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Latvian Integration Policy: Lost In Translation

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Chapter Summary

The transition from Soviet republic to an independent state made Latvian citizenship and integration policy highly-sensitive issues. This chapter discusses the experience of Latvian integration policy by focusing on citizenship, language and education reforms. It departs from the context in which the basic principles of integration were defined, i.e. that of republican and communitarian democracy. Republican democracy is primarily concerned with political participation and legitimacy. Most approaches to communitarian democracy overlap with republican approaches. For communitarians it is the national society/polity that should provide orientation and identity for the individual. It can be argued that by overcoming the consequences of occupation and becoming a member of the EU, the Latvian model has faced significant challenges. The chapter shows the significance of EU intervention and tasks for the future of common European integration policies by taking into account the relevance of Latvian successes and failures in this context.

Keywords: citizenship; communitarian democracy; education reforms; EU; language; Latvian integration policy; republican democracy; transition



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