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Latvian and Lithuanian Policy in the Eastern Neighbourhood: Between Solidarity and Self Promotion

KATERINA KESA
Perspectives
Vol. 19, No. 2, Special Issue: Identity and Solidarity in Foreign Policy: Investigating East Central European Relations with the Eastern Neighbourhood (2011), pp. 81-100
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23616146
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Latvian and Lithuanian Policy in the Eastern Neighbourhood: Between Solidarity and Self Promotion
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Abstract

This paper studies how Latvia and Lithuania support the countries of the Eastern Neighborhood in their process of coming closer to Western Institutions. Based on the post-structural constructivist approach of international relations, the analysis focuses on the way these two Baltic States view their place in the world (geopolitically and as small states), how they perceive their surrounding 'Other' (in both positive and negative terms) and how they build their own identities ('Self') in relation to this 'Other'. It argues that there are multiple 'circles of affiliation' ('external' and 'internal') to which Lithuania and Latvia belong and which have an impact on the definition of their political identities. This highlights some differences in the countries' approaches to their assistance policy. On one hand, their policy towards the East reflects the design of their new foreign policy priorities after 2004. On the other hand, it reflects the continuation of their previous politics, albeit in a different form. This corresponds to Latvia and Lithuania's desire to be considered as 'true' Europeans. However, the two countries are ambivalent between a strong political-ideological standpoint and their politicians' solidarity towards the Eastern neighbours on one side and the rather modest and pragmatic implementation of their assistance policy on the other.

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