ItemSymbols of identity: commemorative holidays in post-soviet Russia(Tartu Ülikool, 2015) Parshintceva, Elizaveta; Pääbo, Heiko, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Euroopa KolledžHolidays as a collective form of activity at all times is a reflection of the profound changing in society’s values. The reducing need for a holiday, loss of interest in it indicates that values, represented in celebrations, lose their meaning. In turn, establishment of a new holiday or restoration of practices of events celebrated earlier imply a change of value priorities in the society. The Russian case of transformation of public holidays is in some way unique. The regime change in early 1990s did not lead to abolition of Soviet holidays, but demanded from the new government efforts to adapt to new realities. This research shows the short history of introduction or evolution of three Russian commemorative holidays: Day of National Unity, Day of Russia, and Victory Day. All of them are intended to construct new Russian national identity, different from the old Soviet one. The analysis of discourse around these holidays suggests that due to the short history of the new state, political forces do not have clear understanding of essence of holidays and of ideas how they have to be celebrated. Without the agreement among political elite, it is difficult to construct new Russian national identity among the population. Currently, opinion polls show that two of studied holidays – Day of National Unity and Day of Russia – have not yet found their place in people’s minds. However, Victory Day remains the main uniting holiday for all Russian citizens, although its history, connected with crimes of Stalinism, is sometimes regarded ambiguously. ItemAnalyzing anti-homosexual legal act as a tool of limitation: case study of Russia(Tartu Ülikool, 2015) Lipovski, Dmitri; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Euroopa KolledžThis thesis aims to analyze the situation of the LGBT minorities in Russia and establishing the reasons and consiquences of limiting their activities and fundamental rights through the adopted anti-propaganda legal act “On protection of children from information that promotes the negation of traditional family values”. The legal act in turn will be analyzed for determining its nescessity and proportionality as well as its conformity to Russian legislation and the International human rights instruments. By these means the research will be held on the grounds of case-study research as the focus is concentrated on the analysis of a specific event (adoption of the anti-propaganda legal act as object and the legal act as a subject). For research purposes the case will be examined through the anti-propaganda legal act itself together with international instruments on protection of human rights, academic articles from scholars and reports from NGO‟s will be additionally included to the research and analyzed in order to determine how the legal act is perceived in Russia and what arguments are used concerning the topic of inconsistency of the adopted anti-propaganda legal act. ItemThe memory politics of becoming European: Estonian subaltern narrative in the film In The Crosswind (2014)(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Solohub, Olena; Pääbi, Heiko, juhendajaThis thesis aims to analyze Estonian historical art film In the Crosswind (2014) as a product of cultural memory, which represents the national trauma of Soviet deportations in 1941-1949. The film is analyzed in a broader social and political framework of the European collective memory divide over the history of the Second World War and its aftermath. The thesis argues that In the Crosswind can be considered as attempt of Estonia as one of Eastern European states to promote their subaltern narrative of Stalinist crimes and victimization and achieve recognition among “Old” Europeans, which is part of their ‘politics of becoming European’. This thesis uses a multidisciplinary approach, which is based on a theory of memory studies, trauma theory and cultural media studies and attempts to analyze, how the Estonian national trauma of deportations is represented and constructed in the film, so it would find acceptance and recognition among the foreign audience. This thesis analyzes the cinematic techniques and iconography, used in the film to narrate the story of deportations trauma. As the film is analyzed not only as a work of art, but in a broader socio-political context, the thesis employs method of visual Critical Discourse Analysis, combined with iconographic, narrative and intertextual analysis. In the Crosswind can be considered as a successfully constructed trauma representation, which attempts to challenge the dominant memory discourse of communist crimes in Europe and promote Estonian national narrative of deportation trauma. Through the means of prosthetic memory, the film has a potential to influence the foreign audience and contribute to the construction of transnational memory of Stalinist crimes. It would be an overstatement to say that this goal is achieved with one film, but it is definitely a case of contribution to the Eastern European memory politics of ‘becoming European’. ItemMaking sense of EU's conflict management strategy in South Caucasus(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Ghazaryan, Sara; Berg, Eiki, juhendajaThe thesis is focused on EU conflict management strategy in case of South Caucasus through the prism of the engagement strategy. The concept of engagement refers to the use of non-coercive means to ameliorate the non-status quo elements of [targeted state’s] behavior. The ultimate goal of the strategy is protection of the international order. In the scope of this thesis EU is the status-quo power in relation to South Caucasus and is engaged with Abkhazian, SO and NK conflicts from this particular position. The method of case study is chosen; academic and official sources are analyzed. Based on provided analysis of developments in the region and EU responses this thesis argues that EU engages with conflicts from the position of protector of status quo. The aim of EU is to minimize conflict in order to avoid war and meanwhile keep immunity of the existing international order. Analysis reveals that Russia, in 2008 explicitly intervening into the erupted conflict between Georgia and SO on the side of the latter threatened status quo and provoked EU active engagement with Abkhazian and SO conflicts. Meanwhile, EU perception in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia determines the extent EU is engaged with conflicts, whereas EU perception in Abkhazia, SO and NK does not affect EU decision engage or not to engage. ItemRussia and the West: struggle for normative hegemony(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Kakabadze, Shota; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendajaIn the spring of 2012 Vladimir Putin was elected as the President of Russia for the third time. With his return as the head of the state, new conservative discourse, with normative dimension, started to emerge in the Russian politics. Cases of the Pussy Riot, the gay propaganda law or anti-blasphemy law, are examples of this conservative turn. This discourse also implies portrayal of the West as deviant and perverted, while Russia stands as the last bastion in defense of traditional values. Such articulation is widely supported and enhanced by the Russian Orthodox Church. As it is argued in the present study, this discourse serves not only domestic political purposes, but also provides important bases for the Russian normative hegemony to be projected outwards. Hegemony is defined from the Neo-Gramscian understanding and it is illustrated how the civil society institutions inside Georgia help to articulate, project and maintain the Russian discourse to the Georgian society and subsequently counter an alternative, the Western discourse, expressed within the Association Agreement with the EU. Discourse analysis, more specifically, the discourse theory was applied as a methodology to analyze ongoing discourse. Findings illustrate that the Georgian society is still struggling to associate itself with the Western normative discourse and it can serve basis for the Kremlin to achieve its political goals without brute force, through normative hegemony. ItemRussia’s role in the South Caucasus – Possible implications of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union for regional security(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Forst, Christopher; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendajaRegional Security Complex Theory (RSCT) assumes that it is possible to identify certain regional “clusters” regarding common security threats. Essential elements of a Regional Security Complex (RSC) are an anarchic structure, boundary, social construction (patterns of amity and enmity) and polarity (the distribution of power). RSCs are durable, but not permanent features in the international system. This thesis focuses on Russia’s role in the post-Soviet RSC. Russia is the central regional power, but at the same time it also holds the status of a great power, which makes it special. It is argued that the South Caucasus can be seen as a subcomplex of this RSC. The Russian influence on the security dynamics in this region is analyzed against the background of the recent developments in Armenian-Russian relations, which serve as a case-study. The thesis aims to assess the impact of change caused by Russia’s interference in the South Caucasian subcomplex. Although Russia and the South Caucasus are part of the same RSC, the analysis shows that Russia’s role in the Armenian case follows the same logic as great power penetration (GPP). Thus, the consequences of its involvement could be similar as well and include changes in patterns of amity and enmity or in the distribution of power. They could also lead to changes in the boundary, which means the subcomplex could “break apart”. Eventually, the study comes to the result that by looking at the Russian-Armenian relationship, it is possible to argue that the distribution of power in the region has already shifted to some extent. Patterns of amity and enmity still remain a uniting element, but they could also be affected by future developments. If geopolitical tensions continue, the boundary could be changed as well, but Armenia’s mere decision for the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is not a sufficient indicator for this. Russia’s role in the post-Soviet RSC can be characterized as very dominant; the RSC is clearly centred on Russia. However, subcomplexes with their own regional security dynamics continue to exist, albeit the post-Soviet RSC is, indeed, possibly (again) in danger of a Russian “takeover”. ItemPolitics of memory and journalism’s memory work: changes of commemoration practices of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in the Estonian and Russian press 1989 – 2014(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Müür, Kristiina; Kõresaar, Ene, juhendajaThe current thesis set out to explore the dynamics of collective memory and identity in anniversary journalism, using the case study of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (MRP) signed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in 1939. MRP was chosen due to offering multiple layers of commemoration and also being politically relevant in the present day, and not only domestically or bilaterally but starting from 2009 also at pan-European level. The empirical material comprised newspaper articles from the Estonian (both in the Estonian and Russian language) and Russian press between 1989-2004, thus also allowing for a comparison across different mnemonic communities. The theoretical part of the thesis dealt with the key concepts of collective memory and identity, politics of memory and journalism’s memory work (anniversary journalism). Content analysis was used to achieve the research aim. The given study provides an overview of the emergence and gradual disappearance – the dynamics – of the commemoration of the MRP in the Estonian press. The results give ground to conclude that the current politics of memory behind the MRP, now mostly at European level, will keep the anniversary date of 23 August as a worthy object of research for memory scholars. However, even if the relevance of 23 August is increasing, it will most likely not be the MRP as the centrepoint. It remains to be seen to which extent it will become a commemoration day of the Baltic Way and/or for the victims of totalitarian regimes. As for Russia and the Russian press, the relevance of the MRP and 23 August will most likely depend on the role this date will become to hold in the European politics of memory, since the thesis showed the journalistic treatment of the MRP in the Russian press to be mostly of reactionary nature to others’ initiatives. ItemVulnerability of Estonian electricity system: economic impact assessment of a paramilitary conflict in Ida-Virumaa(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Raamat, Mart; Vits, Kristel, juhendaja; Mäe, Andres, juhendajaThe intention of the thesis is to look at the functioning of the Estonian electricity system in a situation where a paramilitary conflict has forced the two biggest power stations in Estonia into a production halt. The hypothetical scenario that the thesis anticipates is developed on an assumption borrowed from literature on critical infrastructure: a government has to assure the functioning of important infrastructure object in the occurrence of a worst case scenario. Given the current unstable situation in international relations and considering opinions that the Russian government could test NATO’s integrity by inflicting a military confrontation in the Baltic States, the scenario which anticipates a regional military insurgence taking place in the eastern region of Estonia remains plausible. The goal is to assess the vulnerability of the Estonian electricity system with a purpose-built model which links the measure of vulnerability to economic losses of a country. The author builds on the general model developed by Edward Christie which intended to measure the economic losses in the case of a gas supply disruption. After making some critical amendments to Christie’s model, the author establishes a concrete function to calculate the economic losses in the occurrence of an electricity supply cut. After testing the model in the case of Estonia, the thesis concludes that due to the high level of interconnectivity and sufficient domestic production options, the losses for Estonian economy deriving from the supply cut are extremely marginal. Thus, the vulnerability of Estonian electricity system is low and can supply end-users even in the occurrence of the hypothetical event. The author suggests further work on the developed model by possibly adding the dimensions of electricity market prices, seasonal coefficients and most importantly, a refined relationship between the consumption and available supply capacity. ItemThe democracy of European fiscal consolidation: reform governments in Greece, Ireland and Italy(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Pipal, Christian; Pettai, Vello, juhendaja; Braghiroli, Stefano, juhendajaAre technocratic governments the reformers of last resort? And why are they appointed? Facing the ongoing European debt crisis, some countries choose to put technocrats into reform government offices, while others are able to reform their markets and fiscal structure within regularly elected governments. What differentiates these technocratic from non-technocratic governments in terms of origins and reform efforts? And are technocratic government compositions more able to implement complex market and fiscal reforms in a short period of time when facing difficult institutional settings? In order to answer these questions, this research follows an institutional approach along rational choice theory and the concept of varieties of capitalism. A comparative study of the political economy of Greece, Ireland and Italy examines the different underpinnings that build-up to these reform governments and shows how reform efforts and forms of reform governments, understood as being either partisan or non-partisan composed, vary between different varieties of capitalism. The findings provides evidence that the varieties of capitalism configuration, and the embedded features of economic and political institutions, influence the incentives for counties to appoint technocratic governments when facing an economic crisis, thus advancing an existing model that describes the likelihood of Item(Re)construction of national security discourse in the context of the Ukrainian crisis: Finland, Estonia, Russia(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Ahi, Eda; Morozov, Viacheslav, juhendajaThis Master’s Thesis provides a hypothesis-generating comparative case study that focuses on the structures of three national security discourses in the context of the Ukrainian crisis: Finnish, Estonian and Russian. More specifically, it looks at the official (presidential and governmental) articulations concerning the crisis situation in Ukraine and its impacts on national and European security. Drawing upon poststructuralist security theories, most importantly the securitisation theory, the main aim of the thesis is to better understand the connection between security policy and national identity in the selected cases, in order to subsequently propose hypotheses for further research. After explaining the theoretical framework, the an analysis of the discourses at two levels – national and European – demonstrates that the structural pattern of the selected national security discourses is somewhat counter-intuitive. Although the Finnish and the Estonian case initially seem to share a number of common features, at deeper levels, the two discourses differ significantly. At the same time, a closer look reveals the underlying structural similarity of Estonian and Russian security discourses. Namely, the two tend to be more polarised and use antagonisation, protagonisation and historisation, whereas their Finnish counterpart remains relatively neutral with regard to the Ukrainian crisis. The findings confirm that the link between policy and identity is relatively stable and cannot be seen as one-to-one. Instead, it is embedded into wider structures of memory. Finally, hypotheses for further research are suggested. Keywords: national security, ItemNovorossiya as metaphor: great powerness and the conservative revolution in the Russian political and discursive space(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Brand, Nathan; Morozov, Viacheslav, juhendajaThis thesis is focused on the construction of Novorossiya and its relation to great power identity and the conservative revolution in Russia. The aim of this thesis is to analyse the relationship between these three interlocutory discourses in a bid to determine the relationship between Novorossiya and the wider discursive field. Several key questions are answered: of what Novorossiya is an instance; how ideology is inflected in it by conservative revolutionaries; what politics logics are used to move the conservative revolution towards the political and discursive mainstream. The thesis is founded upon a poststructural ontological position and combines the thought of Laclauian discourse theory and TartuMoscow School semiotics of culture to underpin a semiotic model. The concepts of metaphor and metonymy are posited as key theoretical tools of analysis. They are employed in order to explain the conservative revolutionary challenge to liberal hegemony, the chaining of nationalist narratives into a contiguous link with great power identity, and the appearance of Novorossiya as a metaphorical phenomenon. Ideology is unpacked with reference to political logics which focus on forming an analogous relation between discursive and state frontiers. Due to the existence of Novorossiya as a small part of a greater conservative revolution across the Russian political and discursive space, this thesis seeks to provide greater understanding to a widely misunderstood political movement, whilst aiming to provoke a body of work on the new right in Russia. ItemEurope in conflict – an analysis of European discourses in light of the Ukrainian crisis(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Mändre, Charis; Makarychev, Andrey, juhendajaThe main goal of this thesis is to create understanding on how the EU sees the events in Ukraine and creates itself through the articulation of a self and other. This official discourse, articulated through the readings of EU political elite, is seen as hegemonic and discourses radically opposing it as counter-hegemonic discourses. To achieve this a poststructuralist approach to discourse, language and identity is adopted. The results of the analysis show that by the official discourse, the events in Ukraine are depicted in a way as to offer legitimacy for the EU and the values underpinning it. At the same time these events are seen as threat to the very idea of Europe. Within the official discourse, the identity of the EU is created through a linking to the values underpinning the Union and though a differentiation from Russia. Meanwhile the counter-hegemonic discourses were both very similar in the way in which they viewed Europe, Russia and the events in Ukraine constructing a radically different identity for Europe. The findings of this comparative analysis stretch far beyond the discourses emanated from the actors analysed. They are illustrative of deep splits within EU identity, with Ukraine being one of catalysts. It is possible to further research the identity construction and antagonisms in the EU though other topics, such as accepting refugees from Africa, or by choosing other actors, such as far-left political parties, leaders of member states, or by adopting different research methods, such as Fairclough’s Critical Discourse Analysis. ItemRussian strategic ambiguity as a tactic for desecuritization: a case study of the Ukrainian conflict.(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2015) Campbell, Caleb; McNamara, Eoin Micheál, juhendaja;Following Russia’s incursion into Crimea, ambiguous warfare and strategic ambiguity used during the Ukrainian conflict have been cited by NATO as a threat to the future of European security. The use of strategic ambiguity holds many benefits over clear communications, particularly its ability to foster multiple interpretations of and create a united diversity around a specific issue during times of crisis. Within the Copenhagen School of Security Studies and Dr Holger Stritzel’s analytical frameworks for securitization and desecuritization, this research asks the question of whether strategic ambiguity can be used as a tactic to influence audiences for the purpose and process of desecuritization. Critical discourse analysis is used in a case study of the Ukrainian conflict, analysing NATO and Kremlin speeches and transcripts, to identify and analyse how Russia has used strategic ambiguity as a tactic for desecuritization in order to influence its targeted audiences. Much focus is also directed towards explaining how strategic ambiguity has benefited Russia’s campaign of information and psychological warfare. The outcome of this studied has shown mixed results. The author argues from the position that while Russia has been overall unsuccessful in its attempted desecuritization, strategic ambiguity still serves as an important tactic for influencing and dividing perceptions of targeted audiences for the purpose and process of desecuritization. ItemA normative assessment of the legal philosophy of the european union using the grundnorm theory of hans kelsen(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa Kolledž, 2014) Vern-Barnett, Adam; Laffranque, Julia, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Euroopa Kolledž;This thesis assesses the normative basis of the law of the European Union according to selected theories of legal and ethical philosophy. Firstly it employs the methodology of legal theorist Hans Kelsen, who envisioned a legal order as a hierarchy of norms with a central norm or Grundnorm at the peak of this hierarchy. Ten such norms are identified within the EU Treaties and related documents, and encompass values such as the ‘promotion of peace’, the ‘rule of law’ and ‘democracy’. However, an examination of the jurisprudential approach of the Court of Justice, which occupies a prominent place in the constitutional law of the EU legal order alongside the Treaties, suggests that the Grundnorm of the EU law is of a functional nature, and is chiefly concerned with the establishment and maintenance of the European Common Market. An assessment of this Grundnorm using the contrasting ethical theories of Kantianism and utilitarianism suggests that the legal philosophy of the European Union is thus consequentially ethical, as the European Common Market brings many benefits, but it is not primarily governed by the protection of deontological values, with these values consistently subordinated to the Common Market Grundnorm. It is then suggested that the functional basis of this Grundnorm will create problems for the ethical legitimacy of the EU legal order in the longer term; it has been constructed in this way by the Court of Justice due to the identity crisis of the Community as caused by the on-going democratic deficit. Thus an ideal Grundnorm for the EU legal system should have a core basis in ethical values, especially those relating to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. ItemThe impact of religion on minority identity and community: a case study of russian orthodoxy and the russian minority in estonia(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2014) Cleary, Elizabeth Ann; Kilp, Alar, juhendaja; Blobaum, Robert, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Euroopa KolledžThis thesis seeks to contribute to the scholarship on this underdeveloped topic of how religion, minority identity, and issues of integration intersect by evaluating the questions of a) whether religion significantly fosters identity within minority groups, b) whether religious communities linked with specific minority groups help or hinder integration, and c) what level of importance religion has in the interplay of minority identity and loyalty to the state where a minority has long resided or claims citizenship. The case study of Estonia was chosen. Its large Russian minority, history as a former Soviet republic, and proximity to Russia make it a fitting choice for this topic, as does its religious landscape which provides an interesting field for examination. Home to two Orthodox churches (the Estonian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate and the Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church) under two competing patriarchates (Moscow Patriarchate and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople), the churches have the potential to be alternative platforms through which ethnic-specific concerns and views are expressed and embodied. In order to answer the key questions of this study, statistical sources have been analyzed, providing a quantitative picture of both the minority and the religious composition of Estonia. Those numbers were enlivened with a qualitative look at minority issues, national historical narratives, and religious community relationships that still contribute greatly to the dialogue in Estonia today. Interviews with Estonian clergy, academics, nonprofit leaders, and government employees form a significant part of this research and are an important element of its contribution to current scholarly debates. Through this variety of research and sources, I argue that Estonia, even in light of its nonreligious reputation, does contain Orthodox religious communities that effect minority identity, both in terms of active members and those who purely claim to be Orthodox. The Orthodox churches provide a connection to ethnic and national loyalties and identities, inevitably becoming politically charged and thus making the churches occasional participants in the debates of large minority issues, especially those that implicate the involvement of the neighboring Russian Federation. Religion is effected in both escalating and deescalating political tensions. Churches, especially the Orthodox communities of Estonia, have the potential to be leaders in resolution, compromise, and cooperation among Estonians and Russians, but must be cultivated as such or risk being case into the role of entities of future division. ItemThe use of cultural memory in reinforcing contemporary russian patriotism on the example of film Stalingrad (2013)(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa Kolledž, 2014) Roop, Laura; Pääbo, Heiko, juhendaja; Blobaum, Robert, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Euroopa Kolledž ItemHighly-skilled migration: Estonia's attraction policy and its congruence with the determinants of 'talent mobility'(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2014) Ortega Prudencio, Leonardo Daniel; Solvak, Mihkel, juhendaja; Philips, Kaia, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Euroopa kolledžIn recent years, the phenomenon of highly-skilled migration has increasingly attracted the attention of both academia and policy makers around the world. The potential of the highly-skilled to positively impact economic development in the receiving country has led to a ‘global race for talent’, with countries competing for attracting the ‘best and brightest’. To further develop its knowledge economy, Estonia appears not to want to be left out of this race, as it has recently take active steps to attract the highly-skilled. The aim of this thesis is to provide an insight and a better understanding at Estonia’s current immigration policies and measures in the specific context of attracting highly-skilled third-country nationals in light of the theoretical determinants of ‘talent mobility’ – a proxy for highly-skilled migration. A combination of secondary research, interview analysis with highly-skilled migration stakeholders and a short quantitative analysis on issued temporary residence permits in Estonia were the methodological backbone of the work. The resulting outcome from the empirical analysis shows that Estonia, despite having a very clear objective on the attraction of highly-skilled, does not have a comprehensive policy on this topic, but it has instead a set of independently-carried policies and scarcely coordinated measures in this area. The theoretical determinants of ‘talent mobility’, in line with neoclassical economics paradigm, seem to be only partially addressed by the Estonian immigration policies and measures for attracting highly-skilled third-country nationals. Beyond the results, the author also contributes to this topic by discussing some policy implications and issues recommendations that could help better address these determinants through immigration policies and measures ItemSoft power and great power identity in Russian discourses(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2014) Pukeliene, Marina; Morozov, Viacheslav, juhendaja; Tartu Ülikool. Euroopa kolledž ItemInvestigating the features of three Italian populist parties (lega nord, forza Italia, 5 star movement) in terms of leadership and party claims(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2014) Kvirkvelia, Nino; Braghiroli, Stefano, juhendajaThe General Italian elections in 2013 offered interesting outcomes, which were assessed as the continuation of populist success which started from the early 90s when the major Italian populist parties Lega Nord and Forza Italia appeared on the political field. Populism in general represents a multifaceted concept and the nature of it varies according to a number of dimensions. As Paul Taggart emphasizes, considering the different ways in which populism is studied1, it represents a “highly chameleonic” phenomenon.2 The scholarly attempts to define populism as a concept offered a diverse and at the same time contradictious interpretations, which often consider populism from the different perspectives3. Italy is one of the relevant cases for the discussion of populism. The mentioned phenomenon has historically been successful in different regional contexts and managed to flourish in Italy as well in the early 90s. This period left remarkable trace in the history of the mentioned country, because exactly the Second Italian Republic witnessed the emergence of the three influential populist movements such as Lega Nord, Forza Italia and 5 Star Movement, which played and are still playing a significant role in the modern Italian politics. Numbers of works are dedicated to the study of the circumstances which are vulnerable for populist emergence; however less attention is paid to the analysis of how particular populist parties reflect the idea of populism in general. Moreover, the peculiarities of Italian populist movements are not thoroughly explored, especially considering the General elections of 2013 and the new political actor, 5 Star Movement. The following thesis aims to understand the nature of the three Italian populist parties and to find how they correspond to the major features of the populism phenomenon. Based on the existing literature regarding populism, the author of the following work identified two general (leadership and political claims) and six specific (Strong appeal to people, Charismatic leadership, Active use of media, anti-elitist, anti-establishment, anti-party rhetoric) features of populism and according to the mentioned features analyzed three Italian populist parties. Considering the main findings of the research, Italian populist parties correspond to the majority of populist features, however still there are differences according the specific nature of the political organization. ItemNATO military interventions in Kosovo, Libya, Afghanistan and their impact on relations with Russia after the cold war(Tartu Ülikooli Euroopa kolledž, 2014) Rogulis, Dovydas; McNamara, Eoin Micheál, juhendajaThis thesis seeks to find out how NATO military interventions in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have negatively affected relations with Russia. In order to achieve the aim and hypothesis of the study, the critical geopolitical approach is chosen as a theoretical framework. A schematic critical geopolitics conceptualization of Gearóid Ó. Tuathail is used as the method of research. This thesis mostly pays attention to three essential parts of the critical geopolitics: “formal geopolitics” (analyses of think tanks, specialists, etc.), “practical geopolitics” (the decisions of policy makers, official statements, documents, strategies and speeches) and “popular geopolitics” (the discourse of the media and surveys). The combination of these three elements allows determining the certain NATO’s and Russian geopolitical discourses towards crises in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan. With regard to evidences of crises, NATO’s and Russian geopolitical discourses are assessed from very positive, positive, neutral, to negative and very negative. It provides an opportunity to see how both sides have scripted these crises and how in long terms NATO’s military interventions in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have influenced relations with Russia in international order. Moreover, descriptive method, discourse analysis and a comparative approach are used to scrutinize Russian and NATO’s geopolitical discourses towards crises. The analyses of NATO’s and Russian geopolitical discourses show that the hypothesis different NATO and Russian geopolitical discourses towards crises in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have led to reciprocal accruing disagreements is only partly correct. The crisis of Kosovo in 2008 marks the end of the Russian flexible policy towards NATO and marks a new beginning of a permanently hostile geopolitical discourse against NATO in Europe. NATO military interventions in Kosovo, Libya and Afghanistan have negatively affected relations with Russia mostly in Europe. Mutual cooperation and diplomatic disputes towards crises in Libya and Afghanistan are minor in comparison with the NATO-Russian relations in the European continent. Consequently, Russia concentrates most of its attention to the geopolitical tradition towards Europe.