The past one hundred years have been a very trying time for Latvia, complete with success, tragedy, and still unrealized promise. Within the course of a generation, the country experienced revolutions, wars and independent statehood, and then the slide into authoritarianism. World War II brought new occupations. The tragedies were staggering: holocaust, executions, and an exodus of refugees. Soviet consolidation bred deportations, forced collectivization and partisan warfare. Almost fifty years later, Latvia regained its independence and emerged from decades of disastrous Soviet rule.
This book comprehensively surveys Latvia's recent past and prospects for the new millennium, placing contemporary events in historical perspective. The authors address the evolution of the country from the movement against Soviet rule to the dilemmas of contemporary politics: party formation, the problem of corruption, the quest for the future and a regional and international role, the struggle to develop a civil society, the issue of ethnic relations and the recurring tendency towards statist solutions. Proper attention is also given to economic developments.
'This concise and accessible study details the remarkable progress achieved … yet leaves the reader in no doubt as to the scale of the problems that still need to be addressed.' - SEER Vol. 81:2
1. A Historical Introduction to Modern Latvia 2. Latvia's Politics, 1987-1991: The Thorny Road Towards Independence 3. Latvia's Democracy Examined: 1991-1999 4. Latvia's Economy since 1991 5. The Foreign Policy of Latvia 6. Conclusions