Politics and Society in the Baltic Sea Region is a short-form open access monograph series published by University of Tartu Press which is devoted to social, political, and historical issues in the countries surrounding the Baltic Sea. To this day, a considerable amount of research carried out in the social sciences at Baltic universities remains largely unknown to the wider academic community due to either language or publishing constraints. Significant analytical findings and relevant conceptual discussions about human and social developments, socioeconomic challenges, media discourses or political cultures in the region do not get the broad international attention they deserve. The specific aim of the series is therefore to publish work especially by emerging scholars, who focus on current issues in the Baltic states and their specific regional and geopolitical contexts and challenges. Open to a conceivably wide range of thematic, conceptual and methodological approaches, the series is a forum for high-level scholarship that brings novel perspectives and significantly enriches international knowledge and understanding of the Baltic Sea region.
The series invites submissions of manuscripts in English of between 40,000–70,000 words in all social science disciplines, including, but not limited to, politics, sociology, media and communication studies, modern history, economics, law, human geography, and interdisciplinary approaches. Manuscripts must demonstrate a clear regional focus, both in empirical and/or conceptual terms, and relevance for our understanding of contemporary politics and society in the Baltic Sea region.
The series also welcomes edited volumes featuring a collection of short chapters on a clearly defined theme. We encourage the organizers of workshops and conference panels to contact the series editor to discuss proposals for an edited volume.
In order to ensure high quality and a broad readership, all manuscripts are subjected to international peer review and made accessible through open access repositories, including the international open access OAPEN and DOAB databases and the University of Tartu Library. In addition, all publications are widely marketed through UTP printed and electronic media.
If you are currently working on a book project or have just finished a manuscript, please contact us. We would very much like to hear from you!
Series Editor (since 2021): Dr Catherine Gibson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Editorial Board: Daunis Auers (University of Latvia, Latvia), Li Bennich-Björkman (University of Uppsala, Sweden), Laura Dean (Millikin University, USA), Dace Dzenovska (University of Oxford, UK), Marta Grzechnik (University of Gdansk, Poland), Mart Kuldkepp (University College London, UK), Lauri Mälksoo (University of Tartu, Estonia), Michael North (University of Greifswald, Germany), Tiiu Paas (University of Tartu, Estonia), Eva-Clarita Pettai (Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena, Germany), Riikka Taavetti (University of Helsinki, Finland), Linas Venclauskas (Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania), Ramūnas Vilpišauskas (Vilnius University, Lithuania).
ISSN 2228-4451 (print)
ISSN 2228-446X (online)
Politics and Society in the Baltic Sea Region manuscripts in English in all social science disciplines, including, but not limited to, politics, sociology, media and communication studies, modern history, economics, law, human geography, and interdisciplinary approaches. Manuscripts must demonstrate a clear regional focus, both in empirical and/or conceptual terms, and relevance for our understanding of contemporary politics and society in the Baltic Sea region.
For authors of English language manuscripts:
If you are working on a book project or have just finalized a manuscript exploring social and/or political issues in the Baltic Sea region we would very much like to hear from you! If you are not sure whether your particular study would fit within the series, do not hesitate to contact the series editor to discuss your project.
Prospective authors are invited to submit a sample chapter, CV, and 5–8 page book proposal to the series editor including the following information:
The series editor, in consultation with the editorial board, will give the book proposal and sample chapter an initial review. The series editor will notify the author of the preliminary decision, either decline publication or invite the author to submit the full manuscript for the double-blind peer review process. The series editor and author will mutually agree on the deadline for submitting the full manuscript. For further information see the section on the Publishing Process.
NB! Authors for whom English is not their native language are required to send their manuscript through an initial language check before submitting it to the series editor as this significantly increases the chances for being favorably reviewed. Accepted manuscripts will go through professional language editing provided by the publisher.
For authors of manuscripts in other languages:
We strongly encourage authors of non-English manuscripts to seek publication in our series. Authors of such manuscripts should first send a book proposal in English to the series editor. In addition to the book proposal guidelines listed above, the proposal should also include:
In addition to the proposal, authors should send two already translated sample chapters (the introduction + one chapter) from the proposed book. Upon approval of the proposal, the series’ editor and editorial board will assist the author in acquiring funding for the translation of the rest of the manuscript. However, a guarantee for publication cannot be given before the full manuscript has gone through external peer review. See also the section on the Publishing Process.
Politics and Society in the Baltic Sea Region strongly encourages young scholars who work on the Baltic Sea region and have recently defended their doctoral thesis to turn their dissertations into book manuscripts and get them published with us. We offer to support first-time authors in this challenging but ultimately rewarding process.
Authors who want to turn their doctoral dissertation into a book published in our series should seek initial confirmation of interest from the series editor before heading into the revision process. The following points can help to compile the book proposal and receive a positive reply:
A thesis is not a monograph
Not every excellent and successfully defended doctoral thesis is also a good book! In fact, there are significant differences between a dissertation that earns you an academic degree and is primarily addressed to the supervisor(s) and defense committee and a scholarly book that has a much broader audience and contributes to the wider scholarly dialogue within a particular discipline or sub-field. Thus, compared to a book, a dissertation often comes along as overly cautious and even defensive in its arguments, covering every argument and claim with extensive references to literature and usually providing a thorough and lengthy theoretical discussion and methodological section. As a result, a dissertation often comes across as rather technical and dry, and less attention is paid to structural issues or narrative flow. This is different in a book where the storyline is essential to carry the reader through the entire study. Thus, it is essential for the author to repeatedly ask themselves what it is that the book is going to contribute and what message they want to convey.
Why do you want to publish this book? What do you need this book to do for you? Get you a job? Build up an academic reputation in a particular area? Share your ideas with the world? Often, we want multiple things from the book, although some aspects remain more important than others. Making a decision about these issues will inform other decisions, such as how highly you value academic quality standards provided through international peer review and editorial assistance; how accessible you want the final product to be (both in pricing for printed copies as well as possible electronic publications); how important it is that your book is widely marketed etc.
The audience of a book as compared to a dissertation is quite different. You need to ask yourself, who do you want to primarily address with your book. Who do you want the audience to be? A relatively narrow group of experts in your particular field of inquiry, or a broader audience? Do you want your book to have “cross-over” potential and reach a wider scholarly community that might not be so familiar with your discipline’s particular terminology, or even a non-academic public? The answer to this question should inform your re-writing of the manuscript at every step. Beware, however, that it is very difficult to write for multiple audiences in a way that engages academic vocabulary while remaining popularly accessible. Moreover, some academics might not recognize a book for a popular audience as serious scholarship.
Changes to the content of your thesis
Take a fresh look at your dissertation (perhaps let it rest for some weeks after the defense) and ask yourself what your research offers that is new and interesting for other scholars. Again, this is about getting your message clear and determining the particular contribution you are making to your respective field. How can you assemble your main points coherently and convincingly? Try to avoid “over-dressing” your arguments. Stay simple without over-simplifying the crucial issues and appearing “un-scholarly.” In this context, seriously consider what you can cut out from the original thesis text. Academic dissertations require certain material that is not needed and can be annoying in a book, such as lengthy theoretical discussions and extensive referencing. A book author is expected to be an expert – you no longer need to tediously justify your right to assert your theses. Every ounce of historical context, methodology, and theory needs to move your storyline forward. Cut out what is not absolutely needed to make your argument!
To help with revising your dissertation for publication as a book, we recommend that you consult:
Laura Portwood-Stacer, The Book Proposal Book (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021).
William Germano, From Dissertation to Book: A Guide for Scholarly Authors, 2nd ed. (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2013).
For any further questions, please contact the series editor at email@example.com.
Please also consult the sections Submitting a manuscript and Publishing process.
The full manuscript should be sent as a simple document (preferably in docx format), using Times New Roman 12pt, double-spaced. All figures, graphs and tables should be sent on separate pages, their approximate position in the text clearly indicated. The total word count, including all references, bibliography, front matter, end matter, and appendices should not exceed 70,000 words.
After the manuscript has been received the publishing process begins. This involves several stages that partially overlap. Contracted authors will receive a specific schedule showing the timeline and deadlines involved in their book project.
Evaluation of manuscripts
Manuscripts will go through an initial internal review process involving the series editor as well as members from the editorial board to estimate its potential to be published in the series. This can either result in a refusal or in a preliminary approval, in which case the manuscript will be sent to two internationally recognized experts as external referees. All information about the manuscript’s author will be deleted, ensuring a double-blind peer review process. At this stage we also advise against referring to the author’s earlier work and publications in the first person to ensure anonymity. Upon the return of the reviewers’ opinions and comments, the series editor will make the decision whether or not to agree to publish the book in the series Politics and Society in the Baltic Sea Region.
Revision(s) and editing
In the case of a positive decision by the series editor, a contract is reached between author and University of Tartu Press, including copyrights and a specific schedule showing the timeline and deadlines for the book project. The author will be asked to undertake the necessary revisions, based on the reviewers’ and editor’s comments, as well as adopt the specific referencing style of the series (if not already done). Once the revised manuscript is returned, the editor will review it and check all the latest changes to the text. In order to speed up this process, the author is required to clearly indicate all changes to the previous version either in the text, preferably using track changes or if this is not possible in a separate document. The author should also respond to the reviewers’ comments and suggestions in a systematic way. The editor retains the right to demand further revisions and even send the manuscript through an additional review. Where this is not necessary, the manuscript will go into the final editing process, involving (where required) thorough language editing, final proof-reading, and typesetting. The author will be sent the final proofs for a last chance to do minor corrections to the text, checking for typesetting and formatting issues, the position of graphs, tables and figures as well as footnotes and list of references.
Production and publication
The cover design of the series is uniform and has been crafted by the University of Tartu Press. The finalized text will be formatted both for a limited number of printed copies (paperback) as well as for publication in electronic format (pdf). The number of printed copies for the author is agreed upon in the contract between the author and the Press. The author will also receive an electronic copy of the book (pdf file).
Marketing and distribution
University of Tartu Press sends review copies of books published in the series to various academic journals relevant to the specific field of study. It also widely markets books using traditional methods, as well as social media. Open Access books are distributed through OAPEN and DOAB databases. In addition, various other databases that cover either full text or abstracts may come into consideration. Upon request, the author will also be sent marketing material for distributing among colleagues and students.
All manuscripts submitted to the series should use the Harvard system of in-text referencing. In this system, the author’s surname and year of publication are cited in the text of your work. The full details of the books cited are included in a list of references (bibliography) ordered alphabetically at the end of the manuscript. To familiarize yourself with the referencing style, please see points below or visit, e.g., libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm.
Graphs, tables and figures
All graphs, tables or figures should be prepared on a separate page and numbered consecutively by Arabic numerals. They should have clear captions and their approximate location in the text should be clearly marked. Please include original source of table/figure if not your own. The authors are responsible for getting permission to reproduce any photographs or figures, and for providing the necessary credits. As a rule, figures cannot be re-drawn by the publisher and authors are therefore requested to supply professionally drawn copies suitable for printing. Artwork and photos should also be sent in electronic form with the article. Make sure that pictures are sent in a high enough resolution for printing (at least 300 dpi).
The following style conventions of Politics and Society in the Baltic Sea Region should be observed when preparing your manuscript:
Vol. 1. Anne Kaun, Being a Young Citizen in Estonia: An Exploration of Young People's Civic and Media Experiences. 2013. 133 p. ISBN 978-9949-32-274-9 (print), 978-9949-32-275-6 (online).
The book gives an intriguing insight into how young people in Estonia, twenty years after the establishment of democracy, perceive their own role as citizens. It does so in a theoretical framework that stresses the embeddedness of the civic experiences in a media-dominated environment, thus closely linking civic and media experiences. Based on the analysis of both qualitative interview data and a relatively new method of using the internet as a complementary tool for engaging with open-ended diaries, the study explores the extent to which young citizens experience the media as being interwoven with their everyday lives and, in fact, constitutive of their social reality as citizens. With its particular focus on young Estonians, i.e. on a generation that has been brought up in a context of rapid political, economic and social change and that is well-known for its fascination with new communication technologies, the book is a valuable contribution to the growing international research on media and civic experiences.
Available in DOAB
Indexing: Web of Science™ Core Collection
Vol. 2. Paul Jordan, The Modern Fairy Tale: Nation Branding, National Identity and the Eurovision Song Contest in Estonia. 2014. 150 p. ISBN 978-9949-32-558-0 (print), 978-9949-32-559-7 (online).
This book provides a unique and intriguing insight into current debates concerning the relationship between nation and state as well as the political management of international image in today’s Europe through an examination of debates on nation branding and the Eurovision Song Contest. Europe is a contested construct and its boundaries are subject to redefinition. This work aims to advance critical thinking about contemporary nation branding and its relationship to, and influence on, nation building. In particular it focusses on key identity debates that the Eurovision Song Contest engendered in Estonia in the run-up to EU accession. The Eurovision Song Contest is an event which is often dismissed as musically and culturally inferior. However, this work demonstrates that it has the capacity to shed light on key identity debates and illuminate wider socio-political issues. Using a series of in-depth interviews with political elites, media professionals and opinion leaders, this book is a valuable contribution to the growing field of research on nation branding and the Eurovision Song Contest.
Available in DOAB
Indexing: Web of Science™ Core Collection
Vol. 3. Raili Nugin, The 1970s: Portrait of a Generation at the Doorstep. 2015. 192 p. ISBN 978-9949-32-909-0 (print), 978-9949-32-910-6 (online).
This book draws a sociological portrait of the age group born in the 1970s in Estonia and discusses its generational features and constructions. This cohort's coming of age coincided with the social and emotional turmoil of the re-independence movement in the late 1980s and with the transformation of society in the 1990s. This was the first cohort to negotiate its transition to adulthood in the new society, starting some new patterns of socialization, while also sharing some practices and experiences with older cohorts. Based on qualitative interviews as well as an analysis of media discourses and statistical data, the book traces the emergence of a new generation that draws its very own lessons from the past and from the social transformations that influenced life courses and careers. The book provides an intriguing discussion of socialization patterns and generation formation against the backdrop of post-socialist transformation. In addition, it provides a fascinating insight into the mind-set and experiences of a generation in the making, already shaping today's society and culture.
Available in DOAB
Indexing: Web of Science™ Core Collection
Vol. 4. Catherine Gibson, Borderlands between History and Memory: Latgale’s Palimpsestuous Past in Contemporary Latvia. 2016. 192 p. ISBN 978-9949-77-296-4 (print).
This book offers innovative perspectives on the intersections between history and memory in Central and Eastern European borderlands. It focuses on the case of Latgale, the multicultural region of eastern Latvia which borders Russia, Belarus and Lithuania, and explores the multiple layers of memories and historical narratives about this borderland in Latvian public history. Based on a detailed analysis of national and regional museums, as well as material from interviews and an expert survey, the study examines how different actors and projects negotiate the borderland’s complex history and attempt to shape it into meaningful narratives in the present. Moving beyond binary ethnolinguistic approaches of “Latvian” versus “Russian” interpretations of the past, a more nuanced analytical framework is developed that compares state-level constructions of national master-narratives, the uses of history for local region-building, the persistence of Soviet official narratives, and transnational initiatives aimed at transcending the conceptual borders of the nation-state. The reader will find this to be a fascinating study into the little-known case of Latgale and a valuable contribution to the broader research fields of memory politics and borderlands in the post-Soviet space.
Available in DOAB
Indexing: Web of Science™ Core Collection