Minority Rights in Independent Estonia and Latvia: language policy obstacles and the right to effective political participation for Russian-speaking minorities
The right to equal political participation, such as the right to vote and be elected, is embedded in modern international human rights mechanisms for its important role in the promotion of democratic governance, rule of law and social inclusion. However, specifically minority opportunities in political and public participation at the domestic level are often blocked or ineffective. Despite minority rights grasping more academic attention over the recent decades, the topic of minority participation in decision-making and governance has been largely under-researched. This research project focuses on the special case of Russian-speaking minority’s access to effective political or public participation in Estonia and Latvia, because despite the high number of Russian-speakers living in the two countries, there has been significant under-representation of the Russophone minority in the government bodies. This study dresses the gap in knowledge of minority access and minority rights to participation in decision-making processes and will contribute to the existing academic debate.