Lithuania : the rebirth of a nation, 1991-1994
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The thesis Lithuania: the Rebirth of a Nation, 1991-1994 examines the first years of the rebirth and regeneration of Lithuania in the face of the legacy of the Soviet Occupation. It studies the essential components of rebirth: the creation of domestic, foreign and security policies and the revitalising of the economy as Lithuania broke away from the USSR. The Soviet Occupation grafted the mentality of homo sovieticus onto the Lithuanian people and its effect is charted when observing the processes surrounding Lithuania's rejuvenation. An additional chapter examines the evolution of homo sovieticus itself, studying bureaucratic societies, such as the Habsburg Empire and the USSR. The chapter also shows the manifestation of homo sovieticus in works of literature, art, music and humour and explores the concept of 'internal exile'. The thesis commences with a condensed history of Lithuania, as this history has created the distinct national identity which sustained the Lithuanian people during the decades of occupation. After the chapter on the evolution of homo sovieticus, its legacy is studied in a survey of Lithuania's domestic politics between 1991-1994. This chapter, however, extends until 1996 to demonstrate the changing political fortunes during the first post-Soviet years. Interlinking chapters on foreign and security policy appraise Lithuania's attempts to rejoin the international community and acquire an effective security guarantee. The influence of the presence of homo sovieticus is again noted both here and in the final chapter, devoted to Lithuania's transition to a market economy. The thesis concludes that while enormous strides were taken between 1991-1994 to return Lithuania to her pre-Occupation status, the damage caused by fifty years of the Soviet Occupation had created unforeseen obstacles which led to complications in the process of rebirth, many of which will be unsurmountable in the immediate future.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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