Bordering in public space in Tallinn, Estonia

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Estonia has a population of 1,3 million. Estonians make up 69% of the population and the Russian-speaking minority 26%. Various policies problematized the integration of the Russian minority after 1991. A section of these integration policies focused on aligning the Estonian language and culture with the state’s sovereign space. These policies focused on reterritorializing public space to align Estonian language and culture with the nation’s space. However, such actions can also be viewed as bordering. Public space more and more becomes a border space, as also in Tallinn. Bordering is a process in Tallinn that is happening in both state-controlled and semi-public space. In state-controlled space these activities are based on symbols and the different meanings that the Estonians and Russians ascribe to them dependent on their identity. In semi public space borderwork is undertaken by citizens and service personal and is based on language. Borders in both spaces are very individual, mobile, fragmentized, fluid and networked. These borders are most often experienced by individuals who identify as Russians or Russian speakers. Resistance to these border can be observed in the form of, avoiding, social and spatial segregation, ignoring, and speaking English. Mieke
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen