How do we perceive country, nation, and state? The term ‘country’ emphasizes the physical dimensions and boundaries of a geographical area. The term ‘nation’ emphasizes a particular community of people with shared history and culture. The term ‘state’ stands for a self-governing legal and political entity. But is this view really common all over the world?
Miks Muizarajs is a researcher and enthusiast in nation‑building, striving to understand how citizen engagement and community-driven development affect the stability and development of both nascent and well-established forms of government.
During his work on World Bank government decentralization projects in the Democratic Republic of Timor‑Leste and Togo, Miks Muizarajs spent considerable time in remote villages and witnessed the importance and strength of the grassroots level in facilitating or disrupting progress within society.
Miks’ previous applied geography work in Ecuador and Ethiopia, where he studied small‑scale local interventions which promoted income generation and access to higher education, added to this experience. He currently works with international think‑tanks, government auditing agencies, and NGOs in both Latvia and abroad, trying to identify sustainable policy interventions which can help link the grassroots level with the upper echelons of policy‑making.