The Baltic Region

2011 Issue №4(10)

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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