The present work analyses a Human Rights actors’ approach to assist Estonian social scientist on matter related to integration in Estonia. Human Rights actors’ interpretation of integration as it is expressed in actually ongoing discourse is explored within a perspective of maintaining democracy and current challenges in Estonia. Particular emphasis is put on socio-cultural conditions for democracy and how Human Rights actors relate to these issues.
The first part (chapter III and IV) is a conceptual and theoretical discussion focusing on the relationship between integration and democracy. The second part (chapter V) elaborate on the concept of nationalism, both from the perspective that emotional support at the national level has its positive and negative sides, and from the perspective that Human Rights actors have a difficult conceptual and ideological relationship to this term. The third part (chapter VI) describes the rough lines of the Estonian history. The fourth part (chapter VII) discusses methodological issues related to the transformation of discourse into social practice. The fifth part (chapter VIII and IX) focuses on the Human Rights actors work at the Tallinn seminar from different perspectives. The general principles throughout this analysis rest on Raymond Boudon’s theory of unintended consequences of social action.
The role of communication and solidarity is discussed departing from liberal theories on democracy and theories on reproduction of social systems. A concept of integration applicable to modern democratic societies is outlined. The underlying question is if Human Rights actors fit the role as educators or as missionaries, departing from Robert Dahl’s questioning of whom should appropriately decide who comprises the ‘people’ in democracies. To answer this question Human Rights actors understanding of integration and democracy have to be in accordance with social scientific assumptions. Thus their understanding will contextually be compared with the suggested conceptualisation of integration. In the last part Human Rights actors interpretations are discussed in the perspective of ideologies, which gives an opportunity to suggest a counter perspective that embraces the issues which Human Rights actors have great difficulties in grasping. Human Rights actors are trapped in a severe strain between normative justifications and the result of their work in social practice. It is this strain that give rise to the most severe challenges of potential unintended consequences of their well meant actions.