How Russian Soft Power Fails in Estonia: Or, Why the Russophone Minorities Remain Quiescent

Open access

Abstract

This article evaluates the significance of Russian soft power in Estonia, particularly in connection to the minority issue, and compares this soft power to the countervailing pull of the European Union on the other side. It concludes that although Russia does indeed have a number of soft power resources, their potential for being translated into actual power and influence is too often exaggerated, not least because Europe provides a much more attractive focus point for the disgruntled than Moscow. Moreover, Estonia has it fully within its power to bolster its own attractiveness in the eyes of the minority populations. Thus, although relations with Russia should be handled with care, it is not Russia’s soft power that should be feared.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Amnesty International (2006) Linguistic Minorities in Estonia: Discrimination Must End available at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR51/002/2006/en (last accessed on 4 November 2015).

  • Berg E. & Boman J. (eds) (2005) Crossborder Cooperation in Focus: What are the Lessons to be Learned in the Estonian-Russian and Romanian-Moldovan Borderland? (Tartu Tartu University Press).

  • Brüggemann K. & Kasekamp A. (2008) ‘The Politics of History and the War of Memories in Estonia’ Nationalities Papers 36 3 pp. 425 - 448.

  • Crandall M. (2014) ‘Soft Security Threats and Small States: the Case of Estonia’ Defence Studies 14 1 pp. 30-55.

  • Crowther W. E. Matonyte I. (2007) ‘Parliamentary elites as a democratic thermometer: Estonia Lithuania and Moldova compared’ Communist and Post-Communist Studies 40 pp. 281-299.

  • Eesti Kaitseministeerium (2014) Avalik Arvamus ja Riigikaitse (Tallinn). http://www.kaitseministeerium.ee/files/kmin/nodes/14166_Avalik_arvamus_ja_riigikaitse_2014_marts.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Ehin P. & Berg E. (2009) ‘Incompatible Identities? Baltic-Russian Relations and the EU as Arena for Identity Conflict’ in Berg E. & Ehin P. (eds) Identity and Foreign Policy: Baltic-Russian Relations and European Integration (London Palgrave-MacMillan) pp. 1-14.

  • Eesti Koostöö Kogu (2010) Estonian Human Resource Report 2010 http://www.kogu.ee/public/Eesti_Inimvara_Raport_IVAR.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015)

  • Estonia.eu ‘Population and housing census 2012’ http://estonia.eu/about-estonia/country/population-census-2011.html (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Feldman G. (2005) ‘Culture state and security in Europe: The case of citizenship and integration policy in Estonia’ American Ethnologist 32 4 pp. 676-694.

  • Friedman G. (2009) ‘The Coming Conflict with Russia’ The Journal of International Security Affairs 17 2 pp. 63-71.

  • Gehlbach S. (2010) ‘Reflections on Putin and the Media’ Post- Soviet Affairs 26 1 pp. 77-87.

  • Golubeva M. (2010) ‘Different History Different Citizenship? Competing Narratives and Diverging Civil Enculturation in Majority and Minority Schools in Estonia and Latvia’ Journal of Baltic Studies 41 3 pp. 315-329.

  • Hughes J. (2005) ‘Exit in Deeply Divided Societies: Regimes of Discrimination in Estonia and Latvia and the Potential for Russophone Migration’ Journal of Common Market Studies 43 4 pp. 739-762.

  • Ikstens J. (2006) ‘Eastern Slavic Political Parties in Latvia’ in Muizneks N. (ed) Lavian-Russian Relations: Domestic and International Dimensions (Riga LU Akadēmiskais apgāds) pp. 41-51.

  • Ioffe J. (2014) ‘Ethnic Russians in the Baltics Are Actually Persecuted. So Why Isn't Putin Stepping In?’ New Republic 11 March 2014 http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116970/estonialithuania-mistreat-ethnic-russians-nato-keeps-putin-out (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Jaagant U. (2010) ’EPL article KAPO avaldas ettekande kuidas Savisaar parteile Venemaalt raha küsis’ 21 December 2010 http://epl.delfi.ee/news/eesti/kapo-avaldas-ettekande-kuidassavisaar-parteile-venemaalt-raha-kusis.d?id=51288950 (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Kirss L. & Vihalemm T. (2008) Hariduslik integratsioon Vajadus- ja teostatavusuuringu lõpparuanne. Tartu. http://www.praxis.ee/fileadmin/tarmo/Projektid/Haridus/Integra/RIP_2008-2013_lopparuanne_2_Haridus.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Koit R. (2009) ’Venemaa meelitab eestimaalasi Kaliningradi kolima’ ERR 9 September http://uudised.err.ee/index.php?06176844 (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Kruma K. (2010) ‘Latvian Integration Policy: Lost in Translation’ in van Oers R. Ersbøll E. Kostakopoulou D. (eds.) A Redefinition of Belonging?: Language and Integration Tests in Europe BRILL: Leiden pp. 241- 270.

  • Lauri V (2014) ’Komisjon: tuleval aastal tuleks luua venekeelne ETV3’ 19 May 2014 http://uudised.err.ee/v/eesti/b2258133-fbb1-4c2e-9c07-2b34cf60221a (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Lauristin M. et. al. (2011) Eesti Ühiskonna Integratsiooni Monitooring 2011 http://www.praxis.ee/fileadmin/tarmo/Projektid/Valitsemine_ja_kodanike%C3%BChiskond/Artiklid/Integratsiooni_monitooring_2011_EST_lyhiversioon.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Lauristin M. Uus M. Seppel K. (2011) ‘Kodakondsus kodanikuühiskond ja rahvussuhted’ Eesti ühiskonna integratsiooni monitooring 2011 http://www.praxis.ee/fileadmin/tarmo/Projektid/Valitsemine_ja_kodanike%C3%BChiskond/Artiklid/Intmon_2011_pt_1.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Liik K. (2013) ’Russia’s Soft Power: The Case of Moldova and Armenia’ unpublished MA thesis (Tartu University of Tartu EuroCollege).

  • Maliukevicius N. (2007) ‘Russia’s Information Policy in Lithuania: The Spread of Soft Power or Information Geopolitics?’ Baltic Security and Defence Review 9 pp. 150-170.

  • Maliukevicius N. (2013) ’(Re)Constructing Russian Soft Power in Post-Soviet Region’ Baltic Security and Defence Review 15 2 pp. 70-97.

  • Merike T. (2010) ‘Vähemusrahvuste esindajad peavad haridusreformi assimileerimiseks’ Postimees 27 October available at http://www.postimees.ee/?id=332829 (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (2013) ‘Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation’ available from http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/76389FEC168189ED44257B2E0039B16D (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Nye J. S. Jr. (2004) Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York Public Affairs).

  • Paas T. (2000) ’The Gravity Approach for Modeling International Trade Patterns for Economies in Transition’ International Advances in Economic Research 6 4 pp. 633-648.

  • Popescu N. & Wilson A. (2009) The Limits of Enlargement-Lite: European and Russian Power in the Troubled Neighbourhood (London European Council on Foreign Relations).

  • Puhl Jan (2014) ‘Estonian Minister: “no party here would call for secession”’ Spiegel Online 7 April http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/minister-withrussian-ethnicity-says-estonians-still-united-a-963003.html (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Purju A. (2004) ‘Foreign Trade Between the Baltic States and Russia: Trends Institutional Settings and Impact of the EU Enlargement’ Electronic Publications of the Pan-European Institute 14.

  • Pääbo H. (2008) ’War of Memories: Explaning „Memorials War“ in Estonia’ Baltic Security and Defence Review 10 pp. 5-28.

  • Ruklis K.(2007) ’Baltic Media Environments: Integrated or Divided?’ Prisma.com n. 4 (Center for the Study of Communication Sciences and Technologies) http://revistas.ua.pt/index.php/prismacom/article/view/648/pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Saar E. (2008) Uuringu Eesti ühiskonna integratsiooni monitooring 2008 http://www.meis.ee/uuringud (last accesed 4 November 2015).

  • Saar Poll (2006) Perspectives of Non-Estonians http://www.meis.ee/bw_client_files/integratsiooni_sihtasutus/public/img/File/Mitteeestlaste_migratsiooni_aruanne_2006.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Schulze J. L. (2010) ‘Estonia caught between East and West: EU conditionality Russia’s activism and minority integration’ Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity 38 3 pp. 361-392.

  • Shulmane I. (2006) ‘The Russian Language Media in Latvia’ in Muizneks N. (ed) Lavian-Russian Relations: Domestic and International Dimensions (Riga LU Akadēmiskais apgāds) pp. 64-73

  • Seppel; K. (2015) ’Media ja infoväli’ Eesti ühiskonna lõimumismonitooring Balti uuringute instituut pp. 87-97. http://www.kul.ee/sites/default/files/7peatykk.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Skerret D. M. (2013) ‘The 2011 Estonian high school language reform in the context of critical language policy and planning’ Current Issues in Language Planning pp. 1-27.

  • Steen A. (2010) ‘National Elites and the Russian Minority Issue: Does EU- NATO Integration Matter’ European Integration 32 2) pp. 193-212.

  • Tsygankov A. P. (2013) ‘Moscow’s Soft Power Strategy’ Current History October 2013 pp. 259-264.

  • Vihalemm P. (2008) ‘Current Trends in Media Use in Estonia’ Information Sciences (Informacijos mokslai) 47 pp. 112-120.

  • Vihalemm P. (2011)‘Meedia ja infoväli’ Eesti ühiskonna integratsiooni monitooring 2011 http://www.praxis.ee/fileadmin/tarmo/Projektid/Valitsemine_ja_kodanike%C3%BChiskond/Artiklid/Intmon_2011_pt_1.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

  • Võõbus V. (2009) Hinnangud Eesti kodakondsuspoliitikale Estonian Ministry of Interior http://www.siseministeerium.ee/public/Aruanne.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2015).

Search
Journal information
Cited By
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 399 140 6
PDF Downloads 262 140 8