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Author Archives: Kristina Preiksaityte

…Living Through the Shock of Contrast and Difference: An Interview

Mustapha Abdu-Aguye comes from Zaria, Nigeria. He moved to Groningen, the Netherlands, 5 years ago to do a Master’s degree in Nanoscience. Currently, he’s half way though his PhD in Photophysics and Optoelectronics. Mustapha agreed to talk with Checks&Balances about the cultural differences between the Dutch and Nigerians, as well as discuss his personal growth. ‘I attained both my Bachelor ... Read More »

Helping a Refugee – Helping Yourself? Interview with Anne Neumann-Holbeck

Mentor, coach, friend – as part of the Humanitas nonprofit organization, Anne performs all of these roles. Her current responsibilities involve supporting two Syrian women, independently from each other, by helping them to find their ways in the Netherlands and providing them with the needed social services. All of this Anne does voluntarily. And when asked what she has taken ... Read More »

The Jante Law

In my previous article ‘Entering the Field of International Relations,’ I investigated the ways through which an International Relations graduate can find a job more effectively. The principle message was to outstand yourself from the crowd by engaging in as many extra-curriculum activities as possible, while simultaneously building your own network. Yet, in other circumstances, this might be counterproductive. When I ... Read More »

Entering the Field of International Relations

In the business of IR it is partly what you know and mainly whom you know… The study of international relations (IR) is a theoretical one. The obligatory courses revolve around systems of ideas, concepts and principles on which the practice of politics is based. While analyzing the contemporary global affairs through the prisms of differing schools of thought, us, ... Read More »

Widening or Closing the Window of Opportunity?..

EU-Ukraine Association Agreement – What It Brings to Europeans, Dutch, and Ukrainians  The referendum on the approval of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine will be held in the Netherlands on 6th of April 2016. Despite its mere advisory nature, the discussions surrounding the relevance of the Agreement seem to pose complex implications on the European Union ... Read More »

Memoirs of Exile

Forced settlements in the Soviet Union took place in a series of brutal operations. A majority of the deportations were carried out in the Baltic States, primarily between 1941-1949. Over 44 thousand families, approximately 130 thousand Lithuanians, were forced to leave their country. These are the facts offered by statistical data. However, Checks&Balances provides you with a story from another ... Read More »

Do It For Denmark

Denmark’s birth rate is at its lowest point in decades indicating 10 births per 1,000 residents. The nation’s perennially low birth rate places the country alongside with Germany (8.33), Japan (8.39) and Singapore (7.72) and even though most Danish couples say they want two or three kids, according to the Copenhagen Post, one in five couples end up childless. It ... Read More »

Combating Driving Under Influence

The Effectiveness of Legislative Measures Deployed in the Netherlands and Lithuania Hazardous consumption of alcoholic beverages contributes significantly to health complications and causes a range of social issues, such as underperformance at educational institutions, loss of productivity at work, and marital difficulties. However, the most adverse effects of irresponsible alcohol consumption are recognized as road traffic injuries and fatalities. In ... Read More »

Understanding the Russian-Ukrainian Energetic Relations

Cowritten with Klaudia Nemčická Energy is considered to be one of the most significant forces contributing to world’s economic progress and as consumption of Gazprom produced natural gas represents 34% of the EU’s consumption of all energy products, Russia has indisputable relative, natural and technological, advantages that could place it in a leading position. Coincidentally, however, the disposition of modern Russia’s ... Read More »

The Power of a Flower: Recovering Rwanda’s Agriculture

Chrysanthemum Cinerariifolium – it is the name of a flower that promises hope and revived agriculture in Rwanda, a country that justifies the very word recovery and proves to utilize every chance to reclaim its economic prosperity. Blooming in between Rwanda’s hills these delicate flowers are re-establishing their position among the most exported products, namely among coffee and tea, and ... Read More »