In response to the power redistribution in the international system, the United States prepares for long-term Great power competition. It is aiming at strengthening America's network of alliances and partnerships in order to counter a rising China and revisionist Russia. The other states react to greater or lesser extent to the changing constraints and opportunities in the international system. The article examines how Lithuania, being a small state that belongs to the North Atlantic Alliance, is adapting to these systemic pressures. Current NATO's deterrence posture in the Baltic region is something akin to deterrence by the assured response – NATO is sending a signal that if the Russians attacked, NATO would respond in the Baltics. Lithuania, as well as other Baltic countries, has undertaken many legal, procedural, financial and technical measures to boost resilience and deterrence. However, there are not enough national or NATO military forces that would be able to counter conventional Russian forces deployed in the region. There are challenges such as air defence and control of the Baltic Sea. Also land forces are not present in adequate quantities. As a result, Lithuania has to strengthen its own capabilities with the help of the allied countries. It argued in the article that building up a total defence system in Lithuania would be a right effort in this regard.
Defence policy and related activities, such as territorial defence and comprehensive defence, are considered a matter of national priority and consensus in Estonia since its restoration of independence in 1991. The actual meaning and its content have depended on numerous linguistic and cultural factors. Educational traditions and alliance relations have played an important role as well. In some cases, changes in actual defence policy content first required an ability to change military terminology and outlook. The current study analyses the meaning of territorial defence, comprehensive defence and total defence in official documents and based on focus group interviews among officers of BDCOL and EMA.
This article explores how comprehensive defence has been introduced in Latvia, and focuses on society's involvement and tasks in the state defence. This approach envisages a significant change in society's relationship with the armed forces and state defence. Differently from many other countries, Latvia maintains its system without introducing conscription and instead puts efforts towards youth education in defence. Additionally, the Ministry of Defence involves different society groups and NGOs in defining their role in state defence. This article also discusses the concepts of resistance and non-collaboration as part of comprehensive defence.
The article discusses the idea of comprehensive national defence from a wide historical and geographical perspective. Countries facing different security challenges have used the concept of involving the entire society in state defence. From a historical perspective, ‘total defence’, with an emphasis on military components, was used primarily by non-aligned states during the Cold War; the breakdown of the Soviet Union reduced the importance of ‘total defence’; however, the emergence of hybrid threats in the 21st century has contributed to the rebirth of the concept in the form of ‘comprehensive national defence’, for application in circumstances wherein potential adversaries use military and non-military means in an integrated manner.
In this article we identify the factors that contribute to the formation and especially the durability/stability of governments in both Slovenia and Montenegro after they formally introduced multiparty systems and following their democratic transition, with a focus on the effect of cleavages and party system characteristics generally. Although these two polities share several important similarities (small size, common institutional setting during Yugoslav era, aspirations for membership in international organisations etc.), the nature of governments’ durability/stability in the democratic era entails distinct differences. While Montenegro stands out in post-socialist Europe as the only case where the ruling party has not been overthrown, Slovenia has been led by many governments composed of different political parties. While it seems that in neither country are the ideological characteristics of the governments able to explain their duration/stability to any important extent, it is obvious that the cleavage structure in the two countries has varied, as has the importance of particular cleavages.
The democratisation of national defence policies and systems plays a vital role in making any country more democratic. The democratic transition of this sector in Slovenia and Montenegro has experienced a challenging reform process and it is now time for reflection. This paper aims to identify the main characteristics and issues of the democratisation process in the field of national defence in both countries and, by comparing them, to look for key similarities and differences. The paper argues and confirms that the Slovenian and Montenegrin national defence and security systems were initially faced with serious post-socialist democratic deficits, but gradual democratisation then brought drastic improvements to the quality of their democracy. The process of joining NATO and the change from a military threat perception to a non-military threat perception created space for many reforms. Greatest steps forward in democratisation in both countries entailed nominating civilian defence ministers, having a reasonable number of civilian defence experts involved in the military business, establishing working parliamentary monitoring committees, reducing defence budgets and reallocating funding to other sectors. Progress was also observed in reducing the total number of soldiers, establishing a fully professional armed force, assuring that women in the armed forces were properly represented and increasing the deployment of soldiers to foreign stabilisation operations in a sign of becoming security providers.
This paper explores differences in the party system development of two former Yugoslav republics: Slovenia and Montenegro. Despite sharing a communist institutional system, after that disintegrated Slovenia had a much faster pace of democratic consolidation and economic development than Montenegro. Similarly, the nature of the party competition and party system structure are also quite different. Using a quantitative and descriptive approach applied to the period between 1990 and 2018, we outline patterns of party competition and party system development and explore how they complement the stages of democratisation. We investigate how the comparatively faster democratisation in Slovenia is reflected in the competitive party system with a focus on the ideological divide as the chief source of electoral competition. In contrast, we look at how the prolonged transition in Montenegro is reflected in the closed party system with party competition occurring mainly along ethnic lines.
This paper creates a framework for the comparison of two similar and yet different democratisation cases – Slovenia and Montenegro. The two countries have obvious similarities: their geography and small population, as well as their common socialist Yugoslav heritage and common aspirations to join international organisations, most importantly the European Union. However, while Slovenia went through the democratisation process rather smoothly, Montenegro took the longer road, struggling for more than a decade to regain its independence and complete its transition. We take into account different internal and external factors in these two cases such as the year of independence and of joining NATO, the political and electoral system, ethnic homogeneity, the viability of civil society, EU integration status, economic development and the presence of war in each territory in order to identify and describe those factors that contributed to the success of democratisation in different areas: the party system, the interest groups system, the defence system, Europeanisation and social policy. We find that the democratisation process in these countries produced different results in terms of quality. Various objective measures of the quality of democracy score Slovenia higher compared to Montenegro, while public opinion data shows, in general, greater satisfaction with the political system and greater trust in political institutions in Montenegro than in Slovenia.
Despite the joint history of Montenegro and Slovenia as republics of the former Yugoslavia, the development of the interest groups system has been different in these countries. While in Slovenia, these groups started to develop from the 19th century, in Montenegro the interest groups system was almost non-existent in the pre-socialist period with only a few participative elements, such as the use of tribal assemblies. Socialism did not support associational life, since most of the organizations that were founded at the time were under some form of government control. As a consequence, the interest groups system in Slovenia shrank during socialist rule, while in Montenegro it remained at the same level. During the 1980s and after the collapse of the socialist regime the interest group system in Montenegro finally starts to develop, being heavily influenced by international donor and assistance programmes, while in Slovenia the system had a new opportunity to flourish. In this article we are in particularly interested in how the interest group system contributes to the quality of democracy. Although Montenegrin interest groups have been a tool of influence and democratisation primarily on behalf of the international community, their internal democracy is less sophisticated than is the case in Slovenia. The results show that the origin of the interest groups system and the distinct histories of the specific political cultures seem to be embedded in the functioning of contemporary interest groups. This in turn, determines the strength or weakness of these groups in facing the challenges of de-democratisation.