Democracy in Estonia 1990-1998.
There are four very broad aims to the thesis.
To assess whether new dimensions of democracy are emerging
The first aim is to ascertain whether and in what senses new dimensions
of democracy are emerging in Estonia.
To explore whether there is a democratic shortfall
The second aims is to consider the expectations of democracy both of the
non-elite and elite groups, and to compare these with democratic reality.
To assess the development of a 'new' democracy
The third aim is to assess the development of a 'new' democracy. Estonia
is a restored democracy.
To challenge the ideas concerning previous democratic experience
The fourth aim is to ascertain whether the 'restorationist principle' (Smith
1995) has been an assistance or a hindrance to democratic stability.
I attempt to create a comprehensive model from which to carry out a
democratic 'audit' of Estonia. Established democratic experiences and
Estonian democratic experience will be used in determining benchmarks
Le. prerequisites and indicators for an analytical model from which to
consider the re-established democracy in Estonia. This analytical model
will help to identify certain characteristics of representative or pluralist
democracy and its support systems, for instance historical background and
political culture. Indicators are used, such as the level of trust or distrust
of politicians. Indicators are open to many different interpretations, for
example, why people do not vote in elections. These benchmarks and
indicators facilitate a systematic comparative analysis and will help to
establish more precisely the character and potential stability of the
democracy that is emerging in Estonia. Questionnaires and interviews are used Literature review
A variety of literature has been used for this research, the main ones are
concerned with theory, in the form of up-to-date hooks and articles,
post communist study, in the form of hooks, journals and websites and
Estonia, in the form of journals, surveys and in particular, websites.
Contribution to knowledge
This study identifies gaps in knowledge and thus attempts to fill them.
Estonia is a largely neglected country in the field of post communist study
and this thesis aims to bridge some of these gaps. Generally, this thesis
will contribute to the understanding of democracy, in particular stable
democracy. It will challenge current understanding of stable democracy.
It will examine whether a restored democracy is any more stable than a
'new' democracy - in particular whether a prior recent experience of
democracy is an assistance or hindrance to democratic stability. It will
contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the experience of post-
Soviet Russians living outside Russia, including the perspectives of the
Soviet Russian immigrant community in Estonia. By employing Ute
concept of political stability it will be possible to assess whether Estonia
was more stable as an authoritarian regime. From a more general
perspective it may be possible to hypothesise about post communist
democratic development. It could point to further lines of enquiry.