The Baltic Region

2011 Issue №4(10)

From the Editorial Board

International relations

Historical memory in the age of globalization: the case of Russian- Estonian relations

Abstract

This article contributes to the discussion within the "Towards the Common Past" international academic network bringing together scholars from Russia, the Baltic States and the Nordic countries. It assesses the relationship between globalization and historical memory, thus contributing to the discussion on globalization and the roles and applications of history. On the basis of an analysis of academic discourses on globalization and historical memory, the author arrives at two conclusions. On the one hand, the proponents of globalization use historical memory as one of their arguments: they claim that the history of globalization in international relations stretches back to the 19th century, thus globalization is an irreversible process. On the other hand, globalization attaches international significance to historical events that were earlier considered as being of local importance. The author proves the latter statement through comparing Russian and Estonian discourses on the relationship between the events which took place in Tallinn in September 1944 and April 2007. Highlighting the differences between the two discourses may help Russian scholars understand the reasons behind the political decisions made by the Estonian authorities in April 2007. It accounts for the practical significance of the research conducted, since one of the most important objectives of international relations as a discipline is not to explain what decision would have been the most appropriate in the given situation, but to further the understanding of the reasons behind the actually made decision. The author expresses his gratitude to his counterparts from St. Petersburg State University and the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, as well as those from the Universities of Lund (Sweden), Tampere (Finland), and Tartu (Estonia) for their comments on the earlier versions of the article. At the same time, the author alone bears all the responsibility for the conclusions drawn in the article.

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The formation of the political elite in Lithuania at the turn of the 1980s—1990s: the role of “moral politicians”

Abstract

This article considers the trend of structural changes in the political elite of the Republic of Lithuania in the post-Soviet period through analyzing the role of the so-called “moral politicians” — intellectuals, artists, and cultural figures, who played a decisive role in the period of the communist system disintegration and further development of the country's policy. The role of the political elite, which is understood according to R. Putnam and J. Higley's definition, is considered in the conditions of political instability and uncertainty typical of transformation processes. In this context, the role of key actors is interpreted on the basis of the methodological structure of the so-called Stanford model developed by G. Almond and P. Bourdieu's theory of capital. This article reconstructs the course of political changes in the Republic of Lithuania at the initial stage of its independence, in the framework of which the key role was played by «moral politicians», most of whom subsequently retired from politics. Focusing on the situation in Lithuania, this research sets out to show the continuous dependence of today's policies of the Baltic States on the key choices made by the authorities at the turn of 1980s—1990s. Today, Russian political science lacks concrete regional studies into the issues of changes of elites in the context of research on the processes of postcommunist transformations. This work addresses the scientific interpretation of the content of mechanisms of «new» political elite development in postcommunist societies under the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors in the course of transformation. The stabilisation of elite formation processes in Lithuania, the assessment of patterns and trends, the identification of power centres and the character of intra-elite interaction, and a profound understanding of the functioning of Lithuanian political system in general will allow Russia to formulate a more efficient policy towards the Baltic States, which would promptly respond to emerging challenges.

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Modern Lithuanian foreign policy: the adjustment of traditional policy

Abstract

The authors consider the core areas of Lithuanian foreign policy. Special attention is paid to the adjustment of the major foreign policy vector, which concentrated earlier on the cooperation with the United States of America and strategic partnership with the Republic of Poland. The article analyses the attempts of Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė to formulate the so-called «new foreign policy» based on the multivector approach  to the intergovernmental cooperation. This research is timely because of an increasing influence of small states on foreign policy decision-making within the European Union. It emphasizes the need to analyse foreign policy priorities of the Baltic States and Central and Eastern European countries and to identify the dominant trends in the international policy in the region in order to forecast further development at European and global levels. This objective is achieved with the help of an integrated approach with elements of interdisciplinary research. Special attention is paid to the comparative-historical approach, which facilitates the analysis of the relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the neighbouring states and its principal partners. Alongside traditional methods of historical research, this work employs such methods as participant observation, content and event analysis, and simultaneous and comparative analysis. The research and practical significance of this work is explained by its emphasis on the need to apply an additional theoretical framework to studies into the foreign policy initiatives of the Republic of Lithuania in the international arena. While earlier they were determined by the value (democratic approach), which was a reflection of American realism, today an increasingly important factor is the personality of the president, who does not always positively influence the changing policy of the country. The results of the research contribute substantially to the understanding of foreign policy processes taking place in Lithuania and the region in general.

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The role of the Kaliningrad region in the development of Russian-German relations

Abstract

Germany is one of the principal partners of the Russian Federation. The Kaliningrad region plays a significant role in the development of partnership between the two countries, but the existing opportunities for development are not fully exploited. This article analyses the development, current state and prospects of an increasing role of the region in Russian-German cooperation. The authors emphasize the role of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University as one of the leaders in the development of research and cultural links with German universities and research foundations. This publication is based on the authors' presentation at the round table discussion on the cooperation between Russian and German partner regions held on September 23, 2011 in the framework of the 8th International Conference on Transborder Cooperation: the Russian Federation, the European Union, and Norway (September 22—23, 2011, Kaliningrad). The article considers topical issues of Russian-German economic and cultural relations in the Kaliningrad region, which facilitate the development of Russian strategy for the integration of northwestern constituent entities into the economic and cultural space of the Baltic region.

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Economic aspects of international cooperation

Does corruption influence the sustainability of economic growth?

Abstract

Sustainable development is a term that is widely used by politicians nowadays. The definition of the concept of sustainable development is constantly revised. Sustainable development is about promoting an integrated approach. It includes economic, social and environmental objectives. Economic objectives include growth, efficiency and stability. The main purpose of the article is to analyze the influences of corruption on sustainable economic growth. The impact is decreasing continuously and the main reason behind this is the change in peoples’ attitude and saturation to ethically questionable actions. Individuals and organizations can join in sharing resources for creating a sustainable future. There are several factors that influence sustainable development. Among them are: government policies; management and organization; financial and economic factors. The main question for institutional sustainability may be formulated as the following: can the strengthened institutional structure continue to deliver the results of technical cooperation to the ultimate end-users? Individuals and organizations can join in sharing resources for creating a sustainable future. Anticorruption strategies are related to the reform of state institutions. One advantage of the fundamental economic reform approach is that by linking anticorruption strategies to the reform of economic policies and institutions, the struggle against corruption can be seen as one of the issues in economic policy. Finally, all development assistance should be implemented with the aim of achieving sustainable benefits.

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Euroregions as a factor of successful international integration in modern conditions

Abstract

This article focuses on the correlation between the contemporary crisis phenomenon in the Eurozone and some CIS countries, and the existing Euroregions. We attempt to analyze the interdependence of the qualitative aspect of cross-border relations of European countries with their economic sustainability in the context of regional international integration. The theoretical significance of this work lies in the revealed correlation between the efficiency of cross-border Euroregions and the additional resources that can be retrieved in the framework of national economic policy during global recession. The practical component lies in clarifying the conceptual framework for the formation of successful crossborder cooperation in today's Europe. The authors employed the historical-descriptive approach and factual consideration of the cross-border and macro-regional level of interaction between European countries. The main results are as follows. The crisis in several EU countries is associated with a complex of causes that deplete the platform for multilateral cooperation in Europe. To a lesser extent, the crisis has affected the states that are actively involved in cross-border cooperation projects. The formation of European regions is closely related to the industrial development of their regions. The Post-Soviet space requires a redistribution of the overcentralized power. The abundance of Euroregions along the perimeter of certain states may be an indicator of economy's resilience to potential shocks. The provisions set forth in the article contribute to an improvement of the scientific understanding of political regionalistics and take the current understanding of the international system to the level of cross-border relations and institutions creating a system of interrelated elements of macro-regional and national building. The results can be applied in the development of a conceptual and legal framework for the construction of cross-border political formations in the Post-Soviet space, especially, within the Eurasian Economic Community, which coined the concept of «eurasiaregion».

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Russia's accession to the WTO as an important factor of the country's integration into the world economy

Abstract

Russia's accession to the WTO is an efficient instrument of the country's integration into the globalized world economy. However, it can adversely affect a number of enterprises and industries within the national economy. Thus, there is a need to develop a methodology for the assessment of the preparedness for operating under WTO membership conditions, which can be practically applied in the development of measures aimed at increasing the competitiveness of economic entities. This determines the objective of the research. This article offers the author's assessment of the reasonability of Russia's accession to the WTO and suggests methodological approaches to the assessment of preparedness of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation for functioning in the new economic conditions based on the algorithm of choosing a system of indicators, as well as the organisation of enterprise monitoring according to this system, which makes it possible to formulate rational administrative decisions in order to minimise the adverse effects of Russia's accession to the WTO. The major result of the research is the conclusion that, although the objective of identifying the start position of the constituent entities before the accession to the WTO and its possible implications is quite difficult to attain, it is both theoretically and  practically feasible.

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On the concept of normative evaluation of cost-effectiveness of GLONASS application in coastal regions

Abstract

Russia promotes the application of GLONASS satellite information system in regional economies. In three regions, the system has already been introduced and is widely used, 21 more regions are introducing the system. Experts believe that this process will take from 3 to 5 years. The introduction and integrated use of GLONASS pose a number of organizational and economic problems for regional administrations. One of such problems is the evaluation of economic benefit from GLONASS implementation in the region. Economics has developed a large number of methodological approaches to the calculation of such effects in different fields of satellite information application: Earth's remote probing, crop yield forecasts, forestry, water industry and agricultural monitoring, etc. However, the research shows that attempts to perform a calculation for various fields of satellite information application at a regional level prove the existing approaches to be inefficient due to the difficulties in obtaining initial data. To this effect, the authors developed a normative methodical approach to the calculation of the effect of integrated GLONASS application. This approach is meant to fill the existing gap and makes it possible to evaluate the economic benefit of an integrated GLONASS application for different fields.

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The features of EU energy strategy in the Baltic region

Abstract

This article analyses the issues of EU energy policy in the 1990s-the beginning of the 2000s in order to identify the features of energy supply and energy safety of the Baltic region countries. The research and practical significance of the work lies in the stepwise description of actions taken by EU leaders and EU member states in order to formulate a common European energy policy. The 2004 EU enlargement posed the problem of taking into account the features of energy supply of Eastern European countries and, especially, the Baltic States. The energy industries of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, as well as other Eastern European and CIS countries, are closely related to the energy industry of the Russian Federation. Trying to allow for this circumstance, EU leaders and energy structures took a number of organizational measures aimed, on the one hand, at an increase in energy independence of new members of the EU and, on the other hand, at taking into account the recent trends in the energy market development. The research shows that most of the initiatives do not take into account the perspective and interests of Russia, which has a strong presence in the energy market. The analysis conducted will help the assessment of prospects of further development of the Baltic States' energy industry and its interaction with that of the Russian Federation.

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The image of modern Russian innovations in the Danish mass media

Abstract

This article sets out to identify the attitude of the Danish mass media to modern Russian innovations. The research is timely because of the Russian interest in the experience of Denmark — one of the "innovation leaders" of the EU. The author analyses a number of publications on Russia in the Danish mass media. The positive image of Russian innovations in Danish periodicals is analysed against the background of historical stereotypes. The article also describes the Danish national innovation system. The image of Russian innovations in the Danish mass media is positive; however, the articles dedicated to Russian innovations constitute a small part of reports on developments in Russia. The article also contributes to social surveys carried out in Denmark through introducing new data. The research results can be used by politicians, scholars and social activists interested in the relations with Denmark.

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Diplomatic protocol as a tool of international economic relations

Abstract

Both the official (state and diplomatic) and business protocols are frequently used in Europe; in Russia, it has become a focus of attention in recent years. Thus, there arises a need of training specialists in protocol. However, this aspect has not been tackled effectively by Russian universities. This article is aimed at identifying the need for the professional study of protocol at Russian universities. The paper analyses the level of teaching protocol disciplines in Europe and Russia and considers the results of the first Russian forum on protocol. The main conclusion drawn is that there is a need for introducing a qualification of an expert in protocol into Russian science. This research will help Russian universities create training plans for protocol disciplines.

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International relations: historical aspects

The features of choosing an institutional development trajectory in Eastern Europe in the 16th—17th centuries: Moscovy and the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth

Abstract

Recent decades have witnessed an increase in the number of works dedicated to the analysis of effects of historical events on the choice of institutions and further economic and social development of regions. This article employs the new institutional economic theory approach to consider the choices regarding title to land and serfdom in Moscovy and the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth (earlier the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) in the 16th—17th centuries. The author emphasizes the factors, which affected the choice of institutional development trajectory, and considers the influence exerted by these institutes on the political and military development of these states. This article shows how the contingent property rights in Moscovy turned out to be competitive in the conditions of a considerable contribution of decentralization factors to defence capacity and, opposite to the situation in the Polish — Lithuanian Commonwealth, ensured the formation of large and efficient troops. This work contributes to the research on the property rights and Russian economic history.

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The European idea in Central Europe and Scandinavia as a part of the security and peaceful co-existence policy in the framework of the postwar planning

Abstract

This article is dedicated to the development of European unity in Central Europe and Scandinavia as a mechanism of collective security and intergovernmental cooperation development. The cultural and historical features of Central Europe and Scandinavia emphasize the need for a comparative study into the European idea. This article considers the tendencies and factors which affected the development of the European idea in the framework of the post-war planning. This research sets out to compare and identify similar or analogous features and elements of the theoretical bases of movements for European unity in Central and Northern Europe. The author comes to the conclusion about the correlation between the “Europe of regions” model and the European unity concept. The ideas of Scandinavian and Central European integration rested on national, cultural and historical connections of the neighbouring countries were expected to constitute such formations, which contradicted and were opposed to by the theoretical framework of Western European integration. On the other hand, regional integration implied that a federation or union of the neighbouring states could be considered a step towards a more universal organisation, which would not mean the isolation of Scandinavia and Central Europe from the rest of the world. The theoretical and practical significance of this work lies in the comparative approach to the analysis of the phenomena which have been considered individually in the framework of historiography. It is the major contribution of the article to the research on history of ideas and European diplomacy. Moreover, the subject of research is immediately connected to the problem of security in the Baltic region and the Soviet factor, as well as political stereotypes produced in this field. The author employed historical comparative and inductive types of the historical typological  method.

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Ehtnocultural differentiation of territories

Cultural and landscape zoning in the North- West Russia

Abstract

This research was conducted in the framework of cultural geography — a relatively recent field of geography. This article considers the problems of geographical study of cultural landscapes of the North-West Russia, which includes Saint Petersburg, the Leningrad, Novgorod, Pskov, and Kaliningrad regions. This article sets out to develop and test the methodology for historical and cultural zoning at the mesogeographical level. The research and practical significance of the work lies in the identification of the features of formation of cultural landscapes in the North-West Russia, which can be used for the development of schemes of protection and rational management of territorial cultural and historical heritage. The authors rely on historical and cultural zoning as the basic geographical method of research on cultural landscapes. To this effect, the article offers a hierarchy of historical and cultural zones comparable to the zoning systems applied in physical, historical, and cultural geography. The major results of the research are the authors' taxonomy of historical and cultural complexes and the corresponding system of historical and cultural zoning of the North-West Russia presented on a sketch map. The article offers an exemplary description of historical and cultural provinces of the region. The contribution of the research to the Russian geography of culture is the authors' variant of taxonomy of historical and cultural complexes and the formulation of basic principles of historical and cultural zoning at different hierarchical levels. The research results can be applied, first of all, in the development of projects aimed at the protection and use of territorial cultural heritage in the framework of comprehensive schemes of territorial planning of the country's regions.

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