The Romanian Review of European Governance Studies
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The civic solution to the Estonian identity crisis

Frontpage calendar image December 1, 2011

Author: Paul Pryce

As disputes over historical memory in Estonian society lead to manifestations of violence both online and offline, there is an express need to examine how identity politics are framed in contemporary Estonia. By examining ideational constructs that have emerged in Estonian discourses, a number of proposals for an inclusive Estonian identity, based in civic nationalism, will be shared. These ideational constructs include the “Nordicization” of Estonia, social democracy, constitutional patriotism, and the multi-layered society that is forming around the multi-layered polity of the European Union. Each of these constructs is examined critically, with the author prescribing constitutional patriotism as the construct with the greatest potential to reduce tensions between the ethnic Estonian majority and the ethnic Russian minority.