Estonian Identity Formation and Threat Framing in the Post-Cold War Era
2004 (English)In: Journal of Peace Research 41(6), Vol. 41, no 6, 733-750 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article shows that the threat framing by the Estonian elite has changed significantly over time. In order to explain these changes, the identity formations salient in the Estonian political discourse are analyzed using discourse analysis, and contrasted to two other explanatory approaches; one based on the ideas of realism, the other on cognitive theory. This demonstrates that the variation of threat images, as well as Estonia’s wish to join international organizations is not solely guided by any fear of Russia, but also by a desire to re-establish bonds with an identity formation Estonia once was part of. Thus, the change of threat images can be explained by the dynamics of identity formations, which in turn are linked to processes of socialization, as Estonia adapts to the discourse of the West. It is further argued that previous research on the linkages between identity formations and threat images has tended to oversimplify this relationship. In contrast to earlier research, this article claims that after independence the Estonian Self has not developed in polarized terms vis-à-vis the Russian state and the domestic Russian Other. Rather, it is concluded that what is at issue is a process of socialization. This implies not only learning and using language as a means towards the recognition of a multicultural Estonia, and the inclusion of the Russian minority in the Estonian Self, but also the institutionalization of such a language in terms of official policies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 41, no 6, 733-750 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-66996OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-66996DiVA: diva2:94907