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SCAND 455 A: Baltic Politics And Society Today

Meeting Time: 
MW 7:00pm - 9:20pm
SAV 130
Joint Sections: 
SCAND 590 A, JSIS A 455 A
Photo of Guntis Smidchens
Guntis Šmidchens

Syllabus Description:

Baltic Politics and Society Today

Winter Quarter 2018, Meeting Times: Monday and Wednesday, 7:00-9:20 pm, Savery Hall 130

Instructor: Guntis Šmidchens   Office: Raitt Hall 305 T  e-mail:     Phone: (206) 616-5224 

Course Description

This interdisciplinary course gives an intensive introduction to social, political and economic issues in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania today.  In Winter 2018 the course will focus on assessing recent and upcoming elections in the Baltic, and developments in regional security. 

Course Objectives

  • Know the political, economic and social institutions of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania today
  • Find and use a variety of primary sources to study contemporary issues in the Baltic
  • Follow breaking news to identify critical current issues in the Baltic.
  • Prepare analytical briefs about current political and social developments in the Baltic

Grades (students must pass all four components to pass the course)

  • Three briefs on current issues in the Baltic, presented in class, revised and posted online (2-3 p. each) 30%
  • One brief expanded into a research paper (8-15 pages) 20%
  • Participation in class and online discussion: 50% (10% discuss assigned readings; 20% contribute to discussions of online news; 20% critique oral and online presentations by classmates)


  • Daunis Auers, Comparative Politics and Government of the Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the 21st Century  (Palgrave, March 2015). Available as an e-book through the UW Library website.
  • Aldis Purs, Baltic Facades (London: Reaktion Books, 2012).
  • Online articles and resources listed in the lecture schedule
Catalog Description: 
Intensive interdisciplinary survey of current social, political, and economic developments in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 455; AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:33pm