The State Independence Scholarship Commission decided to award the State Independence Scholarship 2022 to Dr. Marijuš Antonovič, a lecturer at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (VU TSPMI), Vilnius University.
M. Antonovič presented the State Independence Scholarship Commission with the project “Latvian, Polish, and Lithuanian Policy towards Belarus 2014–2023: Comparative Analysis.” The study aims to compare the foreign policy of Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania towards Belarus after 2014, to identify the features and differences of small and medium-sized power attempts to influence the international system, and to determine the conditions under which they are willing to cooperate.
This year, 8 candidates applied for the State Independence Scholarship. The Committee considered the applicants Dr. M. Antonovič, Dr. Tomas Baležentis, Dr. Simas Grigonis, Dr. Vaida Jurgilė, Dr. Ringailė Kuokštytė, Dr. Mindaugas Nefas, Dr. Viktorija Tauraitė, and Dr. Miglė Urbonaitė-Ubė.
2022 scholarship winner Dr. M. Antonovičius was born on 20 January 1990 in Vilnius. Studied at the Vilnius Lyceum. In 2012, he completed a Bachelor of Economics, Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. After the studies, he returned to Lithuania and in 2014 graduated from VU TSPMI with a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy. In 2015–2020, he studied for a doctorate at the same institute. On 23 October 2020, he defended his doctoral dissertation “Poland’s Relations with Russia 2001-2013: Attempts at Normalization.” After his doctoral studies, he not only continued to delve into the analysis of foreign policy and Polish foreign policy but also gradually expanded his research areas.
In 2020, M. Antonovič joined the Research group on Belarus established by VU TSPMI. Together with the group, he contributed to organizing the international conference “Belarus 2020 and Beyond: Path Dependency or Break with the Past?” in October 2020. He presented a report on the failures of Poland’s foreign policy towards Belarus in 2014-2020.
M. Antonovič gives lectures on theories of international relations and conducts seminars in introductory courses on security for VU TSPMI students, as well as conducts classes on diplomacy organization. Ever since the beginning of doctoral studies, he has been regularly supervising bachelor’s and, as of 2020, master’s theses.
The laureate shares scientific and teaching knowledge with the Lithuanian and international community: he regularly comments on the Lithuanian and Polish domestic and foreign policy on Lithuanian (15min.lt, lrt.lt, Lietuvos radijas, lrytas.lt, alfa.lt, Verslo žinios, Žinių radijas, IQ), Polish (ok FM, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Przegląd Bałtycki, Więź tinklalaidė Po prostu Wschód, Polskie radio) and national minorities’ (Znad Wilii, Kurier Wileński, TVP Wilno, ru.delfi) media outlets, as well as Finnish and Croatian publications.
M. Antonovič takes part in expert activities: he wrote a political analysis of the Visions of Polish-Lithuanian regional cooperation for the Eastern Europe Studies Centre; worked with STRATA and contributed in preparing the analysis of mega-trends in the Lithuanian Progress Strategy “Lithuania 2050”; he prepares guidelines for a new concept of Lithuanian foreign policy.
As of 2014, M. Antonovič has been a member of the non-governmental organization Polish Discussion Club. It is a platform for dialogue between Lithuanian Poles and Lithuanians. During its seven years of operation, the club has held more than 50 public debates.
The State Independence Scholarship is awarded annually to young researchers in the humanities and social sciences for important research for strengthening the statehood of Lithuania, related public activities and scientific outreach works, and for the research project submitted for the scholarship. Every year, the State Independence Scholarship is awarded on 11 March, the Day of Restoration of Independence of Lithuania.