Green, black and brown: uncovering Latvia's environmental politics

David J Galbreath, Daunis Auers

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29 Citations (SciVal)


The Latvian Green Party (Zaļa Partija, ZP), as part of the Green/Farmers' Union (Zaļo un Zemnieku Savienība, ZZS), has been an important actor in Latvian politics. As part of a minority government led by ZZS, Indulis Emsis was the world's first Green party prime minister, although his government only lasted for ten months. Indeed, ZZS has been in every government coalition since November 2002. Despite this success in Latvian party politics, environmentalism has become increasingly depoliticized since the pro-environmental movement in the late Soviet period set the precedent for a nationalist movement that would challenge the Soviet regime. For example, the Latvian Green Party's past electoral rhetoric illustrates a clear lack of 'Green' initiatives. Thus, the situation in Latvia illustrates a conundrum that leaves us with several questions concerning the Baltic context in general and Latvia specifically. Despite active environmental movements in the late Soviet period, why have we seen a depoliticization of environmentalism? What is the nature of environmental attitudes in Latvia now? How has the Latvian Green Party managed to remain an important element in post-Soviet society, even to the point of controlling government? The answer to this question can be sought in the many sides to ZZS: whether environmental, nationalist or corporate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-348
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Baltic Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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