Persistent statelessness in Post-Soviet Latvia and Estonia Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Williams, Justin
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, Russian, Eurasian and East European Concentration
  • Following independence from the Soviet Union, Latvia and Estonia enacted strict citizenship regimes that resulted in over a million residents holding no citizenship by late 1991. Today, the non-citizen populations number nearly 350,000. These are largely Russian-speakers who migrated to the countries during the Soviet period. I present an argument for why modern Latvia and Estonia still have such a large number of stateless residents. I look at how institutional pressure during the EU accession process and domestic politics in the post-Soviet era have influenced the statelessness issue. I argue that the failure of institutional pressure to impart a lasting concern for the non-citizens on domestic politicians means that the issue fell off the agenda following EU accession in 2004. With regards to domestic politics, I argue that the difficulty of political parties sympathetic to the non-citizen populations to influence decision- making further enabled the post-accession governments to ignore the issue.
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  • In Copyright
  • Johnson, Erica
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2014

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