ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROCESSES IN THE POST-SOVIET SPACE

Post-Soviet studies represent an interdisciplinary scientific field exploring the characteristics pertaining to the social, economic and political development of the countries of the former Soviet Union and their international relations. Despite the different history of Latvia and the other Baltic states and their membership in the EU and NATO, the Baltic states are also part of the post-Soviet space and their development prospects are to a significant extent linked to the post-Soviet heritage and overcoming it.

The doctoral school constitutes a cooperation platform for doctoral students, lecturers and researchers from the following disciplines – political science, sociology, communication studies, history, economics, philology, geography. Regular interdisciplinary seminars dedicated to doctoral school topics will be organized for doctoral students. The doctoral school also promotes contact establishment with social partners (ministries, Riga City Council, entrepreneurs). It is planned to develop co-operation with similar programmes in the Nordic countries and elsewhere.

Research directions proposed by the directors of the doctoral study programme:

1) analysis of the 20th century history, social memory, Soviet commemoration and post-Soviet heritage;

2) analysis of critical thinking at all levels of education, assessing the impact of the Soviet era on the education systems of Latvia and other post-Soviet countries, and developing strategies to strengthen the approach of critical thinking;

3) analysis and modelling of the capacity, actions and interactions of the population, households, social groups, enterprises and organizations in the context of economic growth and sustainable development; analysis of new strategies from a comparative perspective; analysis of the social aspects of the economy in the post-Soviet space;

4) analysis of information environment – common (Russian media and Russian language users) and different (level of freedom of expression) features, main agents (media, media owners, libraries, etc.) and practices that reflect the legacy of the past and outline new strategies;

5) analysis of the democratization process – successes and failures of democratization in the post-Soviet space in relation to the inherited political culture, civil society and party system, as well as the location of natural resources, the peculiarities of economic development and experience in reducing corruption;

6) analysis of Russia's relations with its neighbours – Russia's efforts to apply “soft power” – business, Russian language, culture, Orthodoxy, sports, etc. – for increased leverage, the use the energy dependency of neighbouring countries; the intersection of Russia’s and EU/NATO interests in the post-Soviet space;

7) changes and development of the spatial structure in the post-Soviet countries.

 

Doctoral school council (approved with UL Order No. 1/338of 30.10.2017):

  • Juris Rozenvalds, Dr. phil. (UL Faculty of Social Sciences, director of the doctoral study programme “Political Science”) – chair
  • Vita Zelče, Dr. hist. (UL Faculty of Social Sciences, director of the doctoral study programme “Communication Science”)
  • Tālis Tisenkopfs, Dr. soc. (UL Faculty of Social Sciences, director of the doctoral study programme “Sociology”)
  • Aija Zobena, Dr. soc. (Advanced Social and Political Research Institute, UL Faculty of Social Sciences)
  • Ieva Bērziņa, Dr. sc. pol. (Center for Security and Strategic Research, National Defence Academy of Latvia)
  • Daina Stukuls Eglitis, PhD (George Washington University, USA)
  • More information about the doctoral school is available from the Chair of the doctoral school council Prof. Juris Rozenvalds (juris.rozenvalds@lu.lv)