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L'Etat, c'est pas moi : Reframing citizenship(s) in the Baltic republics


  • Olivier Danjoux

Summary, in English

This book speaks to readers with a particular interest in the Baltic states as well as to those with a broader interest in post-communist democratization and citizenship. The notion of citizenship has not been prominent in academic perspectives on post-communism. This study aims at bringing citizenship back into these perspectives.

Starting from the idea that citizenship is both a condition of democracy and an indicator of the level of democracy in a given society, the author studies the extent to which theories of citizenship currently dominating political science account for the specific experience of people living in the Baltic countries. This study's theoretical bedrock is thus a critical overview of the republican, liberal and cultural conceptions of citizenship, done in relation to the historically specific nature of post-communism.

The analytical instrument derived from this critical overview of theory is a two-dimensional model of citizenship called the Legacy and the Scruples. That model draws insights from, notably, linguistics and anthropology. It is applied to Baltic citizens' experiences of both communist and post-communist citizenships. Ruptures and continuities between these two kinds of citizenship are highlighted. This study argues that the current weakness of citizenship in the Baltic states is due not so much to difficulties in managing ethnic diversity (although such difficulties exist) than to more specifically political factors. These factors are linked to the ways citizenship and political power are conceived of and exercised in these countries.

Publishing year





Lund Political Studies



Document type



Department of Political Science, Lund University


  • Political Science


  • consensus
  • language
  • ethnicity
  • culture
  • urbanity
  • time
  • exogamy
  • post-communism
  • communism
  • totalitarianism
  • Soviet Union
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Baltic
  • citizenship
  • nation
  • conflict
  • Political and administrative sciences
  • Statsvetenskap
  • förvaltningskunskap




  • [unknown] [unknown]


  • ISSN: 0460–0037
  • ISBN: 91-88306-61-5

Defence date

25 April 2002

Defence time


Defence place

Edens hörsal, Dept of Political Science, Lund University


  • Anders Uhlin (Associate Professor)