Workshop on informal networks at Uppsala

Twenty-five years have passed since the attempted coup d’état in Moscow which, unintentionally, opened up the window of opportunity used by the governments of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to declare their full independence. Commemorating the anniversary of the three Baltic declarations of sovereignty, the workshop discusses the manifold networking processes between Baltic political, economic and cultural elites and Sweden that preceded the resumption of official diplomatic relations. Historical ties, the existence of well-organized Baltic émigré communities in Sweden, and geographical proximity triggered the development of a multi-layered web of informal and semi-official cooperation that has only begun to attract scholarly interest. The workshop gathers key actors in the fields of politics, economics, and culture who witnessed and actively influenced the entangling processes across the Baltic Sea, but also researchers contributing with a scholarly perspective on the historical significance of Swedish-Baltic interaction during the perestroika era. Discussing the interplay of informal manifestations of political support, the beginning economic cooperation and cultural bridge-building, the workshop aims at placing the various forms of institutional and private networks in the field between the poles of official support for Gorbachev’s perestroika and the contribution to early state-building processes.

This event is organized in cooperation with the Uppsala Forum on Democracy, Peace and Justice.