapons policy. The purpose of the study is to situate nuclear policy within a foreign policy framework, and the fundamental research problem is thus how does the Indian nuclear policy reflect and respond to the Indian foreign policy? The study examines the intentions in the Indian foreign and nuclear policies, and asks whether these intentions are commensurable or incommensurable. Moreover, the thesis asks whether the UPA government differs from its predecessors, most notably the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government in its foreign and nuclear policies. Answers to these questions are based on the interpretation of political texts and speeches as suggested by Quentin Skinner’s notion of meaning3, what does a writer or speaker mean by what he or she says in a given text, and by J.L. Austin’s speech act theory. This linguistic perspective and the approach of intertextualizing, place the political acts within their contingent intellectual and political contexts. The notion of strategic culture is therefore introduced to provide context for these juxtapositions. The thesis firstly analyses the societal, historical and intellectual context of India’s foreign and nuclear policy. Following from this analysis the thesis then examines the foreign and nuclear policies of Prime Minister Manmo-han Singh’s UPA government. This analysis focuses on the texts, speeches and statements of Indian authorities between 2004 and 2008. This study forwards the following claims: firstly, the UPA Government conducts a foreign policy that is mainly and explicitly inclusive, open and enhancing, and it conducts a nuclear policy that is mainly and implicitly excluding, closed and protective. Secondly, despite the fact that the notion of military security is widely appreciated and does not, as such, necessarily collide with foreign policy, the UPA Government conducts a nuclear policy that is incommensurable with its foreign policy. Thirdly, the UPA Gov-ernment foreign and nuclear policies are, nevertheless, commensurable re-garding their internal intentions. Finally, the UPA Government is conduct-ing a nuclear policy that is gradually leading India towards having a triad of nuclear weapons with various platforms and device designs and a function-ing and robust command and control system encompassing political and military planning, decision-making and execution. Regarding the question of the possible differences between the UPA and NDA governments this thesis claims that, despite their different ideological roots and orientations in domestic affairs, the Indian National Congress Party conducts, perhaps surprisingly, quite a similar foreign and nuclear policy to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
  • Keskitalo, Elsa (Stakes, 2008)
    The study examines the origin and development of the Finnish activation policy since the mid-1990s by using the 2001 activation reform as a benchmark. The notion behind activation is to link work obligations to welfare benefits for the unemployed. The focus of the thesis is policy learning and the impact of ideas on the reform of the welfare state. The broader research interests of the thesis are summarized by two groups of questions. First, how was the Finnish activation policy developed and what specific form did it receive in the 2001 activation reform? Second, how does the Finnish activation policy compare to the welfare reforms in the EU and in the US? What kinds of ideas and instruments informed the Finnish policy? To what extent can we talk about a restructuring or transformation of the Nordic welfare policy? Theoretically, the thesis is embedded in the comparative welfare state research and the concepts used in the contemporary welfare state discourse. Activation policy is analysed against the backdrop of the theories about the welfare state, welfare state governance and citizenship. Activation policies are also analysed in the context of the overall modernization and individualization of lifestyles and its implications for the individual citizen. Further, the different perspectives of the policy analysis are applied to determine the role of implementation and street-level practice within the whole. Empirically, the policy design, its implementation and the experiences of the welfare staff and recipients in Finland are examined. The policy development, goals and instruments of the activation policies have followed astonishingly similar paths in the different welfare states and regimes over the last two decades. In Finland, the policy change has been manifested through several successive reforms that have been introduced since the mid-1990s. The 2001 activation reform the Act on Rehabilitative Work Experience illustrates the broader trend towards stricter work requirements and draws its inspiration from the ideas of new paternalism. The ideas, goals and instruments of the international activation trend are clearly visible in the reform. Similarly, the reform has implications for the traditional Nordic social policies, which incorporate institutionalised social rights and the provision of services.
  • Malin, Maili (Stakes, 2006)
    Biopower, Otherness and Women's Agency in Assisted Reproduction. This sociological study analyses how, why and with what kind of consequences assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have become the primary technology for governing infertility in Finland both on the level of individuals and society. The phenomenon is construed as one the strategies of the Focaultian biopower since ART are political techniques of the beginning of life par excellence, as they are used to prepare the bodies of certain types of women to create certain kind of life, i.e. certain kind of children. Moreover, ART are interpreted to be gendered control techniques with which the pure, and at the same time prevailing, social order symbolised by a female body is maintained by naming and excluding otherness, unsuitable mother candidates and children. Finally, it is considered how the agency, subjectivity, of women experiencing infertility and seeking treatment appears in the prevailing context of ART. The introduction of IVF-based reproductive technologies to Finland and the treatment practices of the early 1990s have been studied on the basis of a clinic questionnaire, medical doctor interviews and articles of the Medical Journal Duodecim from 1969 to 2000. Opinions on the method of the treatment providers were studied by conducting a theme interview with fertilisation doctors in 1993. Experiences of women who have received treatment or experienced infertility were studied by means of a survey in 1994 and by analysing the content of messages in an online discussion forum in 2000. On the basis of the medical doctor interviews, significant criterion for choosing mother candidates turned out to be her vitality and her mental and physical health, which are considered prerequisites for a vitality of the child to be born. The hierarchies concerning children became evident. While people normally make their children on their own, this is what people experiencing infertility are trying to do as well. In the era of ART, the primary child is genetically the parents' own child, a secondary option for Finnish parents is a genetically Finnish child conceived by donated Finnish gametes or embryos and the last option is an adopted child of foreign origin. Women's agency mainly appears in their way of using ART as a technology of the self for self-control on one's own nature, which helps them to prepare their bodies in order to become pregnant in co-operation with a fertilisation doctor. Women's creative free agency exceeding governance appeared as a distinctive use of language with which they created shared meaning for their infertility experience, their own individual and group identity and distinctive reality. ART are very political techniques as they have a possibility to change the methods of having children and to shape life. Therefore, further sociological research on them is important and needed. Key words: practises of assisted reproduction, women's agency, biopower, vital politics of the beginning of life, otherness
  • Riska-Campbell, Leena (The Finnish Society of Science and Letters, 2011)
    The dissertation examines the foreign policies of the United States through the prism of science and technology. In the focal point of scrutiny is the policy establishing the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the development of the multilateral part of bridge building in American foreign policy during the 1960s and early 1970s. After a long and arduous negotiation process, the institute was finally established by twelve national member organizations from the following countries: Bulgaria, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), France, German Democratic Republic (GDR), Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland, Soviet Union and United States; a few years later Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands also joined. It is said that the goal of the institute was to bring together researchers from East and West to solve pertinent problems caused by the modernization process experienced in industrialized world. It originates from President Lyndon B. Johnson s bridge building policies that were launched in 1964, and was set in a well-contested and crowded domain of other international organizations of environmental and social planning. Since the distinct need for yet another organization was not evident, the process of negotiations in this multinational environment enlightens the foreign policy ambitions of the United States on the road to the Cold War détente. The study places this project within its political era, and juxtaposes it with other international organizations, especially that of the OECD, ECE and NATO. Conventionally, Lyndon Johnson s bridge building policies have been seen as a means to normalize its international relations bilaterally with different East European countries, and the multilateral dimension of the policy has been ignored. This is why IIASA s establishment process in this multilateral environment brings forth new information on US foreign policy goals, the means to achieve these goals, as well as its relations to other advanced industrialized societies before the time of détente, during the 1960s and early 1970s. Furthermore, the substance of the institute applied systems analysis illuminates the differences between European and American methodological thinking in social planning. Systems analysis is closely associated with (American) science and technology policies of the 1960s, especially in its military administrative applications, thus analysis within the foreign policy environment of the United States proved particularly fruitful. In the 1960s the institutional structures of European continent with faltering, and the growing tendencies of integration were in flux. One example of this was the long, drawn-out process of British membership in the EEC, another is de Gaulle s withdrawal from NATO s military-political cooperation. On the other hand, however, economic cooperation in Europe between East and West, and especially with the Soviet Union was expanding rapidly. This American initiative to form a new institutional actor has to be seen in that structural context, showing that bridge building was needed not only to the East, but also to the West. The narrative amounts to an analysis of how the United States managed both cooperation and conflict in its hegemonic aspirations in the emerging modern world, and how it used its special relationship with the United Kingdom to achieve its goals. The research is based on the archives of the United States, Great Britain, Sweden, Finland, and IIASA. The primary sources have been complemented with both contemporary and present day research literature, periodicals, and interviews.
  • Tamminen, Sakari (Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki, 2010)
    In recent decades, nation-states have become major stakeholders in nonhuman genetic resource networks as a result of several international treaties. The most important of these is the juridically binding international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 by some 150 nations. This convention was a watershed for the identification of global rights related to genetic resources in recognising the sovereign power of signatory nations over their natural resources. The contracting parties are legally obliged to identify their native genetic material and to take legislative, administrative, and/or policy measures to foster research on genetic resources. In this process of global bioprospecting in the name of biodiversity conservation, the world's nonhuman genetic material is to be indexed according to nation and nationality. This globally legitimated process of native genetic identification inscribes national identity into nature and flesh. As a consequence, this new form of potential national biowealth forms also what could be called novel nonhuman genetic nationhoods. These national corporealities are produced in tactical and strategic encounters of the political and the scientific, in new spaces crafted through technical and institutional innovation, and between the national reconfiguration of the natural and cultural as framed by international political agreements. This work follows the creation of national genetic resources in one of the biodiversity-poor countries of the North, Finland. The thesis is an ethnographic work addressing the calculation of life: practices of identifying, evaluating, and collecting nonhuman life in national genetic programmes. The core of the thesis is about observations made within the Finnish Genetic Resources Programmes in 2004 2008, gathered via multi-sited ethnography and related methods derived from the anthropology of science. The thesis explores the problematic relations of the communal forms of human and nonhuman life in an increasingly technoscientific contemporaneity  the co-production and coexistence of human and nonhuman life in biopolitical formations called nations.
  • 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.
  • Kuokkanen, Pertti (Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu, 2009)
    The purpose of this research is to draw up a clear construction of an anticipatory communicative decision-making process and a successful implementation of a Bayesian application that can be used as an anticipatory communicative decision-making support system. This study is a decision-oriented and constructive research project, and it includes examples of simulated situations. As a basis for further methodological discussion about different approaches to management research, in this research, a decision-oriented approach is used, which is based on mathematics and logic, and it is intended to develop problem solving methods. The approach is theoretical and characteristic of normative management science research. Also, the approach of this study is constructive. An essential part of the constructive approach is to tie the problem to its solution with theoretical knowledge. Firstly, the basic definitions and behaviours of an anticipatory management and managerial communication are provided. These descriptions include discussions of the research environment and formed management processes. These issues define and explain the background to further research. Secondly, it is processed to managerial communication and anticipatory decision-making based on preparation, problem solution, and solution search, which are also related to risk management analysis. After that, a solution to the decision-making support application is formed, using four different Bayesian methods, as follows: the Bayesian network, the influence diagram, the qualitative probabilistic network, and the time critical dynamic network. The purpose of the discussion is not to discuss different theories but to explain the theories which are being implemented. Finally, an application of Bayesian networks to the research problem is presented. The usefulness of the prepared model in examining a problem and the represented results of research is shown. The theoretical contribution includes definitions and a model of anticipatory decision-making. The main theoretical contribution of this study has been to develop a process for anticipatory decision-making that includes management with communication, problem-solving, and the improvement of knowledge. The practical contribution includes a Bayesian Decision Support Model, which is based on Bayesian influenced diagrams. The main contributions of this research are two developed processes, one for anticipatory decision-making, and the other to produce a model of a Bayesian network for anticipatory decision-making. In summary, this research contributes to decision-making support by being one of the few publicly available academic descriptions of the anticipatory decision support system, by representing a Bayesian model that is grounded on firm theoretical discussion, by publishing algorithms suitable for decision-making support, and by defining the idea of anticipatory decision-making for a parallel version. Finally, according to the results of research, an analysis of anticipatory management for planned decision-making is presented, which is based on observation of environment, analysis of weak signals, and alternatives to creative problem solving and communication.
  • Kytölä, Kalle (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    This thesis consists of an introduction, four research articles and an appendix. The thesis studies relations between two different approaches to continuum limit of models of two dimensional statistical mechanics at criticality. The approach of conformal field theory (CFT) could be thought of as the algebraic classification of some basic objects in these models. It has been succesfully used by physicists since 1980's. The other approach, Schramm-Loewner evolutions (SLEs), is a recently introduced set of mathematical methods to study random curves or interfaces occurring in the continuum limit of the models. The first and second included articles argue on basis of statistical mechanics what would be a plausible relation between SLEs and conformal field theory. The first article studies multiple SLEs, several random curves simultaneously in a domain. The proposed definition is compatible with a natural commutation requirement suggested by Dubédat. The curves of multiple SLE may form different topological configurations, ``pure geometries''. We conjecture a relation between the topological configurations and CFT concepts of conformal blocks and operator product expansions. Example applications of multiple SLEs include crossing probabilities for percolation and Ising model. The second article studies SLE variants that represent models with boundary conditions implemented by primary fields. The most well known of these, SLE(kappa, rho), is shown to be simple in terms of the Coulomb gas formalism of CFT. In the third article the space of local martingales for variants of SLE is shown to carry a representation of Virasoro algebra. Finding this structure is guided by the relation of SLEs and CFTs in general, but the result is established in a straightforward fashion. This article, too, emphasizes multiple SLEs and proposes a possible way of treating pure geometries in terms of Coulomb gas. The fourth article states results of applications of the Virasoro structure to the open questions of SLE reversibility and duality. Proofs of the stated results are provided in the appendix. The objective is an indirect computation of certain polynomial expected values. Provided that these expected values exist, in generic cases they are shown to possess the desired properties, thus giving support for both reversibility and duality.
  • Rikmann, Erle (Institute of International and Social Studies, Tallinn University, 2012)
    Construction of Civil Society in Estonia: Discursive and Institutional Changes The dissertation is a study of the emergence of civil society in Estonia on a discursive as well as institutional level. More precisely, I analyse a process which might be called the construction of civil society , i.e., how a new set of knowledge (a new discourse) has appeared in Estonia; and how it has developed and become institutionalised in terms of both form and content. This development has, among other things, been influenced by a transmission of transnational models, but also by structural features of the recipient society. The study s theoretical framework and key concepts rely above all on an approach characteristic for the sociology of knowledge. In explaining Estonian developments and peculiarities, I also analyse the consequences of the rapid transformation that has taken place in the post-Soviet societies. The thesis consists of seven articles and an integrative summary chapter. The articles have been divided into three groups based on subjects: (i) Estonian civil society in its early development, (ii) the consolidation and the problems of civil society in Estonia, and (iii) Estonian civil society in a comparative perspective. I have combined different methods in order to obtain empirical sensitivity: I have studied NGOs through questionnaires and interviews with their representatives as well as through data from the registry. I have conducted in-depth interviews with other social groups or agents who have played an important role in the development of civil society with their specific values, social identities and knowledge of civil society. The use of multi-perspective methods and the theoretical framework of the sociology of knowledge provides the study with new information on the development of civil society in Estonia. It shows the social context in which the construction of civil society started, the main actors, and the special features of civil society in contemporary Estonia. Discursive and institutional developments seem to take place at different pace in different parts of society. This, in turn, has an impact on the domestication and naturalisation of new knowledge. Hence, the outcome may significantly differ from the original transnational model. This asymmetry of discursive and institutional changes causes tension in a society and its power structure. The selective nature of the domestication of transnational models in rapidly changing societies may also explain the differences in how civil society has developed in different post-Socialist countries. Keywords Estonia, civil society, discursive and institutional changes, Project Civil Society, domestication, objectivated knowledge
  • Lounela, Anu (2009)
    "Contesting Forests and Power; Dispute, Violence and Negotiations in Central Java" is an ethnographic analysis of an ongoing forest land dispute and its negotiations in an upland forest village in the district of Wonosobo, Central Java. Rather than focusing only on the village site, this ethnography of global connections explores the inequalities of power in different negotiation arenas and how these power relations have had an effect on the dispute and efforts made to settle it. Today, national and transnational connections have an effect on how land disputes develop. This study argues that different cosmological and cultural orientations influence how the dispute and its negotiations have evolved. It draws its theoretical framework from legal and political anthropology by looking at the position of law in society, exploring state formation processes and issues of power. The dispute over state forest land is about a struggle over sovereignty which involves violence on the parts of different parties who maintain that they have a legitimate right to the state forest land. This anthropological study argues that this dispute and its negotiations reflect the plurality of laws in Java and Indonesia in a complex way. It shows that this dispute over forests and land in Java has deep historical roots that were revealed as the conflict emerged. Understanding land disputes in Java is important because of the enormous potential for conflicts over land and other natural resources throughout Indonesia. After the fall of President Suharto in 1998, disputes over access to state forest land emerged as a problem all over upland Java. As the New Order came to an end, forest cover on state forest lands in the Wonosobo district was largely destroyed. Disputes over access to land and forests took another turn after the decentralization effort in 1999, suggesting that decentralization does not necessarily contribute to the protection of forests. The dispute examined here is not unique, but, rather, this study attempts to shed light on forest-related conflicts all around upland Indonesia and on the ways in which differential power relations are reflected in these conflicts and the negotiation processes meant to resolve them.
  • Vänskä, Simopekka (Suomalainen tiedeakatemia, 2006)
    We consider an obstacle scattering problem for linear Beltrami fields. A vector field is a linear Beltrami field if the curl of the field is a constant times itself. We study the obstacles that are of Neumann type, that is, the normal component of the total field vanishes on the boundary of the obstacle. We prove the unique solvability for the corresponding exterior boundary value problem, in other words, the direct obstacle scattering model. For the inverse obstacle scattering problem, we deduce the formulas that are needed to apply the singular sources method. The numerical examples are computed for the direct scattering problem and for the inverse scattering problem.
  • 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.
  • Allaste, Airi-Alina (Tallinn University Press, 2006)
    In Estonia, illicit drug use hardly existed before the social changes of the 1990s when, as a result of economic and cultural transformations, the country became part of a world order centred in the West. On the one hand, this development is due to the spread of international youth culture, which many young people have perceived as being associated with drugs; on the other hand, it results from the marginalisation of a part of the population. The empirical part of the study is based mostly on in-depth interviews with different drug users conducted during between 1998 and 2002. Complementary material includes the results of participant observations, interviews with key experts, and the results of previous quantitative studies and statistics. The young people who started experimenting with illicit drugs from the 1990s and onwards perceived them as a part of an attractive lifestyle - a Western lifestyle, a point which is worth stressing in the case of Estonia. Although the reasons for initiation into drug use were similar for the majority of young people, their drug use habits and the impact of the drug use on their lives began to differ. I argue that the potential pleasure and harm which might accompany drug use is offset by the meanings attached to drugs and the sanctions and rituals regulating drug use. In the study both recreational and problem use have been analysed from different aspects in seven articles. I have investigated different types of drug users: new bohemians, cannabis users, in whose case partying and restrictive drug use is positively connected to their lives and goals within established society; stimulant-using party people for whom drugs are a means of having fun but who do not have the same restrictive norms regulating their drug use as the former and who may get into trouble under certain conditions; and heroin users for whom the drug rapidly progressed from a means of having fun to an obligation due to addiction. The research results point at the importance not only of the drug itself and the socio-economic situation of the user, but also of the cultural and social context within which the drug is used. The latter may on occasions be a crucial factor in whether or not initial drug use eventually leads to addiction.
  • Paloviita, Maritta (Suomen Pankki, 2009)
    The present study examines empirically the inflation dynamics of the euro area. The focus of the analysis is on the role of expectations in the inflation process. In six articles we relax rationality assumption and proxy expectations directly using OECD forecasts or Consensus Economics survey data. In the first four articles we estimate alternative Phillips curve specifications and find evidence that inflation cannot instantaneously adjust to changes in expectations. A possible departure of expectations from rationality seems not to be powerful enough to totally explain the persistence of euro area inflation in the New Keynesian framework. When expectations are measured directly, the purely forward-looking New Keynesian Phillips curve is outperformed by the hybrid Phillips curve with an additional lagged inflation term and the New Classical Phillips curve with a lagged expectations term. The results suggest that the euro area inflation process has become more forward-looking in the recent years of low and stable inflation. Moreover, in low inflation countries, the inflation dynamics have been more forward-looking already since the late 1970s. We find evidence of substantial heterogeneity of inflation dynamics across the euro area countries. Real time data analysis suggests that in the euro area real time information matters most in the expectations term in the Phillips curve and that the balance of expectations formation is more forward- than backward-looking. Vector autoregressive (VAR) models of actual inflation, inflation expectations and the output gap are estimated in the last two articles.The VAR analysis indicates that inflation expectations, which are relatively persistent, have a significant effect on output. However,expectations seem to react to changes in both output and actual inflation, especially in the medium term. Overall, this study suggests that expectations play a central role in inflation dynamics, which should be taken into account in conducting monetary policy.
  • Meskus, Mianna (Vastapaino, 2009)
    Doctoral dissertation work in sociology examines how human heredity became a scientific, political and a personal issue in the 20th century Finland. The study focuses on the institutionalisation of rationales and technologies concerning heredity, in the context of Finnish medicine and health care. The analysis concentrates specifically on the introduction and development of prenatal screening within maternity care. The data comprises of medical articles, policy documents and committee reports, as well as popular guidebooks and health magazines. The study commences with an analysis on the early 20th century discussions on racial hygiene. It ends with an analysis on the choices given to pregnant mothers and families at present. Freedom to choose, considered by geneticists and many others as a guarantee of the ethicality of medical applications, is presented in this study as a historically, politically and scientifically constructed issue. New medical testing methods have generated new possibilities of governing life itself. However, they have also created new ethical problems. Leaning on recent historical data, the study illustrates how medical risk rationales on heredity have been asserted by the medical profession into Finnish health care. It also depicts medical professions ambivalence between maintaining the patients autonomy and utilizing for example prenatal testing according to health policy interests. Personalized risk is discussed as a result of the empirical analysis. It is indicated that increasing risk awareness amongst the public, as well as offering choices, have had unintended consequences. According to doctors, present day parents often want to control risks more than what is considered justified or acceptable. People s hopes to anticipate the health and normality of their future children have exceeded the limits offered by medicine. Individualization of the government of heredity is closely linked to a process that is termed as depolitization. The concept refers to disembedding of medical genetics from its social contexts. Prenatal screening is regarded to be based on individual choice facilitated by neutral medical knowledge. However, prenatal screening within maternity care also has its basis in health policy aims and economical calculations. Methodological basis of the study lies in Michel Foucault s writings on the history of thought, as well as in science and technology studies.
  • Jalava, Jukka (Tilastokeskus, 2007)
    This study examines Finnish economic growth. The key driver of economic growth was productivity. And the major engine of productivity growth was technology, especially the general purpose technologies (GPTs) electricity and ICT. A new GPT builds on previous knowledge, yet often in an uncertain, punctuated, fashion. Economic history, as well as the Finnish data analyzed in this study, teaches that growth is not a smooth process but is subject to episodes of sharp acceleration and deceleration which are associated with the arrival, diffusion and exhaustion of new general purpose technologies. These are technologies that affect the whole economy by transforming both household life and the ways in which firms conduct business. The findings of previous research, that Finnish economic growth exhibited late industrialisation and significant structural changes were corroborated by this study. Yet, it was not solely a story of manufacturing and structural change was more the effect of than the cause for economic growth. We offered an empirical resolution to the Artto-Pohjola paradox as we showed that a high rate of return on capital was combined with low capital productivity growth. This result is important in understanding Finnish economic growth 1975-90. The main contribution of this thesis was the growth accounting results on the impact of ICT on growth and productivity, as well as the comparison of electricity and ICT. It was shown that ICT s contribution to GDP growth was almost twice as large as electricity s contribution over comparable periods of time. Finland has thus been far more successful as an ICT producer than a producer of electricity. Unfortunately in the use of ICT the results were still more modest than for electricity. During the end of the period considered in this thesis, Finland switched from resource-based to ICT-based growth. However, given the large dependency on the ICT-producing sector, the ongoing outsourcing of ICT production to low wage countries provides a threat to productivity performance in the future. For a developed country only change is constant and history teaches us that it is likely that Finland is obliged to reorganize its economy once again in the digital era.
  • Railavo, Jukka (Suomen Pankki, 2006)
    Economic and Monetary Union can be characterised as a complicated set of legislation and institutions governing monetary and fiscal responsibilities. The measures of fiscal responsibility are to be guided by the Stability and Growth Pact, which sets rules for fiscal policy and makes a discretionary fiscal policy virtually impossible. To analyse the effects of the fiscal and monetary policy mix, we modified the New Keynesian framework to allow for supply effects of fiscal policy. We show that defining a supply-side channel for fiscal policy using an endogenous output gap changes the stabilising properties of monetary policy rules. The stability conditions are affected by fiscal policy, so that the dichotomy between active (passive) monetary policy and passive (active) fiscal policy as stabilising regimes does not hold, and it is possible to have an active monetary - active fiscal policy regime consistent with dynamical stability of the economy. We show that, if we take supply-side effects into ac-count, we get more persistent inflation and output reactions. We also show that the dichotomy does not hold for a variety of different fiscal policy rules based on government debt and budget deficit, using the tax smoothing hypothesis and formulating the tax rules as difference equations. The debt rule with active monetary policy results in indeterminacy, while the deficit rule produces a determinate solution with active monetary policy, even with active fiscal policy. The combination of fiscal requirements in a rule results in cyclical responses to shocks. The amplitude of the cycle is larger with more weight on debt than on deficit. Combining optimised monetary policy with fiscal policy rules means that, under a discretionary monetary policy, the fiscal policy regime affects the size of the inflation bias. We also show that commitment to an optimal monetary policy not only corrects the inflation bias but also increases the persistence of output reactions. With fiscal policy rules based on the deficit we can retain the tax smoothing hypothesis also in a sticky price model.
  • Khondker, Aktaruzzaman (Department of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2009)
    This thesis is a collection of three essays on Bangladeshi microcredit. One of the essays examines the effect of microcredit on the cost of crime. The other two analyze the functioning mechanism of microcredit programs, i.e. credit allocation rules and credit recovery policy. In Essay 1, the demand for microcredit and its allocation rules is studied. Microcredit is claimed to be the most effective means of supplying credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh. This fact has not yet been examined among households who demand microcredit. The results of this essay show that educated households are more likely to demand microcredit and its demand does not differ by sex. The results also show that microcredit programs follow different credit allocation rules for male and female applicants. Education is an essential characteristic for both sexes that credit programs consider in allocating credit. In Essay 2, the focus is to establish a link between microcredit and the incidence of rural crime in Bangladesh. The basic hypothesis is that microcredit programs jointly hold the group responsibility which provides an incentive for group members to protect each other from criminal gang in order to safeguard their own economic interests. The key finding of this essay is that the average cost of crime for non-borrowers is higher than that for borrowers. In particular, 10% increase in the credit reduces the costs of crime by 4.2%. The third essay analyzes the reasons of high repayment rate amid Bangladeshi microcredit programs. The existing literature argues that credit applicants are able to screen out the high risk applicants in the group formulation stage using their superior local information. In addition, due to the joint liability mechanism of the programs, group members monitor each others economic activities to ensure the minimal misuse of credit. The arguments in the literature are based on the assumption that once the credit is provided, credit programs have no further role in ensuring that repayments are honored by the group. In contrast, using survey data this essay documents that credit programs use in addition organizational pressures such as humiliation and harassment the non-payer to recover the unpaid installments. The results also show that the group mechanisms do not have a significant effect in recovering default dues.
  • Solanko, Laura (Suomen Pankki, 2007)
    This study comprises an introductory section and three essays analysing Russia's economic transition from the early 1990s up to the present. The papers present a combination of both theoretical and empirical analysis on some of the key issues Russia has faced during its somewhat troublesome transformation from state-controlled command economy to market-based economy. The first essay analyses fiscal competition for mobile capital between identical regions in a transition country. A standard tax competition framework is extended to account for two features of a transition economy: the presence of two sectors, old and new, which differ in productivity; and a non-benevolent regional decision-maker. It is shown that in very early phase of transition, when the old sector clearly dominates, consumers in a transition economy may be better off in a competitive equilibrium. Decision-makers, on the other hand, will prefer to coordinate their fiscal policies. The second essay uses annual data for 1992-2003 to examine income dispersion and convergence across 76 Russian regions. Wide disparities in income levels have indeed emerged during the transition period. Dispersion has increased most among the initially better-off regions, whereas for the initially poorer regions no clear trend of divergence or convergence could be established. Further, some - albeit not highly robust - evidence was found of both unconditional and conditional convergence, especially among the initially richer regions. Finally, it is observed that there is much less evidence of convergence after the economic crisis of 1998. The third essay analyses industrial firms' engagement in provision of infrastructure services, such as heating, electricity and road maintenance. Using a unique dataset of 404 large and medium-sized industrial enterprises in 40 regions of Russia, the essay examines public infrastructure provision by Russian industrial enterprises. It is found that to a large degree engagement in infrastructure provision, as proxied by district heating production, is a Soviet legacy. Secondly, firms providing district heating to users outside their plant area are more likely to have close and multidimensional relations with the local public sector.
  • Freystätter, Hanna (Suomen Pankki (Bank of Finland), 2012)
    This thesis consists of an introductory chapter and three essays, all of which aim to study the functioning of a small open economy. The thesis starts with an investigation of export and import price determination and moves to a small open economy DSGE model framework in order to study the role of financial factors in economic fluctuations. In all three essays, theoretical small open economy models are used for quantitative analysis of the small open economy of Finland. The first essay develops a model for aggregate trade price inflation that takes into account two price setting conventions: local currency pricing (LCP) and producer currency pricing (PCP). In our empirical work, we confront our model with Finnish data and estimate the relative shares of LCP and PCP firms in the economy. In the estimation period 1980 1998, the share of local currency pricing was 40 percent in the export sector and 60 percent in the import sector, implying a limited pass-through from exchange rate to destination-country prices in both sectors. The second essay builds a small open economy DSGE model with the BGG financial accelerator and financial market shocks. In our empirical work covering the period 1995 2008, we provide evidence of an operative financial accelerator in Finland. The financial accelerator acts as an amplifying mechanism for many disturbances hitting the Finnish economy. Our main result is that financial market disturbances have contributed significantly to Finnish cyclical fluctuations between 1995 and 2008. Even allowing for several shocks stemming from both domestic sources and the international economy, domestic financial market shocks emerge as key drivers of recent business cycle fluctuations in Finland. The third essay studies the boom-bust period in Finland in the late 1980s and early 1990s, focusing on the role of financial factors and investment behaviour. We construct a small open economy DSGE model with the BGG financial accelerator and an unconventional shock structure that captures the key events of the episode. In this model framework, we study the role of financial market deregulation in the boom, the negative impact of the collapse of Soviet-Finnish trade in 1991, and the effect of the collapse of the fixed exchange rate regime in 1992. We argue that the financial accelerator mechanism is a key amplifying mechanism that helps the model to match, in particular, the large and persistent swings of investment first above and later below its trend. This essay demonstrates that the shocks Finland encountered combined with financial frictions are able to produce a boom and a severe depression, matching key salient features of the actual boom-bust cycle experienced in Finland in the late 1980s and early 1990s.