Subjective Security in a Volatile Geopolitical Situation: Does Lithuanian Society Feel Safe?

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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.

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