Essays

Economies of favors or corrupt societies? Exploring the boundaries between informality and corruption

The only functioning system for transactions in the Soviet Union was in fact blat, the system of corruption and tacit agreement and alliances among all parties involved in a given transaction, is here argued. The “knowing smile” was a shared signal for those in the system.

Essay by Alena Ledeneva View Comments

Reconciliation rather than revolt How monitoring complicates perspectives on democratization

In Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia an extended transition period is taking place, monitored and orchestrated by the European Council. Here it is investigated how to understand long-term interference of the international community in the affairs of states that strive to be recognized as democratic.

Essay by Anders Nordström View Comments

The concept of transition in transition Comparing the postcommunist use of the concept of transition with that found in Soviet ideology

The postcommunist concept of transition, as it was in use during the 1990s and early 2000s, is analyzed from the viewpoint of its intellectual prehistory. The concept is partly contrasted with alternative notions, partly relocated to its antithesis of communist ideology, where “transition” actually was an established concept. The reconstruction of the dialectics between communist and postcommunist transitology indicates and responds to a need for historical reflexivity, argues the author here.

Essay by Kristian Petrov View Comments

Chernobyl as The beginning of the end of the Soviet Union

The belief in technology was fundamental in Soviet culture. When the nuclear reactor exploded and harvested souls and spread illness throughout a vast area, over the course of many years, an image of the collapse of the Soviet Union was thereby created. Chernobyl became an image of the apocalypse of communism.

Essay by Johanna Lindbladh View Comments

Views of landscape Reflections on the governance of Scandinavian transhumance

The authors want to draw attention to the conceptual gaps concerning perspectives of landscapes between academia and government officials and the farmers using the summer farming landscape for food production (small-scale animal husbandry) in Sweden and Norway. They discuss the discrepancies in the views on how this landscape should be governed in order to maintain and enhance its value and potential.

Essay by Håkan Tunón et al View Comments

Conflict or convergence? Products of Origins An analysis of the Swedish case of Baltic Sea fish

Protected designation of origin (PDO) is a certification scheme that certifies products by their origin, and is one of several important tools to strengthen the competitiveness of rural areas, especially for small-scale food processing in rural and less-developed areas in Europe.

Essay by Madeleine Bonow View Comments

Foreign investment and economic integration Meat industry in the Baltic sea Region

Empirical data presented in this article suggest that foreign direct investments in the meat industry have had important positive spillover effects on the host-country firms in the eastern Baltic Sea region in terms of productivity, delivery performance, quality standards, technology transfer, efficiency, and upgrading of managerial and labor force skills. Other indications of spillover effects have been increases in productivity and innovativeness of local companies through increased competitive pressure and knowledge flows.

Essay by León Poblete & H. Richard Nakamura View Comments

Regulating local food Lessons from Poland and Sweden

In the contemporary globalized economy, local political decisions about how to achieve regional sustainability goals are increasingly dependent on the transnational regulatory framework. As the cases presented in this article illustrate, the ultimate standard against which the sustainability concerns of two Baltic region states are assessed are the laws establishing the Single Market within the EU.

Essay by Karolina Zurek View Comments

Fatherhood Across space and time Russia in perspective

Fatherhood in Russia today is a vague institution. The role of the father is developing in several directions at the same time, both in state policies and in the private sphere. The lack of coherence is somewhat surprising since active, engaged fatherhood has proven to be an important factor to reverse declining birth rates, which is a key factor behind Russia's current demographic crisis. On the other hand Russia has a legacy of absent fatherhood inherited from Soviet times. Thus, Russian fatherhood is still under construction. The political scientists, Johnny Rodin and Pelle Åberg, address different perspectives on fatherhood in previous research in order to put contemporary Russia in perspective.

Essay by Johnny Rodin & Pelle Åberg View Comments

Latvians in Guernsey An emerging translocal labor diaspora

The Channel Island of Guernsey was among the first places for Latvians to look for work abroad after the mid-1990s. Over time, an emerging culture of migration has developed on Guernsey among the Latvians.

Essay by Aija Lulle View Comments