Hand in final report and final exam



Class discussion

Class Schedule:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10


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Baltic Studies 
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Scand 455 / SISRE 465
Baltic States since 1991
Lecture Schedule, Winter Quarter 2009
Meeting Times: Mon and Wed, 4:30-6:20 pm, Sieg Hall 229

Week 1 (Jan 5-7): Introduction, Sources in Baltic Studies

Mon: Introduction: Welcome to the Baltic!


  1. Walter Clemens, “Why Study the Baltics? How?” (Handout #1)

  2. US State Department, Background Notes [Link]

Wed: Researching News from the Baltic


  1. Baltic Times, [Link].  Buy an online subscription (approximately $32). 

  2. LexisNexis database (includes Baltic News Service and others), available on the UW Library website, [Link]

  3. Paul Goble, "What the demise of RFE/RL Newsline means" [Link]

Discussion (in class and online, on the class discussion website): How do we decide what's news, and what's not?  How do we find the most reliable sources? (what sources do the news reports quote?) 
What stories do we want to follow this quarter? 


Week 2 (Jan 12-14): Baltic Information Spaces

Research this week: Find Baltic news media through http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/; major newspapers include Postimees, Diena, Lietuvos Rytas, Telegraf, and many others.  See also web portals such as delfi.ee, delfi.lv, delfi.lt, apollo.lv, dialogi.lv  (explore also Russian language pages on these websites).  Choose one newspaper and/or one web portal, and post a 1-2 paragraph description (knowledge of language is not required).  What is the content? Who is the audience? How is the publication financed?


Mon Creating and analyzing news from the Baltic

Guest lecture: Marc Hyman, "Creating the News at the Baltic Observer"


Wed Information Wars


  1. Jukka Rislakki, "Prologue" and "Acknowledgements"

  2. Nerijus Maliukevicius, "Russia's Information Policy in Lithuania" [Link]

  3. David Smith, "Commemoration, Identity Politics, and Estonia's War of Monuments" [Link] (For information about connecting from off-campus, click here)

  4. Joshua Davis, "Hackers take down the most wired country in Europe," Wired Magazine Issue 15.09 (21 August 2007) [Link]

  5. Gadi Evron, "Battling Botnets," Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 9,1 (2008), 121-126  [Link]

  6. Johnny Ryan, "Analysis: iWar: A new threat" NATO Review, Winter 2007 [Link]


Week 3 (Jan 21): Democratic governance

Research this week:

Take notes as you learn to navigate Baltic government and parliament websites.  Remember to compare English and native language pages, even if you don't speak the language.

Practice looking for useful information: for example, What political parties are represented in the parliament?  Which parties are represented in the ruling coalition?  Who are some important people?  Which ministry is in charge of army? treaties with foreign countries? administering EU structural funds?  fighting AIDS? collecting taxes? police? fighting corruption? etc


Post an analytical summary of one website or section of a website (for example, Estonia's Ministry of Defence, Lithuania's Parliament Anticorruption Commission, Latvia's Ministry of Finance, etc.).  Use ideas from Kristina Aidietiene, assignment (a) below.  Parliament websites. Links: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; Government (i.e. ministerial) websites: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania


Mon Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday


Wed Parties, Elections, Parliaments and Governments


  1. Kristina Aidietiene, "A survey of government institution websites in Lithuania," Baltic IT&T Review 2008,3 [Link]

  2. Juris Rozenvalds, "Introduction: Democracy, problems and perspectives," in Juris Rozenvalds, ed., How Democratic is Latvia: Audit of Democracy (University of Latvia Academic Press, 2005), pages 7-16.  Link to this book online here.

    (please note that the 2007 sequel to this book became available after this syllabus was prepared, and is on reserve-- see the course discussion website).  

  3. Piret Ehin, "Political Support in the Baltic States, 1993-2004," Journal of Baltic Studies 38,1 (2007), 1-20 [Link] (For information about connecting from off-campus, click here)

  4. David Galbreath, "Looking at the post-enlargement challenges to democracy in the Baltic States," Demokratizatsiya 16,1 (2008), 87-96 [Link]. (For information about connecting from off-campus, click here)

    Background information: Baltic elections chronology


Week 4 (Jan 26-28): European Union

Research this week: Browse the EU website, http://europa.eu/ .  Investigate the work of one EU institution (for example, Parliament, Council, Commission, Court of Justice, Agencies for common foreign and security policy), and briefly summarize Estonian, Latvian or Lithuanian participation in that institution.   Post your summary on the class discussion website.  


Mon Baltic and EU, History to Present: Guest Lecture, Ainius Lasas


  1. Ainius Lasas, "Guilt, Sympathy, and Cooperation: EU—Baltic Relations in the Early 1990s"  [Link] (For information about connecting from off-campus, click here)

  2. Saulius Girnius. "The Baltic States' Rocky Road to the EU," RFE/RL Reports 4 May 2004 [Link]

  3. "Europe in 12 Lessons" [Link]


Wed: Democratic Governance in the European Union and local regions


  1. Jan Zielonka, "Chapter 5: Democratic Governance," Europe as Empire: The Nature of the Enlarged European Union (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 117-139 (refer also to pages 9-14 for background).  Connect to this title online through the UW Libraries Catalog

  2. Edvins Vanags, Inga Vilka, "Local Government Reform in the Baltic Countries," Paper presented at the Conference on Reforming Local Government, University of Stuttgart, 26-27 September 2002 [Link]

  3. Baltic Times, "Regional reform bill passes" [Link]

  4. Council of European Municipalities and Regions, [Link]


Week 5 (Feb 2-4): Economic Issues

Mon Energy Issues


  1. Kevin D. Stringer, "Energy Security: Applying a Portfolio Approach," Baltic Security & Defence Review 10 (2008), 121-142 [Link]

  2. Ellen Karm, "Environment and Energy: The Baltic Sea Gas Pipeline," Journal of Baltic studies 39,2 (2008), 99-121 [Link] (For information about connecting from off-campus, click here)

  3. "Activities of the EU, Energy," http://europa.eu/pol/ener/index_en.htm (click on "Security of Energy Supply," and "Greeen Paper"; read the Executive Summary. 

  4. Interview with Tom Lantos, "Energy Security: A state side view" NATO Review, Winter 2007 [Link]

Wed Economic Crisis


  1. Ludmila Fadejeva, Aleksejs Melihovs, "The Baltic states and Europe: Common factors in economic activity," Baltic Journal of Economics 8,1 (2008), 75-96. [Link

  2. "IMF Executive Board Approves... Arrangement for Latvia" International Monetary Fund website [Link]

  3. On the IMF website (above assignment), click on "Country Info" and look up Latvia, to find the most current report, for example, the document published on January 9. Look up information about Estonia and Lithuania, too.  


Week 6 (Feb 9-11): NATO and the Baltic


Mon: Military development, history to present

Guest lecture, Bruno Kelpsas: "Of New Things: Lithuania and its persona"


  1. "What is NATO?" on the NATO website

  2. Enhancing Security through NATO Enlargement, [Link]

  3. Peter van Ham, "NATO and the Madonna Curve," NATO Review, March 2008 [Link]

  4. Ron Asmus, "Rethinking NATO Partnerships," NATO Review, March 2008 [Link]

Wed: Security Options


  1. Adrienne Hayes, "Baltic Security Following NATO and EU Accession," [Link]

  2. Vaidotas Urbelis and Kestutis Paulauskas, "NATO'S Deterrence Policy-- Time for Change?"  Baltic Security & Defence Review 10 (2008), 86-102 [Link]

  3. Background reading: Security policies published by the Baltic Governments on their websites, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.  What policies would you identify as priorities for maintaining security?

Friday: Research due.  Post a rough draft of your research paper on the class discussion website


Week 7 (Feb 18): Russia and the Baltic

Mon: Presidents Day Holiday

Background reading this week:

Wed: Russia and the Baltic

Reading: Assignments (a) to (g) below are chapters in a book edited by Nils Muiþnieks,  Latvian-Russian Relations: Domestic and International Dimensions.  Riga: LU Akadçmiskais Apgâds, 2006.  Connect to this book online at http://szf.lu.lv/szf/eng/140/index.htm

  1. Zaneta Ozolina and Airis Rikveilis, "Latvian and Russian Foreign Policy," 87-97

  2. Vyacheslav Dombrovsky and Alf Vanags, "Latvian-Russian Economic Relations," 98-109

  3. Andris Spruds, "Between Economics and Politics," 110-118

  4. Nils Muiznieks, "Russian Foreign Policy towards 'Compatriots' in Latvia," 119-130

  5. Toms Rostoks, "The Border Issue," 131-139

  6. Aija Lulle, "Crossborder Cooperation," 140-147

  7. Rasma Karklina and Imants Liegis, "Latvia and Russia within the Broader International Context," 148-157

Fri: Research due: critique a peer's research paper, posted on the class discussion website


Week 8 (Feb 23-25): The View from Below

Mon:  Latvian-Russian Relations: Domestic dimension

Guest Lecture, Andrejs Berdnikovs: "Native Latvians and Russian-speaking community in Latvia: forming a more perfect union"


  1. Carl Bildt, "The Baltic Litmus Test. Foreign Affairs. Vol. 73, No. 5, Sep.– Oct., 1994, pp. 72–85. [Link]

  2. A. Aasland and T. Flotten, "Ethnicity and Social Exclusion in Estonia and Latvia." Europe-Asia Studies. Vol. 53, No. 7, Nov., 2001, pp. 1023–1049. [Link]

  3. E. Poppe and L. Hagendoorn. "Types of Identification among Russians in the 'Near Abroad'." Europe-Asia Studies. Vol. 53, No. 1, Jan., 2001, pp. 57–71. [Link]


Wed: Human Development, Human Capital


  1. "Introduction," pages 17-44, Latvia 2006/2007 Human Development Report [Link]

  2. Jessica Bryant-Bertail, "Human Development in the Post-Soviet Baltic States," http://students.washington.edu/jessicbb/

  3. Background information: Visit the United Nations Human Development Reports, [Link]; and World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Reports.  Look up HDI updates for numbers quoted by Bryant-Bertail. 

  4. Margareta Dancus, "Civil Society in the Baltic."  http://students.washington.edu/dancus/CIVIL_SOCIETY_IN_THE_BALTIC.htm 

  5. Arunas Juska et al., "Rural grass-roots organizing in eastern Europe: the experience from Lithuania," Community Development Journal 41,2 (2006), 174-188. [Link]


Week 9 (March 2-4): The View from Below

Mon: Self-Organization in Nongovernmental Organizations

Guest Lecture, Andrejs Berdnikovs, "Social activism: some preliminary observations on differences between Latvia and the United States"


  1. Karklins, R., Zepa, B. Political participation in Latvia 1987–2001. Journal of Baltic Studies. Vol. 32, No. 4, Winter 2001, pp. 334–346. [Link]

  2. Huber, S. Citizens Participation in the Decision-making Process in Latvia – Still a Long Road to Go? Policy Paper. Riga: The Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, Aug., 2008, 35 p. [Link]

  3. Ijabs, I. Russians and Civil Society. In Latvian-Russian Relations: Domestic and International Dimensions. Ed. N.Muiþnieks. Riga: LU Akadçmiskais Apgâds, 2006, pp. 74–83. Connect to this book online at http://szf.lu.lv/szf/eng/140/index.htm

Wednesday: Culture and Identity


  1. Jaan Kaplinski, "From Harem to Brothel" Estonian Literary Magazine 6 (1998)

  2. Eurovision Championships: Estonia, winner in 2001; Latvia, winner in 2002; Lithuania, "We are the winners" in 2005

  3. Song festivals: Estonia 2008, "Land of my fathers" [Link to YouTube];
    Latvia 2008: "My Song" [Link to YouTube]

  4. Lithuania: "Three Millions"  [Link to YouTube]; [karaoke]


Friday, March 6: Post drafts of research reports on the class discussions website.  Critique a colleague's report by Sunday evening, March 8.  


Week 10 (March 9-11):

Mon: Student research oral presentations


Wed: Research Roundup

Reading and discussion: Symposium on the Baltic in the 21st century (1 hour broadcast): [Link].  Participants: Walter Clemens, Saulius Suziedelis, Juris Dreifelds, and Toivo Raun.  


Friday, March 13: Final Reports due; upload to "Collect it" website (not the regular discussion website)


Final Examination:
Monday, March 16, 2009, 4:30-6:20 pm 

Post the take-home essay to the "Collect it" website



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Contact the instructor at: guntiss@u.washington.edu