Scales of Estonian Citizenship: Implications for Russophone Political Incorporation

David J. Trimbach (University of Kansas)

Baltic Russophone marginalization and exclusion is well documented in Baltic citizenship scholarship. However, this scholarship neglects to recognize citizenship as spatial. To bridge the conceptual and disciplinary gaps, I apply a multi-scalar approach in this paper connecting citizenship to space. At multiple interconnected scales (supra-national, national, sub-national), I analyze citizenship acquisition and political participation policies in Estonia and their implications on Russophone political incorporation and mobilization. I examine the relationship of exclusionary naturalization and electoral policies with political mobilization via jurisdictional scale. I find the multi-scalar muddling of Estonian citizenship structurally hinders Russophone political incorporation and mobilization, while simultaneously creates potential new sites for engagement.

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