Prominent alumnus returns

17 years ago, the Defense Minister of Latvia Artis Pabriks received his PhD degree in political science at Aarhus University. This week, he returns to give a guest lecture on 'Global and Regional Challenges to the Baltic Sea Region'.

2013.04.08 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

Artis Pabriks is probably one of the most prominent alumni of Aarhus University. As Defense Minister and former Foreign Minister of Latvia, he has made it quite far since he was a PhD student at the Department of Political Science and Government in the early 1990’s.

On Thursday 11 April, Artis Pabrik will acquaint us with some of the challenges that the countries in the Baltic Sea Region are facing with his guest lecture 'Global and Regional Challenges to the Baltic Sea Region'.

The guest lecture will take place on Thursday 11 April at 16:30 in Lecture Theatre 1, Building 1333. Everybody is welcome.

Former PhD student in Aarhus
As a PhD student at Aarhus University, Artis Pabriks dealt with the dramatic events that had taken place when Latvia became independent. At that time, nationalism, the struggle for lasting independence and fear of Russia filled the everyday lives of the Latvian people, and the great social inequality was a source of frustration.

In Latvia, Artis Pabriks had studied history and philosophy. He decided to travel to Denmark to do his PhD studies in political science as this field was too influenced by the Marxist theories at the universities in Latvia. Latvia did not offer PhD scholarships, and Artis Pabriks was therefore forced to muddle through the three years in Denmark by means of small amounts of money from private sponsorships.

It was evident that Artis Pabriks was influenced by his country's situation - the feeling of freedom that we take for granted in Denmark, was not a matter of course in Latvia. He also cared about whether Latvia would still be an independent country, when he would finish his PhD studies and could return back home to his wife and child.

Great career in home country
When Artis Pabriks earned his PhD degree with the thesis 'Nations, Nationalism, and Ethnic Policy', he returned to Latvia, where he has managed to achieve a great career in both the academic and political world.

Artis Pabriks has been both Rector and Professor of Vidzeme University College, while simultaneously working as a policy analyst for several NGOs. In 2011 he became professor at Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration.

In 2002 Artis Pabrik became the Latvian representative in the European Council. In 2004 he became Member of Parliament and Foreign Minister until 2007, where he left his party due to disagreements with the leader. This led to the formation of a new party in 2008, which later became part of the ‘Vienotiba Party’, which means ‘unity’. In 2012 he achieved his position as the Defense Minister of Latvia. 


The guest lecture is also advertised here


Lecture / talk, Society and politics, Alumni, Public/media