No. 2




The Apology of Estonian Political Culture

31 October 2000


RiTo No. 2, 2000

  • Igor Gräzin

    Member of the Riigikogu, Estonian Reform Party

The article seconds the essay by Prof. Taagepera by stating that a high level of democracy and parliamentary culture is based upon the general political awareness and traditions of the whole nation.

The reasons for political degradation and of the diminishing of the role of democratic institutions in several countries (for example, USA) are determined by mixing up political and non-political spheres (the US president is envisioned, for instance, as a role model, not as just a top bureaucrat, who he actually is). The quality of Estonian political culture is proved by the fact that Estonia’s main political orientation (economic libertarianism, behavioural liberalism and social conservativism) to the right-of-the-centre in the political spectrum reflects traditional Estonian national values and features. Modern Estonia is facing the danger to her political culture through close contact with the EU carrying less developed and less democratic political traditions and practices. This influence can be opposed by post-modernistic political philosophy (Lyotard, Habermas, etc.) re-evaluating the constant political discourse in and by the whole society.

Full article in Estonian

Igor Gräzin, born 1952, lawyer, University of Tartu, Doctor of Law 1986. Work: 1990-2000 professor of economics and law at the University of Notre Dame (USA), 1996- researcher at the Hudson Institute (USA); 1999- Dean of the Law Faculty of Academia Nord. 1989-90 member of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union, 1995-99 member of the Estonian Riigikogu, 1999- adviser to the President of the Riigikogu.