Three students graduated from the Cross-Border International Relations (CBIR) master’s programme during autumn/winter 2015. Their master’s theses dealt with a range of issues in European-Russian relations. Congratulations!
A Door Ajar to a Perception of the Silent Majority by Djordje Djogovic analyses the political activities of the Russian language minority in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The author identifies five different discourses in the self-perceptions of the local Russian speakers which he calls “Glass Ceiling”, “I say ¡No Pasarán!”, “We are Sui Generis“, “Our Perception, tbc” and “Isolation”. The thesis finds out that a specific kind of anti-discriminatory or anti-xenophobic ideology resurfaces from the empirical data.
Kseniia Kundesheva’s thesis Family values in Russian Foreign Policy: A Clash of Civilizations? is a narrative analysis of Russian politicians’ statements on sexual minorities. The thesis asks whether a different understanding over the treatment of sexual minorities by certain Western and Russian politicians can be conceptualized as a clash of civilizations as understood in Samuel Huntington’s theory. The thesis concludes that as the narratives are not homogeneous, this is not only confrontation between purely Western values and values unique to Russia but also a confrontation within the state as not just citizens but also policy makers consider this issue from different points of view.
Kristina Zialian’s thesis Cross-Border Cooperation as an Instrument of Europeanization is a study of the europeanisation of the Republic of Karelia through a programme of cross-border cooperation. The external dimension of europeanisation is studied in the context of a Russian region, the Republic of Karelia. The process of Europeanisation is approached as a transfer of EU norms, values and practices to non-member countries. The thesis concludes that cross-border cooperation can be viewed as an instrument of Europeanisation but the effects of europeanization are limited to the transfer of technological aspects of tourism development such as logistics, management rules and infrastructure.