The Baltic States are unique in being the only member-states of the EU to have fought to regain their sovereignty from the Soviet Union, only then to cede it to Brussels in certain key areas. Similarly, no member-states have had to struggle as hard as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to preserve their identity after fifty years of Soviet nationality policy in the face of sub-state and supra-state challenges. The post-communist experience of the Baltic States thus allows us to examine debates about identity as a source of political power; the conditioning and constraining influence of identity discourses on social, political and economic change; and the orientation and outcome of their external relations. In particular, the book examines the impact of Russian and Soviet control of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; the Baltic independence movements of the late 1980s/early 1990s; the citizenship debates; relations with Russia vis-à-vis the withdrawal of the troops of the former Soviet Army; drawing of the shared boundary and the rights of Russian-speaking minorities as well as the efforts undertaken by the three Baltic States to rebuild themselves, modernise their economies, cope with the ensuing social changes and facilitate their accession to the EU and NATO.
'The aim of Richard Mole’s book, as its subtitle indicates, is to address ‘Identity, discourse and power in the post-communist tradition of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania’. His account of the years of Soviet occupation and the emergence of the Baltic states is informed and scrupulously accurate in its facts, statistics, and data. The study also recognizes that these are restored states, not new ones; it addresses the difficulties of creating a multi-cultural democracy in the contemporary world, especially for those states with large Russian populations; and it offers a well-researched analysis of the economic and political reforms that were needed to effect the transition from the USSR to membership in the EU. […] A well-researched study: it distils a large body of data to analyse the difficult transitional period from USSR to EU and is a welcome and valuable addition to the body of literature about the Baltic in the modern world.' - MARA KALNINS, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; Notes and Queries 2013.
Introduction: Identity, Discourse and Power 1. Identity and Political Legitimacy: Independence Won and Lost 2. The Years of Soviet Occupation: Independence Lost and Won 3. State and Nation-building: The Politics of Identity 4. The Politics of Foreign Policy: Relations Between the Self and Other 5. Identity, Security and the Idea of Europe Conclusion
This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.