The article carries out an assessment of the “reunification of Crimea with Russia” from the point of view of contemporary international law and examines the arguments of Russian legal scholars who try to deny the annexation, i.e. the acquisition of territory by force. The assessment reveals recent changes in the interpretation of the principle of the self-determination of peoples in the Russian official position and legal doctrine, compared to the interpretation of this principle prevalent before the International Court of Justice adopted the Advisory Opinion on Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Respect of Kosovo. The analysis carried out in the article identifies the arguments and strategies that are employed in seeking to offer an interpretation of international legal norms that corresponds to the political interests of the Russian Federation. The examination reveals how new content is attached to international legal concepts in the works of Russian legal scholars who construct a position favourable to the Russian Federation, and in what way legal arguments are combined with statements and theoretical constructs that are irrelevant from the point of view of contemporary international law, thus deleting the boundaries between legal and non-legal reasoning and producing a pseudo-legal narrative that serves the political interests of Russia.
This article discusses the institutional evolution of the European Union (EU) in reacting to the euro zone crisis and the new forms of differentiation in the EU. It presents and elaborates several arguments. First, despite calls to complete the creation of the “genuine Economic and Monetary Union“ and to make a step towards federal structure of the Union with single currency and single central budget used to react to asymmetric shocks, most decisions actually agreed upon by member states since the start of the crisis can be seen as attempts to avoid exactly such a scenario. Second, although the divide between the “Northern“ and “Southern“ groups of the EU member states seems attractive in its simplicity, it is a gross simplification of the current situation and hides important differences of member state preferences within each of the groupings. Third, it is also too simplistic to see the membership in the euro zone as the main characteristic defining the state of differentiation in the EU. As it is discussed in the text, both euro zone member states and EU countries outside the euro zone participate in different initiatives of integration and show different national preferences. Finally, the text concludes with a formulation of the main policy dilemmas for Lithuania in terms of ongoing process of complex differentiation and taking into account the prospect of joining the euro zone in 2015.
This article analyses the Russian concept of contemporary warfare after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war and the changes that have occurred in the wake of the 2014 military conflict in Eastern Ukraine. This concept is shaped through a dissection of public texts and speeches by Russian military officers, experts and analysts. The article attempts to measure the impact of Russia’s military practice in Eastern Ukraine in its stance on contemporary warfare and see what new types of warfare (terminologically speaking) are appearing in Russia’s military vocabulary. A vision of the future of types of Russian war is presented, complete with arguments regarding the most plausible case of future local war with respect to Russia. The article furthermore provides a detailed analysis of the interpretations of asymmetrical, network-centric, hybrid warfare, colour revolutions, controlled chaos, and information and electromagnetic warfare in Russia’s military thought, which is understood as forms of realisation of contemporary warfare. A quest for the origin of these warfare ideas shows that Russia tends to emulate the military experience of western powers, the US in particular, instead of doing the opposite and acting adaptively and conceptualising its most recent military experience as a vision of modern warfare.
This article presents the development of modern Lithuanian military diplomacy, the future priority trends, and examines the features of service organizations. It is demonstrated that organizing military diplomacy is a totality of political provisions, encompassing the preparedness of the Lithuanian officer corps, activity support and supply chain, and the position of a military diplomacy organization in a system of national diplomacy. According to the author, the scope of military diplomacy is determined by the provisions of political leadership of the national defence system on the implementation of Lithuania’s foreign policy in the defence sphere, as well as by the extent of representing departmental interests in similar systems in foreign countries. The article presents the specifics of military diplomacy and that of officers’ service within allied (NATO) or EU countries and the peculiarities of service in other states often displaying pugnacious interests to Lithuania. The author sets forth arguments concerning the priorities of military diplomatic representation in the mid-term, and concludes that the significance of military diplomacy, in light of recently developing trends of an international framework, will further expand whereas fully-fledged diplomacy will be incapacitated to function without qualified military advice.
The strengthening of relations with the Nordic countries has already for some time been among the priorities of Lithuania‘s foreign policy. As opinion polls suggest, the people of Lithuania believe that Lithuania should be associated with the region of Northern Europe. But the Baltic States are members of the EU, NATO as well as other global organizations and belong to all conceivable regional organizations - the CBSS, the Northern Dimension, etc. Why then is some other regional format at all necessary? When a discussion of the cooperation in the security and defense area gets started, still more fundamental questions arise. Will it not be a substitute for NATO? What has changed that after more than two decades since the end of the Cold War, and after nearly eight years since the membership of the Baltic States in the EU and NATO, the Nordic and Baltic countries have actively entered into the discussion on the cooperation of eight countries in the area of security and defense? What are the changes that can lead to the Nordic-Baltic cooperation in the area of security and defense (that just a short time ago was nearly verging on taboo)? Why would the Nordic countries choose the Baltic States as partners and not, for instance, Germany or Poland? This article, primarily focusing on the presentation, analysis and generalization of the current processes (but not on the theoretical discourse), explores the transformation of the Nordic-Baltic region, security and defense challenges and threats. This study, largely through the prism of Lithuania’s interests, attempts to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of regional cooperation formats. The arguments here supply a basis for stating that the time is ripe for starting to speak in earnest about the Nordic-Baltic “security community”, the establishment of which requires not only practical efforts but also further serious academic study.
Liudas Mažylis and Ingrida Unikaitė-Jakuntavičienė
The stability of the banking system is analyzed in the article as an important condition of security of the society. The article analyzes the short term and long term impact of the collapse of two commercial banks, “Snoras” and “Ūkio bankas”, on the public attitude about the banking activities in Lithuania. Employing new institutionalism theoretical approaches, an analytical model is constructed based on the reconstruction of discursive devices of two Lithuanian Internet news portals, Delfi.lt and Lrytas.lt. The positions of the main process actors (Bank of Lithuania, Heads of the State, and media itself) within a changing structural environment are assessed. The article argues that new institutionalism presents an appropriate theoretical framework for characterizing the processes analyzed, taking into account calculations of actors and explaining development of political processes, and taking into account circumstances of consensus reached in the former stages of political processes. Employing the discursive institutionalism approach enables the understanding of actors as actively influencing and changing structural environment. Five stages of bank collapse are defined according to the reflections in the news media portals. They differ by their continuity, intensity and by the means used for (re-)constructing discourses, comparing former case of collapse with the latter one. For instance, the position of the society caused by the “Snoras” bank collapse can be characterized as a classical case of cognitive dissonance: commercial banks are treated by the society as untrustworthy and at the same time society’s behavior shows that society is benefiting from the bank services. Politically the problem analyzed seems like a marginal one without any important influence on mainstream political processes. It seems that the situation after the bank collapse is different from early post-Soviet times when “safety of savings” was an important argument in the fight of political parties for the power. However, taking into account the influence of these two banks’ collapses for international country ratings we note that collapse as a “frequent phenomenon” worsened Lithuania’s position. “Normatively” interpreting the collapse cases we may argue that actors of the political field (mainstream media channels included) coped with the dynamic situation by appropriately minimizing negative outcomes of the collapse of the two commercial banks.
The current study focuses on the Estonian perceptions of security and on the defence situation both globally and locally. The dynamic results of the public opinion surveys on security risks conducted in Estonia over the last 10 years (2006-2016) will be presented. In addition, to understand whether some of the security risks could be over- or underestimated in Estonia, these results will be compared with the views expressed recently by the World Economic Forum, particularly the Global Risks Report 2016. Also, the arguments why some topics have played or are currently playing key role in the Estonian security perception will be presented and discussed.
The article proposes the analytical review on what and how to think about the security of the Baltic States from 2014 till 2016 by evaluating and reflecting the main changes in their security policy and perceptions. These three years demonstrated that the perceptions about security itself have not changed much while comparing with the previous five years. The changes were mostly in the security measures. The security discourse intensified a lot also, which was significant not only for the internal civic mobilisation, but even more importantly, but even more importantly for the mobilisation of the attention of the partners and their increased commitment. I explain my argument in two steps: first, by using traditional - rationalists - questions to analyse security policy, and second, by discussing security perceptions and discourses and asking these questions: security “for whom”, security “from what”, and security “how”.
The purpose of this paper is to estimate the potential cost savings of Nordic defence co-operation, which is frequently given as one of the arguments in its favour by politicians. Theoretical grounds for savings in co-operation such as economies of scale are reviewed in both the business and defence contexts. Then the potential cost savings in the future acquisition plans are studied through comparing countries’ plans and in maintenance through assessing the commonality of current military equipment. Comparison of public defence purchasing plans reveals that the opportunities for procurement co-operation are limited as Nordic countries are planning to acquire mainly different equipment. Due to differences in current military equipment, the savings opportunities in maintenance are likewise limited other than in the land vehicles’ sector. As currently practiced, Nordic defence co-operation seems not to offer any savings potential that could make a difference at the overall military budget level. The independent assessment of this article is based on publicly available data, which limits both the scope and details of the results.
The purpose of this article is to initiate discussion into the role narratives could play in military studies. Narratology is an old and well-established research paradigm that first emerged as part of the linguistic turn. Yet its potential has not been depleted. It is the study of narratives or stories. There are plenty of topics not yet approached from this perspective especially in the field of military studies. The military academia needs to broaden its scope of research and allow for alternative orientations and theories to be used to address traditional dilemmas, create new research paradigms and enrich the variety of analysis. Critical security studies approach shared topics with military studies by embracing the aesthetic turn that differentiates between the representation and the represented. The argument in this article is that to produce comprehensive information on its research topics military studies would benefit from embracing them as people experience them and not focus on their ontology. The article does not offer a methodological toolbox to the reader but rather an introduction to some classics of narratology and offers a few insights how this type of approach could be used in military history, strategy, operational art or even leadership studies.