Latvia’s ‘Russian left’: trapped between ethnic, socialist, and social-democratic identities
Part of book or chapter of book
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
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.