The Baltic Region

2019 Vol. 11 №2

Migration and Ethnic Issues

The ‘hybrid model’ of Norway’s ethnic policy in its northern counties: a key to stable interethnic relations

Abstract

In this article, we study the political and legal model currently used by Norway in its Northern counties. This work is a part of comprehensive research supported by the Russian Science Foundation. Our study aims to provide a historical perspective to the model of Nor­way’s national ethnic policy in the Northern counties by identifying the operational capabili­ties and assessing the efficiency of these models amid increasing migration flows and changes in the country’s socio-economic environment. The methods we use in this multidisciplinary study are situated at the interface of national and international law, political science, history, and sociology. They include the comparative historical method (the dynamics of ethno-political processes), the systemic method (ethic policy in the framework of target-based pro­gramme management), the comparative law method (a comparison of national legal systems and international contractual standards), the value and norm-driven method (ethnic policy viewed through the prism of public good), institutional method (the role of political institu­tions), and the secondary analysis of sociological data. We also rely on qualitative methods, namely, the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data on ethnic diasporas living in the North of Norway. As a result, we establish that the Kingdom of Norway has a unified ap­proach to national ethnic policy, which rests on self-confessed multiculturalism. However, different ethnic political models are applied in the case of certain ethnic groups. Today, against the background of declared state multiculturalism and integration, the models of ac­culturation and non-violent assimilation are both operational in Norway. There are sporadic expressions of nationalism and voluntary segregation. We conclude that, despite a unified approach to ethnic policy and despite Norway’s political and legal achievements in the pro­tection of indigenous peoples’ rights, the country’s government carries out a differentiated ‘hybrid’ ethnic policy towards ethnic groups living on its territory. The growing infighting between the right and the left parties in the Storting translates into unpopular and spur-of-the-moment political decisions as regards inter-ethnic relations.

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From the Mediterranean to the Baltic: the problem of implementing the principle of solidarity in the EU area of immigration and asylum

Abstract

The 2015 migration crisis significantly affected the EU’s area of freedom, security, and justice and challenged the cohesion and solidarity of the European Union. Although the crisis is past its peak, it is not over yet: problems and challenges associated with it persist. One of them is the lack of a common approach among member states to the implementation of the principle of solidarity in the EU area of immigration and asylum. This work aims to consider the legal and political aspects of the implementation of the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility in the area of immigration and asylum. This study relies on the works of Russian and international experts in European integration and European law and on the analysis of EU regulations. There are two dimensions to the implementation of the princi­ple of solidarity: the political and legal ones. The legal perspective provides certain clarity to the issue. According to the European Court of Justice, this principle is binding: it is capable of imposing the legal obligation of solidarity. However, as to the political perspective, mem­ber states have not been able to reach compromise. Although it is possible to introduce a permanent relocation mechanism using qualified majority voting, the Council usually seeks consensus. In this situation, the goal of the EU is not to ensure the right decision but rather to create conditions for it to be implemented by all the member states.

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Migration in the Kaliningrad region reflected in the 1989—2015 censuses and microcensuses

Abstract

The Kaliningrad region stands out for its history and geographical location. In the post-war period, the region was completely repopulated. People from many parts of Russia and other republics of the former USSR were recruited to develop the new territory. Although demographic processes and migration in the Kaliningrad region have been studied in detail, we believe that census and micro-census data can significantly advance the current knowledge of this unique region. This holds true for the data relating to the results of pre-survey migration. This approach differs markedly from traditional migration studies in Rus­sia, which rely on migration flow data, in both data sources and migration criteria employed. Our study uses the place of birth data from the 1989, 2002, and 2010 censuses and the 1994 and 2015 microcensuses. We conclude that the proportions of residents born locally and in post-Soviet Asian countries have been increasing in recent decades. At the same time, the contribution of the natives of Belarus and Ukraine to the region's population is rapidly de­clining, largely due to the change of generations having a different migration history.

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Economics

Scenarios of increasing the econo­mic efficiency of the Kaliningrad regional transport system

Abstract

The development of the considerable transport and logistics potential of the Kaliningrad region is hampered by several factors. This problem, to which we will refer to as a transport deadlock effect, translates into the limited contribution of transport to the regional economy. Particularly, it manifests itself at the level of regional gross value added, where the contribu­tion of transport is much smaller than one might expect given the significant role the industry plays in the economy of the region. In this study, we examine major ways of increasing the economic efficiency of the regional transport system from the value added perspective. We posit that the structure of cargo handled and the redistribution of value added in favour of regional actors have the dominant influence on economic efficiency. Using our own simula­tion model and the earlier developed system of transport tariffs and value added calculation for the Kaliningrad region, we produce scenarios and consider changes in value added in the case of selected cargoes carrying intermediate, investment, and consumer goods (as defined in the International Classification for Broad Economic Categories ICT BEC-4). Our calcula­tions show that higher value added and greater economic efficiency of a regional transport system are associated with re-orientation towards investment and consumer goods. The most visible effect is associated with rail and road transport. As to sea transport, the decisive role is played by an increase in the physical volume of cargo handled. The results of this study and its modelling tools can be applied in the analysis of the current situation and in the assess­ment of the efficiency of transport systems in other regions. Another possible application is the identification of growth conditions for an industry, particularly, when developing projects and proposals for increasing the efficiency of transport services.

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Tourism

Tourism and the structure of attractiveness of the Baltic region met­ropolises

Abstract

International tourism is playing an increasingly important part in the life of all the nine countries of the Baltic region. In this contribution, I analyse the statistical data for 2010—2017 regarding the numbers of arrivals of international tourists and international tourism revenues in the Baltic region. Regional metropolises, which include nine capitals and Saint Petersburg, have a pivotal role in the tourism space of the region. I propose a methodology for empirical research into the attractiveness of ten Baltic cities as perceived by international tourists. This methodology distinguishes three major components in the tourism industry of the Baltic metropolises: hotels, restaurants, and sights. I estimate the attractiveness of these tourism infrastructure components in each of the ten cities using special indicators. Based on the data obtained, I calculate the integrated indicator of city attractiveness. The empirical study shows that, in the Baltic region, international tourists appreciate the most the hotels of Berlin, Warsaw, and Copenhagen, the restaurants of Tallinn, Riga, and Copenhagen, and the sights of Berlin, Stockholm, and Saint Petersburg. The most attractive Baltic cities for inter­national tourists are Berlin, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. Although the sights of Moscow and Saint Petersburg are competitive in the tourist space of the Baltic region, Moscow and Saint Petersburg hotels and restaurants are noticeably inferior to those in other countries of the region.

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Tourism development in border areas: a benefit or a burden? The case of Karelia

Abstract

Border regions are expected to benefit from their position when it comes to tourism de­velopment. In this article, I propose a new approach to interpreting the connection between an area’s proximity to the national border and the development of tourism at the municipal level. The aim of this study is to identify the strengths and limitations of borderlands as re­gards the development of tourism in seven municipalities of Karelia. I examine summarised data available from online and other resources, as well as my own observations. Using medi­an values, I rely on the method of content analysis of strategic documents on the development of cross-border municipalities of Karelia. My research focuses on the tourism and recreation potential of borderlands and analyses the development of local tourism infrastructure. I de­scribe the major types of tourism, examine tourist flows, and consider the strategic aspects of tourism at the municipal level. I identify the strengths and limitations of the development of tourism in border areas by comparing the data on border and inland municipalities of Kare­lia and investigate the role of international border crossing points in the development of tou­rism in borderlands.

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Geopolitical Research

Modern geopolitical research in Russia

Abstract

In this article, we present the results of our study into the contribution of geography to modern geopolitics in Russia. We stress the interdisciplinary nature of geopolitical studies and identify ensuing problems. Using content analysis of the eLIBRARY bibliography data­base and Elsevier’s abstract and citation database Scopus, we conclude that geography has considerably affected the development of modern geopolitics in Russia. The contribution of geographers is rather modest considering the number of PhD theses and research publica­tions. However, it becomes more visible when textbooks only are taken into account. Geo­gra­phical studies are an indispensable part of geopolitical research, which we identified us­ing the object-subject criteria reflecting the effect that properties of territories have on the poli­cies of states located within them. This relates to marine geopolitics, ethnic geopolitics, geoe­co­nomics, ecopolitics, political geoconflict studies, and mediageopolitics. We consider geopo­litics and ethnic geopolitics to be priority areas of geographical and geopolitical stud­ies. Geo­graphy plays a major role in the comprehensive geopolitical studies into territories of dif­ferent size. Geopolitics of post-Soviet space, geopolitics of Russia, domestic geopolitics, and cri­tical geopolitics examine the combined effect of the properties of territories on the policies of states implemented in them. We stress that most geographical and geopolitical works focus on analysing the geopolitical location of territories, the geopolitical interests of states, and the identification of mechanisms behind the geopolitical vision of the population.

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The development of poli­tical geography and geopolitics as an academic and research discipline in the Baltic re­gion: the historical contribution of Saint Petersburg University

Abstract

In this article, we address the little-researched and complicated problems of the genesis, periodisation, and development of political geography and geopolitics as academic and re­search disciplines across the Baltic region in general and the contribution of Saint Peters­burg University in particular. The terms ‘political geography,’ ‘geopolitics’ and the corre­sponding academic disciplines, as well as the first concepts of political geography and geo­politics, emerged in the Baltic. The Russian and German schools of thought made a valuable contribution to these fields of research. Using the historical, structural-genetic, and activity-geospace approaches, we identify and analyse the major historical, research, and academic paradigms in the development of political geography. In doing so, we consider the case of Saint Petersburg University. These paradigms (state-descriptive, anthropogeographical, state-geopolitical, and activity-societal) differ in their methodological frameworks and the­matic priorities. We demonstrate that the term ‘political geography’ and the science it de­notes are of Russian origin, having been developed by German scientists during their aca­demic service for Russia. Further, we analyse the contribution of German and Russian re­searches to the development of the Saint Petersburg school of political geographic and geo­political thought and describe its current state.

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