Find this publication at:
IR Working Paper 1990/6
William Maley, ‘The Politics of Baltic Nationalisms’, IR Working Paper 1990/6, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, August 1990.
Recent events in the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have confronted the Soviet Union with a crisis of multiple sovereignty. This paper examines the roots of this situation, and its implications for the future of the Soviet system. The paper opens with a discussion of the bases of regime support, and of the means by which states can secure compliant behaviour on the part of their resident populations. The second part of the paper provides background information about the Baltic peoples, and about the manner in which they were incorporated in the Soviet Union. The third section examines the mechanisms by which the Soviet regime sought to maintain order in the Baltic republics in the period up to the accession of Gorbachev. The fourth section examines the breakdown of compliance during the Gorbachev period. The fifth section looks to the future.