1st Edition

The Baltic States from the Soviet Union to the European Union
Identity, Discourse and Power in the Post-Communist Transition of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

ISBN 9780415731362
Published November 20, 2013 by Routledge
196 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

USD $62.95

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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Richard Mole is Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London.


"Mole’s work provides a compelling discussion that deepens our knowledge of European security and identity politics and the theoretic and empirical implications offer scholars at any level a range of issues for further research."

James Whibley, Victoria University of Wellington

"Mole has provided an interesting and well-written exploration of the Baltic states and their journey from persistent subjugation to EU and NATO member-states."

David Galbreath, University of Bath, Journal of Baltic Studies