Political socialization of immigrants: a case study of Estonia



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Tartu Ülikool


Learning and acquisition of political behavior are important processes as they affect the way individuals participate in political and civic life of a country. Political socialization is the process of learning and change in attitudes towards politics and political participation. Migration, being an important decision for individuals, changes their status and puts them in a different political environment where the individuals are expected to experience political socialization through learning and adapting to new political environment. Within the last decade Estonia started to attract high-skilled immigrants resulting in a positive net migration since 2015. This thesis tries to explore how a country which is becoming a newly immigrant destination creates a space for immigrants’ political socialization. Interviews with immigrants who have spent less than five years in Estonia revealed that they do not show resistance to change. Transfer of previous political socialization and increased levels of participation through exposure to the host country are observed in conventional and civic participation, whereas no particular effect of exposure on socialization in unconventional forms of participation was observed.