Lauri Mälksoo and Piret Ehin awarded 2022 Short-Term Research Fellowship at Stanford University for Estonian Scholars

November 15, 2021
Liisi Esse

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia and the Stanford University Libraries are pleased to announce that Dr. Lauri Mälksoo and Dr. Piret Ehin have been awarded the 2022 Short-Term Research Fellowship at Stanford University for Estonian Scholars. The new 6-8-week fellowship aims at enabling Estonian researchers to make use of Stanford’s strong collections, academic knowledge, and networks related to the study of the history, society, and politics of Estonia and the Baltic region. The fellowship is hosted by SUL's Baltic Studies Program and co-hosted by the Europe Center/Stanford Global Studies

Lauri Mälksoo is Professor of International Law at the University of Tartu and also a member of the Institut de Droit International and the Estonian Academy of Sciences. He has published widely on international law and human rights, including monographs "Illegal Annexation and State Continuity" (Brill, 2003) and "Russian Approaches to International Law" (OUP, 2015). He has co-authored and co-edited "Russia and the European Court of Human Rights: the Strasbourg Effect" (CUP, 2017) and is currently co-editing the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of International Law in Europe. He is one of the editors of the Baltic Yearbook of International Law at Brill. Recently, he was elected member of the Council of Europe's Venice Commission and is also a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

During his stay at Stanford in early 2022, Dr. Mälksoo aims at utilizing Stanford's Baltic archives on the non-recognition of the US and the other Western States and finalizing the second edition of his 2003 book "Illegal Annexation and State Continuity: The Case of the Annexation of the Baltic States by the USSR" (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff), which is considered in scholarly and policy circles as one of the leading academic expositions of the international legal and political argument that the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) since 1991 are identical with the Baltic States that were annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. Dr. Mälksoo's proposed presentation at Stanford, “From the Baltic States to Crimea, etc: Is Non-Recognition of Illegal Annexation Worth the Effort?” aims at linking the case of the Baltic States to more recent cases of illegal annexation, such as Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 but also situations like Northern Cyprus and others. In his presentation, Dr. Mälksoo will explore the similarities and differences between these cases, and answer the question of what follows – historically, politically, legally - from the Baltic Case to the Crimean situation.

Piret Ehin is Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, the University of Tartu where she also serves as the Deputy Head of the Institute for Research. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Arizona (2002). Her main research interests include democracy, elections and voting behavior, legitimacy and political support, as well as European integration and Europeanization. Her work has appeared in the European Journal of Political Research, Journal of Common Market Studies, Cooperation and Conflict, Politics, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, and the Journal of Baltic Studies.

During her stay at Stanford University in spring 2022, Dr. Ehin will carry out a research project entitled 'Varieties of global populism: the rise of the populist far-right in Estonia.' The project examines the reasons for the rise of the populist far-right in Estonia (and the Baltic region more broadly) against the backdrop of the global upsurge of populist actors and more specifically, the strategies, political repertoire, and electoral performance of right-wing populists in the U.S. The focus of the project is on political innovation by populist far-right actors, especially the ways in which populists reshape and transcend pre-existing political cleavages by embracing civilizational identity politics. In implementing this research project, Dr. Ehin seeks to collaborate with scholars working on the Global Populisms Project at the Europe Center. In addition to delivering a lecture at the Europe Center, entitled "Populist Civilizationalism Transcending Post-Soviet Cleavages: Evidence from Estonia," she will also present the results of her research at the 28th Biennial AABS Conference "Baltic Studies at a Crossroads," held May 27-29, 2022 at the University of Washington, Seattle.

The annual fellowship is part of a collaborative effort between SUL and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia to strengthen connections between the scholarly communities of Stanford University and universities in Estonia and enhance Estonian and Nordic-Baltic studies at Stanford. The procedure and timeline of the 2023 fellowship application process will be announced in the fall of 2022.

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