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Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Migration, crisis and the ‘discourses of discontent’ in post-communist society Charles Woolfson REMESO, Institute for Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Migration, crisis and the ‘discourses of discontent’ in post-communist society Charles Woolfson REMESO, Institute for Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Migration, crisis and the ‘discourses of discontent’ in post-communist society Charles Woolfson REMESO, Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society, Linköping University

2 Structure of Presentation 1.‘Exit’, ‘voice’ and ‘loyalty’ 2.The crisis of post-communist neo- liberalism 3.Responses to the crisis - ‘discourses of discontent’ 4.Failure of ‘voice’ and renewed ‘exit’ – a ‘second surge’ of migration from East to West?

3 Exit,Voice and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States Albert O. Hirschman, 1970. Disappointment of expectations as the quality of services in an organisation deteriorates ‘Exit’ – leave the organisation ‘Voice’ - expression of dissatisfaction - ‘general protest addressed to anyone who cares to listen’ ‘Loyalty’ - confounding factor– tends to delay ‘exit’ and legitimise ‘voice’ Both ‘exit’ and ‘voice’ can be ‘recuperative mechanisms’ allowing organisational recovery ‘Voice’ and ‘exit’ can also work together to reinforce organisational failure rather than recovery

4 ‘The boom’

5 Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) 2008 Lithuania’s economic miracle continues unabated. With one of the highest growth rates in Europe and a marked decrease in unemployment, the country now enjoys the benefits of reforms implemented during the 1990s. EU accession in 2004 further bolstered the country’s continuing economic miracle. Source

6 Corporate taxes in the selected countries, 2004: 11 lowest rates of taxation (percent) Source: UNCTAD 2004, World Investment Report 2003, Geneva 78

7 The ‘Baltic Tigers’ GDP Growth Rates 2006

8 Loans to non-financial enterprises and households Source: Bank of Lithuania, Financial Stability Review, 2006 from Rainer Kattel Financial Fragility in the Baltic States

9 Global Property Guide, 2007

10 Total social protection expenditures as % of GDP in Eastern Europe

11 Expenditure on social protection as % GDP 32.9% 13.3%

12 ‘The Bust’

13 The ‘Hard Landing’ – a foreseeable disaster


15 Real GDP growth rate compared to previous year

16 GDP 2009 % change compared with the same quarter of the previous year Q1Q2Q3Q4 Estonia-15.0-16.1-15.6-9.5 Latvia-18.5-17.0-19.2-17.1 Lithuania -15.3-16.6-14.7-13.2 source: Eurostat PEEIs 07042010-BP/EN/2-07042010-BP-EN.PDF

17 Construction output 2009 – annual variation % change compared with the same quarter of the previous year Q1Q2Q3Q4 Estonia-31.3-28.3-28.5-25.7 Latvia-29.7-32.4-36.8-38.5 Lithuania-42.8-48.0-49.3-52.3

18 Volume of retail trade Sep 09 – Feb 10 % change compared with the same month of the previous year Sept 09 Oct 09 Nov 09 Dec 09 Jan 10 Feb 10 Estonia-21.3-18.6-21.2-16.0-9.0-7.2 Latvia-30.5-28.6-30.1 -16.0-13.3 Lithuania-25.6-24.7-27.5-26.7-16.8-17.1

19 Household consumption expenditure 2009 % change compared to same quarter of 2008 Q1Q2Q3Q4 Estonia-16.5-19.4-19.9-18.2 Latvia-18.3-23.5-25.6-21.7 Lithuania-14.5-16.9-17.7-19.0

20 Source: Eurostat PEEIs 17032010-AP/EN/3-17032010-AP-EN.PDF Total hourly labour costs Q4 2009 compared to same quarter of 2008

21 Unemployment in the Baltic States: by quarter 2009/2010 source: Statistics Lithuania

22 Percentage of part-time workers in employed population 2008 Q2/ 2009 Q2

23 IMF Global Economic Outlook April 2010 Economies that faced the crisis with unsustainable domestic booms that had fueled excessively large current account deficits (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania) and those with vulnerable private or public sector balance sheets (Hungary, Romania, Baltics) are expected to recover more slowly.

24 Lithuania 16 January 2009 Protest against crisis measures ‘Teargas and truncheons’

25 ‘Voice’ Unfolding ‘narratives of resistance’ or ‘discourses of discontent’ from below Addressed to ruling authorities and posing incompatible (?) questions about the new social order (post-communism). A condensed ‘telegraphy of protest’ - news reports, slogans on banners and placards, protest manifestos and declarations, voices on the street. Issues of fairness and social justice and perceived betrayal of expectations

26 16 January 2009 Protesters gather outside parliament

27 Prime Minister – don’t make your wallet fuller using money taken away from our children

28 Union Confederation leaders

29 Supporters listening

30 Our power is in being united! For workers’ rights!

31 For the Lithuanian worker – a European salary

32 Jokers out from Parliament! Freedom for word and press!!!

33 Who is the president, parliament and government serving?

34 A.Brazauskas – why have you stopped progressive taxation?

35 The parliament are thieves

36 Let’s tax ‘fart’ coming out of Parliament !!


38 Stop business collapse!

39 ‘Double patriotism’ – Lithuanian flag and Lithuanian basketball flag

40 Waiting for the ‘right’ moment…

41 The ‘ extreme right’

42 Demonstrators deputation asks to meet with Prime Minister

43 Hammering on the door of the parliament

44 Anger

45 Snowballs, eggs and rocks

46 Fulfilling their ‘historic mission’

47 The dogs

48 Fear

49 No Fear!

50 Load up, load up, load up with rubber bullets !

51 Teargas on Independence Square

52 Special Forces

53 Can this be Lithuania?

54 A ‘rioter’

55 Discourses of discontent Why are you unhappy? ‘I paid so much taxes that this is all I have left’ – holds up plastic bag of white ‘cent’ coins. ‘This is not what we imagined. We imagined a completely different Lithuania. All people want justice.

56 ‘Muted’ voices

57 “Barefoot policemen – the nation is in danger”

58 Firefighters - to the rescue…

59 Mothers and babies protest benefit cuts

60 ‘Silenced’ protester

61 ‘Exit’ and the end of loyalty

62 Cumulative outflows of EU8 citizens into EU15 Member States (2004-2007) % of Working Age Population of Individual EU8 Countries Source: Francesca D'Auria, Kieran Mc Morrow and Karl Pichelmann, Economic impact of migration flows following the 2004 EU enlargement process: A model based analysis.

63 Emigration and Immigration 1990-2006 Source: International Migration of Lithuanian Population 2006, Statistics Lithuania

64 Lithuania official migration statistics 2001-2008 20012002200320042005200620072008 7 2537 08611 03215 16515 57112 60213 85317 015 Source: Statistics Lithuania NB. 60% underestimate of true figure suggests that actual figure for 2008 equals the peak the 2005 post-EU accession surge.


66 “In the spiritual sense, we have a lot of people disappointed with their authorities and the state, citizens who believe in nothing, and we must breathe self-confidence and trust in a common Lithuanian future into these citizens”. A. Kubilius, Prime Minister of Lithuania, April 2009. The end of ‘loyalty’

67 Lithuania 1991 76% 2009 50% Change -26%

68 Lithuania 2009 48%

69 Source:

70 More ‘exit’ after ‘voice’? ‘Double failure’ of ‘voice’ -organised social dialogue/protest -muted ‘discourses of discontent’ Systemic ‘shock’ / end of ‘loyalty’ Renewed migratory ‘exit’ (silent protest) ‘Internal exit’ (populism and xenophobia?)

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