Latvia’s ‘Russian left’: trapped between ethnic, socialist, and social-democratic identities

Cheskin, A. and March, L. (2016) Latvia’s ‘Russian left’: trapped between ethnic, socialist, and social-democratic identities. In: March, L. and Keith, D. (eds.) Europe's Radical Left: From Marginality to the Mainstream? Rowman & Littlefield: London, pp. 231-252. ISBN 9781783485352

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This chapter explores the responses of Latvia's left wing parties to the 2008 economic crisis. It is argued that, because Latvia's political spectrum can be characterised in terms of ethnic, rather than ideological, cleavages, the responses of the country’s radical left have been heavily constrained by ethnic considerations that are peculiar to Latvia’s post-Soviet political environment. The conflation of ethnic and ideological ‘leftness’ explains the ultimate failure of leftist parties to gain wider political and social traction in Latvia. Crucially, it has almost entirely prevented the country’s extant radical left from moving beyond its communist roots and articulating an anti-austerity message that could transcend ethnic cleavages.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Latvia, left-wing, Russia, ethnic politics, political parties.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:March, Professor Luke and Cheskin, Dr Ammon
Authors: Cheskin, A., and March, L.
Subjects:J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Publisher:Rowman & Littlefield
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Rowman and Littlefield
First Published:First published in Europe's Radical Left: From Marginality to the Mainstream?: 231-252
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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