Culture, state, and security in Europe: The case of citizenship and integration policy in Estonia



In this article, I examine how a territorial imaginary conflating culture, territory, nation, and security allows “elites of statecraft” in Europe to frame citizenship and integration policy as (inter)national security matters. Focusing on post-Soviet Estonia, I argue that this imaginary legitimized the denial of citizenship to Soviet-era Russian speakers and enabled the government's integration policy objective of creating the “Estonian cultural domain.” Drawing on historical, archival, and ethnographic research, I demonstrate how the invocation of national security justified these events and how the territorial imaginary structured the making of integration policy from the 1991 reestablishment of independence to E.U. accession in 2004.