November 13, 2015

Summary

Alongside the current issues faced by all of Europe, Estonia faces an almost eternal challenge—Russia. Most of the November edition of Diplomaatia returns to the issue of Russia and Russians.

First, Riina Kaljurand, an ICDS fellow, writes about the Russian media’s influence on the attitude of Russian speakers in Estonia. Her article is based on the research paper “Estonia’s ‘Virtual Russian World’: The Influence of Russian Media on Estonia’s Russian Speakers”, which she wrote with Jill Dougherty in October. The paper’s main conclusion is that, despite the fact that Russian speakers in Estonia are influenced by the Russian media, the Crimean scenario is unlikely to be repeated in Estonia.
Diplomaatia has an interview with Abbas Gallyamov, the former speechwriter for Russian president Vladimir Putin. Gallyamov believes that the Kremlin has shifted its attention from foreign policy to domestic developments in Russia to secure its power base.
“The new strategy could be called ‘putting the house in order’,” Gallyamov says. “Society is convinced that senior officials are completely corrupt—and Putin is beginning to fight this corruption. Criminal cases will be brought and related arrests will follow.”
Anna Tiido, a PhD student at Warsaw University, gives an overview of the latest elections in Poland. She believes the populist right-wing Law and Justice Party won simply because people were tired of the governing Civic Platform that ruled Poland in coalition for eight years.
Mele Pesti, an observer of Latin America, writes about the latest developments in the region. She emphasises the role of Pope Francis in re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. Developments in Brazil and Argentina are also discussed. Using the example of the US and Cuba, Pesti asks whether soft power, culture and human relationships are better than guns for settling international issues.
Märt Trasberg of Tulane University and Erkki Bahovski, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomaatia, review books by Mark Blyth and Timothy Snyder.

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