Civil Society and Democratisation in Latvia

by Stefan Lægaard Simonsen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2013
Keywords: Civil; Society; Democratisation; Latvia; Global; NGOs; Social Capital; Trust; Elites; Democracy; Post-communism; Communism; Totalitarian; Civil Society
Record ID: 1121664
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/10046


With a focus on both the national and international Civil Society, this report investigates the democratisation process of Latvia in the decade following independence 1991-1999. Based on a conceptual framework of the interdependent relationships between formal and informal social capital, trust, civil participation and democratisation, the development of the Latvian Civil Society is analysed. Furthermore key features of the international Civil Society’s involvement in the country are included and consequences of both this and the overall establishment of the Civil Society in Latvia highlighted. The report concludes that the democratisation process of Latvia was too oriented towards the formal, structural democratisation process and largely failed to include the societal democratisation of the broad population. Lacking civil activity combined with an international involvement promoting a narrow and elitist Civil Society meant that democracy was not anchored in the broad public. Eventually this meant that democracy was not consolidated – a result of this being the low and wavering support for democracy seen in Latvia today.