Societal security in the Baltic Sea Region: the Russian perspectiveAbstract
This study discusses whether the concept of societal security is embedded in the Russian formal and informal discourses as well as in the Russian strategic documents on national security and the Baltic Sea region. Particularly, the paper describes four paradigms of international relations (neorealism, neoliberalism, globalism and postpositivism) and theoretical approaches to the concept of societal security formulated in them. On a practical plane, Russia has managed to develop — together with other regional players — a common regional approach to understanding societal security threats and challenges in the Baltic Sea region. These challenges include uneven regional development, social and gender inequalities, unemployment, poverty, manifestations of intolerance, religious and political extremism, separatism, large-scale migration, climate change, natural and man-made catastrophes, transnational organized crime and cybercrime, international terrorism, so-called hybrid threats, disharmony between education systems, etc. In 2017, Russia and other Baltic countries agreed that the Council of the Baltic Sea States would be the regional institution to implement a common societal security strategy exemplified by the Baltic 2030 Agenda Action Plan.