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Regional Identities in Baltoscandia? Mindaugas Jurkynas Institute of International Relations and Political Science Vilnius University.

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Presentation on theme: "Regional Identities in Baltoscandia? Mindaugas Jurkynas Institute of International Relations and Political Science Vilnius University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional Identities in Baltoscandia? Mindaugas Jurkynas Institute of International Relations and Political Science Vilnius University

2 What is “Baltic”? The location of the Baltic is in fact more a question of awareness than of geography, but that awareness has to be guided and educated. [O]ld legacies continue to dog the states formerly under Soviet domination, whilst new opportunities may undermine the fragile sense of regional community. There is much to be done. Defining the Baltic at the beginning of a new millennium is thus an exciting challenge for all who study the region (Kirby 1999).

3 Narratives and Discursive structures

4 Regional trajectories in the Baltics Quantification of narratives 4 main regions: Baltic, Northern, Baltic sea, Central (and Eastern) Europe Statements of key policy makers 2 environments for narratives 613 statements of Presidents, Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers

5 Frequencies of regional references in the neutral context before and after 2004

6 Dispersion of regional references in neutral and biased milieus until 2004, % CEE Biased CEE Neutral BSR Biased BSR Neutral Northern Biased Northern Neutral Baltic Biased Baltic Neutral Lithuania Latvia Estonia

7 State self-affiliation to the region before and after 2004 EU/NATO enlargement LithuaniaLatviaEstonia Central (and Eastern) Europe MediumLow Baltic seaMedium→ Low Medium NordenHighHigh→ Medium High BalticHigh

8 Compatibility of regional images before and after 2004 EU/NATO enlargement CompatibilityCommon Denominator Modern/Postmo dern Central (and Eastern) Europe Medium→LowSoviet Past, Freedom, NATO/EU membership→ Soviet Past Modern Baltic sea High→MediumSoft SecurityModern/ Postmodern Norden MediumPolitical and economic Partnership Place in Northern Europe Modern Baltic High Soviet Past, Freedom, NATO/EU membership → Security Problems, Political Partnership, Baltic Tigers Modern

9 Looking for Concepts in Norden Prime Ministers’ Statements Available on Line Baltic region (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) Nordic/Northern/North Baltic Sea Region Region Security

10 The Pool of Speeches after 2004 (313) Denmark 47 statements Finland: 104 statements Iceland: 46 statements Norway: 95 statements Sweden: 21 statement

11 Denmark Amount of terms: 70 (4 neutral, 66 biased) Terms with “Nordic”: 6 (2 neutral, 4 biased) Terms with “Northern”/”the North”: 2 (neutral) Terms with “Baltic Sea”: 22 (biased) Terms with “Baltic”: 19 (biased) Terms with “Baltic countries/states”: 4 (biased)

12 Denmark Baltic Sea region as a “dynamic region”, that has potentials and is growing The Baltic Sea as a uniting factor: cooperation, mostly in economic and energy issues Denmark as a “Northern European country” Baltic countries belong to Baltic Sea Region Security appears everywhere and in almost every meaning; most often: energy security, social security, economic security, homeland/military security in terms of terrorism and the fight against it (in Afghanistan, Iraq)

13 Finland Neutralbiasedall North2 (2,11%)2 (22,22%)4 (3,45%) Nordic18 (18,95%)7 (77,78%)25 (24,04%) Northern14 (14,74%)6 (66,67%)20 (19,23%) Baltic2 (2,11%)5 (55,56%)7 (6,73%) Baltic Sea9 (9,47%)6 (66,67%)15 (14,42%) Region16 (16,84%)8 (88,89%)24 (23,08%) Lithuania0 (0,00%)1 (11,11%)1 (0,96%) Latvia0 (0,00%)1 (11,11%)1 (0,96%) Estonia4 (4,21%)3 (33,33%)7 (6,73%) Security39 (41,05%)6 (66,67%)45 (43,27%) N=959104

14 Finland Social security is one of the central ingredients for Nordic identity. Nordic as a certain model, attributing a certain system of the welfare state and for the state's involvement in public policy. Basic concepts of Region: The Nordic Region (Scandinavia also once called “The Nordic Sisters”), the Baltic Region, The Arctic Region (including North-West Russia) and the European Region (EU). Very frequently mentioned during 2006 is the establishing of the Northern Dimension, including Scandinavia and the Baltic States, within the EU. The European Union as region is especially mentioned outside Europe (cf. Latin America). Security for Finland appears as a very multi-dimensional and therefore not restricted to the term of military security. Also Security of Energy Supply, Social Security, Importance of a common European Security Policy.

15 Iceland NeutralBiasedAll North3 (12,50%)0 (0,00%)3 (12,00%) Nordic5 (20,83%)1 (100,00%)6 (24,00%) Northern0 (0,00%) Baltic3 (12,50%)0 (0,00%)3 (12,00%) Baltic Sea1 (4,17%)0 (0,00%)1 (4,00%) Region0 (0,00%) Lithuania1 (4,17%)0 (0,00%)1 (4,00%) Latvia1 (4,17%)0 (0,00%)1 (4,00%) Estonia1 (4,17%)0 (0,00%)1 (4,00%) Security13 (54,17%)0 (0,00%)13 (52,00%) N24125

16 Iceland In 2008 “Nordic” refers to the “other Nordic countries” and the Nordic council; connected to economy issues, especially in the times of the economy crisis The Nordic countries as fellows, friends, community and our neighbours  increasing Nordic cooperation and evoking something like a Nordic togetherness in times of economic need Nordic region as strong and leading region in the world (in economy, technology,…) No mentioning of Baltic/Baltic-Sea Security issues connected to the withdrawal of the US forces Security almost always as military security; no mentioning of a Nordic security, just NATO and the US are important in this context

17 Norway Terms with “Nordic”: 18 (11 neutral, 7 biased) Terms with “Northern”/”the North”: 24 (6 neutral, 18 biased) Terms with “Baltic Sea”: 8 (2 neutral, 6 biased) Terms with “Baltic”: 1 (biased) Terms with “region(al)” (referring to Nordic/Baltic (Sea) region, but standing alone): 9 (2 neutral, 7 biased)

18 Norway Nordic/Northern: partnership and cooperation is stressed; top in economic/welfare/health/technology issues Baltic States are not mentioned Baltic Sea region is not often mentioned, but used to refer to cooperation in energy/economic areas and to include Russia in this cooperation Security: hard security issues, (military/domestic/international)  new challenges: terrorism and WMD; soft security issues  energy, (economic/social)

19 Sweden Neutral BiasedAll North0 (0,00%) Nordic1 (5,26%)0 (0,00%)1 (4,76%) Northern0 (0,00%) Baltic1 (5,26%)0 (0,00%)1 (4,76%) Baltic Sea2 (10,53%)2 (100,00%)4 (19,05%) Region0 (0,00%)2 (100,00%)2 (9,52%) Lithuania0 (0,00%)2 (100,00%)2 (9,52%) Latvia0 (0,00%)1 (50,00%)1 (4,76%) Estonia0 (0,00%)2 (100,00%)2 (9,52%) Security9 (47,37%)0 (0,00%)9 (42,86%) N=19221

20 Sweden The concept of region appears comparatively seldom. The focus is on the economic aspect of regional integration. The Baltic states are only mentioned in the biased environment, and he counts Poland also to the Baltic Region. Norden is rarely mentioned. Security is about Security of Energy. Military security plays no important role in the Swedish international statements.

21 Summing Up Nordic: Iceland: Starts to refer to the Nordic Partnership only in the recent crisis; Sweden: only refers only once to the Nordic Cooperation; Denmark: defines itself as part of the Nordic region, but does not emphasize this concept very frequently; Norway: very similar to Denmark, the Nordicity is emphasized more; Finland clearly defines itself as a Nordic country.Common denominator: Nordic is defined as a welfare system and a role of the state in public policy. Baltic: The Baltic region is seen as a different geographical region not; the Baltic states are not mentioned very often, mostly in relation to the Baltic Sea Region. Baltic Sea Region: The Baltic Sea region is especially important for Denmark, Sweden, Finland and to a lesser degree Norway and Iceland, in terms of economic or trade routes, energy security and environmental issues. Baltic Sea Region as a region that should be strengthened. Finland and Norway also put emphasis on the Arctic/Barents-Region which includes cooperation with Russia. Security: Security is not important for Nordic identity as in the Baltic case. For Norway, Iceland, Denmark NATO is the most important guarantor of security. For Finland it is the EU. Norway refers to cooperation with the EU security policy. Hard security issues especially important for Denmark and Iceland. Energy security important for all states and increasing.

22 Conclusions Construction of political regions in terms of discursive (quantitative and qualitative; in neutral and biased environments) confirmed dominant trilateral Baltic sub- regional identity in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which revolved around sovereignty, security and its derivative, Transatlantic integration vs. Russia. In the Nordic case security is not the binding case and there is a drive towards the Baltic sea region. The trajectories of constructing regional identities in the the Norden and the Baltics cross each other meet only not in Baltiscandia but in the Baltic sea area which is downplayed to low politics in the Baltics.


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