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  • 1.
    Ekengren, Magnus
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för krishantering och internationell samverkan.
    A return to geopolitics? The future of the security community in the Baltic Sea Region2018In: Global Affairs, ISSN 2334-0460, E-ISSN 2334-0479, ISSN 2334-0479 (Online), p. 1-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One key question for the European security community is whether today’s confrontation between the EU member states and Russia is the end of its spread to the Baltic Sea region, including Russian districts, and the beginning of a return of geopolitical rivalry in the region. This article investigates the possibilities of avoiding such a negative downward spiral by drawing on security community theory and discussing two different methods of security community building – “top-down” and “bottom-up”. It points to the need for the EU institutions to return to the Monnet method to find a way out of the geopolitical “zero-sum” game increasingly played by the governments in the region. This implies not putting restrictions on participants from the north-west regions of Russia in strategically chosen areas of cooperation, and a more pronounced bottom-up, long-term and macro-regional approach built on joint problem-solving projects and people-topeople contacts that generate “win-win” games.

  • 2.
    Engelbrekt, Kjell
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för säkerhet.
    A brief intellectual history of geopolitical thought and its relevance to the Baltic Sea region2018In: Global Affairs, ISSN 2334-0460, E-ISSN 2334-0479, Vol. 4, no 4-5, p. 475-485Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article outlines a general history of the intellectual origins and development of geopolitical thought. It provides categories for assessing contemporary expressions of this phenomenon, and then discusses the applicability of these tools to the Baltic Sea region. The article focuses on eliciting and juxtaposing contrasts between the three classical bodies of literature that evolved largely in parallel, and ends up briefly commenting on a fourth, partly “critical” approach. The main takeaway is that considering all four geopolitical approaches before applying any of them to the Baltic Sea realm encourages analysts to embrace a more holistic and dynamic viewpoint than each of the alternatives individually can offer. Such a conceptualization promises to forge analytical linkages between a series of relevant, geographically contingent circumstances including resources, arenas and communities that represent prerequisites and opportunities incrisis, conflict, or war.

  • 3.
    Engelbrekt, Kjell
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för säkerhet.
    Final reflections2018In: Global Affairs, ISSN 2334-0460, E-ISSN 2334-0479, Vol. 4, no 4-5, p. 551-554Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Engelbrekt, Kjell
    Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section.
    Minilateralism Matters More?: Exploring Opportunities to End Climate Negotiations Gridlock2015In: Global Affairs, ISSN 2334-0460, E-ISSN 2334-0479, Vol. 1, no 4-5, p. 399-410Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Multilateral negotiations to reach a universal, binding international agreement on measures that curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have repeatedly failed since a scientific consensus on global warming formed in the late 1970s. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was famously never ratified by the United States, the biggest emitter, and the 2009 Copenhagen conference only produced a narrow deal between the USA, China, India, Brazil and South Africa. Numerous attempts to involve international financial institutions or the G7/G8 have also been unsuccessful. Given the present crisis of multilateralism it can be argued that the time is ripe to engage fully in minilateral climate diplomacy, conferring ownership of the process to the main stakeholders. An informally orchestrated, minilateral diplomacy based on rationalist insights from conventional game and negotiation theory would then sway polluters to press ahead with measures that mitigate and adapt to the anticipated repercussions of climate change. Only after a political deal has been struck between major stakeholders may opportunities arise for ex post authorization and agenda control mechanisms involving the wider international community.

  • 5.
    Hagström, Linus
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section. Utrikespolitiska institutet, Stockholm, Sverige.
    The Sino-Japanese battle for soft power: Pitfalls and promises2015In: Global Affairs, ISSN 2334-0460, E-ISSN 2334-0479, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 129-137Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Beijing and Tokyo are currently involved in a zero-sum battle for soft power. Both governments are actively trying to shape how third party actors understand contested matters in their bilateral relationship. The dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands is the most obvious flashpoint in this ongoing struggle for hearts and minds. A soft power battle might seem like an innocent endeavour, but by entrenching enmity and legitimizing armed conflict, it might actually translate into one where hard power takes centre stage. Indeed, that the dissemination and entrenchment of affective identity narrative make violence seem normal, natural, realistic or perhaps even inevitable is the greatest danger associated with the ongoing Sino-Japanese dispute. However, if both parties were to agree to let the International Court of Justice settle their discord, the islands dispute could provide them with a chance to boost their respective soft power and lay the groundwork for a more peaceful order in East Asia. The article thus argues that the Sino-Japanese soft power battle contains both well-known pitfalls and a less well-known promise.

  • 6.
    Schmidt-Felzmann, Anke
    et al.
    General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania.
    Engelbrekt, Kjell
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Political Science Section, Sektionen för säkerhet.
    Challenges in the Baltic Sea region: geopolitics, insecurity and identity2018In: Global Affairs, ISSN 2334-0460, E-ISSN 2334-0479, Vol. 4, no 4-5, p. 445-466Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article addresses the changing security environment in the Baltic Sea region and reviews the patterns of cooperation and conflict since the end of the Cold War. The exploration starts from the concerns voiced by analysts since 2014 that the Baltic Sea could become the scene for a military confrontation with Russia. The article reviews the scholarly debates and examines the insights gained from past developments in the region. It underlines the utility of cooperation to address emerging security challenges and highlights the drivers of insecurity and threat perceptions, revealing the importance of changes in the sense ofidentity and belonging across the region. The article situates the contributions to the Forum -- The Return of Geopolitics to the Baltic Sea Region -- in the context of the lessons that can be drawn from the shifts and changes that have taken place in the region in the last three decades.

  • 7.
    Åselius, Gunnar
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Joint Warfare Division, Military History Section.
    Continuity and change: Lessons from a 1,000 years of geopolitics in the Balitic Sea area2018In: Global Affairs, ISSN 2334-0460, E-ISSN 2334-0479, Vol. 4, no 4-5, p. 467-473Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The geopolitical location of the Baltic Sea region between the Russian heartland and the Atlantic Ocean has shaped developments in this part of Europe for at least a millennium. The traditional narrative in the Baltic Sea tells of hegemonic powers succeeding each other in a continuous struggle to control trade routes and exclude non-littoral powers, from the Vikings to Tsarist Russia. Since industrialization, war and military tension in the Baltic Sea have reflected European and global great power rivalries more than regional tensions. While the hegemonic powers in the Baltic Sea have changed repeatedly through the centuries, infrastructure and terrain in the region have always been unfavourable to the large-scale projection of military power, giving a defender the upper hand. Now, the increased range and accuracy of modern weapon systems seem to have changed that. Moreover, climatic changes expected in the coming century may transform the geopolitical environment even further.

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