Though Russia is a classic realist power, Russia, as its recent actions in Ukraine reveal, frequently prefers hard power to powers of attraction. In addition to traditional economic pressure and military policy, Russia also employs antidiplomatic tools to influence the Baltic states. Though Russia officially proclaims itself a democratic state, it has been developing a broad spectrum of antidiplomatic methods to legitimise Russia’s interests in post-Soviet spaces inhabited by large numbers of Russian-speakers. The clearest example of these methods appears in Russia’s use of international and regional organizations’ conferences to express and articulate its interests in protecting Russian diasporas-a phenomenon that first appeared in the Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy as part of his efforts to construct a negative image of the Baltic states, affect the Baltic states’ domestic policies, and subtly discredit their governments. Russia is positioning itself as the protector of a Russian diaspora wounded by the Baltic states’ anti-Russian policies.
Given a threatening new wave of populism crossing Europe, this article examines the link between populism and crisis as a Gordian knot and explores the relationship between contemporary populism and the Great Recession in Western Europe by underscoring how the principal feature of this relationship is the perception of the European Union as a common enemy.
Today, ensuring security in cyberspace is a top priority of national security policy for most states. States’ approaches to cybersecurity can be divided into two categories: those that regard cybersecurity as a civilian task; and those that involve their militaries in creating or implementing cybersecurity policies. Those states that have incorporated cyberwarfare into their military planning and organization perceive cyberattacks as a threat to their national security, while states that charge their civilian agencies with domestic cybersecurity missions classify cyber intrusions as security risks for only particular sectors. Adopting the framework of securitization theory, this article theorizes both civil and military approaches to cybersecurity and threat perceptions and their sources. The theoretical framework is then applied to a study of the cybersecurity policies of Central European countries and the Baltic States.
Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election has launched a wave of discussions in the international media and political science literature on “authoritarian populism” and a “populist explosion.” Although this paper also reflects on this new wave of populism in the West, it concentrates on the connections between democracy’s decline and the so-called populist explosion in eastern central Europe (ECE) and closely investigates the Hungarian case within the context of ECE. This paper describes populism in ECE as a product of the transition from fading facade democracies to emerging velvet dictatorships. These velvet dictatorships rely on the soft power of media and communication rather on the hard power of state violence. Paradoxically, the ruling anti-elite populist parties have developed a system of populism from above, managed by the new politico-business elite. Populism (social and national) and Euroscepticism are the two most basic, and twin, terms used to describe these new (semi)authoritarian regimes. Populism and Euroscepticism are convertible; they are two sides of the same coin as they express the same divergence from the EU mainstream. Therefore, this paper introduces the term: Eupopulism.
Today’s party democracy crisis coincides with an increasing influence of populist political actors. This article- prompted by notions of populist understandings of politics as expressions of the people’s will and of the populist idea of an antagonism between the people and the elite-explores whether populism and party democracies are compatible. Assertions, that populism contradicts party democracies, should rest on research of populist understandings of political representation. This case study, of the populist discourse of Lithuania’s anti-establishment organizations, fills this research gap in the literature on populism’s compatibility with party democracies. The qualitative analysis of this case study focuses on how political representation is perceived and presented. The study provides new insights for theoretical debate on the compatibility of populism and party democracy and also presents a nuanced picture of populist perceptions of political representation.
Why did Latvia join the Eurozone in 2014, while Lithuania only acceded a year later? The two countries’ diverging experiences are surprising. Latvia suffered a more pronounced economic crisis from 2008 to 2010, which created greater euro adoption challenges in terms of meeting fiscal criteria. This article argues that, while the willingness to adopt the euro increased in both countries during and after the crisis, the will to seek euro adoption was stronger, clearer and more consistent in Latvia than in Lithuania. In examining this divergence, we argue that relying on aggregate economic costs and benefits, identity considerations, geopolitical considerations, societal support, and interest group preferences does not produce a satisfactory explanation of fluctuations in these countries’ willingness to adopt the euro. Instead, we propose that changes in this willingness can be traced to domestic political processes, such as the timing and results of elections and the magnitude of the economic crisis’s impact.
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.
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.
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.
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.