Continuity and Change in the Baltic Sea Region

Comparing Foreign Policies

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Continuity and Change in the Baltic Sea Region uncovers the Baltic States’ foreign policy transition from Socialist Republics to EU member-states. Situated between the Russian Federation and Northern Europe, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have had to manoeuvre within an often delicate sub-region. Since independence, the foreign policies of the Baltic States have been dominated by de-Sovietization and European integration. Lying at the crossroads between small state theory and identity politics, this analysis engages with the development of Baltic foreign policies as post-Soviet, small and transitioning states.
The authors argue that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania dictated their early foreign policy agendas based on a process of identity construction and as a response to their regional environment. This process took the Baltic States from East to West in their foreign policy aspirations. Key factors in foreign policy making and implementation are discussed, as well as external factors that shaped Baltic foreign policy agendas. Overall, the book illustrates how continuity and change in the Baltic foreign policies has been shaped by both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ factors. It is a study in the foreign policies of transitioning states and in this regard illuminates a much larger research area beyond its geographic focus.

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David J. Galbreath is Lecturer of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen. He is the author of Nation-building and Minority Politics in Post-Socialist States (Ibidem 2005) and The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (Routledge 2007). He has recent journal publications in Governance, Cooperation and Conflict, Geopolitics, Nationalities Papers and Journal of Baltic Studies.
Ainius Lašas is working on his interdisciplinary Ph.D. at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has journal articles in Journal of European Public Policy and Journal of Baltic Studies.
Jeremy W. Lamoreaux is a doctoral student at the University of Aberdeen researching security between the Baltic States and Russia. He has published in Geopolitics and Journal of Baltic Studies, and is co-author with Luca Ratti of a forthcoming book chapter entitled “Post-Cold War Security and Defence in ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Europe” in Defence Politics: International and Comparative Perspectives (Routledge, London)
”Joining the EU and NATO was the culmination of a decade-long effort by the Baltic states. It invites the question, what effect did accession have on their foreign policies? Following a description of the analytical approach of the book and a sketch of the foreign policy context of the Baltic states between 1991--when they regained their independence--and the 2004 accession, [the] authors … offer chapters on the foreign policies of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. … serves as an update of foreign policy developments in the three Baltic states. The comparative approach of the authors is a particularly useful aspect of the book. Aside from a very brief introduction and a conclusion, there is a bibliography that is heavier on methodological than on country sources. The notes include many useful Web sites. The book is strongly recommended as an introduction to the foreign policies of the three Baltic states. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” in: CHOICE – Current reviews for academic libraries, Vol. 46, No. 06, February 2009
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
I. Analyzing Foreign Policy in the Baltic Context
II. Foreign Policy and Nation Building
III. Estonian Foreign Policy after Enlargement
IV. Latvian Foreign Policy after Enlargement
V. Lithuanian Foreign Policy after Enlargement
VI. Cooperation among the Baltic States
VII. Baltic States and European Integration
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index
About the Authors