Cooperation with Russia and the Current State of the RussianLanguage Community on the Agenda of the 2018 Election to the Seimas of Latvia

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Abstract


The article discusses the opinion of the relevant participants in the 2018 elections to the Seimas of Latvia in regards to the Latvian-Russian relations and the situation of the Russianspeaking community in the country. The issue sprung up in the period between the elections as a result of foreign policy (confrontation between Russia and the West to regards to the events in Ukraine) and internal political factors (adoption of the law stipulating the transfer of ethnic minority schools to teaching in the Latvian language). In the light of the ethnic conflict between Latvians and the Russian-speaking population in Latvia, the authors have based their research on S. Lipset and S. Rokkan’s theory of demarcations. Drawing on this theory, the authors use the scoring method to highlight ideological contrasts of political parties. As a result, three different approaches to the current situation have been identified. The first approach is focused on creating conditions for ethnic equality in Latvia and cooperation with Russia. The second approach, on the contrary, stands for limiting the rights of the Russian-speaking population in Latvia and continuing confrontation with the Russian Federation. The third approach, being ideologically close to the second, nevertheless allows for some latitude towards Russian-speaking residents. Based on Pearson’s correlation method, the analysis of the voting geography showed that the ideological contrasts existing between political forces coincide with their electoral divergences.


About the authors

Mihail I. Krishtal

Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

Author for correspondence.
Email: MKrishtal@kantiana.ru
Nevskiy str., 14, Kaliningrad, Russian Federation, 236041

PhD in Geographical Sciences, Researcher, Institute of the Humanities at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University

References

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