No. 13




Riigikogu Members and Social Scientists: Different Views of Estonia

13 June 2006


RiTo No. 13, 2006

  • Tõnis Saarts

    Tõnis Saarts

    Tallinn University, Lecturer of Political Science

It may seem that members of parliament and sociologists live in different worlds. This is confirmed by an expert survey conducted among Riigikogu members and social scientists as part of the project “Democracy and national interests”, financed by the Open Estonia Foundation.

In the opinion of members of the Riigikogu, the primary problems for Estonian democracy lie in the Estonian media, which is, they feel, biased and unjustifiably critical of the political elite. Social scientists feel that Estonia is unfortunately the kind of country where the opportunities of citizens to affect the decisions pertaining to them are limited, and that furthermore, the state is not able to ensure even a minimal sense of security for many of its citizens. The reasons for the divergent vision lie in the professional background of the two groups of experts, and thus the only way to develop a more constructive dialogue is to try to understand the other side’s expectations and the special nature of how they see the world.

Full article in Estonian