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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

GOVT 96.04 Baltic Politics: Democratization, Identity, and Regime Change

The Baltic States - Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania - are currently undergoing a crucial geopolitical moment that has significant implications for their identity issues and democratic development. These countries are also a unique case study of how states can emerge from autocracy and empire, forging new futures amidst the remnants of their Soviet pasts. This course will explore the complex issues related to identity and democracy in the Baltics through two four-week modules, one based at Vilnius University in Lithuania, and the other at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

The courses will focus on two themes. One is how Baltic identity has been influenced by the region's experiences as part of the Soviet Union, its current proximity to Russia, and its many ties to Europe. You will explore the impact of the Soviet era on the cultural and political identity of the Baltics, and how this history continues to shape contemporary issues related to national identity, language, and political participation. You will also analyze the current geopolitical climate and how the region's unique position between East and West impacts its identity and its democratic development.

Another theme is related to ethnic and gender discrimination in the Baltics. You will explore the challenges that women and minority groups face in the region, and the progress that has been made towards greater equality and inclusion. You will also consider the intersection of identity and discrimination, and how these issues can impact the development of a cohesive and democratic society.

Throughout the course, you will also examine how the emergent Baltic identity and identity-related issues present both possibilities and challenges to democratic consolidation in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and in other countries throughout the region. By the end of the course, you will have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing the Baltics and how these issues impact the broader region.



Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.