Journal of Baltic Studies 53/1 Now Available Online

Mar 24, 2022

The first 2022 issue of Journal of Baltic Studies (Vol 53, Issue 1) is now available online. The issue contains articles on Estonian single mothers negotiating neoliberalism in the private sphere, exploring Kaliningrad’s cultural margins and liminalities through visual and material culture as presented in guided tours, a reading of Algirdas Landsbergis’s play Five Posts in a Market Place, climate change and the governance of the Baltic Sea environment, and the defense industry in Lithuania.

The issue includes a special forum article, “The impact of COVID-19 on income and employment: policy responses and a subjective assessment by the Lithuanian population of the measures applied,” by Rūta Brazienė, Romas Lazutka, Arvydas Guogis, and Dangis Gudelis.

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


Negotiating neoliberalism in the private sphere: narratives of Estonian single mothers

Maarja Saar and Kadri Aavik

Most studies on the processes and effects of neoliberalization concentrate on the public sphere. Some feminist scholars argue that young middle class women are increasingly becoming the bearers of neoliberalism – encouraged to achieve success in multiple areas of life. There is, however, a lack of empirical research on how women engage with neoliberal ideals in post-socialist settings. This article draws on 25 interviews with single mothers in Estonia to discuss how neoliberal ideology manifests itself in the private sphere. Our findings suggest that single mothers have an ambivalent relationship with neoliberalism as they are both challenging as well as reproducing this ideology in their everyday practices of gender and motherhood.

Exploring cultural margins and liminalities through visual and material culture: the case of Kaliningrad as presented in guided tours

Gintarė Kudžmaitė

Kaliningrad’s place on the geopolitical ‘margin’ is well documented, however, little research has examined Kaliningrad as a certain type of margin in cultural terms. This article seeks to elucidate Kaliningrad’s position in the dichotomy of margin-center in cultural terms by exploring how the material culture of Kaliningrad is displayed to tourists. Drawing on an analysis of the spatiotemporal aspects of three guided tours of Kaliningrad, this study shows that out of several material culture trends, ‘Kaliningradized Königsberg’ (where the Russian present appropriates the Germanic past of the city) is the most highlighted. The results suggest that Kaliningrad emerges as a cultural liminality or a ‘third space’ in relation to its central cultural models.

Two interpretations – two continents: a reading of Algirdas Landsbergis’s play Five Posts in a Market Place

Laima Vince Sruoginis

This article presents an analysis of Baltic (particularly, Lithuanian) labor migration into the interior of the USSR during the late Soviet period. The authors discuss how these Baltic labor migrants participated in the creation of infrastructure for the northern oil-gas complex in western Siberia’s Tyumen region. The data collected and subsequent research suggest that the Lithuanian road and construction industry workers, and their accompanying organizational structures, managed to establish a kind of autonomy that allowed them to maintain close links with their homelands, while also creating a role for themselves in the eyes of the local population as representatives of ‘European’ culture.

Climate change and the governance of the Baltic Sea environment

Savitri Jetoo, Nina Tynkkynen, Marko Joas, Magnus Hellström, Conny Sjöqvist & Anna Törnroos

This article expands the discussion of Baltic Sea environmental governance by examining the implications of climate change on governance. It scrutinizes the physical challenges posed by climate change and analyses how the existing governing system can meet these challenges. The findings indicate that the present governing system is limited and cannot capture future changes and feedback effects. Therefore, this article recommends that multiple governance approaches should be explored. Management practices should be cross-sectoral and flexible, based both on the recognition of past experiences and all types of knowledge, including scientific but also local. Further interdisciplinary research can guide this process.

The defense industry in Lithuania: a case study of the Lithuanian Iron Triangle through an Interconnectivity Map framework
Donatas Palavenis The aim of this study is to characterize the Lithuanian indigenous defense industry (IDI) and introduce an Interconnectivity Map framework as a tool to determine the strengths of interrelations among the components of the ‘Iron Triangle.’ According to the results, the Lithuanian IDI is small, mostly privately-owned, and composed of Tier 2/Tier 3 producers. The Lithuanian government is currently not focusing on the IDI as it is not contributing significantly to state economics. An Interconnectivity Map framework was applied for the Lithuanian case study. The outcome suggests that the Interconnectivity Map is a useful tool for further analyses of the Iron Triangle.
The impact of COVID-19 on income and employment: policy responses and a subjective assessment by the Lithuanian population of the measures applied

Rūta Brazienė, Romas Lazutka, Arvydas Guogis & Dangis Gudelis

All the countries in the world, to a greater or smaller extent, experienced the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their economies in 2020–21. Due to the pandemic, Lithuania, like other countries’ welfare states, have faced new challenges in managing the impact caused by the health crisis. A tremendous burden was imposed upon the healthcare system, and a number of economic activities were also affected by operational restrictions and lockdown restrictions. The need for social protection is greatly enhanced in the context of various social crises. We are witnessing growing public support for increased funding for social protection to a wider range of beneficiaries. In addition, national governments are expected to provide protection in the event of unemployment, illness, provide an effective response to the challenges posed by various social crises, and to offer the population an adequate package of measures. Even though the COVID 19 pandemic is not over, an assessment of the impact and measures applied is crucial for the sustainability and effectiveness of the welfare state.

This article aims to study policies targeted to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on income and employment and their subjective assessment by the Lithuanian population. The research also seeks to understand the perceptions of the population about universal social policies, which, in the context of Lithuania, are considered as a more radical policy alternative.

Book reviews and recent publications

Die Preußenreisen des europäischen Adels, Pt. 3: Adlig leben im 14. Jahrhundert. Weshalb sie fuhren
by Werner Paravicini, Göttingen, V&R unipress, 2020, 807 pp., €80.00, ISBN 978-3-8471-1128-3

Alan V. Murray

Museums of Communism: new memory sites in central and eastern Europe
edited by Stephen M. Norris, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2020, 434 pp., $40.00, ISBN 978-0-253-05032-8 (pbk), 978-0-253-05031-1 (ebook)

Ene Kõresaar

Decolonizing: the curriculum, the museum, and the mind
by Danah Abdulla et al., Vilnius, Vilnius Academy of Arts Press, 2020, 241 pp., €15.00, ISBN 978-609-447-343-2

M. Lee Alexander

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.