Features

Features offer in-depth accounts of issues related to the region without prior peer-review process.

Reforming Child Welfare in the Post-Soviet Space. Institutional Change in Russia

The deinstitutionalization as a policy shift introduced an entirely new principle of care in contemporary Russia. It brought the right to live in a family to the center of the care system, seeing residential, collective care as being harmful to children. The analysis shows that children left without family and placed in institutional care are mainly “social orphans”, meaning that their parents are alive but deprived of parental rights.

By Anna Tarasenko and Meri Kulmala October 25, 2021

60 years after the plane crash: A New reading of Dag Hammarskjöld’s diary Markings

From 1958, the lyric character of the diary entries becomes more intense. On the other hand they gain a further dimension of universality. They can be interpreted as saying that he would like the personal to remain even less known, and that the poeticizing is a means of concealment. Both may be equally true. If Markings were a fictional diary, one might say that the foreshadowing of death was a structural feature

By Birgit van der Leeden October 25, 2021

Feminist Comic Art is spreading in the Baltic Sea Region

Feminist comic art in Sweden, Finland, and the Baltic Sea region raises the question of whether it is possible to find a common denominator for feminist comic art. Are feminist comics connected by certain aesthetic qualities or themes? Is there a shared conception of feminism that is recognizable in the comics produced in the Baltic Sea region? The answer to both questions is ”no”. As much as there is an exchange of ideas and aesthetic influences between artists in different countries, there are local varieties specific to countries and individual artists. Furthermore, variations in contemporary conceptions of feminism seem to depend on varying historical conditions and experiences in the different countries.

By Kristy Beers Fägersten, Leena Romu, Anna Nordenstam and Margareta Wallin Wictorin October 25, 2021

MEMORY BATTLEFIELD ON THE EAST FRONT: UKRAINE AND POLAND

Discussions about the assessment of historic events have always had their place in the public discourse in democratic societies, whereas totalitarian regimes such as the Communist one preferred an official version of history that is not up for debate. This is why a conflict-prone memory boom in the CEE was to be expected after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The only recently intensified trend is to fight memory wars with the means of memory laws, i.e. by using laws prescribing and proscribing certain representations of historic events as a weapon to protect one’s national collective memory from divergent interpretation by others. Such approach to governing memory wars are detrimental to the neighborly relations, i.e. turning them into un-neighborly ones.

By Anna Grinberg October 25, 2021

From brain drain to brain gain

Eastern and Central Europe are seeing emigrants returning. The trend for more people to return to their home countries started as a trickle before Brexit and the pandemic — but has grown over the last couple of years. Over the last 30 years the opposite trend has been the rule: Lithuania and Latvia have lost close to 25% of their citizens since 1990; Bulgaria and Romania approximately 20%. In Poland, over two million people have left, primarily to the UK, Germany, France, and Ireland. Of course, over the years, some people have returned, although those leaving have always outnumbered those returning. Until now.

By Påhl Ruin October 25, 2021

The Nobel Prize and Russia

Russia’s relationship with the Nobel Prize in literature has always been dramatic. This, of course, is connected with the enormous and fundamental role the Word has played in Russian society. Contributing to the fascination surrounding the prize is surely the fact that the Nobel family, some of whom even spoke Russian, had such close ties to Russia.

By Magnus Ljunggren April 22, 2021

The case of Yurii Dmitriev and the case of Russian Karelia

This commentary aims to provide a context for the Dmitriev “affair” by presenting Karelia, its people, its history and its economic and political development. At the end of the text, some comparative conclusions for Russia in general are drawn. The commentary is primarily based on Russian press and official material, as well as on Finnish research.

By Ingmar Oldberg April 22, 2021

The protests in Belarus and the future of the LGBTQ+ community

In the ongoing protests in Belarus against Alexander Lukashenka and the sitting regime, the LGBTQ+ community walks alongside other demonstrators, with a common wish to see a regime change.

By Marina Henrikson April 22, 2021

Traces of Jewish life. In the eyes of the German soldiers

The photo albums from German soldiers during WW II have, 75 years after the war’s ending, increasingly been auctioned off at internet auctions. Several photo albums contain traces of Eastern Europe’s Jewish life and how this is suddenly set against the rapidly emerging terror. Throughout many of the images, the photographer’s gaze is on something that is seen as inferior, laughable, exotic, war tourists’ motives worth documenting to show them at home: Eastern European Jews.

By Peter Handberg April 21, 2021

Girjas Sami Village vs. the Swedish State Breakthrough for indigenous people

Reindeer herding Sami won huge success when the Supreme Court last year gave the Sami village Girjas the right to decide on hunting and fishing within the village boundaries. Now the Sami hope to have a greater influence over land use also in other areas, such as mining and construction of wind farms. But the prospects there are not as good.

By Påhl Ruin April 21, 2021