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Eglė Vileikienė and Diana Janušauskienė

Abstract

The geopolitical situation of Lithuania has deteriorated since the annexation of Crimea and the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine. It has affected the objective security of the state as well as subjective security of the Lithuanian population. This article analyses subjective security and deals with the subjective perception of geopolitical and military threats, mainly social attitudes towards national security and the willingness to defend the country. Article is based on theories of securitisation and human security and holds that individuals are the primary referents of security. Empirically, the article relies on the original data of the research project “Subjective Security in a Volatile Geopolitical Context: Traits, Factors and Individual Strategies”, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania. Article shows the dynamics of social attitudes towards security. Over the last 15 years, a clear shift towards the understanding of potential military threats has occurred. Nevertheless, the predominant concern about individual security, overshadowing security of the state and security of the global order, found in previous studies, has persisted. An individual, as a rule, feels most secure in his/her “closest” environment, e.g. family and friends, and least secure in the “farthest” environment, e.g. other continents.

Open access

Eglė Vileikienė, Aušra Pocienė and Jolanta Aleknevičienė

Abstract

The article presents an analysis of volunteer soldiers as a link between the Lithuanian military and society, their attitudes towards military service and their motivation to serve in the Lithuanian army. The authors looked at soldiers’ dedication to defend their Homeland and motives for serving in the Lithuanian army, presenting an assessment of the situation in the ranks and their overall satisfaction with military service. Volunteer soldiers’ expectations are also discussed, as well as their motives to remain in service, plus there are also recommendations for attracting new soldier recruits. The article concludes with the statement that Lithuanian volunteer soldiers are an important unifying link between the Lithuanian army and society, and can significantly contribute to the formation of the image of the soldier’s profession in society. Besides the social status that comes with military service and the satisfaction of financial needs, volunteer soldiers are exclusively characterised by strong patriotic feelings which determine their motivation to serve and defend their Homeland. The article’s findings rest on data from the complex sociological research study “Motivation to serve in the Ministry of Defence Volunteer Forces of the Lithuanian Military” which was conducted in April–November, 2014 by the Strategic Research Centre at the Institute of Military Science of the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania.