Post-Cold War Identity Politics: Northern and Baltic Experiences

By Marko Lehti; David J.Smith | Go to book overview

Foreword

This volume is the result of two years of discussions by the international research network, Mapping the Baltic Sea Area: the Meaning of Political Space in the European North, which was established and co-ordinated by the Department of Contemporary History of the University of Turku, Finland and the former Baltic Research Unit (BRU) of the University of Bradford. The project began life in the autumn of 1997, when the editors received funding from the British Council and the Finnish Centre for International Mobility to develop further collaborative research on the Baltic Sea region. Drawing partly on our own personal contacts and those of our respective institutions, we set up the current network, which subsequently obtained more extensive funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers during 1999-2001. Our first task is therefore to express our gratitude to all of these funding bodies, whose generous support has made the publication of this volume possible. In this connection, Marko Lehti would also like to thank the project, Geohistory: Remapping and Conceptualizing European Space and Thought Between East and West, which is based at the Department of Contemporary History, University of Turku, and is funded by the Academy of Finland. David Smith for his part wishes to acknowledge the additional financial support provided by BRU. He would also like to mention the many insights into this topic that he has obtained through his participation in the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded project on Fuzzy Statehood and European Integration in Central and Eastern Europe, based at CREES, University of Birmingham.

In the two years starting June 1999, the Mapping the Baltic Sea Area network held seminars at the University of Turku, the Estonian School of Diplomacy (Tallinn), the Åland Peace Research Institute (Eckerö), the School of International Relations of Saint Petersburg State University and the Department of History of the University of Tartu. Of these, all but one were made open to the students of the respective host institutions, whilst the Tallinn seminar in December 1999 was attended by diplomatic representatives from a number of Baltic Sea states. The Tartu seminar in June 2001 also included a visit to Pskov, where we were able

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