ItemThe impact of the choice of strategy of third-party conflict intervention on reducing conflict intensity: case of Russia’s proxy war in the East of Ukraine (2014 - 2021)(Tartu Ülikool, 2022) Herasymov, Danylo; Linsenmaier, Thomas, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutIn a modern-day world, proxy wars as a type of conflicts, where at least one side represents not a unitary actor, but a proxy-sponsor pair, becomes more and more widespread. Due to the more complicated structure of conflict in case of the proxy wars, the existing literature does not provide any evidence on how third-party conflict interventions work in a proxy war setting, and which specific strategies lead to the biggest decrease in the conflict intensity change. This study analyzes the case of Russia’s proxy war in the East of Ukraine over a period from April 2014 to October 2021 to test, how the third-party conflict intervention strategies affect the change in the conflict intensity during the observed period. The study sees Russia as the sponsor of the sponsor-proxy pair, and so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhanks People’s Republic” as Russia’s proxies, while third-party intervening in the conflict are Ukraine’s partner states, such as United States of America, United Kingdom, member states of the European Union and others. The study derives three main strategies of third-party conflict intervention from the relevant literature, and tests them in the case of the Russia’s proxy war in the East of Ukraine. The study is based on the rational choice theory, and assumes that the proxy-sponsor pair uses war as a tool for achievement of their political goals based on the cost-benefit calculation. Third-party conflict interventions are aimed to alter the cost-benefit calculations and thus decrease the conflict intensity. Economic sanctions are aimed to increase the cost of war for Russia, provision of military aid is aimed to increase the capacities of Ukraine and thus increase the cost of war for Russia’s proxies, and mediation is aimed to reduce the costs of war for all the parties involved. This study finds that in the case of Russia’s proxy war in the East of Ukraine from April 2014 to October 2021 neither implementation of the economic sanctions against Russia, nor provision of military aid to Ukraine by its partner states have increased the costs of war for Russia or its proxies significantly, and did not result in a decrease in conflict intensity. Mediation efforts allowed the proxy-sponsor pair to pursue their strategic goals with lower costs of war, and thus had strong connection to decrease in the conflict intensity. ItemBordering and de-bordering: the Russian speaking community in Estonia(Tartu Ülikool, 2022) Siva, Sami; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendaja; Terry, George Spencer, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThe Purpose of this MA thesis is to explain the nuances between those communities that live along the borders of Estonia & Russia and Estonia & Latvia. The connecting thread between these communities is that they are divided by the international borders and yet share family and/or cultural ties across the border. Moreover, they are different in the ways in which they are integrated into the Estonian socio-cultural milieu. Therefore, this research aims to explain the difference between these communities and how nuances in bordering and de-bordering practices of these communities influence the security narratives of Estonia. Methodology of this work is grounded on an ethnographic study of these communities using photographs and text as research material. I use visual autoethnographic studies, which is entrenched in the positionality of the researcher (Bleiker, 2019) as a participant and a witness and thus explain things that are unseen. Photographs from the fieldwork are used in conjunction with the words of the members of the community. Therefore, from a methodological perspective, in this study, I aim to explore the possibilities of using photographs in political science research. From a conceptual standpoint, in this thesis I utilize three different pillars: social constructivism, hegemony, and cultural semiotics to analyze the empirical data - interviews and photographs - obtained from the fieldwork to explain the nuances in social-cultural practices of these communities situated on the borderlands of Estonia. ItemExplaining EU sanctions policy: case of Belarus(Tartu Ülikool, 2022) Zeynalli, Sakina; Linsenmayer, Thomas, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutIn the past decades, the EU has made extensive use of targeted or "smart" sanctions to achieve its policy objectives. Their goal is not to penalize, however, to modify their behavior or policies. The thesis reveals patterns in EU sanctions on Belarus, as well as notable changes over time, from 1996 to the present, when the EU increased and decreased sanctions against Belarus. The goal of research is firstly to explain the patters of EU sanctions policy towards Belarus, as it has evolved over time, secondly to account for the logic of interest-based and value-based explanations, when/why/under what circumstances it anticipates the EU to apply sanctions. By writing the given master's thesis, this work fills a gap in past research on this topic, as there are not sufficient research investigating the EU sanctions regime on Belarus response to new change and timeframe analysis. To explain this pattern, in the study the previous explanation of EU sanctions policy will be analyzed, which focused on human rights infractions. The latter by indicating areas of interest. It allows to summarize whether EU sanctions on Belarus were driven primarily by values (human rights concerns) or interests. More broadly, it enables to determine under what conditions the EU promotes a value-based approach, particularly when geopolitical interests are absent. Importantly, to give an in-depth examination of interests, as well as how geopolitical interests condition the EU's reaction to human rights abuses through sanctions. The study is based on theory-testing and considered as theoretical study research, which prolongs the literature on the EU sanctions regime on Belarus study over time (1996-present). It balances qualitative research with a close examination of official documents and specific reports, applying document analysis. It is also worth to highlight in the study the corresponding changes for each time period by matching changes in HR situation and the EU sanctions policy. It examines the comparison of the consistency or inconsistency of EU sanctions policy towards Belarus across time to evaluate the relative significance of values and interests. This finding suggests that ultimately, EU sanctions policy is driven by a combination of values and interests, whereby interests condition whether the EU responds to HR violations or not. As a consequence, the study argues by presenting the patterns of EU sanctions policy and analyzing whether the EU's stance is driven by value or interest. ItemHoly war! The Russian Orthodox Church’s discourse of legitimization of Russia’s military intervention in Syria(Tartu Ülikool, 2022) Maletz, Jan-Hendrik; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutIn late September 2015, Russia officially declared the deployment of military assets to Syria within the frame of a military intervention by invitation in support of the struggling Assad government. Leading up and parallel during the continuation of the intervention, analysts have observed another actor entering the political stage, both domestically in Russia and internationally on various bilateral and multilateral platforms: The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). The Church has significantly engaged in efforts of legitimizing the Russian activities in Syria. On the one hand, these efforts have exceeded any previous public engagement of the post-Soviet Church during times of Russian military activities abroad. During the 2008 Russo-Georgian War and the 2014-continous Russo-Ukrainian military conflict, the ROC showed self-inflicted restraints on speaking extensively in favor of Russian military action, nor much less to legitimize domestically or internationally to the extent as in the Syrian case. The Church in these situations wanted to avoid spill-over effects of politico-military conflicts into its ecclesiastical-canonical sphere of supervision. The Syrian case, Russia’s first major military engagement outside the post-Soviet space laid bare a strong conflation within the Russian state-church-nexus. Church officials have presented a new, complex political discourse under the frame of Holy War, ought to legitimize the Russian intervention. This study is set out to analyze how the ROC has constructed this new discourse of Holy War and attempts to unravel what it curtails. Paul Chilton’s approach of mapping the ontology of political discourse delivers the bases by explaining how political actors construct discourses in construal operations of space metaphors. This approach has been further developed by Piotr Cap for the specific study of discourse space in crisis situations and the subsequent legitimation of political action. In what he calls Proximization, a political actor employs proximization strategies to elicit support for her political action from the target audience by discursively narrowing the space between the threat (Other) and the center (Self). Attempting to map this new discourse, this study conducts a synchronic critical discourse analysis of the political discourse of the ROC in the time from 2015-2021. The textual corpus for the data consists of collected content from the ROC (e.g., press releases, statements, interviews etc.). The corpus is divided by context respectively by the target audience, which is either domestic or international. The data analysis mode relies on a framework developed by Cap: Macro themes, referring to the topical frame of the text, and microstructures, referring to the lexico-grammatical structures holding the linguistics of proximization strategies in spatial, temporal, and axiological terms. ItemGeopolitical policy dilemma for Eastern Partnership countries: democracy and security(Tartu Ülikool, 2022) Hajiyev, Elvin; Braghiroli, Stefano, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThe Eastern Partnership (EaP) was established in 2009 to formalize the EU's interactions with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova. The EU's goal was to strengthen cooperation, play a role to these states' economic, political, and social development, and enhance stability in the region. However, the Kremlin was concerned regarding EU initiatives to establish its own influence in the region in the CIS space: to deprive Russia of the status of the prioritized partner of some of the six aforementioned countries through the EaP and to create an alternative to Russia's integrationist strategies in the CIS. The research study seeks to highlight geopolitical policy dilemma for Eastern Partnership Countries and underline policy tools employed by the regional actors over 6 program countries by attempting to identify an answer to the question that why the promotion of democracy which is an important element of EU’s value-driven foreign policy triggers conflict of interest with Russia which leads to the security challenges for these 6 countries. Furthermore, it identifies the main motivations for the EU-Russia involvement in the region and clarifies different approaches to policymaking. The qualitative research method of data analysis, particularly document analysis is used in this research study to clarify where Russia's and the EU's objectives intersect. On the other hand, the research by analyzing the EaP countries individually examines the domestic implications from the perspectives of democratization and security challenges in which the regional actors directly or indirectly are playing important roles. The thesis is based on neoliberal theory reflecting on the research question. Particularly offensive and defensive realism explains the appropriate reaction to the security dilemma of the EaP countries. Furthermore, one of the key emphasis is placed on the issue of the security dilemma, how it demonstrates on the challenges in the EaP countries, and how it characterizes the geopolitical situation for the EaP. As a result, the research argues on the geopolitical policy dilemma of the EaP countries inferred from the conflict of interest between Russia and the EU. ItemTwiplomacy: An Analysis of Digital Diplomacy on Twitter(Tartu Ülikool, 2022) Guliyev, Amil; Wierenga, Louis John, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutSocial media and its influence are becoming more and more significant in international diplomacy. The vast majority of diplomatic actors from state officials to non-state actors have Twitter accounts, indicating how the speed and availability of information through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are an essential component of diplomatic practices. Thus, it is of great importance to have an understanding of how such technological advancements are altering the process of the conduct of diplomacy. This study will zoom in several selected tweets posted by the government officials during particular events to find out the influence social media causes on the evolution of digital diplomacy, while discovering the ways Twitter as a social media networking plays a key role in shaping the conduct of diplomacy in a digital environment. This is particularly critical in the light of the rise of digital efforts, which actors of digital diplomacy now must cope with. ItemTurkish foreign policy discourse before and after the annexation of Crimea: a constructivist approach(Tartu Ülikool, 2022) Orujov, Alibaba; Kentros Klyszcz, Ivan Ulises, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut ItemRussian media coverage of the EU in times of pandemic: does ownership matter?(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Vera, Yurchenko; Erbsen, Heidi Ann, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThe thesis examines how Russian media frames the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether its coverage differs depending on the type of the ownership. To understand how ownership structures influence media portrayal of a foreign actor, online content of three Russian newspapers — Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant and Novaya Gazeta — is analyzed. Selected outlets represent different types of ownership: state-owned, privately-owned by a person affiliated with the government, and employee-owned. Qualitative content analysis and T. van Dijk’ approach of critical discourse analysis were applied to investigate: 1) How has Russian media portrayed the EU throughout the coronavirus pandemic? 2) How does media framing differ based on a media outlet’s ownership structure? Two types of analysis were based on the assumption that the more media is affiliated with government structures, the more its discourse reflects these structures. The findings show the influence of ownership only in the case of the state-owned media outlet that reflects Russia’s official discourses towards the EU. ItemConsequences of consociationalism in North Macedonia: the changing inter-community relationship in elite discourse(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Ajruli, Omar; Morozov, Viatcheslav, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThe fall of Yugoslavia resulted into the independence several countries among them Macedonia (North Macedonia now). However, the government form of new country brought mixed feelings for its citizens. Eventually frustrations for better representation of the ethnic Albanian in the new independent country led to an armed revolt. The revolt between ethnic Albanians and ethnic Macedonians in 2001 resulted in the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. The Ohrid Agreement introduced a Consociational government form in Macedonia. My research aim is to find how discourse has changed among Macedonians and Albanian political elite by the implementation of Consociational in the country. Using critical discourse analysis in a diachronic research design this thesis will contribute to the argument that Consociationalism has been successful in changing the political elite discourse in North Macedonia. A line can be drawn that with the introduction of Consociationalism in the country change in identification and vocabulary as well a decline in polarization and political elites’ activities/behaviour has been changed. Additionally, the intervening factor is that Consociationalism worked in conjunction with the main external factors for North Macedonia that being the EU. ItemDifferences in thematic and geographical interests among the readers of news portal Delfi in Russian and Estonian language(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Briantseva, Nina; Kaldur, Kristjan, juhendaja; Seppel, Külliki, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThe purpose of this master’s thesis is to study whether and how the media consumption among Russian-speaking minority in Estonia has an effect on the integration of this group to Estonian society. For this, the character of the media consumption among two audiences: Russianspeaking minorities and Estonian-speaking group - is compared and analysed. The thesis uses the quantitative approach: statistical data about the media consumption of these two audiences is analysed, based on the data from the Estonian news portal Delfi.ee and its Russian-language version RusDelfi.ee. The main results indicate that, in general, the Russian-speaking audience has become over time more interested in consuming the content about the developments in Estonia, but these changes are significant only in several thematic groups and with a high probability are connected with the COVID-19. ItemAssessing the validity of structural reform aggregations in economic growth models of 24 transition economies(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Hayford, Martin Daniel; Mölder, Martin, juhendaja; Eamets, Raul, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutDuring the early 1990s a trend of aggregating policy variables emerged out of econometric examinations of growth in transition countries, where more conventional growth models proved inadequate or incomplete. This thesis examines the use of one aggregation in particular, the cumulative liberalization index (CLI) representing structural reforms, and how different constructions of the index based on its conceptual structure can lead to different results. Further, the implications of different conceptual structures can lead to far different conclusions in applications of policy. This analysis shows, that although the different aggregations have similar capacities to predict growth, there are important differences in how the results are interpreted and applied. Namely, different conclusions about the effect of liberalization policy can be formed or obscured based on the outcomes of economic models that use different aggregations of policy indicators. A direct line can be drawn from the concept structuring through to the results and interpretation. Additionally, a conceptually simplified model based on the substantive results of the analysis is proposed that eliminates the need for a structural reforms construct entirely. ItemAssessing the Europeanisation of fight against corruption in the candidate countries and Eastern neighbours(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Mamedov, Gadir; Braghiroli, Stefano, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutFight against corruption is an essential element of good governance that has become an inalienable part of EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy. Progress in the fight against corruption depends on many mechanisms and factors, such as effective conditionality, domestic conditions, and empowerment of civil society organisations. This thesis investigates the relationship between these factors and the progress in the fight against corruption in Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership countries bounded by post-communist legacy. Progress in fight against corruption is measured through two alternative indices: EU-assessed index based on the annual reports and World Bank’s Control of Corruption index. Mixed methods were employed for testing hypotheses and causal mechanisms. Beta regression, modified by adding fixed effects and lagged dependent variable, was used to analyse effects and strength of predictors on panel data containing 148 observations. Validation of the results of statistical model and understanding of interconnection and development of various mechanisms was conducted with help of process tracing method. The results of statistical models found relationship between policy-specific conditionality and progress in the fight against corruption. However, policy-specific conditionality loses its effect once the reward is achieved by a partner country. Another interesting finding is that civil society organisations are positively associated with the higher level of progress in the EU-assessed reports, while it has a non-significant and opposite direction in the models with Control of Corruption index. Finally, process tracing revealed strong interconnection between the preferential fit of the government and empowerment of civil society. Civil Society is necessary for ensuring local ownership of the reforms and achieving the progress, but it can be involved in policy making process only if the government allows so. Presence of policy-specific conditionality and communication of CSO with the EU do not change situation towards higher progress, unless former conditions emerge. Results and conclusions of this study suggest how the EU conditionality logic could be adjusted to better promote democracy and good governance in the EU neighbourhood without reproducing adverse effects of state capture and status-quo legitimisation for which the EU Neighbourhood Policy is criticized. ItemThe contestation of hegemonic discourse through new media. The 2020 Belarusian protests(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Vali, Fidan; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendaja; Kazharski, Aliaksei, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThe study examines how the Belarusian opposition challenges the official discourse of Lukashenka in Telegram and simultaneously analyzes the role of new media in this process. It argues that the discourse of Lukashenka has achieved hegemony by appealing to the population through the adaptation of the Soviet ideology and through coercion, which has led to the emergence of unsatisfied societal demands, which have been analyzed in the first part of the thesis within the context of Lukashenka’s discourse. Unsatisfied demands become obvious as a result of a crisis, which, in this study is the 2020 presidential elections and the subsequent protests. In the absence of platforms through which those demands can be articulated, contestation of any hegemony becomes problematic. This was the reason for focusing on virtual environment, as, apart from high-technology solutions circumventing the governmental restrictions, it offers the opposition the much-needed freedom for articulating its demands and for displacing the existing hegemony. Apart from examining the role of new media, the main research question of the thesis is: How the contestation of hegemonic discourse of Lukashenka is being articulated and organized in new media? One of the main findings is the documentation of the demand for the reestablishment of the national identity and reconciliation with European roots. This has also led to discreditation of the elements of the Soviet legacy propagated by the official discourse. Apart from challenging the Soviet ideology, the opposition has also contested the disciplinary function of the regime, which streamlines the conduct of individuals and serves as a regime legitimizer. The second part of the analysis has focused on this aspect from the perspective of contesting brutalities committed by law enforcement officers. The last part of the thesis has examined whether the disciplinary function of the regime, manifesting itself in the form of patriarchal rhetoric in respect to women, has been challenged. Despite the initial expectations to find the elements of female empowerment, it has been found out that the patriarchal values propagated by the regime have largely remained unchallenged and that articulation of elements of female emancipation falls under the general logic of fighting against violence and oppression of the nation’s will for self-determination. This, nevertheless, significantly undermines the propagated image of the “caring state” and the masculine Sovereign praising women, although, within the context of communal attributes ascribed to them. ItemLegal and political nature of Eurasian integration(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Simonyan, Artur; Mälksoo, Lauri, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThe Eurasian Economic Union was formed in 2015. After the establishment of the new regional organisations, it triggered scientific engagements both from political and economic circles. Although some legal scholars, both in Russia and the Western world, researched some aspects of the EAEU from the institutional and substantive side, there is still a lack of understanding of the EAEU as a separate legal order. This thesis attempts to fill this gap by studying the EAEU through its own conceptual frameworks of authoritarian supranationalism. Illustrating both the history and legal structure of the Eurasian integration, the thesis highlights the different nature of the concepts that have shaped the evolution of the EAEU. The thesis combines history, politics, and law to demonstrate the sui generis essence of the EAEU legal order. For this purpose, particular attention is given to supranational law-making, adjudication, and direct applicability of the EAEU norms. Methodologically, it opted for interdisciplinary research to appraise the EAEU as comprehensively as possible. However, the main argumentation remained legal based on doctrinal-legal research. The thesis concludes that the Eurasian Union has a relatively distinct theoretical background compared to other regional organisations. Thus, instead of illustrating the EAEU institutions' dysfunctionalities compared to EU institutional law, the thesis answers why the institutions of the EAEU have been shaped differently. The thesis's primary claim is that the EAEU is a new sui generis case for comparative international law predominantly based on Russian approaches to international law. Therefore, it is another self-contained legal order and has the capability to consolidate post-soviet Eurasian states around Russia and its illiberal understanding of international law. ItemVery nice! How Kazakhstan uses nation branding for external legitimization(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Glas, Othmara; Braghiroli, Stefano, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut ItemComparison of governmental approaches to counter Russian information influence in the Baltic states(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Voltri, Johannes; Sazonov, Vladimir, juhendaja; Ventsel, Andreas, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutNumerous studies on information influence activities such as mis- and disinformation or inauthentic behaviour on social media have been published in recent years, mainly concentrating on the prevalence, characteristics and causes. Yet, comprehensive research of how governments manage this “information disorder” has remained largely on the sidelines, contributing to a dearth of knowledge when it comes to adequate responses to information influence activities. The study seeks to contribute to this literature by focusing on Baltic reactions to Russian information influence. The main aim of the thesis is to examine and compare Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian governmental approaches to responding to Russian information influence activities. Main strategic documents were analysed, and state officials interviewed to obtain a comprehensive understanding of how the Baltic states deal with information influence in general and which countermeasures the three countries have undertaken, concentrating on the setup of strategic communication, media literacy in formal education and media policy. In order to make sense of various strategies democracies might opt for, an analytical framework by Hellman and Wagnsson (2017) was used. The focus of the research is on governmental action, excluding media and third sector activities such as independent fact-checking or educational projects. The author argues that albeit in general the Baltic states approach countering Russian information influence similarly, the understandings diverge on the extent to which the state should regulate the media to achieve its goals. Compared to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania seek to actively shape the media environment, either through media support measures to encourage media literacy and raise awareness or by restricting access to Russian television channels to respond to incitements of hatred. Estonia, on the other hand, has fared better in developing Russian-language public media as an alternative to still influential Russia’s information space. More broadly, the author suggests that governments respond to information influence activities first by implementing regulations and secondly by raising awareness. ItemWhere are the extremists? The Mexican case for a new understanding in the study of the far right(Tartu Ülikool, 2020) Chávez García, Guillermo; Wierenga, Louis John, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutThis work addresses the question of Why has there not been an increase in support for far-right organizations in Mexico? The author uses process tracing with a wide data range in order to overcome the lack of academic research done in the country about the far right. First, the theoretical framework for the far, radical and populist radical right are established, with a focus on populism and the populist radical right in the United States and Europe. Furthermore, the author narrates the historical background of the far right in Mexico in order to establish the primary characteristics and continuity from the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution until today. The main work is focused on explaining the process for the far right between 2008-2019. The author concludes that the far right in Mexico hasn’t been able to establish a foothold in large parts of the population, hindering their ability to grow; this in part to the lack of rallying topics such as migration or common external enemies such as the EU and their close links to the country’s economic elite. It also concludes that the far right has appeared in limited numbers in Mexico derived from the introduction of progressive laws in Mexico City as well as the election of left-leaning president Andres Manuel López Obrador. In a nutshell, there seems to be no appetite for a comparable growth in the far right in Mexico, despite their renovated activity in the last few years, so the appearance of a successful far right or populist radical right party seems unlikely. ItemThe surge of souverainism in radical right populism. The Italian case of the League(Tartu Ülikool, 2021) Salvadori, Andrea; Wierenga, Louis John, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut ItemEuropean Capital of Culture in postsocialist cities: in search of Europe(Tartu Ülikool, 2020) Buldakova, Uliana; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituut“European Capital of Culture” (ECoC) is an initiative of the EU, established with a purpose to promote a Pan-European culture and stimulate urban development. In this thesis, the ECOC is considered as a platform for dialogue between cities and the EU, through which meanings of Europe is produced. In the context of the growing territorialization of European identity and reinforcement of the internal East-West divide, caused by the growth of national sovereignty and illiberal movements in some countries of the CEE, the importance of cross-national zones of European identity increases. This thesis argues that through the ECoC events postsocialist cities from the CEE construct postnational spaces of European identity and provide alternative to nation states images of Central and Eastern Europe. Through the lens of poststructutalist discourse theory, the analysis shows how eight postsocialist cities with the ECoC title construct Europe in their bid books, and how they contribute to the debates about meaning of Europe, upgrading their urban identities at the level of the EU. ItemEU’s regional integration strategies and its implication for civil society participation in Eastern partnership countries: comparing Georgia and Armenia(Tartu Ülikool, 2020) Tlashadze, Mariam; Braghiroli, Stefano, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Sotsiaalteaduste valdkond; Tartu Ülikool. Johan Skytte poliitikauuringute instituutInstitutional framework within the EaP introduced a tailor-made policy approach towards six Eastern Partnership countries. Meanwhile, another regional integration project, the Eurasian Economic Union, was created by Russia which challenged the EU’s position in the region. This thesis tries to identify how different paths of regional integration affect the direction and the intensity of the process of Europeanization of civil society in Georgia and Armenia. The theoretical expectations are drawn from Neighborhood Europeanization through spreading ‘external governance’ by Lavenex and Schimmelfennig. According to them, the modes and effects of ‘external governance’ increases with three different factors: international legitimacy, the EU’s power, also alternative poles of governance and the domestic structure of the third countries. As civil society is the least studied field under the EaP, the thesis applied a semi-structured in-depth interview method to gather more data from experts in the field. Official agreements and documents produced by the EU, as well as in-depth interviews, are analyzed through qualitative content analysis. Overall, the study finds that Georgia’s regional strategy choice resulted in higher intensity and degree of the Europeanization of civil society in comparison with Armenia. However, it also identified that the selective will of domestic authorities largely influences civil society’s participation in the reform process and in monitoring implementation. In addition to this, the thesis demonstrates that the conditionality offered from the EU is effective until it meets the certain expectations of the partnership countries. The study confirms the expectations of the theory.