The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Where do we belong? : A Critical Discourse Analysis of Baltic and Nordic regional identities in speeches by the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania


  • Amanda Koverberg

Summary, in English

This thesis aims to discover how Baltic and Nordic regional identities are discussed in 448 speeches by the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania during 1991 – 2021, and how regional identities in these countries may have changed over time. The research is conducted as a critical discourse analysis, with an addition of elements of comparative analysis. The theoretical framework consists of Anssi Paasi’s theory about regional identity.

The conclusion of this thesis is that the Baltic regional identity has remained important in all three countries throughout the examined period. This regional identity is considered a result of the resistance and solidarity of the Baltic peoples during the Soviet Occupation.

The Nordic regional identity on the other hand, is only discussed consistently in Estonia, where it is considered a natural cultural unity. In the Latvian speeches, the Nordics appear in the early and very late years of the material, but instead of establishing Latvia as a part of the Nordics, the wish is to “become Nordic” in the sense of developing traits that are perceived as positive and typically Nordic. This discussion is not found in the Lithuanian speeches. However, that the Nordics should be considered as an inspiration in terms of society and economy, is agreed by presidents in all three countries.

The two societal events that have shaped the discourses the most is the Baltic Way, that is seen as the starting point of the Baltic regional identity, and the EU and NATO accession. In the latter case, political hopes of the Baltic states, as well as expectations from Western European countries, led to the highlighting of unity within the Baltics and Central and Eastern Europe. After Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had joined both the EU and NATO, the need to promote a Central and Eastern European identity and cooperation is superseded by the wish to be associated with other regional identities, such as Baltic, Nordic or Western European.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Cultural Sciences


  • Baltics
  • Nordics
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Regional identity
  • European Studies


  • Odeta Rudling