Chapter 1 begins the tracing of the politics of waiting in post-Soviet austerity state by situating it historically. It reveals how a particular perception of time played a role as an organising logic in the two waves of austerity in post-1991 Latvia, transforming welfare policies and the state-citizen relationship, and argues that the particularly harsh form of austerity politics as a way of tackling the 2008 economic crisis was possible because it was relying upon a familiar temporal framework of living in a delayed time. The chapter traces the temporal narratives of acceleration and patient waiting for communism in the Soviet Latvia and the similar temporality of ‘catching up with Europe’ in the post-Soviet state. The analysis in this chapter thus establishes waiting as one of the main discursive and temporal frames that necessitated, legitimated and shaped the neoliberal welfare state reconfigurations in post-Soviet Latvia.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows the undeniable contribution and the limits of the biopower theory in the understanding of dead bodies en masse. It talks about the fact that criminology has for so long ignored mass crime, even though the link between the corpse and the criminal is one of the fundamentals of the discipline. The book addresses the issue of the practical and symbolic treatment of corpses by societies affected by mass violence. It shows how working ideologies along with historical legacy and geographical landscapes determined the disposal of the bodies. The book examines the simultaneously diplomatic and medicolegal nature of the activities of the French Search Commission for Corpses of Deportees in Germany. It also draws on German archives to describe the various modalities of treatment of corpses in Croatia.