In July 2021, when the Foreign Service of Latvia is celebrating its 102nd anniversary, an English edition has just been published of the book entitled “A Century of Latvian Diplomacy: The first hundred years of Latvia’s diplomacy and its foreign service as reflected in essays by diplomats”.
This is the first collection of essays (in Latvian and now also in English) authored by the diplomats of Latvia, giving nearly a 360-degree perspective on the directions taken and the topics dealt with in Latvia’s foreign policy. This anthology provides insight through the eyes of diplomats into the period starting from the early 20th century when the idea of the state of Latvia was still only taking shape, and it spans across the founding and establishment of the Latvian state on 18 November 1918, the first decades of the existence of the foreign service of Latvia, the years of occupation and the restoration of independence, right up through the second decade of the 21st century. Mārtiņš Drēģeris, chief editor and co-author of the anthology, asserts that this collection of essays shall serve as a unique primary source of information, especially for anyone interested in Baltic studies, since it provides a broad context concerning history, politics, and international law, with a view of international affairs from the perspective of the Baltic States and their region,
The collection of essays, “A Century of Latvian Diplomacy”, has been translated by Ieva Upmace-Grīviņa, and published by Zvaigzne ABC Publishers. The authors are diplomats Edgars Rinkēvičs, Gints Apals, Argita Daudze, Sandra Kalniete, Mārtiņš Virsis, Alberts Sarkanis, Gints Jegermanis, Eduards Stiprais, Sanita Pavļuta-Deslandes, Māris Riekstiņš, Ilgvars Kļava, Jānis Mažeiks, Gunda Reire, Ingrīda Levrence, Normans Penke, Iveta Šulca, Edgars Poļanskis, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, Vija Buša, Guna Japiņa, Kristīne Līce, Raimonds Jansons, Artis Bērtulis, Baiba Braže, Mārtiņš Drēģeris, Silvija Križevica, Iveta Šķiņķe un Valdis Rūsiņš.
The anthology was first released (in Latvian in 2020) to commemorate the centenary of the Latvian Foreign Service and the contribution of the Latvian diplomatic and consular services to the formation of the Latvian state and its accomplishments, while looking ahead to the 100th anniversary of the international de jure recognition of the Republic of Latvia.
The authors offer their insights and analysis with regard to 100 years of Latvia’s diplomacy, the main tasks of diplomats in response to challenges they faced shortly after the establishment of the state, during the process of gaining international de jure recognition and also in the context of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia, as well as the role of Latvian diplomats and exile organisations in the inter-war period, the work of Latvia’s diplomatic and consular service, cooperation with the diaspora, and trends in the 21st century diplomacy.
The book also contains articles on Latvia’s bilateral and multilateral relations, European integration, security and defence policy, external economic relations, the legal framework for foreign policy, as well as the importance of public diplomacy and communication, and prominent personalities who have worked in the Latvian Foreign Service.
The book has been produced with support from the public diplomacy programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to mark the centenary of the Latvian state. The collection will be distributed to academic libraries and centres for Baltic studies at universities worldwide, as well as during bilateral and multilateral diplomatic events abroad.
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