Institute of International Relations and Political Science

Institute of International Relations and Political Science

Sukurta: 22 May 2022


 Vokiečių 10, LT-01130 Vilnius
Tel. 251 4130
Director – Assoc. Prof. Dr Margarita Šešelgytė



55 teachers (incl. 37 holding research degree), 7 research fellows (incl. 5 holding research degree), 17 doctoral students.

Department of Political Philosophy and History of Ideas
Department of Political Behaviour and Institutions
Department of International Relations
Center of European Studies
Public Administration and Policy Analysis Center
(Post)Soviet Memory Studies Center


Political Behaviour, Political Attitudes and Subjectivity with a Specific Interest in Communist and Post-Communist Legacies
Political Economy of European Integration
Security and Conflict Studies


I. Giedraitytė. Good neighbour and bad neighbour? Differentiation in the US and EU Southern neighbourhood strategies 2014–2017


National conference Lithuania after the 2020 Parliamentary election.

International conference and workshop Transformation Narratives beyond Winners and Losers: Deep Stories in Central and Eastern Europe.

International conference Belarus 2020 and Beyond: Path Dependency or Break with the Past?


Bortkevičiūtė, R. et al. Nuo greitų pergalių prie skaudžių pralaimėjimų: Lietuvos viešosios politikos atsakas į COVID-19 pandemiją ir šios krizės valdymas 2020 m. (From Quick Wins to Significant Losses: Lithuania’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Management of the Crisis in 2020). Vilnius: Vilniaus University Press 2021.

Vitkus, G. (ed.) Lietuvos narystė Europos Sąjungoje: patirtys, tendencijos, refleksijos (Lithuanian Membership in the EU: Experiences, Tendencies, Reflections). Vilnius: Vilniaus University Press, 2021.

Kuokštis, V., Kuokštytė, R., & Miklaševskaja, I. External and domestic political determinants of defence spending: a time-series cross-section analysis of EU member states. European Security, 2021.

Vilpišauskas, R. The Baltic States in the Economic and Monetary Union: Standing in the Shadow of Germany or Helping to Counterbalance the ‘South’? German Politics, 2021.

Putinaitė, N. Political Religion and Pragmatics in Soviet Atheisation Practice: The Case of Post-Stalinist Soviet Lithuania. Politics, Religion & Ideology, 2021.

Jastramskis, M. The Logic of the Punisher: Retrospective Voting and Hyper-Accountability in Lithuania. East European Politics and Societies, 08883254211064488. 2021.


Vokiečių 10, LT-01130 Vilnius
Tel. 251 4130
Head – Prof. Dr Ainė Ramonaitė


Professor: Dr A. Ramonaitė.
Associate professors: Dr J. Dementavičius, Dr L. Gudžinskas, Dr M. Jastramskis, Dr D. Šlekys, Dr I. Vinogradnaitė.
Teaching assistants: Dr N. Maliukevičius, Dr I. Petronytė-Urbonavičienė, Dr L. Strupinskienė, Dr J. Ulinskaitė.
Research assistant: J. Kavaliauskaitė.
Lecturer: V. Jurkonis.
Doctoral students: A. Dementavičienė, R. Garškaitė, P. Skirkevičius, L. Vervečkienė, V. Budreckaitė, V. Navickaitė.


Party politics and electoral behaviour
Civil society, political participation, political attitudes and political communication
Democracy, political institutions, comparative politics
Studies of the Soviet-era society, Sąjūdis, collective memory of post-Soviet society


Vokiečių 10, LT-01130 Vilnius
Tel. 251 4130
Head – Prof. Dr Dovilė Jakniūnaitė


Professors: Dr N. Arlauskaitė, Dr T. Janeliūnas, Dr D. Jakniūnaitė, Dr R. Vilpišauskas, Dr G. Vitkus.
Associate professors: Dr K. Andrijauskas, Dr V. Kuokštis, Dr V. Sirutavičius, Dr M. Šešelgytė, Dr D. Šlekys.
Teaching assistants: Dr L. Jonavičius, Dr I. Koreivaitė, Dr V. Beržiūnas, Dr E. Leonaitė, Dr N. Maliukevičius, Dr L. Strupinskienė.
Lecturers: G. Biržytė, V. Jurkonis.
Doctoral students: N. Bladaitė, R. Boruta, J. Jachovič, J. Lingevičius, N. Mataitytė, A. Raginytė, I. Skurdauskaitė, S. Vaškevičiūtė.


Analysis of global political processes, environment and structures
International relations; international law; international political economy; international institutions; the foreign policy of great powers; the changing nature of world power etc.
Area studies: analysis of Russia, Europe (focusing on Eastern and Southern countries), Middle East; Eastern and Southern Asia; Latin America
Security and conflict studies
Analysis of Lithuanian foreign policy as well as its security policy


Vokiečių 10, LT-01130 Vilnius
Tel. 251 4130
Head – Prof. Dr Alvydas Jokubaitis


Professors: Dr V. Davoliūtė, Dr A. Jokubaitis.
Associate professors: Dr J. Dementavičius, Dr A. Jankauskas, Dr V. Sirutavičius, Dr I. Vinogradnaitė.
Senior researcher: Dr N. Putinaitė.
Teaching assistants: Dr V. Bartninkas, Dr L. Jokubaitis, Dr G. Karalius, Dr V. Mačkinis.
Research assistant: J. Kavaliauskaitė.
Professor of practice: Dr K. Girnius.
Doctoral students: A. Dementavičienė, L. Ivanauskas, G. Norkūnaitė, V. Rimaitė, D. Kaminskas.


Politics and the self
Three strategies of accelerating political modernization: interwar period, soviet years and the post-soviet era
Contradictions of modern political life
The relationship between democracy and republic


Vokiečių 10, LT-01130 Vilnius
Tel. 251 4130
Head – Prof. Dr Gediminas Vitkus


Professors: Dr R. Vilpišauskas, Dr G. Vitkus.
Associate professors: Dr L. Gudžinskas, Dr V. Kuokštis.
Senior researcher: Dr N. Putinaitė.
Teaching assistants: Dr E. Leonaitė, Dr G. Karalius.
Research assistant: R. Švedas.
Professor of practice: Dr D. Kriaučiūnas.
Doctoral students: M. Bernatavičius, S. A. Spurga.


The topics related to contemporary Europe from its internal structure to its place in a wider world focusing on the European Union and its member states


Vokiečių 10, LT-01130 Vilnius
Tel. 251 4130
Head – Prof. Dr Vitalis Nakrošis


Professors: Dr V. Nakrošis, Dr R. Vilpišauskas.
Associate professors: Dr E. Barcevičius, Dr Ž. Martinaitis, Dr V. Kuokštis.
Teaching assistant: Dr I. Petronytė-Urbonavičienė.
Research assistants: R. Švedas, L. Jurkonis, V. Pukinaitė.
Doctoral students: R. Bortkevičiūtė, I. Patkauskaitė-Tiuchtienė.


Research in all areas of the discipline: public administration, public policy process and public policy analysis


Vokiečių 10, LT-01130 Vilnius
Tel. 251 4130
Head – Prof. Dr Ainė Ramonaitė


Professors: Dr A. Ramonaitė, Dr V. Davoliūtė.
Associate professors: Dr I. Vinogradnaitė, Dr J. Dementavičius.
Teaching assistant: Dr J. Ulinskaitė.
Research assistants: J. Kavaliauskaitė, M. Pakalnytė.
Doctoral students: V.Budreckaitė, R. Garškaitė, L. Vervečkienė.


National Research Projects

Research Council of Lithuania. The EU Defence Industry: between Protectionism and Competitiveness. Lithuania’s Opportunities in the Protectionist Sector (No 09.3.3.-LMT-K-712-22-0306). Assoc. Prof. Dr Margarita Šešelgytė, MA student Emilė Indrašiūtė. 2020–2021.

The main goal of the project was to examine the EU defence industry regulations as well as national financing regulations of the EU Member States with the largest defence industries - France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Sweden with an aim to identify compatibility issues of the EU defence industry and national policies. The project participants have already gathered data, necessary for the research and provision of recommendations for the development of the Lithuanian defence industry policy.

Research Council of Lithuania. The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Innovativeness of Lithuanian Public Sector (No 09.3.3.-LMT-K-712-22-0101). Prof. Dr Vitalis Nakrošis, MA student Patricija Kalkytė. 2020–2021.

The main goal of the project was to improve the students’ scientific competencies by conducting a research, which examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the innovation of Lithuanian public sector. During the project, a theoretical model was developed to identify conditions, environment, actors, and other factors relevant to innovations in public administration. The researchers identified changes in Lithuanian public sector innovativeness during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will allow providing evidence-based recommendations to policy makers.

Research Council of Lithuania. Politics of Death in Soviet Lithuania: Meaning, Rituals, Symbols, Emotions (No. P-LIP-20-54). Assoc. Prof. Dr Nerija Putinaitė. 2020–2023.

The project aims to explore the extent and the ways in which death was politically controlled and connected to the Soviet goals as well as the extent and the ways in which death, its meanings, and the attitudes towards it remained within the space of personal freedom. In 2021, the researcher collected data for the monograph, prepared its introduction and a draft paper for international peer-reviewed journal.

Research Council of Lithuania. Public Election Committees in Lithuania: between Localized Democracy and Representation (No. 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-19-0076). Dr Jogilė Ulinskaitė and Assoc. Prof. Dr Inga Vinogradnaitė. 2020–2022.

During the project, an empirical study will be conducted to investigate whether and how the activities of members of political parties and public election committees differ in municipal councils in Lithuania. In 2021, post-doctoral student collected data for two academic articles in international peer-reviewed journals of social science and prepared a draft of one of them.

Research Council of Lithuania. Political Factors of the Middle-Income Trap in the Baltic States (TRAPPOLI) (09.3.3-LMT-K-712-19-0179). Assoc. Prof. Dr Vytautas Kuokštis, Dr Marius Kalanta. 2020–2022.

The research project contributes to the explanation of the middle-income trap in the Baltic States. It will demonstrate what socio-economic or interest groups dominate politics in the Baltics and how they shape economic transition policy making and implementation. Post-doctoral student has already collected data relevant for his publication in international peer-reviewed journal and prepared a draft paper.

Research Council of Lithuania. Contemporary Analogue Photography by Women from the Perspective of Feminist Visual Studies: Texts, Practices, and Identities (No 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-19-0041). Prof. Dr Natalija Arlauskaitė, Dr Jelena Šalaj. 2020–2022.

The project is a unique academic research intended for the analysis of contemporary analogous photography by women from the Baltic countries and photography practices from the perspective of feminist visual studies. During the research, the data about the works by female photographers from the Baltic countries, interviews with the creators, autoethnographic research data and the material from various analogous photography sites was collected and analysed.

Research Council of Lithuania. Memories of War and Their Relevance for the Conflict: The Case of Chechnya (project No 09.3.3-LMT-K-712-23-0160). Prof. Dr Violeta Davoliūtė, Dr Marat Iliyasov. 2021–2023.

The primary objective of this project is to develop scientific competences of the research fellow through a study of Chechen memories of Chechenyan wars that took place in 1994–1996 and 1999–2009. The project will provide opportunities for the development of the researcher skills and bring up the leading researcher in the field of Chechen war memory. This is especially important as, given the limited research in this field, there is a shortage of specialists of this research area in Europe. The project will contribute to the collection of memories of the aforementioned Chechen wars and the assessment of the sustainability of peace. As a result, the project will provide a basis for further research in collective memory, conflict and related areas.

Research Council of Lithuania and Polish National Science Center (NCN), agreement no. S-LL-21-11. Mobility, Migration and the COVID-19 Epidemic: Governing Emergencies in Lithuania and Poland. Prof. Dr Dovilė Jakniūnaitė, Prof. Dr Natalija Arlauskaitė, Dr Erika Leonaitė, Neringa Mataitytė. 2021–2024.

The research project seeks to examine forms of governance over mobility (including international migration) in Lithuania and Poland during COVID-19. Its aim is to contribute: 1) to conceptualise mobility and migration within the perspective of emergency governance, 2) to investigate wider socio-political roots of the emergency policies towards mobility and migration. The study also enables an empirical comparative analysis of the emergency governance models adopted by Poland and Lithuania, its roots and thus contributes to the ongoing discussion on the variation of individual states’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis and the alleged specific characteristics of the ‘new’ European Union (the EU) member states’ (MS) responses.

Research Council of Lithuania. Resilience of Welfare State Institutions in Lithuania: the Influence of Significant Events on Adapting to Systemic Threats during 2004–2020. (No S-GEV-21-3). Prof. Dr Vitalis Nakrošis, Prof. Dr Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, Rasa Bortkevičiūtė, Inga Patkauskaitė-Tiuchtienė. 2021–2022.

The aim of this project is to determine the impact of significant events that caused various crises, emergencies, environmental and other disasters on public governance, public policy and institutional structure in Lithuania (2004–2020), to explain the adaptation of welfare state institutions to systemic threats and provide recommendations on the improvement of their resilience. The project combines retrospective and prospective approaches. The embedded case study methodology will be employed to assess the adaptation of welfare institutions, caused by reaction to external and internal shocks. Four significant events, marked by high-level impact, attention of the society and political leaders as well as the resulting changes in public governance, public policy and institutional structure will be analysed in this project. In order to contribute to the resilience of welfare institutions to systemic threats, the project will provide recommendations to decision-makers that are based on EU Member States’ best practices and contributions of various stakeholders.

Research Council of Lithuania. The Modern Problem of the Relationship between Morality and Politics: the Challenge for Western and Lithuanian Philosophy. Prof. Dr Alvydas Jokubaitis, Dr Simas Čelutka, Dr Aistė Noreikaitė. 2021–2022.

The goal of the project is to initiate a dialogue between Robert Spaemann and Hannah Arendt – two thinkers who sought for a constructive alternative to modern thought about the relationship between morality and politics. Their insights on moral and political ontologies are brought together to articulate an integral explanation of the moral and the political in the concept of a person. The aim of this integration of Spaemann’s and Arendt’s ideas is to advance a new perspective on the complexities of Western and Lithuanian modernities, at the centre of which lies the fundamental problem of morality and politics. This conceptual strategy allows one to develop Stasys Šalkauskis’ and Antanas Maceina’s personalist conceptions of morality and politics.

Research Council of Lithuania. The Continuation or the Invention of Tradition: Cultivating Religious and National Identities among Lithuanian Immigrants in Norway (No. 09.3.3.-LMT-K-712). Dr Eglė Kesylytė-Alliks. 2020–2022.

The overall objective of this project is to explore the role that Christian religious identities and institutions play in the national socialization of individuals within the context of migration in the European region. In 2021, the researcher carried out field research in Lithuania and Norway, carried out a lecture and three seminars on the topic of her research, prepared two draft papers for international peer-reviewed journals, and actively communicated her research on social media of the IIRPS VU.

Research Council of Lithuania. Lithuanian National Electoral Study (S-LIP-19-67). Prof. Dr Ainė Ramonaitė, Assoc. Prof. Dr Mažvydas Jastramskis, Dr Jogilė Ulinskaitė, PhD student Jūratė Kavaliauskaitė, Paulius Vijeikis, Dr Lukas Pukelis, Dr Vaidas Morkevičius, Adelė Vaiginytė. 2019–2021.

The aim of the project is to investigate the Lithuanian socio-political processes and regularities emerging during the election period. In 2020 representative public opinion surveys were carried out after the Seimas elections, the online voting advice application was improved, innovative methods of (semi)automated text analysis were applied to the electoral campaign analysis. The research results were presented to the Lithuanian and international academic community in conference papers and peer reviewed articles in English and Lithuanian.

Research Council of Lithuania. Postcommunist Transformation as Dismantling of the Soviet Modernity Project. Dr Jogilė Ulinskaitė, Prof. Dr Ainė Ramonaitė, Rosita Garškaitė, Valda Budreckaitė, Paulius Vijeikis, Monika Verbalytė. 2021–2022.

The objective of the project is to examine the experiences of Lithuanians during the transformation period and to assess whether and how the post-Soviet transformation may be regarded as the ending of the Soviet modernity project. This research aims to analyse how the collapse of the Soviet modernity project and its political deconstruction were experienced by the people of Lithuania, what kind of emotions this period evokes today and why, what aspects of transformation are recalled as the most vivid, traumatising, cheerful or astonishing. In addition, it attempts to understand whether and how these narratives of the post-communist transformation can be interpreted as the experiences of the conclusion of the modernization process.

International Research Projects

Erasmus+. Jean Monnet Chair project Teaching, Researching, and Debating Contemporary European Issues (TRENDS). Prof. Dr Ramūnas Vilpišauskas. 2020–2023.

The project aims at revising, expanding, and upgrading the EU studies on both bachelor and master levels to systemically integrate contemporary European issues into the study curriculum of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science and expand accessibility of the EU studies to the students of other departments of Vilnius University. In 2021, Prof. Vilpišauskas prepared a syllabus of a new course, which will be implemented in spring semester as well as reviewed already existing courses related with the EU.

Bilateral Cooperation Fund of the European Economic Area of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and Norway Grants 2014–2021. Norway-Baltic Research Network. Critical Infrastructure: Institutional Coordination and Policy Preferences. Prof. Dr Ramūnas Vilpišauskas. 2020–2021.

The project aims to ordinarily explain importance of critical infrastructure to societies of Baltic States and Norway, as well as to raise awareness and discussion among policy makers, practitioners, and mass media. In the course of the project, Prof. Vilpišauskas participated in a public seminar, organised in Riga, prepared analytical report on Lithuania’s case, and systematically provided comments on the topic of the project in mass media.

Nordplus Higher Education Programme. Baltic-Nordic Network for the Advancement of Methodology in Area Studies (BAMSE 2020). Prof. Dr Violeta Davoliūtė, Dr Jogilė Ulinskaitė, PhD student Valda Budreckaitė.

The newly established Baltic-Nordic Network for the Advancement of Methodology in Area Studies (BAMSE 2020) promotes state-of-the-art research and education in area studies in the Baltic-Nordic area by concentrating on the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of area studies. One of the key activities of BAMSE 2020 is an intensive course for advanced bachelor’s students and master’s students in spring 2022, which will take place in Vilnius.

Erasmus+. Jean Monnet Networks: Navigating in the Storm. Prof. Dr Ramūnas Vilpišauskas, Assoc. Prof. Dr Vytautas Kuokštis. 2017–2021.

Baldur Thorhallsson, Professor of Political Science at the University of Iceland, leads the project on behalf of the University of Iceland in cooperation with Pia Hansson, Director of the Institute of International Affairs, and Tómas Joensen, Project Manager at the Centre for Small State Studies. During three years of the project, ten higher education institutions developed close cooperation in the field of small state studies. The grant was used to host workshops, roundtables for young researchers, publish academic papers, policy recommendations, and an academic book.

Erasmus+. Small States Winter School Small States in Europe: Towards a Cross-Disciplinary Approach. Assoc. Prof. Dr Margarita Šešelgytė. 2019–2021.

The objective of this partnership was to create a pan-European consortium of experts in small state studies that will train young teachers and researchers from international relations and political science as well as other disciplines, in applying insights from small state studies to their research and teaching. The partners organized two summer academies in Reykjavík, intensive study programs in Ljubljana and Vilnius, and developed new and innovative inter-disciplinary curricula in small state studies based on four teaching and research themes.


COST activity. EU Foreign Policy Facing New Realities: Perceptions, Contestation, Communication and Relations. Prof. Dr Dovilė Jakniūnaitė. 2018–2022.

The main aim and objective of the Action is to improve our understanding of central properties of European Union foreign policy in times of major internal and external change and to develop strategies to help practitioners to make the EU more resilient. This Action addresses the following questions: How these new foreign policy realities could be conceptualized, how they affect European views and practices and what can be recommended to the EU.


Lund University (Sweden)
Institute of International Affairs and Centre for Small States Studies, University of Iceland (Iceland)
Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki (Finland)
ZZF Potsdam (Germany)
Glasgow University (UK)


Prof. N. Arlauskaitė

Assoc. Prof. J. Dementavičius -

Prof. A. Jokubaitis -

Prof. V. Nakrošis

Prof. A. Ramonaitė

Prof. R. Vilpišauskas -

Prof. G. Vitkus -

Assoc. Prof. L. Gudžinskas -

  • deputy editor of the journal Politologija,
  • general secretary of Lithuanian Political Science Association;
  • general secretary of the Central European Political Science Association.

Assoc. Prof. A. Jankauskas -

Assoc. Prof. M. Šešelgytė -

Dr Nerijus Maliukevičius -


  •  Prof. Ramūnas Vilpišauskas. Baltic States in the euro zone. Conference of the Canadian European Studies Association ECSA-C, Online.
  • Dr Jogilė Ulinskaitė. Comparative computational analysis of the populist discourse of Lithuanian political parties in manifestos and media since 1990. ECPR General Conference, Online.
  • Prof. Vitalis Nakrošis. Resilience and Agility of Public Institutions in Times of Crises. EGPA 2021, Brussels, Belgium.
  • Dr Eglė Kesylytė-Alliks. The Continuation or the Invention of Tradition: Cultivating Religious and National Identities among Lithuanian Immigrants in Norway. 25th Annual Association for the Study of Nationalities Conference, Online.
  • Assoc. Prof. Vytautas Kuokštis. Drivers of bilateral aid of EU member states: Evidence from a time-series cross-section analysis. The EPSA virtual conference, Online.


  • G. Karalius – member of the Film Indexing Commission
  • T. Janeliūnas – member of the Judicial Ethics and Discipline Commission
  • I. Vinogradnaitė – member of the Humanitarian and Social Sciences Committee at the Lithuanian Research Council
  • R. Švedas – Board Member of LTG (Lithuanian Railways)
  • G. Vitkus – member of the board at Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education


  • Newsletter ”I think!” (”Topicalities! What do you think?”) – materials for history, civil education, and geography teachers at secondary schools
  • Trainings for the Policy Monitoring Network ”Learn before you vote”
  • Voting advice application (VAA) “Mano Balsas” (
  • Academic consultancy (Prof. Natalija Arlauskaitė) for K. Grigaliūnas’ exhibition “Lithuanian Jews, Back from Nazi Internment Camps” (Vilnius Gallery of Photography).
  • Academic consultations to the Lithuanian government concerning COVID-19 crisis management on the basis of COPOVAL project.


  • Comments of political events and phenomena for mass media (interviews, written comments, debates) – 41 researchers and PhD students made comments in 2021 (total number of comments (including repetitions) is about 5 500). The main topics were the functioning of Lithuanian party system and political institutions, national elections, Russian foreign and domestic policy, American politics.
  • Article series in the, dedicated to promoting research; four articles were released in 2021.
  • Research@VU TSPMI – a bi-weekly segment on social media that introduces research done at VU TSPMI in a less formal way through short interviews with researchers.
  • A weekly segment on Laba diena, Lietuva (Good day, Lithuania) (a TV news programme) on Lithuanian national television, where experts of international relations reviewed weekly events.
  • Series of public events organized for the Conference for the Future of Europe with focus on European integration. In total, 8 events were organized across Lithuania and online.