Ph.D. Raivo Vetikin valtio-opin alaan kuuluva väitöskirja

"Inter-Ethnic Relations in Estonia 1988-1998"

tarkastetaan maanantaina 3.5.1999 klo 12 Tampereen yliopiston Attilan kiinteistön luentosalissa B 661, osoitteessa Yliopistonkatu 38.

Vastaväittäjänä toimii professori Pertti Ahonen Tampereen yliopistosta. Väitöstilaisuuden kustoksena on professori Jukka Paastela.


Vetik on syntynyt Kohtla-Järvellä Virossa 21.11.1957. Hän asuu Tallinnassa.

Tartu University, Faculty of Law, 1976-1981, Latvian Academy of Sciences, 1986-1989, Ph.D., 1989

Visiting scholar, University of Oslo, 1991-1992
Head of Department of Political Science, Tartu University, 1993-1995
Fulbright Scholar, Univeristy of California, Irvine, 1995-1996
Director, Institute of International and Social Studies, Tallinn, 1998 -present

Lisätietoja: Raivo Vetik, puh. (372) (2) 22 423961 (koti), (372) (2) 26 443078 (työ), E-mail: Vetik@iiss.ee



This dissertation is an attempt to study and understand inter-ethnic relations in Estonia over the last ten years. It is a collection of published articles and presentations connected by common themes and the research interest of the author. It represents most of my scientific work over the last five or six years, partially in rewritten form. In the studies I have carried out, inter-ethnic relations in Estonia are placed in the broader context of nation-building and the transition from the Soviet system to democracy. These phenomena are complex and sometimes difficult to grasp, but compelling. Although specific theories about ethnic processes within the post-Communist world are relatively vague, the subject has attracted the interest of hundreds of scholars over the last few years.

The resulting amount of literature is enormous. Because of my views of the inter-ethnic problem in Estonia in particular, I have focused on the issues of identity development and ethnic conflict accommodation. According to leading Estonian-American political scientist Rein Taagepera, Estonia can be viewed as a laboratory of successful management of ethnic relations in a relatively unfavorable environment. One of my research concerns over these years has been to attempt to uncover the reasons behind this phenomenon. The main contribution to the field lies in the development of a new theoretical approach for research agenda - a semiotic model of ethnic conflict. Particularly, the model has been used to explain ethnicnon-violence in Estonia. Introducing the semiotic approach stems on one hand from my education in Tartu, which was greatly influenced by Juri Lotman's theoretical work, and on the other hand from my attempt to relate theoretical depth to empirical breadth in researching inter-ethnic relations.

The dissertation is divided into three parts. The first part is devoted to ethnic issues in Estonia, viewed from both historical and current perspectives. It focuses on the structure of ethnic conflict in Estonia, conflict accommodation as well as national integration issues. The second part presents my research on identity aspects of ethnic relations. The methods used range from identity structure analyses of non-Estonians, using bipolar personal constructs, to Q methodology in a study of the worldviews of Estonian students. The last part consists of articles on a semiotic approach to ethnic conflict as well as a more general account of semiotic methodology and its use in social sciences.

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