As a Saltups fellow, Inta Mierina was working on a research paper called “Learning political helplessness: the vicious cycle of political socialization in Latvia” that is part of my doctoral thesis. Her doctoral thesis “Social Capital and Development of Political Attitudes in Post-Communist Countries” investigates the sources of political alienation in post-communist countries. On the basis of quantitative micro-level analysis — structural equation modeling and an original technique of cohort analysis — it tests the assumptions of cultural theories (the legacy of the communist regime), institutional theories (the negative eﬀects of the poor performance and unresponsiveness of institutions), and social capital theories (the importance of trust and associational membership). The paper oﬀers new insights into state-society relations in post-communist countries, as well as the mechanisms behind the evolution or persistence of certain political attitudes. During her research visit, she greatly beneﬁtted from access to the wide selection of books and journals available at the UIC library. She presented my work at the Department of Political Science, receiving valuable suggestions...Read More
Benefits of AABS Membership
Since 1968 AABS has played a crucial role in furthering research into Baltic issues. JBS provides a specialised forum for publications, while regular conferences allow scholars to keep abreast of work in progress and strengthen ties with colleagues. Directly or indirectly, it has been the inspiration for parallel initiatives (Canada, Europe, Australia). My own contacts with AABS have been immensely beneficial — I sometimes wonder what I could have achieved without the support of this amazing organisation.
Trevor G. Fennell
Emeritus Professor, Flinders University, Australia