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Divided We Fall, United We Stand: Is Polarisation of Societies Undermining Security of the Baltic States?

Stage: Baltimaade ala

Cohesion of our societies is a well-established principle and aspiration of national security policies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Without it, we would lack resilience to external and internal security shocks and stressors, particularly as hybrid war is being waged against the West by Russia. However, we are witnessing growing polarisation of our societies and emergence of some radical elements in them. Long standing internal divisions have not dissipated, while new ones are appearing, thus threatening our capacity for consensus-building and presenting opportunities to those seeking to undermine our security. What are the key factors enabling and driving this trend? What are the core issues that create most angst, anger and confrontation in the public debate? How are those challenges exploited by actors with hostile intent towards our political and societal order and security? What are the risks and potential consequences of radicalisation of various sections of our societies? How do we balance the need for greater cohesion with the need for competition inherent to pluralism and democratic politics? What can we learn, in terms of building societal resilience, from Ukraine— a nation that continues to experience significant internal turbulence and external pressure?


Arutelu keel: Inglise
Arutelu juht: Tomas Jermalavičius, Head of Studies and Research Fellow at the ICDS
Participants: Dr Kęstutis Girnius, Associate Professor at the Institute of International Affairs and Political Science of Vilnius University; Dr Mārtiņš Kaprāns, Researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Latvia and Advisor at the Latvian Ministry of Culture; Dr Anu Realo, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology of Warwick University (UK) / Professor of Personality and Social Psychology of Tartu University; Dr Volodymyr Ishchenko, Lecturer at the Department of Sociology of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.
Korraldaja: Rahvusvaheline Kaitseuuringute Keskus