Freedom of Movement and Work-Related Migration in the EU : A Study of Problem Construction in Finnish Public Policy

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703272541
Title: Freedom of Movement and Work-Related Migration in the EU : A Study of Problem Construction in Finnish Public Policy
Author: Karwowska, Joanna Wiktoria
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Politiikan ja talouden tutkimuksen laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Economic Studies
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för politik och ekonomi
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2013
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703272541
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/41004
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Political Science, Administration and Organisations
Yleinen valtio-oppi, hallinnon ja organisaatioiden tutkimuksen linja
Allmän statslära, förvaltnings- och organisationsforskning
Abstract: This study is a policy analysis of Finnish regulations related to the free movement of workers. The matter is assessed in the case of a country which takes advantage of the EU’s freedom of movement in various ways. Finland is struggling with the problem of a rapidly ageing society, so the need for a foreign workforce has been declared even to the point of it becoming part of the Government’s Programme. The thesis subject is a popular area of research in the world. Nevertheless, previous studies on freedom of movement have shown an unwillingness to adopt a position with a focus on problem construction in EU Member States’ national policies. Henceforth, this thesis attempts an analysis of namely problem construction. The major goal is to identify the rationale(s) which lie behind the policy making process. This is completed through responding to the research question: how is the idea of free movement of workers problematised in Finnish public policy? Answering the question enables identification of discourses called problem representations, which are constructed by policy makers - some deliberately, some unintentionally. The selection of primary sources for the study has been narrowed to Finnish policy materials related to the free movement of workers. The data consists of three documents: the Government Migration Programme, a Resolution for Securing a Well-functioning Labour Market and Labour Supply, and a project report of an EU financed venture: the ‘Attractive Finland’ project. The set of textual data is supported by three semistructured theme interviews, completed to gain background information. The research problem of the thesis is framed with the theory of social constructivism understood in the spirit of Michel Foucault. According to constructivists, reality is created through human activity, so there is no meaning in the world until we construct it. Similarly, problems comprise social constructions in discourse. The analytical process of studying problem construction is carried out with the use of a methodology which derives from several Foucauldian concepts. It is a method called ‘What’s the problem represented to be?’ (WPR), created by an Australian political scientist Carol Bacchi. The approach is grounded in post-structuralist social construction theory and discourse analysis. It also draws on the work of governmentality scholars. The three policy documents are processed with the use of the WPR method to identify problem representations in policy. This is done in order to discover the dominating rationale(s) which are behind the scene in the policy-making process. The research problem is scrutinised and then compared with general tendencies in the EU towards work-related immigration policy. The findings of the study consist of the acknowledged problem representations of the free movement of labour in a sample of Finnish policy texts. As originally anticipated, a dominating rationale which acts in the background of the policy-making process can be identified. Despite their different emphasis, all the policy texts contain the same motive related to securing the labour market. Correspondingly, with this tendency present in other parts of the Western world, the governmentality of securitisation also appears to be a leading rationale in Finnish public administration.
Subject: työvoiman liikkuvuus
Euroopan unioni


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