External actors and the evolution of Latvian nationality policy, 1991-1999
Although not a theoretical study, the thesis touches on theoretical and methods issues, querying the extent to which external rather than internal factors determine policy outcomes in small states and arguing that Latvia's desire to join the EU was critical in the reform of Latvian citizenship legislation. It is the author's view that the evolution in nationality policy cannot be accounted for through a single level analysis. Domestic, regional, and international bilateral contexts are all necessary aspects of an explanation, although they might not fully account for the liberalisation of the citizenship legislation. After rejection from EU accession talks and a marked deterioration in relations with the Russian Federation, the Latvian Saeima and electorate amended the Citizenship Law to conform to OSCE HCNM recommendations. This suggests that the membership conditions of the EU are a powerful force in persuading applicant countries to alter their legislation to comply with a civic concept of citizenship.