1. bookVolume 16 (2020): Issue 1 (April 2020)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
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2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Trajectories of social democracy in the Baltic countries: choices and constraints

Published Online: 31 Mar 2020
Volume & Issue: Volume 16 (2020) - Issue 1 (April 2020)
Page range: 211 - 230
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

This article focuses on social democratic parties in the Baltic states. The evolution of the democratic left in these countries deviates from more researched cases of social democratic parties in the Visegrád countries. Although the Lithuanian Social Democratic party (LSDP) had been developing in a similar way to its counterparts in Hungary, Poland and Czechia, its efforts to rebound after a crushing defeat in the 2016 parliamentary elections have proved to be far more successful. Meanwhile, Estonian and Latvian Social Democrats from the outset had to compete under the prevalence of right-wing parties in highly heterogenous societies. However, despite similar initial conditions, their eventual trajectories crucially diverged. Hence, a research puzzle is double: how to explain LSDP’s deviation from similar Visegrád cases, and what are the main factors that led to the differentiation of Estonian and Latvian social democratic parties? While the current research literature tends to emphasise structural and external causes, this paper applies an organisational approach to explain the different fortunes of the democratic left in the Baltic countries as well as other East-Central European states.

Keywords

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