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MA tööd 2016/2017

KEVAD

„Euroopa Liidu ja Korea Vabariigi vabakaubanduslepingu seos kaubavahetusega autotööstuses“, Mathias Juust
Juhendajad: vanemteadur Priit Vahter ja professor Urmas Varblane

Magistritöö eesmärgiks oli välja selgitada, milline on EL-i ja Lõuna-Korea 2011. aastal jõustunud vabakaubanduslepingu seos kahepoolsete autotööstuse toodete kaubandusmahtudega. Kaubanduse liberaliseerimise juures väärib autotööstuse kaubandus erilist tähelepanu, sest mõlemad osapooled kuuluvad maailma suurimate autode eksportijate hulka ning antud tööstuse tooted moodustavad märkimisväärse osa partnerite kogu kahepoolsest kaubandusest.

Lepinguga kaotatakse järk-järgult kõik autotööstuse kaupadele kehtinud tollitariifid, mis ületasid varasemalt enamike teiste tööstusharude omasid. Kui lepinguosaliste tariifsed barjäärid olid algselt sümmeetrilised, siis Korea turu mittetariifseid barjääre võis pidada oluliselt kõrgemaks. Näiteks kehtisid sõiduautodele spetsiifilised turvalisus- ja keskkonnasäästlikkuse nõuded. Kuna autotööstuse toodete standardite ühtlustamisele pöörati lepingus eraldi tähelepanu, langesid ühtlasi ka mittetariifsed barjäärid.

Lepingu ning kaubandusmahtude vahelise seose olemasolu ja suuruse kindlaks tegemiseks rakendati kaubanduse gravitatsioonimudelit. Töö empiiriliste tulemuste kohaselt saab lepinguga seostada bilateraalse autotööstuse kaubanduse 93% kasvu, samas kui kogu toodete kaubanduse osas statistiliselt olulist seost ei leitud. Lepinguosaliste lõikes suurenes EL-i autotööstuse toodete eksport Lõuna-Koreasse 163% ning Lõuna-Korea eksport EL-i 63%.

“Is Russia Becoming China’s Other? An Analysis of China’s Foreign Policy Discourses Towards Russia”, Yuxuan Chen
Juhendaja: Urmas Pappel

Having China’s international identity as the research background, the special position Russia has in its relations with China created a myth for researchers to tackle. China frequently uses Othering in its domestic politics in portraying itself as a victim and a tendency of self-victimization due to historical sufferings. The reasons for China to see Russia as an Other are not untraceable with China losing Outer Eastern China to Russian Empire due to unequal agreement; however, China simply gave up the disputed area in exchange for a solidified land border and China-Russia relations are ‘at its best’ since the rapprochement. The partnership did not fall apart as previous scholar works predicted. The Crimean Crisis as a key event for analysis adds up to the myth that China as a sovereignty hawk was not weary of Russia’s expansionist foreign policy which led to the annexation of Crimea; instead, China-Russia relations are brought up to the next level through efforts from both sides. The current geopolitical approach left this myth unaccounted.

This thesis sets out to shed lights on how China’s identity construction of Russia have changed from March, 2013 after President Xi Jingping’s incumbent until March, 2017 with the Crimean Crisis as the key event for comparison. Based on Hansen’s theoretical framework that foreign policy discourses as the link between identity and foreign policies, this thesis conducts poststructuralist discourse analysis on Chinese official discourses and academic debate on Russia using the intertextuality research model 1 and 3B developed by Hansen (2006). The result has shown before Crimean, both official and academic discourses did not construct Russia as a radical Other but strongly linked with and supplement to the construction of China; after Crimean official discourses’ which represent China’s foreign policy attempts to create new linking to emphasize similarities of the identity construction of China and Russia upon the emergence of competing discourses in academic debate.

This research focuses primarily on how the identity construction have changed in the timeframe due to the key event. To unfold the myth, researches on why the identity construction and Chinese foreign policy have changed this way are encouraged. To present a more comprehensive overview of discourses, wider text selection including intertextuality research model 2 and 3A is another angle to tackle.

“What explains alignment? Armenian-Iranian alignment in the context of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, Ani Hovakimyan
Juhendaja: Prof. Eiki Berg

Armenian-Iranian alignment in the context of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of the fields in the International Relations that lack research and proper attention. Given the role of Iran both in regional and global terms, and the geographical location of Armenia on the chessboard of interests of the global players, this is a topic that should be addressed properly. Both Iran and Azerbaijan are Shia Muslim countries. However, Iran is not supporting Azerbaijan in the conflict but rather leads a balanced policy. This adds to the general perception that NK conflict Iran is backing Armenia, a Christian country. In order to understand the logic of Iranian actions, a number of factors have been taken into consideration.

The research question is: “Why Iran has taken a strategic position that is in favour of Armenia in Karabakh conflict although alliance theory would have predicted something different”?  The thesis analyses the issue from the perspective of the Constructivist approach of alliance theory and compares/contrasts it with the Realist/Neorealist types of thinking and argues that the Constructivist theory is capable of addressing how Iranian national interests have changed given the challenges of the current time period and resulted in the alignment with the Armenia, while other approaches of alliance theory would have predicted the opposite. The thesis adds to the broader analysis of how alignments are formed in the IR.

It should be highlighted that the rational calculations and pragmatic approaches of Iran are visible most vividly, at least, in two aspects. First, any incident that may pose a threat to the territorial integrity of Iran is perceived as a security threat. Iran was worried that the Azerbaijani propaganda in the context of creating “Great Azerbaijan” may trigger separatist movements among the significant number of Azeri population living in its North-western region that is why officially they have adopted a neutral position towards the NK conflict. At the same time, from time to time Iranian leaders support the idea of peoples’ rights to self-determination and seem to have a pro-Armenian profile in order to make clear for Azerbaijan that they need to be cautious in their relation with the US and Israel that may use the Azerbaijani territory and pose a threat to the Iranian security.

SÜGIS

„Kultuuridevahelised erinevused tootepakendi tajumisel“, Kerli Ploom
Juhendajad: Prof. Urmas Varblane ja assistent Kristian Pentus

Magistritöö eesmärgiks oli välja selgitada kultuuridevahelisi erinevusi tootepakendi tajumisel. Tarbijakäitumist mõjutavate kultuuriliste tegurite analüüs on vajalik mõistmaks, kuidas tootepakend ja selle kujunduselemendid on erineva kultuurilise taustaga tarbijate poolt märgatud, tajutud ja tõlgendatud. Teadmised kultuuridevahelistest erinevustest visuaalsete stiimulite tajumisel ja eelistamisel on oluliseks sisendiks tootepakendite kujundamisel.

Magistritöö uurimuse käigus selgitati välja Euroopa ja Ida-Aasia kultuuridevahelisi erinevusi hüpoteetilise tootepakendi tajumisel. Euroopa tarbijate valimi moodustasid eestlased ning Ida-Aasia valimi hiinlased, jaapanlased ja lõunakorealased. Uurimuse läbiviimiseks kasutati kolme meetodit: eeliskombinatsiooni analüüs, pilgujälgimine ja emotsioonide mõõtmine. Uurimuses kasutatud psühhofüsioloogilised meetodid (pilgujälgimine ja emotsioonide mõõtmine) võimaldasid vaadelda tarbija tajuprotsesside tulemusena tekkivaid reageeringuid, mis toimuvad automaatselt ning tarbija jaoks enamasti teadvustamatult, kuid millede mõju eelistuste ja ostuotsuse kujundamisele on olulise tähtsusega. Taju erinevusi vaadeldi täpsemalt kahe tootepakendi visuaalse kujunduselemendi põhjal: tootepakendi värv ja pildi asukoht tootepakendil.

Uurimuse tulemuste analüüsi käigus selgus, et Euroopa ja Ida-Aasia kultuuridevahelised erinevused tootepakendi ja selle kujunduselementide tajumisel on enam seotud tootepakendi värviga – tajumise, emotsionaalse reageeringu tekitamise ja eelistamisega. Lisaks on kultuurilised erinevused seotud tootepakendi kujunduselementide esmase vaatamise ja pilgu liikumisega tootepakendil. Analüüsi käigus selgusid ka kultuuridevahelised sarnasused tootepakendi tajumisel, mis on seotud pildilise kujunduselemendi asukohaga tootepakendil.

“Rethinking the Relations between Identity and Foreign Policy: Analysing Russia’s Foreign Policy Discourse towards China”, Radityo Dharmaputra
Juhendajad: Prof. Viacheslav Morozov (UT) and Dr. Ammon Cheskin (University of Glasgow)

This master’s thesis aims to reconstruct Russian identity discourse related to its foreign policy towards China. Taking the timeline surrounding the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea (2010-2016), this thesis was based on the background of the rising concept of “pivot to Asia/East”. Using China as the main actor in Russia’s Asian policy, this thesis tries to answer the questions regarding the construction of Russia’s identity discourse towards China and whether the changing Russian policy after Crimea initiate any changing identity.

Based on the poststructuralist approach in foreign policy analysis and the methods of discourse analysis as offered by Campbell (1990), Waever (2002), and Hansen (2006), this thesis offers an alternative understanding of the (re)construction of the identity structure and the intricate relationship between identity and foreign policy. In using the Hansen’s methods of discourse analysis, this thesis analyses official speeches and interviews as part of the 1st model of poststructuralist discourse analysis, and both academic articles and opinions as part of the 2nd model.

This thesis finds several patterns of discursive identity structure. Firstly, concurring with Waever’s argument, this thesis finds that existing discursive structure created limitations to the possibility of any changes in Russia’s identity/policy before Crimea. The crisis in Ukraine did provide some concrete policy changes, but these changes at the outmost layer of discursive structure were unable to drastically change the identity discourse in Russia related to China in the post-Crimean timeframe. The effect of this limitation was the stagnation of concrete policy switch towards China.

From those findings, two important theoretical contributions could be noted. These findings show that there was the aspect of time-frame which poststructuralist theory of identity/foreign policy change should take into considerations when analyzing the probability of change or non-change. However, this issue did not diminish the usefulness of poststructuralist approach in deepening the understanding of identity construction and its relations with foreign policy.