The state of centre-periphery relations reflects on the “depth” of democratic consolidation. This is tested by applying the territorial dimension of democratisation, a neglected theme in regime change studies, utilising the “partial regimes” approach, one especially justified with regard to regions disaffected with regime change. This approach is applied to the Latvian region of Latgale with a four-point analysis, looking in turn at the structural/institutional, intermediary actors, the socio-political and the external. Contrary to received opinion, it is found that, despite a pattern of socio-economic deprivation and continuing resentment towards Riga, systemic loyalty and societal stability there are fairly strong, that centre-periphery relations are essentially centripetal and that counter pressures from neighbouring Russia have had a limited effect.
- democratic consolidation
- frontier regions
- post-Soviet Latvian democracy
- Russia factor
- territorial dimension of democratisation