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Managing Diversity through Non-Territorial AutonomyAssessing Advantages, Deficiencies, and Risks$
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Tove H. Malloy, Alexander Osipov, and Balázs Vizi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738459.001.0001

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Russian National Cultural Autonomy 
in Estonia

Russian National Cultural Autonomy 
in Estonia

Chapter:
(p.229) 11 Russian National Cultural Autonomy 
in Estonia
Source:
Managing Diversity through Non-Territorial Autonomy
Author(s):

Vadim Poleshchuk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738459.003.0012

Estonia has implemented the principles of national cultural autonomy in the interwar period and after 1991, that is, when its independence was regained. Cultural autonomy laws of 1925 and 1993 are different, especially as regards control over public education in minority languages. Cultural autonomies in pre-war Estonia led to or preserved self-segregation of Jewish and German minorities. Nowadays the autonomy concept seems to belong to the domain of symbolic rather than instrumental policies in Estonia. Cultural autonomy as a specific self-organization of minorities fits in with the idea of nation-state based on genuine ethnic nationalism. Autonomies have been founded by local Swedes and Ingrian Finns but not Russians. The creation of a single representative body for a heterogeneous minority group is hardly feasible. Furthermore, there are fears that cultural autonomy might be used for mobilization in Estonia of the largest Russian minority group.

Keywords:   Estonia, national cultural autonomy, autonomy laws, Russian minority, symbolic, ethnopolitics, ethnic nationalism, minority language education

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