ItemVocabularies of International relations after the Crisis in Ukraine(London and New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Ltd., 2017) Makarychev, AndreyThe edited volume discusses the applicability of an ample variety of academic conceptualizations – from rationalist to reflectivist, and from quantitative to qualitative - to teh pos-2014 international relations. The authors claim that many of the old concepts – such as multipolarity, spheres of influence, sovereignty, or even containment – are still cognitively valid, yet with the eruption of the crisis in Russia – Ukraine relations they are used in different contexts and thus infused with different meanings. It is exactly these multiple conceptual languages that this volume puts at the centre of analysis. ItemIntroduction: Secession and Recognition in the Twenty-first Century(Springer International Publishing, 2017) Berg, Eiki; Doboš, Bohumil; Riegl, MartinQuestions of identity, secession, and (international) recognition are inherently interconnected. ItemRussians, Refugees and Europeans: What shapes the discourse of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia?(University of Latvia Press, 2017) Wierenga, LouisThe Conservative Peoples’ Party of Estonia (EKRE) presents a unique case in the study of far-right parties for two reasons. First, the ‘others’ to which they juxtapose Estonians are the Russian-speaking minority, who are white, Christian, and to a large extent, share many of the socially conservative values of the EKRE. Second, there has been a trend for European far-right parties to look towards the Russian Federation for ideological support due to shared socially conservative ideological positions, and an opposition to the EU and NATO. EKRE takes a different stance towards the Russian Federation than many other far-right parties in Europe. Interviews were conducted with members of EKRE, as well as members of other political parties in Estonia, primarily focusing on the post-migrant crisis relationship between EKRE and the Russian-speaking population in Estonia, as well as other core issues related to EKRE. The aim of this article is twofold: first, it serves as an introductory piece, introducing EKRE to the broader literature on populist, radical right parties. Secondly, this article asks the questions “is the presence, or the possibility of the presence of a foreign, racially and religiously different ‘other’ enough to attract a significant portion of a national minority to vote for and become members of a PRR party?” and “is the presence, or the possibility of the presence of a foreign, racially and religiously different ‘other’ enough to entice a PRR party to cooperate with a national minority which was previously their target?” This article argues that EKRE is open to Russian-speakers becoming members within the party, but will not extend their reach to them as Russian speakers. Rather, they would welcome Russian-speakers as party members provided they are Estonian nationalists who adhere to the party constitution and see Estonia as a sovereign nation which they seek to protect. ItemFrom “Communautaire Spirit” to the “Ghosts of Maastricht”: European Integration and the Rise of Financialization(2017) Pataccini, LeonardoThe present article addresses the relationship between the process of economic integration of the European Union and the rise of financialization in the continental economy. For that purpose, it analyzes the policies applied and the main macroeconomic indicators of a selected group of countries. The conditions imposed by the Treaty of Maastricht and the Convergence Criteria show a strong neoliberal mark, in alignment with those of the Washington Consensus Agenda, promoting the development of the financial activities and favoring the interest of the financial actors to the detriment of other sectors, such as the industrial and the salaried and middle-income groups. The article also emphasizes the importance of the structural reforms applied, by arguing that it would have been impossible to meet the objectives of the Economic and Monetary Union without a substantial transformation of the European economy. Additionally, the article introduces a novel concept called “the paradox of financialization.” It refers to the increasing dependence of EU economies on the financial sector for economic growth, while the only way for the financial sector to expand is by engaging in riskier and more speculative practices. Consequently, this situation makes economic growth more unstable and cycles more volatile. ItemEconomic aspects of migration and the refugee crisis in Europe: challenges and opportunities in a dramatic scenario(2017) Pataccini, Leonardo; Eamets, R.The world is currently facing the largest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. The growing number of people displaced by civil conflict or natural disasters has increased dramatically in the recent years and this is posing enormous challenges to host countries. However, to date economic impacts of refugees in host and sending countries are controversial and arguably understood. Therefore, the aim of this article is to analyse how the traditional economic approach of migration and labour can help to understand and manage the refugees’ situation, as well as their potential benefits for all the parties involved. The present research concludes that, in the long run, refugee migration may have positive outcomes for sending and host economies, and for themselves. However, it is also emphasized that carefully designed refugee policies are critical to meet that goal, mainly focusing on two aspects: identification and integration. ItemA Time for Alternative Options? Prospects for the Nordic-Baltic Security Community During the Trump Era(Helsinki: Finnish Institute of International Affairs, 2017) McNamara, Eoin Micheál ItemBetween Trump's America and Putin's Russia: Nordic-Baltic Security Relations amid Transatlantic Drift(Royal Irish Academy, 2017) McNamara, Eoin MicheálWith the ‘return of geopolitics’ in Europe signalled in earnest by Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, this article examines the implications of DonaldTrump’s unpredictable US security policy for regional security in Northern Europe. While Trump’s public rhetoric chastising NATO creates uncertainties for Europe’s security, his administration’s policy has remained committed to NATO’s deterrence efforts. Against initial expectations for US-Russia rapprochementbased on realpolitik during the Trump era, controversies and the administration’s security policy actions have brought some unexpected discord in relations with Russia. A realist ‘grand bargain’ between Moscow and Washington that marginalises Nordic and Baltic security interests has become a remote prospect. Despite these reprieves, enhanced Nordic-Baltic security and defence cooperation is increasingly necessary. Overcoming occasional divergence in strategic preferences for effective military cooperation will ensure that the Nordic and Baltic states can strengthen regional deterrence and improve political relations with the Trump administration in an era of possible ‘transatlantic drift’. ItemLotman's Cultural Semiotics and the Political(London, New York: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2017) Makarychev, Andrey; Yatsyk, AlexandraThe authors analyse Lotman's semiotics in a series of temporal contexts, starting with the rigidity of Soviet-era ideologies, through to the post-Soviet de-politicization that - paradoxically enough - ended with the reproduction of Soviet-style hegemonic discourse in the Kremlin and ultimately reignited politically divisive conflicts between Russia and Europe. The book demonstrates how Lotman's ideas cross disciplinary boundaries and their relevance to many European theorists of cultural studies, discourse analysis and political philosophy. Lotman lived and worked in Estonia, which, even under Soviet rule, maintained its own borderland identity located at the intersection of Russian and European cultural flows. The authors argue that in this context Lotman’s theories are particularly revealing in relation to Russian-European interactions and communications, both historically and in a more contemporary sense. ItemEstonia and the refugees: political discourses and artistic representations(2017) Makarychev, AndreyThe article addresses two dimensions of the refugee debate in Estonia – political discourses and cultural representations. The authors specifically focus on distinctions between the mainstream Estonian narrative and that of the Russophone community, as well as on the role of Russia and Europe as two major shapers of the refugee debate ItemEastern Borderlands as Europe-Makers: (How) Can neighbours redefine the EU?(2017) Makarychev, AndreyA general and strategic effect of EU’s Association Agreements and DCFTAs with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine has been the extension of the concept of Europe and its wider opening to neighborhoods and margins. It is on this basis that a European normative order can be differentiated from both the ‘Russian world’ and Eurasian geopolitical space. However this paper argues that the process of association is not a unilateral move, but a multilateral and reciprocal development; it is a way for Europe to know more about itself, and to politically redefine itself. The neighbourhood policy causes controversial effects on the EU. On the one hand, it consolidates the liberal minded groups within European societies eager to see the EU as a promoter of values of freedom and civic liberties to be projected eastwards and defended in EU’s neighborhood. On the other hand, the problems of practical implementation tend to solidify sceptical groups in both the EU and its associated neighbours that contest not only the deepening of EU’s engagement with Ukraine, but EU ’s normative project as a whole. The implementation of the joint strategy of the EU and its close neighbours faces a challenge of finding a proper balance between two dominant – yet to a large extent contradictory – approaches. One consists of capitalizing on these countries’ status as victims of Russia’s policies, countries whose very existence is under threat, which implies support and help from the EU. Another, requiring much more consistent efforts, is for the associated neighbouring states to emerge as positive showcases of transition, and useful partners contributing not only to the transformation process in post-Soviet area, but also to EU’s and NATO’s security. The recent three years made clear that the former alone does not guarantee to Ukraine, Georgia or Moldova a fully-fledged European voice. ItemThe biopolitical turn in post-ideological times: a trajectory of Russian transformation(Tartu: University of Tartu Press, 2017) Makarychev, AndreyThe authors study the applicability of the concept of biopolitics to contemporary Russian society and the ruling regime. The article singles our several domains of biopower that play major roles in defining the nature of Russian political regime ItemThe Sword and the Violin: Aesthetics of Russia’s Security Policy(2017) Makarychev, AndreyThe article addresses the sphere of performing arts as part of Russia’s security policy and, in particular, its propaganda dimensions. The authors approach cultural representations as appeals to universal norms rather than to national interests and in this respect focus on two specific cases of aestheticization of military force applied beyond the national borders of the Russian Federation — in Georgia in August 2008 and in Syria since September 2015. These cases are comparable with each other, since the external projections of Russia’s hard power were accompanied by similar cultural gestures — namely, public concerts of classical music performed by the world-famous Valery Gergiev’s Mariinsky Theater in two sites controlled by Russian troops, Tskhinvali and Palmyra. The article argues that the Russian government uses two strategies of aestheticizing its military missions — mimetic (implying the closest possible correspondence to reality) and aesthetic (based on imageries), though the distinction between the two is not always well fixed. ItemRedefining Europe: Russia and the 2015 Refugee Crisis(Geopolitics, 2017) Makarychev, Andrey; Braghiroli, StefanoThis article uses approaches embedded in practical and popular geopolitics for analysing how Russia capitalizes on the refugee crisis to redefine Europe. Two of Russia’s European policies are at the centre of this analysis: 1) Moscow’s direct appeal to Russian-speaking communities, and 2) the Kremlin’s liaisons with Eurosceptic parties of national conservative background. The main questions these two policies raise are: 1) how Russia benefits from anti-refugee attitudes among European national conservative groups, and 2) how illustrative Russia’s policies are of Moscow’s strategy toward Europe in the context of the refugee crisis. The article argues that, for Russia, these two policies constitute a strategy of re-entry into Europe from which Moscow was increasingly isolated in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea in 2014. In this context, the authors claim that the refugee crisis has widened room for Russia’s return to the European (geo)political scene through a strategy of redefining Europe in more conservative and traditionalist terms, as opposed to the liberal cosmopolitanism of EU’s project. Using the concepts of trans-ideology and biopolitics, the article claims that Russia’s strategy of re-entry includes narratives of othering today’s Orientalized Europe and salvaging it from liberal tolerance, political correctness and cultural fragmentation. ItemFrom Sochi - 2014 to FIFA - 2018: a Fading Sovereignty?(2017) Makarychev, Andrey; Yatsyk, AlexandraIn this article, we uncover the dynamics and the evolution of Russian discourses of sovereignty before and after the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games using some elements of Foucauldian methodology and constructivist reading of sovereignty as an institution. We argue that there is a discrepancy between the rhetoric of sovereign power and the institutional practices in which it is embedded. It leads us to theorize that sovereignty discourses are contextual, unstable and constitutively shaped by commitments taken as key elements of international socialization. In the case of Russia, these discourses can be divided into three groups: pre-Sochi, post-Sochi and pre-World 2018 Cup discursive formations. As we venture to demonstrate, Putin's model of sovereignty is in crisis, yet it has support, both domestic and international. In the near future, sport is likely to remain one of those spheres of high visibility where the ideology of surviving under sanctions and counter-attacking the West will be reified. ItemBiopolitical conservatism and “pastoral power”: a Russia – Georgia meeting point.(Tbilisi: Georgian Institute of Politics., 2017) Makarychev, AndreyThe paper applies the concept of biopolitics to the analysis of Russia's relations with Georgia. It highlights the centrality of Orthodoxy for Russia's "soft power" and religious diplomacy. ItemEstonia: Religious Association Restrictions of Same-Sex Couple Religious Rights(Krakow: NOMOS, 2017) Kilp, AlarEU law on same-sex unions (SSU) expects Member States to legally recognize the family life of same-sex couples in the form of marriage, partnership, or cohabitation. The normative expectation, which in about 2010 became a principled position of the EU institutions and the European Court of Human Rights, has not been endorsed by one Western European Member State (Italy) as well as the majority of the post-Communist Member States (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). There are a number of causes behind the failure to enact SSU laws: the legacies of the communist regimes, the prevalence of a certain interpretation of Christian doctrine, the medium level of economic affluence, and an unfavorable balance of power between the change and blocking coalitions of social, religious, and political actors. Unlike Western European countries, where the family life of same-sex unions was legally recognized primarily due to pressures from below (due to changes in public opinion and shifts in cultural values), governments and legislatures in most Central and Eastern European Member States are encouraged more from above (by the European Union and the Council of Europe). Therefore, the prospects for legal recognition of same-sex unions are slim in countries where the European normative agenda meets no significant support from domestic social values or religious and political actors. This conflict of national and EU forces is most likely to persist in Member States which are post-Soviet, culturally Orthodox, not shifted from materialist to post-materialist values, and governed by right-wing governmental coalitions. ItemThe Harmonization of Laws on Same-Sex Unions in Post-Communist Post-Accession Countries(2017) Kilp, AlarEU law on same-sex unions (SSU) expects Member States to legally recognize the family life of same-sex couples in the form of marriage, partnership, or cohabitation. The normative expectation, which in about 2010 became a principled position of the EU institutions and the European Court of Human Rights, has not been endorsed by one Western European Member State (Italy) as well as the majority of the post-Communist Member States (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia). There are a number of causes behind the failure to enact SSU laws: the legacies of the communist regimes, the prevalence of a certain interpretation of Christian doctrine, the medium level of economic affluence, and an unfavorable balance of power between the change and blocking coalitions of social, religious, and political actors. Unlike Western European countries, where the family life of same-sex unions was legally recognized primarily due to pressures from below (due to changes in public opinion and shifts in cultural values), governments and legislatures in most Central and Eastern European Member States are encouraged more from above (by the European Union and the Council of Europe). Therefore, the prospects for legal recognition of same-sex unions are slim in countries where the European normative agenda meets no significant support from domestic social values or religious and political actors. This conflict of national and EU forces is most likely to persist in Member States which are post-Soviet, culturally Orthodox, not shifted from materialist to post-materialist values, and governed by right-wing governmental coalitions. ItemMigrant Integration Policy Index Health Strand. Country Report Estonia.(International Organization for Migration, 2017) Kallas, Kristina ItemHas economic voting changed? A comparative analysis of Italy and other Southern European countries(2017) Talving, Liisa; Braghiroli, StefanoThe financial and debt crisis caused severe economic and political instability in Italy. Economic hardship led to an array of unpopular policy measures, giving rise to public dissatisfaction and civil unrest. These dramatic developments call for a re-assessment of the basic link between the economy and political support. This article uses the European Election Studies (EES) Voter study data from 2004, 2009 and 2014 to investigate patterns of economic voting. We assess the magnitude of economic effects in Italy in comparison with other Southern European countries that in recent years have witnessed similar economic and political turmoil. The results point to a strong impact of economic conditions on incumbent support in Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain. However, retrospective voting weakened amid the crisis, with Italian voters in particular placing less blame for economic conditions on the national government than before. Importantly, we also find a considerable increase in prospective voting in Italy. Despite the nation’s past economic experience, voters were willing to reward Renzi’s government when they believed that its policies would bring economic improvement. ItemFEUTURE EU 28 Country Report. Estonia(2017-04) Braghiroli, Stefano; Vilson, MailiRelations between Estonia and Turkey received renewed impetus after 2004, when Estonia joined the European Union (EU) (while Turkey was in the process of securing the official candidate status) and NATO, of which Turkey has been a member since 1952. Since its accession, Estonia has played a generally constructive role at the EU level when it comes to both its institutional future and enlargement policy. Its key tenets, thereby, seem in line with the principled open-door approach advocated by the fellow Nordic countries.