No. 32




Two Pillars of State Identity

14 December 2015


RiTo No. 32, 2015

  • Raivo Vetik

    Professor of Comparative Politics, Tallinn University School of Governance, Law and Society

This article has two aims: to offer a theoretical approach to defiing of state identity, taking into account the context of multicultural society, and to analyse the data of the latest monitoring of the integration of Estonian society in the light of such an approach.

The theoretical part of the article explains the need for defiing and studying state identity in terms of the neo-Weberian concept, highlighting the mutual connection between the identities of majority and minority groups in the context of the hierarchical social fild. Within the framework of positivist approach, identity is regarded as an individual’s one-way psychological identifiation with a group or a phenomenon, but the approach based on the ideas of Max Weber sees identity more as a form of mutual social orientation and activities of individuals. The second part of the article deals with the empirical analysis of the state identity of the Russian-speaking population of Estonia and the Estonians on the basis of the data of the latest monitoring, and brings out the connections of state identity with some important demographic characteristics, and human and social capital indicators. The analysis shows that the proportion of weak, average and strong state identity is respectively 17, 47 and 36 percent among the Russian-speakers, and respectively 24, 57 and 19 percent among the Estonians. If we consider the carriers of at least average state identity to belong among the supporters of the integration of the Estonian society, then it can be said that around 80 percent of both groups, fiuratively speaking, form the two pillars on which the common ground of the Estonians and the Russian-speaking population stands in the Estonian society. Considering the historical and geopolitical context of the national relations in Estonia, it can be regarded as an adequately wellbalanced system. At the same time, the analysis of the results of the monitoring also shows that the support of the state to the developing of the economic and social environment of East Virumaa should be signifiantly stronger.

Full article in Estonian