Discovering the Baltics? Think Tallinn! Perspectives for New Zealand in the Baltic States
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts (MA Distinction)
This research work is driven by a desire to improve status quo in the area of New Zealand’s political, business and person-to-person relations with the post-Soviet Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (the Baltics or the Baltic States), which by now represent an integral part of the European Union (EU). The example of Estonia will be tested as a possible ‘gateway’ for New Zealand trying to undertake its most recent endeavours towards discovering the Baltic region. The dissertation’s response variable can be outlined as ‘New Zealand multi-dimensional interactions with the post-Soviet Baltic Republics, particularly with the Republic of Estonia’. At the same time, the descriptive nature of the dependent variable is planned to be expanded with the help of the manipulated variable that will lead this research work. The latter variable will be formulated as ‘Estonia, a democratic, transparent, free-market state, can be chosen as a ‘gateway’ for New Zealand politics, business circles and the public in their endeavours to succeed in the post-Soviet Baltic region of the EU’. Such an approach will give a chance to scrutinise the studied issues comprehensively, from several angles (such as ‘theoretical’, ‘operational’ and ‘structural’), and by answering the following three research questions: is it necessary for New Zealand to promote its interests and values in the region of the Baltic States; does an idea to choose one of the three Baltic States as a ‘hub’ for promoting New Zealand interests and values in the Baltic region of the EU have a perspective; and can Estonia be considered/recommended to become such a ‘hub’? This dissertation is among the first attempts to address a deficit of scholarship studying New Zealand relations with the post-Soviet Baltic region. Its findings could be used by both New Zealand and the Baltics’ decision-makers in the field of international relations.