Journal of Baltic Studies 52/4 Now Available Online

Nov 29, 2021

The fourth 2021 issue of Journal of Baltic Studies (Vol 52, Issue 4) is now available online. The issue contains articles on the Baltic Sea region building, small container terminals in the Baltic Sea region, nation-building in Latvia, the experiences of highly skilled Latvian emigrants in Europe, offset versus off-the-shelf options for arms procurement in Lithuania, the KGB and Soviet prosecutors’ handling of criminal charges related to pornography, and the debates surrounding the removal of Soviet-era sculptures in Lithuania.

The issue also includes four book reviews and a list of recently published Baltic titles.


How to build the legitimacy of regional integration on rational foundations: a case of epistemic communities in the Baltic Sea area

Kazimierz Musiał & Zane Šime

In periods of uncertainty or during critical junctures, scientific advice may be in high demand to provide legitimacy for political decision makers. This article outlines the evolution of expert forms of knowledge and the way those have shaped Baltic Sea region building, including its consultative and collaborative frameworks of agenda setting. The selected cases include HELCOM, the Copenhagen School of international relations and the Baltic Science Network. This article offers an explanation of how these epistemic collectives have produced consensual knowledge, generated legitimacy, and engendered agency of scientific research findings and knowledge-based decisions in national, transnational, and macro-regional settings.

Small container terminals in the Baltic Sea region: an overview and multi-criteria analysis of competitiveness

Aleksandra Bartosiewicz & Paulina Szterlik

The article describes 30 small container terminals in the Baltic Sea Region and examines their competitive advantages. Terminals whose annual maximum throughput capacity does not exceed 150,000 TEU were specified to this end. Then, the PROMETHEE II ranking was performed using seven criteria: the length of the quay (C1), the number of RTG (C2) and STS (C3) cranes, the number of shortsea shipping connections (C4), the maximum depth at the quay (C5), the distance from motorways, expressways/national roads (C6) and from the national railway station (C7). Thus, container nodes with strategic advantages for the analyzed market sector were determined.

Political dejection in a divided society: a challenge for Latvia’s democracy?

Timofey Agarin & Ryo Nakai

Ethnically divided societies often seek political cohesion by pursuing nationalizing policies. Latvia has had some experience of this, for example, with the notion that citizens should speak the national language and respect government institutions coincides with portrayals of ethnic minorities as a challenge to democracy. The focus on nation-state building has resulted in persistently low levels of political engagement and public confidence among the citizenry. Public survey data shows that many voters believe their concerns have been neglected by elected representatives, who have fixed their attention on ethnopolitical issues. While we see no demonstrable correlation between ethnicity and levels of political dejection, ethnonational politics explains unstable voter-representative relations and electoral volatility during the Saeima elections from 2010–2018. These unanticipated effects of nation-state building on Latvia’s electoral politics invite a rethinking of the relationship between voters and their elected representatives in democratically consolidated, yet divided nations.

Intentions to stay or to return among highly skilled Latvians in the EU: who is more likely to return?

Inese Šūpule

In the context of university-diploma drain from Latvia, this article analyzes how labor market integration and attachment to the host and home countries of highly skilled Latvian emigrants in Europe shape their intentions to stay abroad or return to Latvia. The study is based on a quantitative analysis of survey data (n = 820). The results of binary logistic regression analyzes reveal that close ties with Latvia have a significant positive effect on return intentions, and that the return intention of economically-active highly skilled Latvian migrants is mostly a non-economic phenomenon.

Offset versus off-the-shelf in arms procurement: the Boxer infantry fighting vehicle in Lithuania as a case study

Donatas Palavenis

The aim of this article is to discuss offset versus off-the-shelf options for arms procurement in Lithuania between 2014 and 2022, including the acquisition of the Boxer infantry fighting vehicle. Content, quantitative, and qualitative comparative analyses are used to interpret accessible data. Lithuania, as an off-the-shelf buyer, achieved a median price for the Boxer in a short-term perspective, while countries/manufacturers or technology-acceptors gained economic advantages and beneficial prices. Upcoming arms procurements in Lithuania could anticipate and even shape the position of the government toward offset implementation in arms acquisition.

Photography, pornography, and the criminal case of Joseph A. Schneider: a case study in Soviet anti-pornography legislation and enforcement in the late 1950s

Jessica Werneke

On 23 April 1957, photographer Joseph Aleksandrovich Schneider was arrested by the Latvian SSR KGB for anti-Soviet activities. In searching his studio and apartment, KGB officers uncovered a series of erotic photographs Schneider had taken. This article examines how the KGB and Soviet prosecutors handled criminal charges related to the production and distribution of pornography through the lens of Schneider’s case. Schneider’s KGB file reveals the limitations and inconsistencies in enforcing anti-pornography legislation, as well as the interpretive shift in regarding pornography as a moral, rather than strictly criminal, transgression.

Should we destroy our Soviet heritage? Exploring the case of Soviet-era sculptures on the Green Bridge, Vilnius, through an analysis of media debates

Tomas Kačerauskas & Ivona Baranovskaja

This article explores the issues surrounding the removal of Soviet-era sculptures on the Green Bridge in Vilnius, Lithuania. We present the historical circumstances of both the Green Bridge and its sculptures, examine the decision to reverse their destruction, compare the case with similar cases in the Baltic states, and consider whether the Soviet heritage should and could be protected from the politically motivated destruction of art. We also critically examine the opinions, pro et contra, as well as the political circumstances surrounding the removal of the sculptures. Along with other scholars, the authors discuss the Soviet heritage and post-Soviet memory.

Book reviews and recent publications

Resilient voices: Estonian choirs and song festivals in World War II displaced person camps, by Ramona Holmes, London, Routledge, 2021, xviv+162 pp., $59.95/$20.65 (hbk), ISBN 978-1-03-201605-4, (ebook), 978-1-00-317929-0

Guntis Šmidchens

Music’s Nordic breakthrough: aesthetics, modernity, and cultural exchange, 1890–1930, edited by Philip Ross Bullock and Daniel M. Grimley, Woodbridge, Boydell & Brewer, 2021, 278 pp. + 30 illustrations, 2 tables and 12 musical examples, £65.00/$115.00, (hardback) ISBN 978-1-78327-568-7

Rosalind P. Blakesley

Policing prostitution: regulating the lower classes in late Imperial Russia, by Siobhán Hearne, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2021, 240 pp., £75.00, hardback ISBN 978-0-19-883791-6

Vita Zelče

The storytelling human: Lithuanian folk tradition today, edited by Lina Būgienė, Brookline, Academic Studies Press, 2020, 290 pp., $109.00 (Hardcover), ISBN 978-1-64469-423-7

Mari Sarv

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.