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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded solutions to enduring geopolitical problems

The Centre for Geopolitics has launched a new research programme with the aim of increasing understanding of the geopolitics of the Baltic and the UK's role in it. 

This programme operates within the existing European Orders research strand.

The Baltic – defined here as the littoral of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, and Sweden – has been an area of considerable importance to England, Scotland and then the United Kingdom. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was a vital trading partner and source of fish, timber, furs and many other products. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Royal Navy drew most of its naval stores from the Baltic, watched jealously over the balance of power in that region and intervened against Russia. In the 20th century Britain encouraged the independence of the Baltic states in 1918-19 and fought both the Bolsheviks and the Nazis there. Later, the Baltic states, which regained their independence from the Soviet Union in 1990-91 and then secured membership of the European Union and NATO, were supported by the British government. And British forces today provide the backbone of NATO deterrence against Vladimir Putin in Estonia.
Despite this history, there is a considerable ignorance in the contemporary UK about the area. Much of its history, language and culture is not taught in our universities. As Britain withdraws from the ordering system of the European Union but remains deeply engaged in the politics of the continent through NATO and other bonds, this is not a sustainable situation.
The Centre plans to address this gap. We intend to establish a fully-funded Baltic programme, centred on the study of the modern history (from about 1600) and current geopolitics of the Baltic, with a particular emphasis on relations with Britain. We have begun with a series of events, collaborating with pockets of expertise at other UK universities as well as universities in the Baltic region, and building a caucus of those interested in Baltic issues at Cambridge. We now hope to move through the establishment of a three to five-year research and teaching fellowship from 2022, to the endowment of a lectureship and a chair capable of supporting PhD candidates by 2025. 


Click here to see a list of the Centre's future and past events about the Baltic. 

View the programme’s brochure here.

To receive invitations to upcoming events, subscribe to the Centre's mailing list here and be sure to tick "Baltic" under your areas of interest. 
To get in touch directly with the programme organiser, please email