The Law & Economics of the Estonian Law on Cultural Autonomy for National Minorities and of Russian National Cultural Autonomy in Estonia

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Aleksandr Aidarov Wolfgang Drechsler

Abstract

This essay analyses the 1993 Estonian Law on Cultural Autonomy for National Minorities (LCANM), based on an earlier one of 1925 during the first period of Estonian national independence, as the potential basis for the National Cultural Autonomy (NCA) of the Estonian Russian community. The latter was in fact never established in Estonia – and the question would be, why not? Law & Economics analysis is used in order to find out more about this complex matter. First, we discuss the issue of whether the purpose of the LCANM has actually been to further (Russian or any) NCA in Estonia to begin with. Second, if it was, then the question remains whether it is a bad thing that this never worked, either from the perspective of the Estonian state or from that of the Estonian Russians.

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