The collapse of the Soviet Union was undeniably one of the central historic events of the 20th century. The following establishment of states or re-establishment of their independence confronted research on nationalism with phenomena, which could not or only deficiently be described with existing theories. Consequently, numerous publications appeared which tried to examine the re-establishment of the nation state concept in eastern and north-eastern Europe. In this context, Estonia is a special case in several perspectives. Among others, Estonia already existed as an independent state during the interwar time period, it features high ethnic diversity and it seemed to manage the transformation from a centrally planned economy towards a neoliberal free market economy quickly and seemingly without major difficulties, which made it a role model with regard to European integration processes.This thesis examines on which narratives the construction of a national Estonian identity is based, which memories are (or have to be) suppressed and which counter-narratives exist. The main focus is on the nation-building process in Estonia and the establishment of a collective identity. Furthermore, the question is raised who can and does participate in this process and who, on the other hand, is excluded from it. In a further step, the influence of this nation-building process on the concrete treatment of the Russian-Estonian minority will be analysed as well as the importance of various interpretations of history. In this context, the thesis also discusses which self-perceptions the minority has established since the collapse of the USSR and how these are related to the perceptions of the Estonian majority. In a last step, the relation between the development of democracy and Estonian ethnic policy will be examined.