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Is there a future for the Baltic region?Publication[Ar Baltijos regionas turi ateitį?]research articleRegioninės studijos. 2010, [No.] 5, Baltic region: past and new challenges, p. 11-14The political strategy of the Baltic countries played a paramount rule in the break up of the USSR. Moreover, it was above all the restoration of Baltic independence that finally gave real substance to the concept of Baltic regional identity, in so far as the re-emergence of independent Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was the catalyst for the re-drawing of the security architecture of the entire Baltic region. That reality in turn demands a re-evaluation of the influence of so-called small states in the international system, as well as recognition yet again of the major contribution of the Baltic peoples in winning over European opinion to their cause. 24 15
Post Modern Forms of Citizenship in LithuaniaPublicationresearch articleRegioninės studijos [elektroninis išteklius]. Kaunas : Vytauto Didžiojo universiteto leidykla, 2010, nr. 5 : Baltic region : past and new challenges, p. 15-37Most scholars argue that postmodern citizenship is a characteristic of young generations. Young people are not apathetic, but express an increasing rejection of institutional forms of participation. Post-transitional problems such as rising aspirations of economic well-being and persisting inequality led to decline of conventional and nonconventional participation in post-communist countries. The focus of this article is to investigate whether postmodern citizenship actually occurs in Lithuania. Based on a survey conducted in Lithuania in 2006, the article draws conclusions that postmodern citizenship occurs in Lithuania, but it does not confirm theoretical expectations. From theoretical perspective of the postmodern citizenship, the characteristics of identified groups (the traditional citizens, the monitorial citizens, the opportunistic citizens and the bold citizens) are mixed, because of socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Lithuania. 190 37
The Russian population in Tallinn, recent evolutions and the building of the bicultural cityPublication[Talino gyventojai rusai, paskutiniai bandymai kurti dvikultūrinį miestą]research articleRegioninės studijos. 2010, [No.] 5, Baltic region: past and new challenges, p. 39-51The Russian populations of Estonia live mostly in north-eastern Estonia and the capital Tallinn. As the Russian-speakers represent 43 % of the city inhabitants, the situation is particular in Estonia: contacts between Estonians and Russians may be easier than elsewhere in the country. The statistical data show a concentration of those populations in several districts including the district of Lasnamäe, built during the Soviet period. However, new trends reveal that the proportion of Russians increases in recent years in districts which had been mainly Estonian. The decision of Russian families to live in individual houses, like in the district of Pirita implies that inter-ethnic contacts could be better. However, the example of the location of schools in Tallinn reveals that even if the families move to other places, the relations may remain the same between Estonians and Russians. However, the analysis of the recent local and national elections that the Russian populations are well integrated regarding political issues. The elections in October 2009 reinforced the relations between the Russian populations and the Center Party, led by Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar and the absence of Russian parties in Estonia. Finally, the integration in the Estonian political life is real since the Estonian parties struggled to gather votes from the Russian populations of Tallinn, which essential to claim victory. 40 38
research articleRegioninės studijos [elektroninis išteklius]. Kaunas : Vytauto Didžiojo universiteto leidykla, 2010, nr. 5 : Baltic region : past and new challenges, p. 53-64In the article two cases in Latvian and Lithuanian press are analyzed. First publication appeared in year 2000 Latvian magazine Kapitals, second in year 2004 in Lithuanian daily Respublika. Both articles claim that Jews rule the world. In Kapitals case publication is straightly entitled – “Jews rule the world”, Respublika case leaves some space for interpretation “Who rules the world?” from the texts it is clear that two groups are involved in the process, not only Jews, as in Latvian case, but also homosexuals. Because of negative stereotypes image of Jewish community in Latvia and in Lithuania has a lot of negative aspects and usage of negative stereotypes could provoke anti-Semitic attitudes. Homosexuals in Lithuania are one of the most stigmatized groups also usually referred only in negative connotations. Both publications are based on conspiracy theories that relatively small and in society unpopular groups in fact are very powerful and can strongly affect life of society. To publication in Latvia reacted not only civil society, foreign diplomats but Latvia’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign affairs condemning such a position, editor of the magazine resigned from his position. In Lithuania only civil society and foreign diplomats reacted, local politicians did not pay attention to the issues. Author of the articles (and owner of the newspaper as well) received some financial punishment without any adequate sanctions further.
Vilnius as a European capital of culture: institutions and civil societyPublication[Vilnius – Europos kultūros sostinė: institucijos ir pilietinė visuomenė]research articleRegioninės studijos. 2010, [No.] 5, Baltic region: past and new challenges, p. 65-76Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, has been declared a European Capital of Culture in 2009, and this official nomination by European Union constitutes another public mark of the process that the Republic of Lithuania carried out from their independence from Soviet Union to their membership in the European Union. To manage all the events that were organized in 2006, the Vilnius municipality and Lithuanian ministry of culture established a public institution named “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009”. At the base of the programme, there is the involvement of different social groups, artistic, cultural and, more in general, volunteer associations, media operators or simple citizens that, through projects, should develop shows, concerts, performances that can represent an official culture accepted as trait-d’union between the European union’s idea of common culture among all members and the specific need of representation of particular and unique culture, tied to a specific and unique identity, of the independent republic of Lithuania. From another point of view, the so called “civil society”, in this case all those social groups, associations, artists and citizens can develop several representations of culture or, more in general, several ways of thinking about national identity, that very often can cause some tension with the official institution. The needs, problems and ideas about culture can differ or be in contrast with the official representation given by the government or requested by the European Union. The expected participation of civil society (groups, associations, artists, citizens, etc.) is, at the same time, a resource and a critical point of the programme. The connection between official goal of representation of a specific idea of culture and the statement to do this through the projects proposed by different groups can create tension and underline the different levels of meanings inside an apparent clear and unequivocal affirmation of culture. 30 23