The Analysis of Government’s Communications and Public Engagement’s Socio-Political Effects during the Financial Crisis in Latvia (2008 – 2011)


Sandra Veinberg

Full text: 523-3143-1-PB


The Baltic States have been amongst the worst hit by the global financial crisis. The most serious situation was experienced in Latvia. The country was forced to ask the International Monetary Fund and the European Union for an emergency bailout of 7.5 billion euros. The 2008-2011 Latvian financial crisis stemmed from the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. The government laid off a third of its civil servants, slashed wages for the rest, and sharply reduced support for hospitals, and for the most part people accepted this bitter medicine.

Negotiations between the government and lenders were constructive and confidential, but the consequences “of the efficient fiscal adjustment” were tragic for too many people in Latvia. Currently, Latvia has been able to stabilise its financial systems, but Latvia’s homework has become a major topic of discussion among various economists. Due to the austerity measures, Latvians were confused and began to emigrate. When the financial crisis was a fact for Latvia, the government did not possess any strategy for communications with the country’s residents. The transmission model for communications (a one-way process) was dominant. National studies of PR show that with the absence of a modern strategy for communications, Latvia has certainly not been an example for other countries that experience an economic crisis.

Latvia, European identity, financial crisis, political communication

• Journals:

• Coombs, T. (2009). An Analytic Framework for Crisis Situations: Better Responses From a Better Understanding of the Situation. Public Relations Research. 10. 177-191.

• Hiebert, R. E. (2003). Public relations and propaganda in framing the Iraq war: A preliminary review. Public Relations Review. 29, 243 -255.

• Jorgensen, B. (1994) Consumer reaction to company-related disasters: The effect of multiple versus single explanations, Advances in Consumer Research, 21, 348–352.

• Books:

• Berger, B. (2007). Public relations and organisational power in Toth, E (Eds) The future of excellence and communication management: challenges for the next generation.(pp. 221-234). Festschrift, Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

• Brooker, W., Jermyn, D.(2003). It’s out there… somewhere: Locating the audience for the audience studies reader. In Brooker, W., Jeremyn, D. (Eds.). The audience studies reader.(pp.1-11). London: Routledge.

• Coombs, T. (2007). Ongoing crisis communication. Planning, managing and responding. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

• Dozier, D. M. (1995). Manager’s guide to excellence in public relations and communication management. New York : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

• Erikson, P. (1992). Planerad kommunication. Malmö: Liber Ekonomi.

• Fraser, P (1990). Communicating in Crisis. United States Banker. 1990.

• Fink, S. (2002). Crisis management. Planning for the inevitable. Lincoln: Universe Inc.

• Gaunlet, D. (1995). Moving experiences: Understanding television’s influences and effects. London: John Liberty.

• Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity Press.

• Gilpin, D. & Murphy, P. (2008). Crisis management in a complex world. Oxford: University Press.

• Grange, J. & Hunt, T. (1984). Managing public relations. New York : Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

• Habermas, J. (1976). Legitimation crisis. London: Heinemann.

• Harris, T. (1997). Integrated Marketing Public Relations. Caywood, Clarke L. (1997). (Eds.). The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations & Integrated Communications. (pp.90-106). New York: McGraw-Hill.

• Heath, R. (2001). Handbook of Public Relations. Thousand Oaks:Sage Publications.

• Heath, R. (1997). Strategic Issues Management. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

• Kivikuru, U. & Nord, L. (2009). After the Tsunami. Crisis Communication in Finland and Sweden. Gothenburg: Nordicom.

• Jowett, G., & O’Donnell, V. (1992). Propaganda and persuasion. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

• L’Etang, J. (2008). Public Relations. Concepts, Practice and Critique. London: Sage Publications.

• Liu, B., Levenshus, A. (2012). Crisis Public Relations for Government Communicators. In Lee M., Neeley G. & Stewart K. (Eds). The Practice of Government Public Relations. (pp.101 -125). New York: CRC Press.

• Karlöf, B. (2000). Strategins renässans. Stockholm: Ekerlids Förlag.

• Lee, M. (2007). Government Public Relations: A Reader. New York: CRC Press.

• Lee M., &Neeley G. & Stewart K. (2012). The Practice of Government Public Relations. New York: CRC Press.

• McNair, B. (2003). An introduction to political communication. London: Routledge.

• Miller, D. (Eds.) (2003). Tell me lies: Propaganda and media distortion in the attack of Iraq. London: Pluto Press.

• Mohd, H. (2004). Government Public Relations: Persuasion, Personality & Power. Singapore. Asian Public Relations Academy.

• Philpott, D. (2009). Crisis Communications. Longboat Key: Government Training Inc.

• Robins, K. Webster F., & Pickering, M. (1987). Propaganda, information and social control. In Hawthorn J. (Eds.) Propaganda, persuasion and polemic. (pp. 1-17). London : Edward Arnold.

• Seeger, M, Sellnow, T. & Ulmer R. (1998). Communication, organization and crisis. In Roof, M. (Eds.). Communication Yearbook. Vol. 21, p. 233. Thousand Oaks: CA Sage.

• Seger, M., Sellnow, T. & Ulmer, R. (2003). Communication and Organizational Crisis. Westport: Praeger Publichers.

• Tajfel, H. (1981). Human groups and social categories: Studies in social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

• Weaver, C., Motion, J.& Roper, J. (2006). From Propaganda to Discourse (and back again). In L’Etang, J., Pieczka, M. (Eds.) Public Relations. Critical Debates and Contemporary Practice. (pp. 7-23). Mahwah, New Jersey, London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

• Åslund, A. & Dombrovskis, V. (2011). How Latvia Come through the Financial Crisis. Washington: Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics.

• Conference Paper:

• Apsīte, E., Krisjane, Z., Berzins, M. (2012). Emigration from Latvia under economic crisis conditions. Paper presented at the Second International Conference on Social Science and Humanity IPEDR vol.31 (2012) © (2012) IACSIT Press, Singapore.

• Web Citation:

• Adamsone, A. (2012). Those who change will endure – IMF managing director. Nozare. LV. 05.06.2012, from

• Bank of Latvia. (2006). Recent Economic Developments and Banking in Latvia, available online at: [].

• Freeze, T. (2012). Sharing Christ in the Face of Hopelessness. Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. 19.06.2012, from

• Government Communications and Public Engagement. British Columbia. Canada.

• Rozenberga, G. I. (2013). Lavijas zinātnieku atklātā vētule. 14.01.2013, from

• Higgins, A. (2013). Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its Pain Eases. New York Times. 01.01.2013, from

• Höbermägi, T. (2010). Moody’s: Latvian economy is stabilising. BBN, Aripaev. 08.02.2010. from

• Karnite, R. (2006). Emigration of Latvian workers continues to increase. Euroline. 26.01.2006. From

• Krugman, P. (2008). Latvia is the new Argentina. The New York Times, 23.12.2008. From

• Morison, O. (2012). The Globe and Mail. 19.06.2012, from

• Parry, T. (2009). Europe’s sickest country. CBC News, 26.02.2009, from

• Research, commissioned by the State Chancellery at Government of Latvia. (2007). “Valdības komunikācijas prakses analīze un rekomendācijas tās pilnveidošanai”. Rīga, SIA Analītisko pētījumu un stratēģiju laboratorija, from

• Sabel, C., O’Rourke, D. & Fung, A. (2000) Ratcheting Labor Standards: Regulation for Continuous Improvement in the Global Workplace. Columbia Law School Working Papers, from

• The Economist. (2000). Latvian lessons. The Baltics are growing after austerity – and they resent Mediterranean bail-outs. 09.06.2012, from

• Weisbrot, M. (2011). Europe’s Crisis and Latvia’s “Success”. The Guardian Unlimited. 15.12.2011, from

• World Bank. (2005). Doing Business in 2006:. Press Release, 12 September, World Bank, Washington, DC, from,,contentMDK:20643520~menuPK:258604~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:258599,00.html

Full Text: PDF

This entry was posted in Baltic states, Baltikum, Communication, Press, Public Relations research and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s