rss_2.0Baltic Journal of Political Science FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Baltic Journal of Political Science Journal of Political Science 's Cover200300Belarus: Transformation from Authoritarianism towards Sultanism<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The article consists of three parts. Firstly, the author considers the main concepts of the political regime in Belarus. Such an analysis includes the concepts of hybrid, authoritarian, and neo-patrimonial regimes. The second part deals with the reasons for Belarusian retreat from democratic standards, namely the Russian factor in Belarusian politics. President Vladimir Putin and Russian bureaucracy are afraid to lose Belarus in case Aliaksandr Lukashenka is removed from absolute power. The authoritarian regime in Russia has sponsored autocracies in the post-Soviet space, ensuring their dependence on Moscow. In the third part, the author analyses the transformation of the Belarusian regime, using the variables of the role of leadership, the state of pluralism, the role of ideology, the character of political mobilization, and the state of human rights. During a very short period of Lukashenka’s rule, we have witnessed a constant tightening of dictatorship rule, which has led the Belarusian regime to the point of a hybrid authoritarian-sultanistic regime (2006) and almost classical sultanism (2010). Such regimes as Belarusian can only be changed through the mobilization of public protest from below. Besides, the Belarusian semi-sultanism is not sustainable.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-05-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Europeanization of the Baltic Parliaments: Expectations and Agenda for Future Research<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The three Baltic states have joined the European Union almost a decade ago, but as of yet no research has been carried out von how the membership in the EU has affected the national political systems of these countries. This article overviews the literature on how EU membership affects the relationship between legislative and executive branches of government and summarizes what expectations could be drawn as to the character and degree of Europeanization of Baltic parliaments, based on the research. It also calls for an empirical study of this matter to measure these expectations against the reality and gives recommendations how it should be carried out.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-05-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Great Potential But Little Impact: The European Union’s Protection Policies for the Baltic Sea<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Since the completion of the Eastern enlargement in 2004, a major responsibility for addressing the Baltic Sea pollution lies with the European Union. It provides strong institutions to facilitate environmental decision-making and to enforce the implementation of regulations. However, the measures taken so far have not been sufficient to significantly improve the state of the Baltic Sea. In particular, the Common Agricultural Policy does not take the ecological characteristics of the region into consideration. Instead, it provides false incentives since it generally encourages farmers to increase production and to extend areas under cultivation. To enhance the EU’s role, it is crucial to raise the awareness of the Baltic Sea’s vulnerability in Brussels. Moreover, European regulations and policies should become more flexible and match the regional specific environmental requirements. At the same time, too heavy financial burdens and distortions of competition, especially for the region’s agricultural sector, should be avoided.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-05-17T00:00:00.000+00:00After Securitisation: Diplomats as De-Securitisers<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>After securitisation, there comes the further intensivation of a conflict, or violisation, or de-securitization. De-securitisation has many forms, one being diplomatisation. The article discusses peace and reconciliation work by states that are third parties to a conflict, and fastens on the pioneering state in terms of institutionalization, which is Norway. Following the Cold War, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs engaged in this field broadly. Institutionalisation hit during the 2000s. Norwegian diplomacy facilitators think of de-securitisation in four steps: mapping the parties to a conflict, clearing their path to the table, assisting in their deliberations going across that table, being indirectly involved in the monitoring of agreements. The article concludes with a suggestion to the Copenhagen School. By adapting Austin and Searle’s speech act perspective, Wittgenstein’s general understanding of linguistic and other practices have been left behind. It is time to leave the cold analytics of speech act theory behind and reclaim the full thrust of Wittgenstein’s work, which was geared towards the constitutive role of practices for everything social. We need more empirical studies of violising practices, as well as of de-securitising legal and diplomatic practices.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-05-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Is Russia a Threat to Estonian Energy Security?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This study examines whether Russia is a threat to Estonia’s energy security as well as how Estonia has reacted to Russia as an energy supplier. The authors use Stephen Walt’s balance of threat theory as a framework to understand the potential of Russia as a threat, as well as how Estonia has reacted. The balance of threat theory is chosen because it effectively establishes when states view others as a threat and how they react. The focus of the work is on Estonia’s dependence on Russian natural gas and the great lengths Estonia has gone to be energy self-sufficient. The article concludes that Estonia can and does see Russia as a threat to its energy security and has taken significant measures to reduce its dependency on Russia as an energy supplier.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-05-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Economic Aspects of the US Recognition of the Baltic States in 1922<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>A certain unity among the Baltic states emerged during their simultaneous fights for independence and for recognition by the great powers in Europe and the US. The recognition was given separately to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and not commonly to the Baltic states. This article tries to determine when and under what circumstances the Baltic question reached the institutions and leading persons dealing with foreign relations in the US as a separate problem independent of Russia. After the independence of the Baltic states, there followed a repelling attitude from the US and non-recognition until 1922.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-05-17T00:00:00.000+00:00Perceptions of Populism: Analysis of Media Discourse in Latvia<p>This article intends to analyze how the term ‘populism’ is used in the Latvian public discourse, by examining the content of the largest daily newspaper “Diena” in three different time periods. As it emerges from the analysis, populism has gained a different meaning in the daily usage in contrast with the more established understanding conveyed by the academic literature. In the media, populism is used to a refer to wide range of politicians, different parties and policy initiatives from diverse ideological spectra. Most often, however, populism is employed to describe rhetorics or communication style whose primary goal is to attract public attention.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Rainis’ Apology of the ‘Basic Class’: The World Revolution or the National Emancipation?<p>The aim of this article is to analyze the reasons for Rainis’ appreciation of the phenomenon he labels as the ‘basic class’. The Latvian writer attributes this concept to the members of society who provide the livelihood for themselves by doing mainly the manual labour. Although thus a praise for the proletariat is voiced, the reasons are more nuanced than the common Soviet interpretation allowed to see. Rainis sees the ‘Basic class’ as a crucial agent in the struggle for Latvian national emancipation. At the same time, the article seeks an answer to the question why, according to Rainis, bourgeoisie is reluctant to fight this struggle.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Why and How Supranational Institutions Became Central Stakeholders in the Eurozone Debt Crisis 2008–2012?<p>The financial crisis in the Eurozone is combining several new interdisciplinary debates. Has the financial crisis been caused by the decisions of the political actors or rather by complicated economic dilemmas? In what way have different social stakeholders acted during the years of the crisis and which of the groups have had the biggest influence in different stages of the crisis? Why and how national political elites have lost their dominant position in the crisis management, which have been the cornerstones of this power transition process and what role have the supranational institutions such as the European Commission and the European Central Bank played during the crisis? Accordingly, the main goal of the article is to define the crucial events and stakeholders in the Eurozone crisis solution process by using empirical process tracing and narrative analysis as the research methods. It will also inquire into how and why national political elites and citizens delegated their democratic competences and powers to non-electable institutions during the Eurozone crisis.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Small New Member States in the EU Foreign Policy: Toward ‘Small State Smart Strategy’?<p>This article explores the small new member states at the EU ‘frontline’ in their efforts to upload their geographic preferences in the EU foreign policy. It starts by reviewing the preferences of Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Slovenia. Next, it compares how they pursued these preferences in the EU. Third, it indicates their uploading success. Finally, it notes that these countries, despite their ‘double disadvantages’<sup><xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_bjps.2013.2.2818_ref_001_w2aab3b7b3b1b6b1ab1b1b1Aa">1</xref></sup>, moved closer toward ‘small state smart strategy’<sup><xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_bjps.2013.2.2818_ref_002_w2aab3b7b3b1b6b1ab1b1b2Aa">2</xref></sup>, including compromise-seeking behaviour, persuasive deliberation, lobbying, and using coalitions. While their uploading success has been mixed, their preference projection in the EU foreign policy has been visible.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Review: Agnia Grigas, The Politics of Energy and Memory Between the Baltic States and Russia Versus Semi-Presidentialism in the Baltic States: The Causes and Consequences of Differences in the Constitutional Frameworks<p>Restoring their statehood in the early 1990s, Estonia and Latvia established parliamentary republics, while Lithuania opted for semi-presidentialism. The paper is a case-oriented comparative study explaining this difference with the Lithuanian “exceptionality” in focus. Part of the answer is differences of interwar constitutional history: while Lithuania and Estonia had to cope with the legacy of three constitutions each, Latvia inherited only the parliamentary Constitution of 1922, because its dictator Karlis Ulmanis did not bother to constitutionalize his rule. Another part is differences in the balance of power during the time of extraordinary politics when constitutions were made. The alternation between the presidential and parliamentary phases of semi-presidentialism and the “perils of presidentialism” did manifest repeatedly in the Lithuanian post-communist politics, while Estonia and Latvia did know next to nothing about them, except for the “Zatlers episode” in Latvia in 2009–2011. The infamous Rolandas Paksas’ impeachment in 2003–2004 and controversial features in the performance style of the Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė are important illustrations of the shortcomings of semi-presidentialism, which could be cured by Lithuania’s switch to the Baltic pattern of parliamentary presidency. However, as time goes on, the probability of a constitutional reform decreases in all Baltic States, mainly due to increasing acquis <italic>constitutionnel</italic> and habituation.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Legislative Turnover in the Baltics After 1990: Why is it So High and What are its Implications?<p>This article discusses the causes and potential consequences of the high legislative turnover in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the period from 1990 onwards. The main findings from the subjectrelated literature are being confronted with the data on the Baltic parliamentary recruitment. The analysis leads to the conclusion that the path dependence (length of the previous non-democratic regime) and the supply-side volatility are the most convincing explanations for the high turnover among Baltic legislators.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-14T00:00:00.000+00:00Ugland, T. 2011, Jean Monnet and Canada: early travels and the idea of European unity. Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press shape-shifting creature dissected: political representations of Jean Monnet in European studies<p>In this paper, I argue that contemporary political and intellectual conflicts over the right course for European integration are reflected in the historiography of Jean Monnet, the so-called founding father of the European Union (EU). Multiple and mutually antithetical representations of Monnet are explored across the central themes of the contemporary European debate: nationalism, sovereignty, political methodology, and economic ideology. I investigate how the different faces of Monnet are constructed and used to legitimate contradictory scholarly standpoints regarding these central themes. Along the way, I attempt to decipher the puzzle of Monnet’s elevation to the status of a theoretical pioneer in EU Studies. Finally, I also explore how different roles assigned to Monnet in the various narratives of the EU’s origins contribute to the construction of European identity.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-25T00:00:00.000+00:00Radical party system changes in five east-central European states: Eurosceptic and populist parties on the move in the 2010s<p>This paper, in addition to describing the historical trajectory of party systems in the new European Union member states in general, describes the particular cases of five new Eastern-Central European (ECE) member states (NMS-5, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia), and the recent emergence of new, second party systems that have recently emerged after the collapse of their first party systems. The main message of this paper is that the historical transformations of the NMS- 5 can best be described using a matrix of four party types: 1) populist, 2) Eurosceptic, 3) protest, and 4) extreme-right. Although Eurosceptic parties have been in the forefront of recent analysis, the other three forms included in this matrix are equally important, and even enhance the understanding of Eurosceptic parties in the NMS-5. Like the international literature, the focus of this paper is also on party developments, but includes a complex approach that accounts not only for political, but also for socio-economic, developments in the NMS-5.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-25T00:00:00.000+00:00A small state in the asymmetrical bilateral relations: Lithuania in Lithuanian-Russian relations since 2004<p>In this article, Lithuania's relations with Russia from 2004 to 2014 are examined. This analysis is not much of a challenge in itself: there have been no significant changes in the overall quality of the two countries' relations, no new issues of disagreement, and the countries' approaches to each other have also remained unchanged. This analysis is significant in a different way-relations with Russia motivate and induce Lithuania's entire foreign policy arena, from its strategies to the country's everyday debates. Understanding Lithuania's relations with Russia leads to insights regarding Lithuania's geopolitical thinking and how Lithuania represents itself. Therefore, in this article, the goal is to demonstrate that an analysis of Lithuanian-Russian relations since 2004 not only explains Lithuanian foreign policy, but also reveals an enduring and negative stability in bilateral relations notwithstanding constant turbulence and quarrels.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-25T00:00:00.000+00:00Poland’s international relations scholarly community and its distinguishing features according to the 2014 trip survey of international relations scholars<p>In 2014, Poland was the first Central and Eastern European (CEE) country to be included in the Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP) project. This article characterizes the Polish International Relations (IR) scholarly community and compares it with other IR scholarly communities throughout the world that also participated in the 2014 TRIP project. The 2014 TRIP survey, the Survey of International Relations Scholars (SIRS) asked Polish participants to identify: the strengths and weaknesses of the Polish IR discipline, influential Polish scholars and books published in Poland, and useful divergent study areas for practical policy purposes. Polish SIRS participants were also asked to share their research interests in both substantive areas and geographical regions, their opinions on economic and social issues, and their predictions concerning important developments in international policy. We concluded that while Polish scholars have much in common with their counterparts around the world, there are also significant differences. For example, Polish scholars identify themselves as more conservative than their international peers in social and ideological matters, more liberal in the economic sphere, and were more pessimistic about relations between the US and Russia in the near future.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-25T00:00:00.000+00:00Europeanization and development: using open regime theory to assess Lithuania’s post-EU accession<p>This article re-conceptualizes Europeanization with a development theory based approach to assess changes in Lithuania after the country’s 2004 European Union (EU) accession. The authors use the development theory of Douglass North, John Wallis, and Barry Weingast as a conceptual framework to highlight the role of Lithuania’s elite and to examine broader social transformations. This developmental framework focuses and complements the current theory of Europeanization and emphasizes the positive role of the EU in promoting Lithuania’s long-term structural changes. A developmental approach also allows for an analysis of corruption and state capture, which are becoming important yardsticks for assessing change in Central and Eastern Europe. The results of this application (including a survey of the elite) demonstrate that, in Lithuania, change was more limited after joining the EU than during the pre-accession years and that the country’s domestic actors have been slow to replace the EU’s policy agenda with their own initiatives.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-25T00:00:00.000+00:00Volatility and western European party systems: two new approaches<p>The sharp rise in electoral volatility in the last two decades calls for a new explanation of Western European party systems. The established party system theory-Lipset and Rokkan’s “freezing hypothesis”- is not confirmed by today’s data. But what framework should replace Lipset and Rokkan’s? One option is to focus on values in postmodern society, as French sociologist Alain Touraine does, by emphasizing how individualism trumps social cohesion formed by social cleavages. The rational-choice approach, combined with a principal-agent model perspective, offers another lens for exploring electoral volatility in Western Europe. In this paper, gross and net volatility are analysed with both Touraine’s sociological approach and with a new principal-agent model of political election, underlying dynamics.</p>ARTICLE2018-05-25T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1