Could Lithuania be a regional leader after 2004? A semantic problem

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Anglų kalba / English
Could Lithuania be a regional leader after 2004? A semantic problem
In the Book:
Becoming Europeans in Central Eastern Europe: national identity construction after 2004 / edited by Andrius Švarplys and Bartłomiej Zdaniuk. Warszawa: Faculty of Journalism and Political Science of the University of Warsaw, 2014. P. 91-98
Summary / Abstract:

ENAfter 1991, Lithuania has set itself the objective of integrating into the European Union and NATO. This “geopolitical revolution” was a dramatic change because the country refused all the alliances and projects that could keep Vilnius under the influence of Russia after the fall of the USSR. However, this policy had also its unintended consequences such as severing the links between Lithuania and Belarus. Lithuania’s will to be a “regional actor” finds its source in both the need for Lithuania to demonstrate that it was not just a State in search of Western security guaranties but also an exporter of western standards, and the rethinking of Lithuanian past. However, this “Lithuanian neighbourhood policy” – to paraphrase the European Neighbourhood Policy – was viewed as particularly strong after 2004 in several important speeches, but the first signs of it became visible since the late 1990s. In its project of regional action, Lithuania faced several difficulties. First of all, other actors in the region claim a part of Lithuania’s historical legacy. Vilnius also faces the task of finding its own way in a regional environment mainly shaped by the EU, Poland and Russia. Then, the Lithuanian diplomacy is also struggling to give a name to the region in which it wants to play a leading role. In his History of the Peloponnesian Wars, great Greek historian Thucydides said that “the big states do what they want, the small do what they must”, but it is clear that small states can do more than suggested by neorealist accounts about international relations (Waltz, 2001). In this account of the “power of the powerless” (Havel, 1985), we will remain aware of the salience of symbolic and semantic questions in the Post-Soviet space.For the purposes of the analysis, we will first look at the reasons why Lithuania wanted to appear as an exporter of standards and not just a consumer of security guarantees. Then, we will see how this strategy fits in Lithuania’s will to present itself as the heir of an ancient history. In the third part, we discuss the difficulty for Lithuania to find a name to the region it wants to lead. [Extract, p. 91-92]

Related Publications:
Geopolitical projections of new Lithuanian foreign policy / Laurynas Jonavičius. Lithuanian foreign policy review. 2006, 17, p. 16-41.
2022-01-23 20:17:36
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