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SCAND 590 C: Special Topics in Scandinavian Literature

Meeting Time: 
TTh 2:30pm - 4:20pm
DEN 210
Joint Sections: 
SCAND 455 A, JSIS A 455 A
Photo of Guntis Smidchens
Guntis Šmidchens

Syllabus Description:

Baltic Politics and Society Today

Spring Quarter 2019, Meeting Times TTh 2:30-4:20 pm, Denny Hall 210

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

Course Description

Three decades ago, the three North European countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - declared independence from the Soviet Union.  In 2004, they joined the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO military alliance).  Where are they today?

In Spring Quarter 2019 the course will focus on current issues: Assessing the May 2019 European Parliament Elections (May 2019), and the Feb 2019 Munich Security Conference; as well as the new government of Latvia (as of Jan 2019); Estonian national elections (March 2019); Lithuanian municipal elections (March 2019). We will meet (by Skype or in class visits) leading researchers of the region.  

Course Objectives

  • Learn skills useful for a job in international studies (foreign service, international business, public administration, world health, etc.): 
  • How to research and write reports about current developments in Baltic politics, military security, economy, and society. 
  • How to quickly find government documents.
  • How to navigate the web resources of the European Union, NATO, United Nations, and other international agencies. 
  • How to follow breaking news... even when the news is in languages you do not speak, in countries you may have never studied before!
  • How to present your research effectively. Your portfolio of work done for this class will be evidence of your skills as an international researcher and analyst.

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

  • Grades:  40%: Three reports (3-5 pages) on current issues in Baltic politics, economics, societies, and security.
  • 20% one report expanded to a research paper (10-15 pages). 
  • 20% Oral presentations and peer reviews of classmates' work. 
  • 20% short in-class essays responding to assigned readings.  


1.0 - 5.0
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:19pm