Baltic Journal of Political Science
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Published By Vilnius University

2335-2337, 2335-2337

Teodora Gaidytė ◽  
Jasper Muis

This article investigates the effects of social trust, both direct and mediated – via internal and external efficacy – on different forms of political participation in post-communist Lithuania. The relationship between social trust and participation features prominently in the social capital and civic culture literature, but little empirical evidence exists that supports it, especially in post-communist democracies. We use the Lithuanian National Elections Study 2012 to test our hypotheses and replicate our analysis with the European Social Survey waves of 2014 and 2016. Our results show that social trust increases turnout, because it is related to a sense of external efficacy, which in turn enhances the likelihood that people vote. There is, however, no association between social trust and being involved in other institutionalised politics, namely, working for a political party. Interestingly, we find a positive indirect effect for non-institutionalised political participation: social trust increases external efficacy, which in turn enhances protest behaviour. Overall, however, social trust does not lead to more protesting, because the former is at the same time positively related to political trust, which seems to decrease, rather than increase non-institutionalised participation. In sum, our findings demonstrate that explanations for political participation based on the core element of social capital – social trust – work out differently for different forms of political participation.

Vilius Mačkinis

The specific political culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its changes, leading to state reforms by the end of the 18th century, require a methodological approach, which would allow understanding the flow and interconnectedness of the ideas between wider European and smaller local contexts. Arguing that entangled history approach allows understanding peripheral contexts better, the article presents specific aspects of the Polish-Lithuanian Enlightenment creating the context for conceptual change in political thinking. The context specific details are presented with the analysis of Vilnius University related discourse showing that the Enlightenment ideas were used to achieve certain goals of local improvement.

Augustė Dementavičienė ◽  
Donatas Dranseika

The ambition of this paper is to reason the consistency and logical coherence of the concept of Giorgio Agamben‘s anthropological machine. The important puzzle is that although Agamben emphasized the importance of having this machine destroyed, he did not suggest any clear and specific way to achieve it. The concept of a cyborg, developed by Donna Haraway, has been introduced to rethink the anthropological machine through the eyes of the cyborg. So, the main question of this paper is: whether or not the destruction of the anthropological machine is possible using the concept of the cyborg? The cyborg has been chosen because it blurs the boundaries among various oppositions. Oppositions (e.g. animal / human, man / woman, public / private) are exactly what the anthropological machine establishes, moreover, it also empowers itself through the existence of those oppositions. Cyborg has material substance inside its own “body” right from the beginning, so through this understanding we can incorporate the questions about the environment (broadly understood) and the self in every cyborg. The cyborgs, paraphrasing Haraway, are very good at cat’s cradle game when the interactions could be seen very clearly between our everyday acts and some global or political issues.

Justinas Lingevičius

This paper discusses theoretical debates regarding small states and their foreign policy and also argues that research should include more analysis of small states’ identities and the dominant meanings related to being a small state. Using poststructuralistic theoretical perspective and discourse analysis, two empirical cases – Lithuania and New Zealand – are analysed with attention paid to the meanings of smallness and the ways these meanings are constructed. Empirical analysis follows with suggestions for how future research of small states could be improved.

Jogilė Ulinskaitė

Totalitarian regimes attempt to restrict and control virtually every aspect of human life. Interestingly, conscious reflection on disciplinary practises takes up only a small part of the life-stories of interviewed Lithuanians, as far as the memory of the post-Stalin era is concerned. The interviews that form the foundation for this paper were conducted during the summer of 2017 in three different districts in Lithuania. The article aims to answer the following two research questions:1) Which mechanisms of discipline did people recognize and reflect upon?2) How were disciplinary actions remembered and described?According to interviews, tangible individuals filled the role of disciplinarians in schools and workplaces. In addition, the responsibility for discipline and control lies within the imperceptible disciplinarian, supplemented by the invisible discipline of the collective. This led to overwhelming uncertainty in the society, where people invoked intuition and interpretations of who is trustworthy to adapt to uncertain situations. The greatest impact of the totalitarian discipline was that people effectively internalized it and consequently became their own most significant disciplinarians.

Attila Ágh

[full article and abstract in English] We live in a “post-neoliberal world”, as it has been discussed in the mainstream literature, but the vital link between neoliberalism and neopopulism has been rarely discussed. Nowadays in international political science it is very fashionable to criticise the long neoliberal period of the last decades, still its effect on the rise of neopopulism has not yet been properly elaborated. To dig deeper into social background of neopopulism, this paper describes the system of neoliberalism in its three major social subsystems, in the socio-economic, legal-political and cultural-civilizational fields. The historical context situates the dominant period of neoliberalism between the 1970s in the Old World Order (OWO) and in the 2010s in the New World Order (NWO). In general, neoliberalism’s cumulative effects of increasing inequality has produced the current global wave of neopopulism that will be analysed in this paper in its ECE regional version. The neopopulist social paradox is that not only the privileged strata, but also the poorest part of ECE’s societies supports the hard populist elites. Due to the general desecuritization in ECE, the poor have become state dependent for social security, yet paradoxically they vote for their oppressors, widening the social base of this competitive authoritarianism. Thus, the twins of neoliberalism and neopopulism, in their close connections—the main topic of this paper—have produced a “cultural backlash” in ECE along with identity politics, which is high on the political agenda.

Ieva Giedraityte

[full article and abstract in English] This article reviews the existing academic literature that compares and explains the differences between the US and the EU’s external actions. An analytical matrix is devised to group publications by level of analysis (micro-, mid-, and macro) and by theme of comparison criteria. The key findings are that in the macro level of analysis, authors tend to compare the role actors have in international relations before claiming either that the EU is a different kind of power due to its peculiar historical experience, or that the EU is weak due to its complicated structure and lack of military capacities. Furthermore, authors conducting their analyses at the micro level tend to find more similarities between the EU and the US’s external actions than those working at the macro level. The article concludes by making a point in favour of further comparisons as an essential tool to better understand the EU and other actors in international relations.

Inga Vinogradnaitė

This article aims to reconsider how and where the boundaries within Soviet generations as differentiable memory communities could be established. On the basis of Mannheimian theory of generational units and the theory of narration, as based on the conceptual metaphors of container, a method to identify the boundaries between generations was devised. The method was applied to biographical narratives, collected during the summer of 2017, and revealed the existence of different history-related calendars to structure time in the biographical past.

2018 ◽  
Vol 3 (3) ◽  
pp. 156
Jan-Erik Lane

Most of the history of the Baltic States in the 20th century is completely dominated by their relation to the Eastern giant, the Soviet Union. What the Soviet Union represented was not only an authoritarian, and at times, totalitarian rulership but also a constant fear of the unpredictable. Two French military historians, connected with the journal Guerre et Histoire, have recently managed to go through newly opened archives in Russia to unveil the unpredictable career of the most distinguished commander of the Red Army, Gregory Zhukov. Their book entirely confirms the impression among Baltic people that the Soviet Union was fundamentally instable in the sense that anything could happen: state arbitrariness. [...]

2018 ◽  
Vol 6 (6) ◽  
pp. 27 ◽  
Attila Ágh

In the last decade there has been a process of rolling-back Europeanization efforts in the EU’s new member states (NMS), a process intensified by the global crisis. This de-Europeanization and de-democratization process in the NMS has become a significant part of a more general polycrisis in the EU. The backslide of democracy in the NMS as a topical issue has usually been analysed in terms of macro-politics, formal-legal state institutions, party systems, and macroeconomics. The most significant decline of democratization, however, is evident in the public’s decreasing participation in politics and in the eroding trust. This decline in systemic trust in political elites in the NMS has been largely neglected by analysts. Therefore, this paper concentrates on this relatively overlooked dimension of declining trust and social capital in the NMS. This analysis employs the concepts of governance, trust, and social capital to balance the usual formalistic top-down approach with a bottom-up approach that better illustrates the divergence between East-Central Europe and the Baltic states’ sub-regional development.

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