The Baltic Region

2018 Vol. 10 № 3

Demographic Processes

Current Scenarios for the Demographic Future of the World: The Cases of Russia and Germany

Abstract

In this article, we explore the demographic future of the world with a focus on scenarios for Russia and Germany. We seek an alternative to the Western standards of scenarios for global demographic development. We consider demographic development both in a positive and negative sense. Our analysis rests on such theoretical structures as the general theory of population, the classical theory of demographic transition, the concepts of the ‘second’, ‘third’, and ‘fourth’ demographic transitions, and scenarios for the ‘Eurasian demographic development path’. We employ a range of methods from comparative demography as well as historical analogies, expert evaluations and demographic forecasts. We analyse the patterns of current demographic development in Russia and Germany to explore various demographic scenarios. In the conclusion, we stress the need for Russia and other countries, including Germany, to embark on the ‘Eurasian demographic development path’ in view of the countries’ geographical positions and demographic values, with children being a dominant one. Otherwise, both Germany and Russia may disappear as national states as early as this century. The findings of this study can be used to improve the demographic policies of Russia and Germany.

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Geodemography of the Saint Petersburg Suburbs

Abstract

In this article, we analyse the structure and the development dynamics of the Saint Petersburg suburbs — home to over 1.6 million people. To this end, we employ statistical, historical, and empirical research methods and carry out a comparative analysis. Geodemographic studies should take into account not only demographic data but also the characteristics of the settlement system. Such studies are particularly important for suburbs. Russian social geography pays little attention to suburban studies, although such territories have become an independent object of research in international geographical science. The Saint Petersburg suburbs are of special interest from the perspective of geodemography, which is explained by the significant size of the area — a result of the territory’s historical development. The formation of the settlement system of the Saint Petersburg suburbs started with the foundation of the city, and continues to this day. Today, their spatial structure is shaped by the current administrative border between Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region — a product of the territory’s development in the Soviet period of Russia’s history. The lengthy process of border formation has given it a peculiar character. The most vibrant and attractive areas of the suburbs are located at a distance of 14—32 km from the centre of Saint Petersburg, between the isochrones of forty- and ninety-minute transport accessibility. Lying at a distance of approximately 60 km from the city centre, the two-hour travel time band marks the border of both the commuter zone and the Saint Petersburg agglomeration. A new settlement system is emerging within the suburban area of Saint Petersburg — the most economically, demographically, and socially vibrant territory of Russia’s North-West.

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Population Change in the Neighbouring Regions of Russia and the European Union States

Abstract

In this article, I carry out a comparative analysis of population change in the bordering regions of Russia and the European Union. Peripheries of their countries, most of these regions enjoy a more or less favourable demographic situation, which, however, differs from place to place. To attain the aims of the study, I analyse official data from Russian and EU statistical offices and map the results obtained. I identify significant differences between border regions and cities. The most adverse demographic situation is observed in the borderlands of the Baltics, a slightly better one in Poland and Finland. As to Russia’s border regions, a population increase is characteristic of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions. Yet, a number of cities in the immediate vicinity of the border face a population decline. The demographic situation could be improved by more active transboundary collaborations and by the border serving increasingly as a contact area rather than a barrier.

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Diaspora

Contacts with Diasporas and Diaspora Organisations as a Key to a Successful Migrant Integration Policy in the EU

Abstract

We analyse European Commission and European Parliament documents — directives, communications, conclusions, recommendations — and best practices for EU member states’ international projects focusing on migrant integration in both the EU states and the countries of origin. Special emphasis is placed on the role of diasporas and the efforts taken by the EU to involve them in the integration process. We stress the need for a new supranational EU immigration and integration policy, in view of new migration trends and the so-called migrant crisis. The study shows that the EU integration policy is directed towards both migrants and host countries and the countries of origin. Since the early 2010s, the involvement of various diaspora organisations in the implementation of the EU migrant integration policy has significantly increased. An analysis of completed projects shows that diasporas have a potential of becoming a key actor in the EU integration policy. We suggest expanding the list of the objectives of the national integration policy of the EU countries. This may be achieved by boosting efforts to reduce the gap in the socio-economic development of the host countries and the countries of origin, particularly, by promoting multilateral cooperation with diaspora organisations.

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The Chinese Diaspora in the EU Countries

Abstract

This article is a further contribution to the discourse of ethnic ‘diffusion’ in European countries. The debate started on the pages of the Baltic Region journal by three authors — Yu. N. Gladky, I. Yu. Gladky, and K. Yu. Eidemiller [4]. We assume that Europe has been a major centre of attraction for immigrants in recent decades and a site for the rapid emergence of ethnic communities. Unlike Muslim immigration, a product of the Arab Spring and often a measure of last resort, Chinese immigration is a result of a certain convergence between the ideologies of the host countries, committed to multiculturalism, and the country of origin pursuing a ‘go global’ policy. We chose the EU countries as a ‘demonstration site’ and the Chinese diaspora as the object of research. Our aim is to describe the process of migration from China and the formation of a Chinese diaspora in European countries. We analyse the timeline and the scope of Chinese immigration, qualitative changes in the composition of immigrants, factors affecting the choice of the country of entry, and the quantitative parameters and settlement patterns of today’s Chinese diaspora in the region. We suggest grouping the EU Countries by the number and ‘age’ of their Chinese diasporas. We consider ethnic ‘diffusion’ as part of the ‘European project’ within Beijing’s global strategy.

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Economic and Demographic Security

Evaluating and Measuring the Security of Russia’s Border Regions: Theory and Practice

Abstract

The economic security of Russia’s regions has been the focus of numerous studies. Significant contributions have been made to relevant methodological approaches and measurement tools. However, economic security has been little studied in the context of border regions. In this article, we address the methodological problems of employing existing methods and models for measuring the economic security of border regions. We pay special attention to the development of an evaluation algorithm incorporating the border regions’ characteristics, the identification of groups (classes), a set of universal, specific, and special indicators as well as the impact of protective measures on economic security. To justify our proposals, we analyse the economic security of the Kaliningrad region; it is a study based on an evaluation of protective measures in the regional agricultural industry and of the effect of different factors on the generation of value added in the sector. We emphasise the need to take into account regional conditions when assessing economic security and to introduce economic and mathematical calculations into the relevant measurement algorithm at its different stages. We use our findings in providing a rationale for the central principles and procedures for creating a comprehensive model of the economic security of Russia’s western border regions.

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Demographic Situation and Demographic Security in the Regions of Russia’s Western Borderlands

Abstract

In this study, I address the vast and complicated problem of population replacement in Russia’s border regions. Although both national and regional demographic indicators have improved in Russia in recent years, many issues relating to sub-replacement fertility, irrational migration, etc. remain unresolved. This lends an urgency to studying regional demographic security, namely, the problems of ensuring replacement fertility, regulating migrations, and overcoming a skewed age and sex structure. I provide a detailed definition of the notion of demographic security and a list of indicators for evaluating it. I stress typological differences in the demographic situation across Russia’s western borderlands to ensure a differentiated approach to providing regional demographic security. In this study, I use economic- statistical methods, a comparative analysis, and an empirical typology of regions based on the above indicators. In terms of theory, the findings obtained can contribute to a more detailed definition of demographic security and a better methodology of regional population studies. In practical terms, the study has relevance to the development of proposals for improving national and regional demographic policy and regional strategic planning given the identified typological differences.

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Some Aspects of Economic Security of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region under Conditions of Geo-Economic Uncertaint

Abstract

In this article, I consider individual aspects of the economic security of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region amid the geo-economic uncertainty observed since 2014. The object of the study is the economic and technological sustainability of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region given geo-economic risks and growing challenges to economic security. To evaluate the economic security of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, I employ some of the parameters proposed in the Strategy for the Economic Security of the Russian Federation until 2030. I also use other parameters pertinent to the evaluation of the state of an economy amid geoeconomic uncertainty, in this case, in the conditions of the crisis of 2014—2016, brought about by both external and internal factors. I employ the concept of the triad of regional economic competitiveness, regional economic security, and sustainable regional socio-economic development. I believe that this triad does not only demonstrate the logic of the current and prospective development of a Russian region but also highlights weaknesses and opportunities for future development. The competitiveness of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region amid geo-economic uncertainty is considered through the performance of the regions’ key enterprises and emerging technology companies. I analyse the revenue profiles of the regions’ leading industrial enterprises in 2014—2015 and emphasise the role of key industrial exporters. This article is a preliminary study without any claim to completeness. Further research will seek to present the findings obtained in more detail.

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