SCAND 455 / JSIS A 455
Instructor: Guntis Šmidchens Office: Raitt Hall 305 T e-mail: email@example.com
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?
We'll also study recent events such as
- Latvia's municipal elections (June 4, 2021),
- the NATO Summit (June 14, 2021)(see Biden press conference)
- Russia's "Zapad" military exercise (September 2021) (+ another look ahead to the exercise, and a security analysis of the broader Baltic region)
- Lithuania's ongoing conflict with the Peoples Republic of China (see also this interview with Lithuania's Prime Minister, 7 Sept 2021)
- Latvia and Lithuania relations with Belarus, etc.
- ...and digital/green innovation, in the context of emerging European Union policies.
- And thinking about the Baltic in global context, like Carl Bildt, keynote speaker at the September 2021 Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn, Estonia:
We will meet (by Skype or in class visits) leading specialists and researchers of the region: Daunis Auers (author of our textbook); Asta Zelenkauskaitė (online disinformation researcher), Indra Ekmanis (editor of FPRI's Baltic Bulletin), Andres Kasekamp (professor of Baltic History and Politics at the University of Toronto), and more.
- 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.
- 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.
- Online articles and resources, available on this website.