The trouble with “gender” in Latvia: Europeanisation through the prism of the Istanbul Convention

Elizabete Vizgunova (Coresponding Author), Elīna Graudiņa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


The article analyses the dynamics of Europeanisation revolving around the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) in Latvia. Whereas the document has not yet been made a part of EU acquis communautaire, the EU has committed to applying the norms enshrined in the Convention by any means, not least through the EU Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025. The discussion on the repercussions of the implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Latvia's legislation has occupied a noteworthy place in the discussions of the national parliament of Latvia (Saeima) since 2016. The article first uses critical frame analysis and defines the most important issue frames, document frames and metaframes that are employed by different political parties/politicians and Ministries/Ministers when talking about the Istanbul Convention to promote or refuse the ratification of the document. The article shows how the camps for and against the ratification draw on different and often opposing issues, documents, and meta-frames to substantiate their arguments. Next the article applies two models of Europeanisation: the external incentives model and the social learning model. The article concludes that the social learning model is better positioned to explain the non-ratification of the Convention, mostly due to exclusive national identity and the lack of resonance of the Convention in Latvia. Whereas some liberal-centre political parties are framing the ratification of the Istanbul Convention as aligned with Latvia's commitment to European values, the framing by national-conservative players which argues that the Istanbul Convention is not in line with Christian values, has borne more fruit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-139
Number of pages32
JournalBaltic Journal of Law and Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Equality between men and women
  • Europeanisation
  • Gender
  • Istanbul Convention
  • Latvia

Field of Science*

  • 5.6 Political science

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


Dive into the research topics of 'The trouble with “gender” in Latvia: Europeanisation through the prism of the Istanbul Convention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this