Identity and security
Because of historical experience, an ability to respond flexibly to current challenges, and individual talents, Latvian social scientists are experts in matters of migration, diaspora studies, demographics and youth mobility, for example at the UL Centre of Diaspora and Migration Research. Post-Soviet history provides unique research opportunities on the transition from socialism to capitalism, from a totalitarian political regime to a liberal democracy, as well as providing a perspective for research on the long-term effects of largescale multinational migration.
Closely linked to national as well as EU identities, the social sciences are crucial for addressing issues of human security. On the one hand, it entails tracking trends and creating strategies for the production of new values that would strengthen EU’s unity and democracy on a global level. On the other hand, when national security becomes more dependent on strategic communication than on a strategic arsenal, studying values and opinions, research into social memory, and stimulating critical thinking provides tools against hybrid threats, fake news, and aggressive populism.
Expertise in these areas is developed to a significant degree across the region at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga. Contemporary communication issues and media literacy are also being researched at the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences and other higher education institutions, providing frameworks for public and political initiatives.