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Danguole Bardauskaite

Abstract

The aim of this research is to answer the question how the American think tank experts on the Middle East and US foreign policy towards the Middle East perceive the region and its construction, with a particular focus on the process of Othering. In order to achieve this aim, the article presents the theoretical explanations of the Othering. In the empirical part, the results of semi-structured interviews with the experts are analyzed and presented. The interviews revealed three angles of how the Middle East is perceived. These angles are the geographical location of the Middle East, the securitization of the Middle East and the universal superiority of the United States. The main finding of the research is that the perception of the Middle East is connected with the self perception or the question of “What is the United States of America?”

Open access

Ieva Karpavičiūtė

Abstract

The paper addresses the security threat perception and securitization of existential threats in Lithuania. It focuses upon the securitization theory and its ability to explain the change of national security agendas as affected by the changes in national identity and existential security threats. It takes into account the internal and external factors that are shaping the objective and subjective national threat perception. The paper applies O. Waever’s securitization theory with an aim to explain how the national security threats are being addressed and perceived in Lithuania. Moreover, the paper is developed against the backdrop of the most recent developments in securitization theory and evolution of its theoretical perceptions of identity, existential threats, and legitimacy. It also discusses the possibility of inclusion of hybrid security threats into an analysis of securitization. The empirical part of the article assesses the most recent security challenges, provides evaluation of changes in national security perception, and portrays the dynamics of national security threats as defined in the National Security Strategies and the Military Doctrine. The paper focuses upon the most recent dynamics in security policy of Lithuania. It also takes into account the hybrid nature of security threats and the reaction to hybrid security elements such as: cyber security, information security, and international terrorism.

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Dovydas Rogulis

Abstract

Abstract This thesis seeks to find out how NATO military interventions in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have affected relations with Russia. In order to achieve the aim and hypothesis of the study, the critical geopolitical approach is chosen as a theoretical framework. A schematic critical geopolitics conceptualization of Gearóid Ó. Tuathail is used as the method of research. This thesis mostly pays attention to three essential parts of the critical geopolitics: “formal geopolitics” (analyses of think tanks, specialists, etc.), “practical geopolitics” (the decisions of policy makers, official statements, documents, strategies and speeches) and “popular geopolitics” (the discourse of the media and surveys). The combination of these three elements allows determining the certain NATO’s and Russian geopolitical discourses towards crises in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan. With regard to evidences of crises, NATO’s and Russian geopolitical discourses are assessed from very positive, positive, neutral, to negative and very negative. It provides an opportunity to see how both sides have acknowledged these crises and how in long terms NATO’s military interventions in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have influenced relations with Russia in international order. Moreover, descriptive method, discourse analysis and a comparative approach are used to scrutinize Russian and NATO’s geopolitical discourses towards crises. The analyses of NATO’s and Russian geopolitical discourses show that the hypothesis different NATO and Russian geopolitical discourses towards crises in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have affected reciprocal relations is correct. The crisis of Kosovo in 2008 marks the end of the Russian flexible policy towards NATO and marks a new beginning of a permanently hostile geopolitical discourse against NATO in Europe. NATO military interventions in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have negatively affected relations with Russia mostly in Europe. Mutual cooperation and diplomatic disputes towards crises in Libya and Afghanistan are minor in comparison with the NATO-Russian relations in the European continent. Consequently, Russia concentrates most of its attention to the geopolitical tradition towards Europe.

Open access

Gerda Jakštaitė

Open access

Boris Vukicevic

Abstract

Montenegro, the smallest country in the Balkans, had led a long struggle for independence against various empires. Because of Montenegrin Orthodox Christian and Slavic heritage, Russia was historically its main patron. However, after regaining independence in 2006, Montenegro set amongst its top priorities the membership in the European Union and NATO, whilst trying to pursue good relations with other actors in the region. This paper deals with the adaptability of a small country to changes of regional and global context whilst comparing its relations with its former and contemporary allies. It also deals with a set of its foreign and security policy priorities and how they are fulfilled.

Open access

Benas Brunalas

Abstract

The paper reflects on the conception of the phenomenon of fear employed in the international relations theory. A critique of understanding of fear as a rational incentive of conventional international relations theories paves the way for the notion of fear as an emotion. It is argued that the behaviour of states in international politics should be explained via their psychological and emotional aspects. The paper proposes to connect the arising of and experiencing fear with collective memory and the imagery entrenched in nations’ subconscious. It also proposes to distinguish the two levels of arising of and experiencing the emotion of fear, namely the attempt to consciously arouse fear and its nonconscious experience. On the first level, mnemonic-emotive agents consciously activate collective emotions via the nation’s collective memory. On the second, once the contents/imagery of the society’s subconscious are activated, the aroused emotions are nonconsciously experienced by the society. The paper offers a case study from the Lithuanian foreign policy: its relations with Russia. Discourse analysis of Lithuania-Russia relations, where President Dalia Grybauskaitė plays an active and important role in discourse formation, suggests that the formation of Lithuanian foreign policy, with regard to Russia, is affected by the emotion of fear.

Open access

Živilė Marija Vaicekauskaitė

Abstract

How are small states adjusting to a changing security environment and managing tensions with greater powers in their neighbourhood? Much of the recent literature on small states spends a great deal of time examining challenges to small states and their security policies. Scholars offer several strategies that small states can employ to adjust to a changing security landscape. Small states have two broad options – to focus on their own defence posture, trying to keep their autonomy and stay neutral, or use different cooperative schemes – bandwagon with larger powers, form alliances against dominant powers, or seek shelter and develop hedging strategies. This article reviews survival strategies employed by small states and provides a basis to better understand the behaviour of small states in today’s contested security environment.

Open access

Deividas Šlekys

Abstract

Since regaining independence in 1990 and creating its regular armed forces, Lithuania has had to do a balancing act. It has had to balance between different approaches of state defence, military structure, collective and national defence. Due to events in Ukraine Lithuania had to reconfigure this balance. The Russian threat forced to emphasize strategy of territorial defence, which altogether required tying up forces and enlarging its numbers by bringing back conscription, substantially increased defence budget, followed by higher tempo and scale in procurement and training. However, Lithuania has managed to maintain its activity and participation in international military operations and political initiatives. Its recent contributions have led to an assumption that its participation in various military missions in the future will not diminish, quite the opposite. Increasing the framework of cooperation in terms of defence and security initiatives will involve Lithuania more deeply and will require further contributions.

Open access

Tony Lawrence

Abstract

This article considers Estonia’s contribution, since May 2015, of an infantry company to the Finnish contingent of the Finnish/Irish battalion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. It is intended to provide a case study of a small European state’s involvement in UN peacekeeping in the ‘post- Afghanistan’ security environment. Drawing on interviews with Estonian officials and peacekeepers, it sets out the rationale for Estonia’s contribution and explores the degree to which participation has met the expectations of the Estonian defence leadership. It concludes that participation in UNIFIL has largely been a valuable policy, both politically and for the defence forces.

Open access

Asta Maskaliūnaitė and Maxime Lebrun