The article proposes the analytical review on what
and how to think about the security of the Baltic States from 2014 till 2016 by evaluating and reflecting the main changes in their security policy and perceptions. These three years demonstrated that the perceptions about security itself have not changed much while comparing with the previous five years. The changes were mostly in the security measures. The security discourse intensified a lot also, which was significant not only for the internal civic mobilisation, but even more importantly, but even more importantly for the mobilisation of the attention of the partners and their increased commitment. I explain my argument in two steps: first, by using traditional – rationalists – questions to analyse security policy, and second, by discussing security perceptions and discourses and asking these questions: security “for whom”, security “from what”, and security “how”.
The current study focuses on the Estonian perceptions of security and on the defence situation both globally and locally. The dynamic results of the public opinion surveys on security risks conducted in Estonia over the last 10 years (2006-2016) will be presented. In addition, to understand whether some of the security risks could be over- or underestimated in Estonia, these results will be compared with the views expressed recently by the World Economic Forum, particularly the Global Risks Report 2016. Also, the arguments why some topics have played or are currently playing key role in the Estonian security perception will be presented and discussed.
This article takes a comprehensive look at developments in Latvia’s security and defence policies since 2014. The annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of the military conflict in Ukraine provided a major impetus for Latvian decision-makers to counter external and domestic threats to national security. The article discusses three key aspects of Latvia’s post-2014 security and defence developments. First, it looks at the transformation of security perceptions on the policy-making level. Second, the article discusses Latvia’s efforts to strengthen its military capabilities. Domestic security developments are also discussed. Third, differences between attitudes of Latvians and Russian-speakers towards a number of security and defence-related issues are presented. The article concludes that much has been done since 2014, but progress has been uneven. It will take more than just a few years to close the existing gaps in domestic and external security of Latvia.
The geopolitical situation of Lithuania has deteriorated since the annexation of Crimea and the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine. It has affected the objective security of the state as well as subjective security of the Lithuanian population. This article analyses subjective security and deals with the subjective perception of geopolitical and military threats, mainly social attitudes towards national security and the willingness to defend the country. Article is based on theories of securitisation and human security and holds that individuals are the primary referents of security. Empirically, the article relies on the original data of the research project “Subjective Security in a Volatile Geopolitical Context: Traits, Factors and Individual Strategies”, funded by the Research Council of Lithuania. Article shows the dynamics of social attitudes towards security. Over the last 15 years, a clear shift towards the understanding of potential military threats has occurred. Nevertheless, the predominant concern about individual security, overshadowing security of the state and security of the global order, found in previous studies, has persisted. An individual, as a rule, feels most secure in his/her “closest” environment, e.g. family and friends, and least secure in the “farthest” environment, e.g. other continents.