The Baltic Region

2024 Vol. 16 №1

Geopolitical regionalisation of the Baltic area: the essence and historical dynamics


The article discusses a theoretical framework for investigating regionalisation and geopolitical regionalisation, employing the activity-geospatial approach. The main theoretical foci of this study are system-forming, or region-building, socio-geo-adaptation and geopolitical relations. The article examines various types of transboundary and transnational geopolitical regionalisation as manifestos of geopolitical relations. These types are categorised based on scale, functional area, historical and geographical characteristics, quality, legal status and geospatial features, placing particular emphasis on the Baltic region. An essential aspect of studying a region involves identifying and defining its spatial boundaries. Since determining the exact limits of the Baltic region remains problematic, this article examines various approaches to address this issue, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, particularly in the context of geopolitical analysis. The concluding part of the article explores several centuries of the evolution of the Baltic Sea region, divided into historical geopolitical stages. It is highlighted that the geopolitical essence of the Baltic region was changing radically over time. Particular attention is paid to the current state of the Baltic regional geopolitical entity, which is classified as a conflict-ridden or confrontational geopolitical region in the ‘Eurasian arc of instability’ interpreted as a geopolitical macroregion.

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