The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №4(26)

Socioeconomic typology of Russia’s coastal regions

Abstract

The relevance of this study stems from the importance of Russia’s coastal regions for the development of the national economy and foreign economic ties. There are significant differences between coastal regions, which should be taken into account when devising a regional development policy. The article aims to identify specific features of Russia’s coastal regions, compare them with other national regions, provide a typology of them, and identify possibilities and areas of their socioeconomic development. The author employs theoretical and empirical methods of classifying regions within J. Friedmann’s theoretical framework. The article distinguishes between five socioeconomic types and a number of subtypes of Russian regions and identifies key areas of development for each types. The author’s conclusions can be used for formulating the regional policy of Russia and development policies of its regions.

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Local border traffic and the development of retail trade in the Kaliningrad region and Polish borderlands

Abstract

Signing the agreement on local border traffic (LBT) between the Republic of Poland and the Russian Federation was welcomed by experts as an important step towards the future visa-free regime between the European Union and the Russian Federation often discussed in the international dialogue. The three years of LBT mechanism have shown its practical significance for the development of research and cultural contacts, cooperation between municipalities and NGOs of the Kaliningrad region and the borderland (Pomeranian and Warmian-Masurian) voivodeships of Poland. When considering retail trade as a structural element of economy, it is important to address the differences in the effect LBT has had on the development of this sector in the Kaliningrad region and the neighbouring Polish voivodeships. According to Russian experts, LBT results in 7-20% losses in the Kaliningrad region’s retail sales, whereas in Poland LBT stimulates retail trade (accounting for 12% of sales in the border voivodeships). This article analyses the role of LBT in the development of retail trade in the Kaliningrad region and the Polish border voivodeships as well as prospects of its development in view of the changing geopolitical situation and adjustment of the currency exchange rates at the end of 2014. Based on statistics and analytical data, the authors arrive at the conclusion that the positive effect of LBT outdoes its negative impact on various sectors of the border regions’ economies, including retail trade.

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Lutheranism in Finland: past and present

Abstract

The article focuses on the spatial and temporal differentiation of Lutheranism in Finland. The study aims to identify historical and geographical features of the development of Lutheran space in Finland, as well as modern trends in its transformation. This study is very relevant, since Lutheranism is currently the major confession in Finland and religion tends to strongly affect the system of values and worldview prevalent in society. The article describes the administrative structure transformation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. It is argued that Finnish Lutheranism emerged in 1923. The religious and national unity of Finland contributed to bringing together the Finnish society during the Winter War, the Continuation War, and the post-war reconstruction of Finland. In the following decades, the number of Lutheran parishes and parishioners decreased. These processes were most pronounced in the first years of the 21st century. Probably, they mark the beginning of Finland’s transition to a ‘new society’ that is not based on Christian values. Similar processes are observed in other countries of United Europe. The authors establish a connection between secularisation processes in the society and changes in the administrative structure of the Lutheran church of Finland. A decrease in the number of Lutherans is accompanied by the closure or merger of the church primary territorial units - parishes. Probably, this process will be followed by the transformation of the diocesan division.

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