In this chapter the threat images of the Estonian and the Russian political elites are analyzed. The study assesses the explanatory powers of different theoretical approaches concerning their abilities to provide viable explanations of temporal variance of the Estonian and Russian security discourses. Particular emphasis is placed on the identity formations, which in turn are linked to processes of socialization. It is demonstrated how this approach can present an alternative explanation to more traditional approaches in the IR literature, particularly regarding the transformation of threat images among Estonian and Russian policy makers.
As regards the Estonian view, one puzzling question is why Russia is more or less absent in the statements of the Estonian policy makers in terms of being a threat. This is particularly remarkable against the historical background that Estonia was occupied by Russia during some half-century. From a Russian perspective, it would be plausible to regard NATO as a threat since this alliance was once created as a response to the presumably aggressive union within which Russia was the principal actor. NATO is, however, rarely brought up by the Russian policy makers in the context of a threat. Instead, in both states, there are issues like international terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, that are framed as severe threats.
Thus, there seem to be interesting similarities in the way the language of threat has developed in Russia and Estonia. This change of security discourses might indicate that are ambitions among policy-makers in Moscow and Tallinn to develop a common understanding of not only what is threatening, but also what is threatened in terms of values and identities. The study therefore argues that it might become possible to develop cooperative security, in terms of a security community, between Russia and Estonia in the Baltic sea area.
Ashgate, Aldershot , 2007. 99-125 p.