Historians, legal historians, sociologists, ethnologists, and other specialists in the humanities and social sciences, in accordance with the objectives of the project “Interaction of the Individual, Society, and the State in the Common Process of Latvian History: Conflicts of Values and the Formation of Common Values at the Historical Breaking Points”, within the national research programme “Latvian Heritage and Future Challenges for National Sustainability”, tried to identify and discuss those stages in Latvia’s history which implied dramatic milestones that affected Latvian society in one way or another and formed it as we know it today.
The turning points have brought about both progress (abolition of serfdom, the struggle for and restoration of independence) and irreparable losses (occupations and loss of people resulting from them, altered national composition, etc.) and created a new situation when the socio-political balance between different social groups and nationalities who lived in Latvia changed. These topics have been viewed several times in Latvian historiography, but within the framework of the project new approaches have been sought, and the values that unite or could unite Latvian society have been sought and identified. Therefore, the project pays great attention to national minorities, various social groups, centre–periphery relations.