The Baltic Region

2012 Issue №1(11)

From editorial board

Cross-border cooperation

The traditions of Russian and European perception of the state frontier in the conditions of transborder regional cooperation

Abstract

The article focuses on the state frontier in European and Russian political cultures as a major instrument for developing trans-border regional cooperation. The term ‘state frontier’ is defined through a prism of regional integration processes. The authors examine the role of trans-border relations between Russia and the European Union in promoting mutually beneficial strategic cooperation in the Baltic Sea region. Historical experience, geopolitical position, national psychology and some other factors shape common perceptions of the state frontier in mass consciousness, which can vary from country to country. The state frontier is a key imperative of trans-border regional cooperation. The trans-border relations between Russia and the EU serve a foundation for the development of strategic partnership, and it is cross-border cooperation  in the Baltic Sea region that proves to be most efficient in this respect. At present, there are several cooperation mechanisms and programmes in place which are aimed at enhancing Russia — EU relations in the Baltic Sea region. In the long-term perspective, the development of regional integration processes in the Baltic Sea region is seen as one of the key elements for increasing and strengthening strategic cooperation between Russia and the EU.

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Transborder corporate integration in the Baltic Sea Region

Abstract

The paper examines flows of foreign direct investment within the Baltic region. The author demonstrates close investment ties among the EU members, which are of special importance for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Transborder corporate integration in the region is characterized by significant imbalances. In many aspects, it can be viewed as Sweden’s economic expansion or development of domestic markets for northern European companies. Although many German, Polish and Russian companies are involved in corporate integration in the Baltic region, other vectors of their foreign economic relations are still more important for them. As a result, the integration of Russian business in the Baltic part of the European integration area is still rather weak despite Russia’s considerable foreign direct investment in the Baltic States.

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Twin cities: a new form of cross-border cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region?

Abstract

The paper demonstrates the first attempt in Russian political studies to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the “twin city” movement as a form of cross-border cooperation in the Baltic region. This phenomenon emerged as a result of a global tendency towards more active involvement of municipal units in international cooperation, on the one hand, and aspirations of frontier cities and towns in the Baltic region to solve common problems together, on the other hand. This work is based on a comparative analysis method and a case study methodology. The authors consider four examples (city pairs): Tornio — Haparanda, Valga — Valka, Narva — Ivangorod and Imatra — Svetogorsk. The article specifies the terminological framework used in this field of research. The authors analyse achievements and failures of this type of international inter-municipal cooperation and emphasise that for twin cities it served not only as a means of survival in the difficult situation of the 1990s, but also as an experimental ground for new forms of crossborder cooperation. The authors arrive at the conclusion that this model proves to be promising for further development of integration processes in the Baltic region. This practice can be applied by Russian municipal, regional and federal authorities in promotion of cross-border cooperation not only in the Baltic region, but also in other regions of the country. Thus, influenced by the successful experience of Baltic frontier cities and towns, the Russian city of Nikel and the Norwegian city of Kirkenes decided to adopt this model for further development of their cooperation.

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International relations

Assessment of the efficiency of Russian response to the implementation of US missile defence deployment concept in Europe

Abstract

This article is dedicated to the problems of deployment of the US anti-missile defence system in Eastern Europe. The European system of US missile defence is just one of the components of global US missile defence. This work aims to analyze possible Russia’s responses within military and political spheres. The measures proposed are divided into three subgroups: soft, medium and hard depending on the implementation of the adopted missile defence concept by the USA. This research employs the structure-system method and the method of actualization. The authors outline both positive and negative consequences of such actions for the Russian Federation, the USA, eastern European countries and the neighbouring countries, including the Baltic Sea states. The practical significance of this study consists in the proposed and justified responses of the Russian Federation that may serve as a basis for the scenarios of development of international situation and help to forecast the level of tension in Russia-US relations.

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The externalisation of migration control in the European Union: first steps towards the external dimension of the space of freedom, security and justice

Abstract

The creation of an area of freedom, security and justice is one of the most rapidly developing aspects of European integration. It this paper, we take a look at the foreign policies involved in this process — aside from the internal development of the European Union, they concern a significant number of third countries, including Russia. In our view, the efforts to manage the flow of migrants and asylum seekers constitute a viable part of the external dimension within the AFSJ policies. Much of this article is based on the theoretical postulates introduced by the scholars of the Paris School, a school within the discipline of security studies that conceptualized the connection between migration, terrorism, asylum, crime and ethnic clashes, and its role as a major threat facing the European Union. Externalization of this complex threat (that is, externalization in relation to the European Union) is thus seen as one of the key prerequisites to advancement of migration management activities beyond the EU (i. e. externalization of migration management). In this article, we analyze the role the EU plays at the international scene and categorize the actions it took to manage the influx of migrants and asylum seekers from the 1980s until the time when supranational administrative bodies were granted mandates in the spheres of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) of the EU Member States. We conclude that it was as early as the 1990-s that the EU launched the policy which later allowed to transfer part of its security concerns to third countries.

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Foreign economic activity of Saint Petersburg, the Leningrad Region, and the Republic of Karelia: problems and opportunities for development

Abstract

In this paper, we look at the interregional cooperation in adjacent areas. Specifically, we focus our attention on the cluster of regions formed by the city of St. Petersburg, the Leningrad region and the Republic of Karelia. All three areas face a number of challenges when it comes to international trade: challenges that are shared and that require strategic coordinated solutions from regional decisionmakers. One of such solutions, for example, could require pooling of competitive advantages of these areas. The analysis of strategic documents of regional development, however, shows that the issue of interregional cooperation has not been duly addressed at any level, theoretical or practical. It is important to strengthen international trade capacity and to increase cooperation in other areas of cross-border relations, since these processes are crucial for Russia’s integration into the global markets.

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Territorial systems

Territorial-political and regional geopolitical systems: correlation of concepts

Abstract

The article examines the notions of ‘territorial political system’ and ‘regional geopolitical system' as well as a correlation between them from the viewpoint of the socalled activity-based geospatial approach. A regional geopolitical system includes geopolitical relations between the states within the region and those with powerful external actors. A geopolitical region itself can be characterized by integration, autonomization or a permanent geopolitical conflict. A territorial political system is studied in a broad sense (all political phenomena of a certain territory) and in a narrow context (geopolitical relations of a certain territory). The latter is considered to be a subsystem of regional geopolitical system. The research results can be applied in the study of geopolitical regions and geopolitical systems. The article develops a methodology for regional geopolitical and political geographical studies. The author wishes to thank his colleagues from Saint Petersburg State University for their comments on earlier versions.

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The transnational territorial transport system of the Baltic Region

Abstract

In this paper we focus on the structure and territorial borders of the Baltic Sea region, and examine the key structural elements of the transnational territorial transport system. In this respect, we clarify some terms used in transport geography. For the first time the transport system gets territorially localized, which allows for a broad range of new studies of transnational  transportation in the Baltic Sea area. We also identify the main principles of development and operation of international territorial transport systems and present them taking the Baltic Sea region as an example. Our findings, we hope, will have a great practical application for researchers of transport geography, especially those studying international logistics.

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Regional development

Strategic opportunities for economic development of the Baltic Sea coastal zones and sea industrial and port complexes

Abstract

Nowadays, one of the principal dimensions in attraction of the world economy structures is coastal territories as spaces where marine potential of a state is most pronounced. In this respect, it is vital to set the priorities of development of coastal zones taking into account the changes in the strategic situation in order to maintain the components of marine potential of the Russian Federation at the level of its national interests. The article aims to develop an indicator system of assessment of coastal zone potential, and sea industrial and port facilities in order to identify the characteristic and strategic capacities of the economic development of these territories in the complex approach. The research methodology is based on the assessment of marine potential of coastal territories as an indicator of the efficacy of its marine economic complex development with using the indicator methods as a multi-factor and multi-level spatial system. The proposed system is applied to a complex analysis of coastal territories of the Russian Baltic, the estimation of a socio-economic factor of coastal zone marine potential, as well as recommendations for long-term planning of the economic development of Russia’s coastal zones of the Baltic Sea and the organization of marine activities. This methodology can help to identify a role of coastal territories in the economy and reflect perspectives and directions of strategic development of coastal zones, and sea industrial and port facilities of the Russian Federation.

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The territorial structure of productive forces of Russian North-West in the 2000—2010s

Abstract

A number of researchers are studying regional specifications of Russia from a variety of different perspectives. Economic geography has developed its own methods of approaching the study of territories, and looks, in particular, at geographical distribution of labour. In this article, we use the framework provided by this discipline to describe the changes in the economy of the Russian North-West in the first decade of the 21st century. We combine publicly available data to propose new methods of evaluation of regional economic efficiency. We also identify and describe new trends of North-West development that have not yet been reflected upon by the researchers in the field. We conclude that, having overcome the crisis of the 1990s, the economy of the Russian North-West displays an overall positive trend of coming back to the territorial structures of the beginning of the 20th century.

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The assessment of research and technical potential in the framework of the innovative model of development of regional economy

Abstract

This article considers the research and technological potential and the innovative activity in a specific region of Russia — the Kaliningrad region. The authors assess its research and technological potential, and the achieved level of innovative activity in the Kaliningrad region as prerequisites necessary for the implementation of an innovative model of economy. This work identifies the problems of the research and technological potential development of the region, as well as a low level of development of the innovative activity in the Kaliningrad region in general and compared to the Baltic Sea region states. The authors also focus on the prerequisites for the development of research and technological cooperation between the Kaliningrad region and the Baltic Sea region countries. Special attention is paid to the opportunities for the creation of innovative clusters in the Baltic region states.

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Rural areas of Eastern Germany: modern challenges

Abstract

After the German reunification the agricultural development of eastern territories seemed to have picked up its pace. Yet the main problems those territories are facing today hatched already in the mid-1990s. In our study we address the problems and challenges that hinder sustainable development of East German rural areas. We analyse agricultural statistics and describe the structure of agricultural enterprises, land-use, and other critical dimensions of agriculture. We discuss pros and cons of modern rural areas spatial planning policy and take a critical look at the current status of rural areas. We also put forward a number of concrete proposals aimed at the development of the area and counteracting the negative trends it is now experiencing. Even taking into account all ‘positive’ development trends that are postulated to have occurred since the unification, we underline the crucial necessity of diversification of labour forces and of changing the spatial planning policies in the rural areas of East Germany.

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Research of young scientists

Lithuania of the 11th—14th centuries in the works of Russian historians of the 1850—1870s

Abstract

The article analyses the works on the history of medieval Lithuania (11th—14th centuries) by I. D. Belyaev, K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin, N. I. Kostomarov and M. O. Koyalovitch. It focuses on Russian scholars’ perception of Lithuania in 1850—870. Employing the comparative historical method and content analysis, the authors identify the key characteristics underlying the perception of Lithuania in research discourse in the 1850s—1870s. Particular attention is paid to an analysis of preconceptions that affected the presentation of Lithuania’s past by Russian historians who studied it in the context of history of western Russia rather than as an independent subject. Special attention is paid to the process of formation of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Lithuanian State of the 14th century is perceived as "ours" in the historiography of the second half of the 19th century. The main thesis of Russian scholars — in line with their Slavophil positions — is that Russian culture is more developed than Lithuanian and more perspective for the Balts than the Polish one.

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