Intercultural Relations in Latvia and Azerbaijan
- This chapter examines the intercultural relations between ethnic Russians who have continued to live in two newly independent states (Latvia and Azerbaijan) that emerged after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Many former Russian citizens involuntarily changed their status from Soviet citizens with Russian nationality, and became ethnic minorities – even people without citizenship – in these newly independent states. In this study, we are interested in whether patterns of intercultural relations between members of dominant group and the Russian minority in these countries are similar or different compared each with other. Latvia and Azerbaijan present two very different national contexts in which to examine this issue: because Latvia is very high in the diversity index, while Azerbaijan is in the middle. However, Latvia and Azerbaijan are similar on the other two indexes: they are at the bottom of the migrant integration index, and both are near the bottom on the multiculturalism policy index. We investigate the intercultural relations between members of the host population and ethnic Russians in these two countries with different trajectories of post-Soviet development, Latvia and Azerbaijan, guided by the three MIRIPS hypotheses (multiculturalism, contact, integration).