Audronė Janužytė


Two critical factors influenced the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1918 and in the 1990s. The external factor was composed of the international politics of the time and the geopolitical situation of the country. In the clash of the national interests of Russia (the Soviet Union) and Germany over the territory of Lithuania, Lithuanians first restored their statehood in 1918, then lost it under the Soviet and Nazi occupations of the country from 1940 to 1990, and then declared the independence of Lithuania on 11 March 1990, when the Soviet Union began to crumble after the end of the Cold War. The internal factor that united and mobilized the national movement of Lithuanians seeking the creation of an independent state in the 20th century was na­tionalism. Relying on theoretical insights into nationalism, this article examines two aspects of the discourse of Lithuanian politicians on issues of nationalism: 1) the concept of nationalism and its key features, i.e., highlighting the concepts of nationalism used for the construction of political discourse in an attempt to substantiate the right of the Lithuanian nation to build its independent state; and 2) Lithuanians’ attitude towards ethnic minorities, i.e., revealing their distrust of ethnic minorities when building the na­tion state in 1918, and certain tensions between Lithuanians and ethnic minorities when restoring the independence of Lithuania in 1990.