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Picture of Jana Wrange.

Jana Wrange

Doctoral student

Picture of Jana Wrange.

Internal and external perceptions of small state security: the case of Estonia

Author

  • Jana Wrange
  • Rikard Bengtsson

Summary, in English

This article concerns small state security from a cognitive perspective and investigates Estonia as a security actor as perceived by all littoral Baltic Sea states. Drawing on unique elite survey and interview data, the article unpacks similarities and differences among internal (Estonian) and external perceptions of security, threats, and capabilities. The investigation is theoretically informed by research on perceptions, specifically image theory and role theory. Our analysis indicates that there are generally speaking quite similar perceptions among internal and external respondents regarding Estonia’s security situation, threat context, and the importance of EU and NATO membership. When it comes to capabilities in the security field, Estonian respondents have a somewhat more positive view than external respondents. Notably, Russian perceptions stand in stark contrast to those of others regarding most dimensions. Relating our results to previous research on national role conceptions, the perceptions we have explicated correspond to three distinct role conceptions – protectee/faithful ally, sub-system collaborator and regional leader.

Department/s

  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year

2019

Language

English

Publication/Series

European Security

Volume

28

Issue

4

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Topic

  • Political Science

Keywords

  • Small States
  • Security
  • Perceptions
  • Estonia
  • Role Theory
  • Image Theory

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1746-1545