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  • Author: Kitty Lam
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Soviet Union's collapse brought to surface a complex ethno-political situation in the territory it formerly spanned. Changes in interstate boundaries separated various ethnic populations from their perceived homelands. This post-Soviet landscape has created policy dilemmas for the Russian government, as some 25 million Russians found themselves living outside the borders of the Russian Federation. How Russian leaders have dealt with issues pertaining to its 'compatriots' in the non-Russian Soviet successor states has become a subject of interest to Western observers. In particular, Western analysts have been observing the expression of 'ethnic diaspora' issues in Russian foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Development, Population
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia
  • Author: Kristi Raik
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In recent scholarly and political debates, civil society has often been considered one of the weakest, if not the weakest aspect of democracy in the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). Although the Eastern EU applicant states have been fairly successful in establishing democratic institutions and formal procedures, all of them suffer from political apathy and alienation of the citizens, low public trust in state authorities, and general dissatisfaction with the functioning of democracy – even though democracy is valued in principle. In the face of these problems, activation of a sphere of civic initiative and organisation is seen by many analysts as one important means for improving the quality of democracy. Support to the development of civil society has also been an increasingly important aspect of EU policy aimed at strengthening democracy in the Eastern candidate countries. In addition to supporting civic activity in general, the EU has in recent years started to pay attention to the involvement of civil society in the Eastern enlargement process. It has been underlined that in order to guarantee the legitimacy and effectiveness of integration, citizens and nongovernmental actors should play a stronger role in the candidate countries' preparations for EU accession.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eastern Europe, Estonia
  • Author: Linda Jakobson, Christer Pursiainen
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: “Modernity ends when words like progress, advance, development, emancipation, liberation, growth, accumulation, enlightenment, embetterment, avant-garde, lose their attraction and their function as guides to social action.” By this definition, Russia and China are both still undertaking extensive modernisation – though by very different means. Why have Russia and China chosen such different paths for their post-communist transitions? How do their strategies differ, and how are they interrelated? When – at what junctures - were the crucial choices made?
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Hiski Haukkala
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: It has become something of a cliché to argue that the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in dramatic changes in the unfolding of political space in the 1990s. Yet this was especially true in the case of the then European Community (EC) and its relations with the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. During the Cold War, the relations between the EC and the USSR were practically non-existent. The ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the period of perestroika and glasnost resulted, however, in a gradual rapprochement between the two parties. The creation of these new ties was formalized in the signing of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EC and the USSR, which was, however, in effect signed with an already crumbling Soviet Union as it took place as late as 21 December 1989.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union
  • Author: Jochen Prantl
  • Publication Date: 04-2000
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The accession of Finland and Sweden as well as the ongoing enlargement process, which offers the perspective of EU membership to the Baltic States, has put the question of security and stability in Northern Europe on the Agenda of the European Union.
  • Topic: Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Finland, Asia, Sweden