The Baltic Region

2018 Vol. 10 № 4

Youth unemployment in the Latgale region of Latvia: causes and consequences

Abstract

Youth unemployment is a serious problem in Latvia, as unemployed young people make up 16.3 % of the total number of unemployed in the country, while in the Latgale region the number of unemployed young people aged 15—24 years was 18.8 % of the total number of unemployed in the country in 2015. The purpose of this study is to identify the main current causes of high unemployment amongst young people in the Latgale region of Latvia aged 15—24 years. This age group of young people acted as a target group for sociological research based on a quota sample (by sex and age) in an online survey of respondents in 2016. The results of the study were processed using the Statistika program. The transformation of social and economic processes in the world, Europe and the post- Soviet space has led to changes in the labor market of young people, which are objective and subjective, contradictory, which continue to this day. It is established that the behavioral rationalism of young people (labor mobility, vocational education, etc.) in the regional labor market is combined with its behavioral irrationalism (lack of desire to work for various reasons, the need for contact with family and friends, etc.). This is due to the growing uncertainty in the youth labor market due to the growth of competition, the emergence and growth of flexible forms of employment, depriving young people of the clarity of career and confidence in the future. The survey results also show that the majority of unemployed youth in the Latgale region deliberately refuses to emigrate outside Latvia and would like to link their future with the region and the country.

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Trends in the development of cross-border trade in the Russian-Finnish borderlands

Abstract

This article considers the development of cross-border trade and tourism in the Russian- Finnish borderlands in the 19th/21st centuries. We describe the evolution of cross-border trade in the Russian-Finnish borderlands at different stages of the territory’s development. The patterns of cross-border trade have always been depended on the national policies of the two countries. Since the 19th century, cross-border trade in the Russian-Finnish borderlands has been the product of two factors. The first one is the demand from local residents for certain imported goods that are either absent or much more expensive in their own country. The second factor is the possibility of receiving additional or even basic income. We distinguish several periods (peddlar trade, Soviet-Finnish tourism, shuttle trade, shopping tourism) in the evolution of Russian-Finnish cross-border trade and identify their major trends and characteristics. We describe the general patterns of cross-border trade in these historical periods and juxtapose the pertinent institutional, organisational and infrastructural settings. We explain why the direction of the flow of finance and goods changed. Until the early 20th century, goods were brought to and money collected from Finland’s borderlands. Since the 1920s, the opposite situation has been observed. The latter trend has been growing in recent years. In this article, we aim at providing a periodisation and detecting the trends in and features of the evolution of cross-border trade in the Russian-Finnish borderlands in the 19th/21st centuries. To this end, we carry out a statistics and data analysis. We describe the Russian and international approaches to studying cross-border shopping tourism. We address Finland’s experience in stimulating inbound shopping tourism from Russia and examine why the Russians are attracted to the neighbouring state.

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Regional politics of memory in Poland’s Warmia and Masuria

Abstract

A contribution to memory studies, this work focuses on Poland’s Warmian-Masurian voivodeship. Before the war, this territory and the neighbouring Kaliningrad region of Russia comprised the German province of East Prussia. In this article, we strive to identify the essence, mechanisms, key stages, and regional features of the politics of memory from 1945 to the present. To this end, we analyse the legal regulations, the authorities’ decisions, statistics, and the reports in the press. We consider such factors as the education sector, the museum industry, the monumental symbolism, the oral and printed propaganda, holidays and rituals, the institutions of national memory, the adoption of memory-related laws, and others. From the first post-war years, the regional authorities sought to make the Polonocentric concept of the region’s history dominate the collective consciousness. This approach helped to use the postwar legacy impartially and effectively. However, the image of the past was distorted. This distortion was overcome at the turn of the 21st century to give rise to the concept of open regionalism. An effective alternative to nationalistic populism, open regionalism provides a favourable background for international cross-border cooperation.

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