Journal of Baltic Studies 51/2 Available Now

May 16, 2020

The second 2020 issue of Journal of Baltic Studies (Vol 51, Issue 2) is now available online. The issue contains articles on factors behind the changes in income distribution in the Baltics, elderly care and familialism in Lithuania, the experience of male managers as fathers in post-Soviet Lithuania, the role of historical beliefs and experiences in the Lithuanian public perception of military threats, values and attitudes of Estonian music criticism, discursive enactment of memory citizenship among Russian-speakers in Estonia, and strategic implications of hosting international students on Estonia’s tourism economy.

The issue also includes an essay on political arguments for the value of the humanities in Lithuania, three book reviews, and a list of recently published Baltic titles. 


Factors behind the changes in income distribution in the Baltics: income, policy, demography

Jekaterina Navickė

This article aims at disentangling the factors behind changes in income inequality and relative poverty in the Baltic states. An evaluation of income, policy, and demographic effects was based on counterfactual scenarios constructed using tax-benefit microsimulation and reweighting techniques. Decomposition showed that income and policy effects were dominant for changes in inequality and relative poverty. The policy effects were inequality- and poverty-reducing after EU accession and before the 2008 financial crisis and as a whole. The income effects for the same periods were inequality- and poverty-increasing. Despite rapid demographic changes, the demographic effect on income inequality and relative poverty was marginal.

KEYWORDS: Income inequality, poverty, demographic change, policy reform, Baltic states

What type of familialism is relevant for Lithuania? The case of elderly care

Laimutė Žalimienė, Inga Blažienė & Jolita Junevičienė

In Lithuania, elderly care is still strongly reliant upon the informal sector, while recent efforts to develop a policy of de-familialism using welfare state arrangements have so far been very vague. This article uses the concept of familialism to assess whether the infrastructure of elderly care services and labor market measures developed in the country are adequate in the light of social-demographic changes taking place in the country and the expectations of the future elderly population (over 50 years old). Where the expectations reflect high levels of normative solidarity and preconditions for supported familialism, rapid emigration of young people, high employment among women, and the growing share of single-person households reflect the need to develop a dual-supported familialism–de-familialism policy model in the nearest future in order to meet elderly care needs.

KEYWORDS: Familialism, de-familialism, formal elderly care services, labor market measures for caring relatives, public opinion toward elderly care, Lithuania

Masculinity in flux? Male managers navigating between work and family

Raminta Pučėtaitė, Anna-Maija Lämsä & Marija Norvaišaitė

The article sheds light on male managers’ experience as fathers in a post-Soviet context in Lithuania. This empirical study of 12 male managers’ experiences of work-family integration (WFI), their ways of coping with negative experiences, and the role of organizations in reducing conflict and enriching WFI, reveal the emergence of a new paternal identity: fathers who perceive their role as caregivers but for whom this is still subordinate to the dominant role of the breadwinner. Relying on their wife is a man’s dominant coping strategy. Organizations are perceived as family unfriendly. The managerial implications of the need for organizational support are discussed.

KEYWORDS: Equality, fatherhood, gender, Lithuania, male managers, masculinity, post-Soviet context, work-family integration

Facing past, present, and future: the role of historical beliefs and experiences in the Lithuanian public perception of military threats

Ainius Lašas, Irmina Matonytė & Vaida Jankauskaitė

This article investigates the role of historical beliefs and experiences in threat perception. Drawing on the results of a representative survey in Lithuania, it demonstrates a link between public beliefs about the Soviet period and public assessments of the likelihood of Russian military invasion, NATO disintegration, and diminishing levels of national security. Additionally, the study places historical beliefs within a tapestry of other theoretically-informed factors related to the perception of military threats. The results speak in favor of social complexity, where past and present come to inform the Lithuanian public’s understanding of the future.

KEYWORDS: Threat perception, historical beliefs, Lithuania, dyadic threats, polyadic threats

From institutionally embedded ‘serious’ to individualized ‘popular’: a report on values and attitudes in Estonian music criticism

Madis Järvekülg

This article examines the values and attitudes of Estonian music criticism in print publications. The findings suggest that state-subsidized publications are characterized by Romantic ideology, professionalism, and tradition, and cover almost exclusively classical music, whereas commercial publications review mostly popular music and adopt a more individualized, less normative attitude to music. While transnational studies have referred to the growing legitimation of the ‘popular’ in elite publications, the high–low discrimination evident in Estonian state-subsidized music journalism upholds the dominant cultural value hierarchy. This could be embedded in the institutional framework of Estonian music culture and its Soviet heritage.

KEYWORDS: Cultural journalism, legitimation, cultural hierarchies, classical music, popular music, cultural policy, Estonia, music criticism

Claiming the ‘right to a happy Soviet childhood’: discursive enactment of memory citizenship among Russian-speakers in Estonia

Piia Tammpuu, Jānis Juzefovičs & Külliki Seppel

Drawing on the concept of memory citizenship, this study examines the discursive enactment of citizenship evoked by social contention around memories of the Soviet past among the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia. It scrutinizes the rhetorical strategies and argumentative practices applied by Estonian Russian-speakers in social media discourse to defy the perceived politicization of Soviet childhood and the claim for recognition and inclusion both as mnemonic actors and political subjects. The paper demonstrates the potential of digital and performative modes of citizenship for minority publics to exercise their civic agency beyond conventional realms and forms of political participation.

KEYWORDS: Citizenship, civic identity, memory, social media, Russian-speaking minority

‘Study in Estonia’: the strategic implications of hosting international students on Estonia’s tourism economy

Jeff Jarvis

In the context of increasing global mobility, international university students have previously been identified as a high yield and beneficial visitation market. A quantitative study of 289 short-term international university students in Estonia confirmed that they are high-yield, long-staying, low-leakage, counter-seasonal visitors who stimulated significant visiting friends and relatives tourism. The economic benefits derived from these students spread throughout Estonia and the wider Baltic tourism economy. Strategically, they demonstrated a strong capacity to generate positive word of mouth and become brand ambassadors, assisting in the rebranding of ‘post-Soviet’ tourism economies with limited marketing resources such as Estonia.

KEYWORDS: Tourism development, emerging economies, international students, Estonia, independent travelers, Baltic States

Ancient narrative and modern promise: the political arguments for the value of the humanities in Lithuania

Kęstas Kirtiklis & Aldis Gedutis

This essay, while focusing on contemporary Lithuania, raises issues that are of perennial import to the academic study of the humanities in modern nation states, particularly the ‘national’ disciplines of history, language, and literature. There is a constant tension between the scholar’s desire for the freedom of academic inquiry, and the desire of state, which often pays the scholar’s wages, that the scholar produce research that is ‘useful’, especially findings that can be used to legitimize a particular political course of action. In this way, the Law on the creation of the Historical Institute of Latvia in 1936 stated that the purpose of this new research institution was to study and explain historical phenomena in the ‘spirit of nationalism and truth’ (‘nacionālisma un patiesības garā’) – in that order of precedence. This directive reflected the politics of the authoritarian regime of Kārlis Ulmanis at the time. Similarly today, is not uncommon for the various state funding bodies and central research councils to earmark significant resources for research programs conforming to the political agendas of the parties currently in control of the relevant ministries. This problem is by no means exclusive to Lithuania, or even the Baltic states. But, as the authors here ask, using Lithuania as an illustrative example, what is the cost of subordinating the freedom of scholarly inquiry in the humanities to a narrow, politicized view of what the product of research should be?

KEYWORDS: Lithuania, humanities, nationalism, politics, narrative, Darius Kuolys, Alvydas Jokubaitis

Book reviews and recent publications

Den yderste grænse: danske frivillige i de baltiske uafhængighedskrige 1918–1920, by Mikkel Kirkebæk, Copenhagen, Lindhardt og Ringhof, 2019, 1208 pages, 2 vols., 600 Dkr. (hardback version), ISBN 978-87-11-91589-9

Mart Kuldkepp

Political culture in the Baltic states: between national and European integration, by Kjetil Duvold, Sten Berglund, Joakim Ekman, Cham, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 220 pp., €59.00 (hardcover)/€73.00 (ebook), ISBN: 978-3-030-21843-0 (hardcover), 978-3-030-21844-7 (ebook)

Lars Johannsen

The Routledge international handbook of European social transformations, edited by Peeter Vihalemm, Anu Masso and Signe Opermann, Routledge, 2018, 320 pp., $176.00, ISBN 978-1-4724-7794-1

Magnus Feldmann

List of books received and recent publications

About the journal

Journal of Baltic Studies (JBS), the official journal of AABS, is a vital source of scholarship for those engaged in Baltic state and Baltic Sea region studies. JBS is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published on a quarterly basis that aims at progressing and disseminating knowledge about the political, social, economic, and cultural life – both past and present – of the Baltic states and the Baltic Sea region. JBS seeks high-quality original articles and review of broad scholarly interest that advance knowledge of the Baltic states and Baltic Sea region.

Published quarterly by the AABS, the annual fee for both membership in the Association and a subscription to JBS is $70.00, $35.00 for full-time students, and $35.00 for emeritus members. Members of the Association receive a free personal subscription to the Journal.

JBS welcomes article and book review submissions from AABS members and other scholars. See the Instructions for Authors page for more info.

Journal of Baltic Studies 51/2 Available Now

The second 2020 issue of Journal of Baltic Studies (Vol 51, Issue 2) is now available online. The issue contains articles on factors behind the changes in income distribution in the Baltics, elderly care and familialism in Lithuania, the experience of male managers as...

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