The book “Societal Security in the Baltic Sea region: Expertise Mapping and Raising Policy Relevance”

The book Societal Security in the Baltic Sea region: Expertise Mapping and Raising Policy Relevance documents the incorporation of societal security in the national security thinking of the Baltic Sea regional players. The rationale of the exercise is based on the fact that national approaches to security in the region have become more urgent to revisit, as the regional players are tied together by the 21st-century security challenges, emerging from both within and without the region. The dilution of the role of the state as the only security provider, the increasing role of the regional organisations, and the threats met by the EU’s neighbourhood and the EU itself raise the relevance of this exercise. 

The book collects the contributions from Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus and Russia, in order to provide an all-encompassing view on the development of the concept of social security in the Baltic Sea region. It is followed by an analysis of the national and regional approaches to societal security. In particular, the book seeks to serve as a practical tool for the national strategy- and policy-makers, as well as the civil and private sector stakeholders. It is also a conceptual addition to the stock of literature on societal security, bringing the analytical concept, developed by the Copenhagen School, a step further. 

The main findings of the volume include the following:

  •  the securitized issues across the region vary, predominantly falling into two “baskets”: the issues related to social, physical, political, demographic, environmental and information threats, which are characteristic to post-Socialist countries; and the challenges related to large-scale migration, gender inequalities, social inclusion and exclusion debate, climate change mitigation strategies, information security and hybrid threats in the Nordic states;
  •  the main narratives, revolving around societal security in each country. The Nordic and Baltic countries’ strivings for societal resilience stem not only from their size but from their high degree of openness which therefore makes them the subjects of international trans-boundary dynamics. On the flipside, the perceptions of threats are primarily inward-looking in Russia and Belarus, underlining their strong anti-globalist sentiment;
  •  the main stakeholders and their interaction, showing that security is still mostly state-driven across the region. In the meanwhile, the engagement of society in the regional dynamics is increasing;
  •  societal security-related topics are only gradually entering the agenda of the policy-makers in the three Baltic states and Poland. However, whereas the comprehensive approach to security is somewhat gaining clout in these four regional players, it is largely absent from the agenda of the Russian and Belarussian security agendas. Societal security is therefore fully subordinated to the security of the state.

The presentation of the book will take place in Riga, Latvia in June 2018.

Stay tuned on our webpage.

The project is carried out by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA), Finland and the Centre of International and Regional Policy (CIRP), Russia. It is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Publicēts 30. aprīlis, 2018