New research grant for an innovative study of Estonian national identity

Professor Viacheslav Morozov has received a five-year research grant from the Estonian Research Council for a comparative study of national identity dynamics in Estonia and Russia in the last 30 years, which aspires to shed new light on the evolution of bilateral relations. 

The research project “National identity and Estonian-Russian relations: a longitudinal study of elite and mass discourses” is novel for its unique methodological approach. Based on a variety of sources such as speeches, films, books, newspapers, and social media, the study of inter-state relations is grounded in a diachronic set of standardised interpretivist ‘probes’ into national identity discourses at both elite and mass levels. 

“While existing studies focus on the national identity discourses of elites, this project creates comprehensive interpretivist datasets focusing on wider societal discourses. This enables us to re-assesses the long-term dynamic of bilateral relations based on a comparative analysis of the two countries’ identities through time and identify circumstances under which popular views of national identity can impact foreign policy,“ said Viacheslav Morozov, the leader of the research group. 

The project involves researchers and PhD students whose work is related to either Russia, Estonia and/or the Baltic states in general, at the same time combining various methodological competences required for the analysis of diverse data. In addition to Viacheslav Morozov, the research group includes Alar Kilp, Martin Mölder, Elena Pavlova, Heiko Pääbo, Lelde Arnicāne and Maili Vilson. 

This research project is part of a global network “Making Identity Count”, whose scope so far includes only great powers. Morozov’s previous research grant from the Estonian Research Council focused on creating a national identity database for Russia, the results from which can now be applied to the comparative analysis of Estonia and Russia. 

Since Estonian-Russian relations is a topic of wider interest, the research group will hold several public events in Estonia to introduce project results. In addition to the national identity databases, the research output will include monographs in Estonian and in English, as well as articles in peer-reviewed journals. 

In the 2020 application round, altogether five research grants out of 31 applications in the field of Social Sciences were allocated by the Estonian Research Council. 

For more information, please contact Viacheslav Morozov, Professor of EU-Russia Studies,

Forwarded by:
Maili Vilson
CEURUS Head of Communications