Book Talk: "Strategic Frames: Europe, Russia, and Minority Inclusion in Estonia and Latvia" by Jennie L. Schulze

Nov. 18, 2019, 12:00pm
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building, 420 W 118th St., New York, NY

Join Columbia's Harriman Institute for a talk with Jennie L. Schulze on her book, "Strategic Frames: Europe, Russia, and Minority Inclusion in Estonia and Latvia." The book analyzes minority policies in Estonia and Latvia following their independence from the Soviet Union. It weighs the powerful influence of both Europe and Russia on their policy choices, and how this intersected with the costs and benefits of policy changes for the politicians in each state.

Prior to EU accession, policymakers were slow to adopt minority-friendly policies for ethnic Russians despite mandates from the European Union. These initiatives faced majority opposition, and politicians sought to maintain the status quo and their positions. As Jennie L. Schulze reveals, despite the credit given to the democratizing influence of European institutions, they have rarely produced significant policy changes alone, and then only when domestic constraints were low. Whenever domestic opposition was high, Russian frames were crucial for the passage of reforms. In these cases, Russia’s activism on behalf of Russian speakers reinforced European frames, providing powerful justifications for reform.


Jennie L. Schulze, associate professor of political science, Duquesne University