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  • Author: Raphaëlle Mathieu-Bédard
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Indigenous peoples and minorities throughout the world have endeavoured for centuries to rid themselves from colonialism and oppression, while governments struggle to recognize indigenous and minority rights and minorities’ rightful standing in society. Varied approaches have been adopted, with varying degrees of success – but much can be learned from past and current victories and mistakes. Both in Canada and in the United States, the federal governments have historically held exclusive and virtually unlimited authority over their indigenous populations. Yet, based on divergent interpretations of the ‘doctrine of discovery’, the two countries have long developed differing policies regarding the self-government of their indigenous[i] nations, inevitably influencing their respective indigenous self-determination movements and the emergence of indigenous, non-territorial institutions.
  • Topic: Minorities, International Development
  • Political Geography: America, Canada
  • Author: David Smith, Mariana Semenyshyn
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The paper argues firstly that, since there is no obvious separatist movement within Zakarpattya, the Ukrainian state should seek as far as possible to accommodate Hungarian identity claims within the region (and those of other smaller minority communities living within the state) as part of a normative and instrumental strategy of promoting ‘unity in diversity’. Secondly, it argues that Ukraine’s current concept of decentralization offers space to realise the non-territorial vision of cultural autonomy, provided that sufficient attention is also given to maintaining pre-existing territorially-based provisions with regard to minority language use and political representation for Hungarians at both regional and national level.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Ukraine
  • Author: Zora Popova, Inga Marken, Lavinia Bâdulescu
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The current paper, developed in connection to an ECMI project implemented in Azerbaijan in 2014, explores the transferability of successful reconciliation and intercultural cohesion mechanisms from one region or a country to another. Analysing the positive example of Schleswig-Holstein and the conflict region of Nagorno-Karabakh, the paper aims at overcoming the specific context related issues and to look at the structural factors that need to be considered if a model is to be adapted to a historically, geographically, and culturally different case.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Raphaëlle Mathieu-Bédard
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The concept of ‘institutional completeness’, which refers to the organizational influence of a minority group and the degree to which it can provide its members with all necessary services, has recently enjoyed renewed interest in Canada. ‘Institutional completeness’ could represent an interesting avenue of ‘non-territorial autonomy’ for European minorities, one that might curtail some of the issues associated to current arrangements delegating power and autonomy to minorities, which often remain more ornamental than substantial. This paper exposes the recent jurisprudential developments in Canada pertaining to the modernization and revival of the concept of ‘institutional completeness’, most notable in the sphere of education for Francophone minority groups living outside of the province of Quebec, and encourages an in-depth exploration of the concept and of its potential not only for the autonomy of minorities, but also as a means of compensation for past harms and injustices.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Political and institutional effectiveness
  • Political Geography: Canada
  • Author: Madoka Hammine
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The aim of this working paper is to compare the language policies of Finland and Sweden, especially in the field of education for the Sami population. The analysis is carried out on a macro level; firstly it investigates and examines how Finland and Sweden have intro-duced legislation to protect Sami languages, followed by a discussion of the current situa-tions in the field of education, according to each stage of education. A comparison of the two nations highlights their different outcomes due to the different policies of their governments.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Finland, Sweden
  • Author: Vadim Poleshchuk
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Russian-speaking population of Estonia experienced serious problems on the labour market and in education in the years following the post-Soviet transition. The perception of inequality is typical among minority groups. Nowadays there are no significant disparities in terms of health conditions or access to the health care system for majority and minority groups; however, there are accumulated negative factors for the minority population, especially when we look closer at socially marginalised groups. In addition to their generally weaker socio-economic status, many Russophones face the problem of social exclusion, proven by higher rates of extreme poverty, incarceration, and homelessness, trafficking victimisation, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. All these factors may have an adverse effect on the enjoyment by ethnic minorities of the right to health. Considering the demographic make-up of Estonia, a reduced use of the Russian language in the provision of health services has emerged as a new challenge to the national health care system.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Estonia
  • Author: Caitlin Boulter
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This paper examines the prevalence of Roma voices in Swedish and German newspaper articles. It explores the importance of discursive self-representation for minority and marginalised groups, and evaluates the degree to which a voice is afforded to the Roma in three of the largest newspapers in each country, across a varied political spectrum. Sweden and Germany are leaders in minority protection and both profess to be seeking solutions to the widespread discrimination against Roma within their own countries and across Europe, and therefore provide interesting comparative case studies, both due to their historical relationship with Roma communities and in light of contemporary events. This paper uses quantitative analysis to determine the percentage of newspaper articles about Roma that include a Roma voice, and the findings are analysed using theories regarding European identity-building, Orientalism, and media discourse.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Germany, Sweden
  • Author: Viktoria Martovskaya
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The author of this publication argues that negative societal trends - namely, raising the levels of inter-ethnic tensions, intolerance to diversity and hostility to the ‘others’ – can be predicted through the analysis of political rhetoric. The method of reconstruction of society through the analysis of rhetoric can serve as an early-warning system detecting the approach of an ethnic crisis.
  • Topic: Political Theory
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Ashley W. Hooper
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: In February 2014, violent protests erupted in Tuzla and quickly spread to multiple other Bosnian cities, including Mostar and Sarajevo. Initially, the protests were labeled as the “Bosnian Spring,” a term used to describe a state that is undergoing revolutionary change; however, this term was used prematurely in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina and by April the protest movement had completely lost momentum. The cause for dissatisfaction among citizens was driven by nearly a decade of political stagnation. The lack of political progression can largely be attributed to the legacy of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which brought an end to the ethnically driven atrocities. However, the agreement also formed a uniquely complicated governmental structure based on ethnicity—providing a political framework in which elites are able to evade accountability. Political competition has been greatly decreased by the continued presence of wartime-ethno parties, which dominate the political discourse—perpetuating fear and mistrust among the electorate. I argue that there is a crisis of democratization halting the political progression and European integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina caused by a lack of both political accountability and competition.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Elections, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrea Peinhopf
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: In this paper I explore the situation of ethnic minority women in Georgia, focusing on gender -based violence, economic empowerment and political participation. Importantly these are not distinct topics, but interrelated phenomena: domestic decision-making structures and violence are the main obstacles to increased female participation in the political and economic spheres. Conversely, women's second-rate role here has diminished their ability to become financially independent and publicly recognized, which could strengthen their domestic position. Over the past years the Georgian government has introduced several legal measures directed at alleviating some of the problems Georgian women encounter and strengthening their position in society, including the National Action Plan on Gender Equality (2011-2013), the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (2012-2015), as well as action plans on domestic violence (2011-2012), and trafficking in human beings (2011-2012). However, according to the UN Gender Thematic Group, consisting of domestic and international organizations with a gender focus, implementation of the national action plans has been uneven, with the National Action Plan on Gender Equality significantly lagging behind.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Zora Popova
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Dispersed all over the territory of the continent, Roma constitute the largest ethnic minority in Europe, which according to the estimates consists of 10-12 million people. Present in almost every country in Europe and sharing some similar cultural features, Roma are often referred to as 'transnational'. The heterogeneity of the group even within the different national states and the lack of structural ties among the communities at national and international levels, challenges the appropriateness of any generalization of issues and large scale approaches to addressing them. At the same time, Roma communities all over Europe share low social status and identical challenges to their integration in mainstream societies, which constitutes them as a transnational marginalised group.
  • Topic: Globalization, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation, Governance, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania
  • Author: Aidan McGarry, Annabel Tremlett
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: European institutions are now developing two new initiatives that are significant in their scope and outlook. First, a common 'EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies' is underway for 2020, aimed at creating a set of common policy aims and outcomes for all member states. This Framework is attempting to place the responsibility for Roma integration in the hands of member state governments, who have been hitherto unwilling or unable to address the socio-economic and political disadvantage of Roma. Second, the Council of Europe and the EU (in a joint action) have established a new; 'European Academic Network on Romani Studies' (2011-2013), recognizing the importance of quality research in understanding the complexities of such historically disadvantaged and heterogeneous communities. These initiatives provide the opportunity to draw on our experiences as researchers in this field and highlight the gaps in our knowledge along with methodological and theoretical caveats and challenges that still need to be addressed.
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, Socialism/Marxism, Governance, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Monica Andriescu, Sergiu Gherghina
  • Publication Date: 02-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The processes of nation and state formation have been challenged in specific ways by the transitions in post-Communist Europe. The number of ethnic minorities, their territorial concentration and strength generated situations in which either state division was imminent (e.g. former Yugoslavia) or secession threats were latent. Many political actors transformed these situations into (personal or own group) advantages. Among the new democracies in which ethnicity could be considered a relevant societal division, Romania is an appealing case due to its developments over time. The violent clashes between the majority population and the Hungarian minority in 1990, in the aftermath of regime change, appeared to set the pace of the inter-ethnic relations after the regime change. In this context, the politicization of ethnicity to spawn national and ethnic solidarity in Romania was the logical consequence. How did this process influence the evolution of inter-ethnic relations in post-communist Romania?
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance, Law, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania
  • Author: Zora Popova
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Council of Europe Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE) was adopted in 2010 and signed by 47 member states. The endorsement of the Charter was recognized as a major achievement of almost 10 years of developing ideas and strategies, public and political debates, intensified discussions among institutions and stakeholders, international consultations, policy provisions and decision implementation.
  • Topic: Education, Human Rights, Law, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Adrian Schaefer-Rolffs, Kai-Uwe Schnapp
  • Publication Date: 05-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Democracy can, according to Robert Dahl, be understood as a political system in which those affected by a decision have a proper chance to take part in making this decision. Although it is accepted by political theorists as well as many men and women on the street, this norm is not easily implemented in all situations. One situation in which implementation might not be as straightforward is the proper political participation of any kind of minority, be it national, ethnic, religious, cultural or otherwise. This question of minority political participation has grown in importance in Europe over the last decades. This is the case, because European nations are beset by a total of more than 300 national and ethnic minority groups with over 100 million members. Awareness and appreciation of this fact has massively increased recently in terms of politics as well as with regard to discussion in the social sciences. While there are at least some explicit perceptions of the institutional quality of participatory rights and facilities across Europe, there is almost no empirical account of the role and the perception of political rights and/or institutions that foster minority political participation.
  • Topic: Governance, Law, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Denmark
  • Author: Zora Popova
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Voting is a fundamental democratic right that empowers people to exercise their civil control over the politics and politicians, over the different branches of power, over the development paths of their countries. Democratic electoral systems in Europe vary greatly. But the electoral systems alone, although contributing to the specific architectures of the national democracies, are not the only factors that determine the quality of the democracy in place. Focused on legislation, rules and procedures, policy analysts sometimes tend to look at voters as "beneficiaries" and not as the active subjects who in fact have the power to change the status quo or to contribute to deformities of the political system in place, by not exercising their political and civil rights.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Governance, Law, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sabrina Colombo, Federica Prina, Alkistis Zavakou, Fulvia Ghirardi
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: References to 'intercultural dialogue' are not uncommon in international documents. In particular, Article 6(1) of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (hereinafter FCNM) reads: The Parties shall encourage a spirit of tolerance and intercultural dialogue and take effective measures to promote mutual respect and understanding and co - operation among all persons living on their territory, irrespective of those persons' ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, in particular in the fields of education, culture and the media.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Mass Media, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Liefke Dolmans, Elisabeth Kühn
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: One of the founding principles of the European Union is the recognition that every individual is of equal value. On top of this, the 2000 Race Directive reaffirms the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin. Discrimination and inequality are nevertheless still major problems for vulnerable ethnic and national minorities in Europe, as the results of the most recent EU MIDI-survey describes. Bearing in mind the principle of equality, it is not surprising that two new equality concepts arrived at the Council of Europe and EU level in the last years: 'The new commitment to equality and non-discrimination' and 'full and effective equality.' In a communication Note from July 2008, the European Commission expressed its desire for this 'renewed commitment to non-discrimination and equal opportunity,' which proposes a shift from formal equality to a more substantive equality approach. In this paper, we will consider whether this statement is an exemplary expression of an assumed development in the EU, namely that of broadening and strengthening equality and non-discrimination legislation and, furthermore, whether a possible development from formal to substantive equality is also effectively taking place. We analysed whether this trend is only visible in the European Commission or also present within other players in the non-discrimination and equality field. We then sought to understand whether this trend is visible in theory as well as practice. This paper furthermore analyzes whether this trend enlarges the protection scope against discrimination for national minorities, or if this equality manifestation truly supports national minorities to be recognized as equals with the majority.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Governance, Law, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Eben Friedman
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The European Union's (EU) strategy for recovery from the economic crisis that began at the end of the first decade of the 2000s is organized around three priorities: smart growth, sustainable growth, and inclusive growth (European Commission 2010: 9). While the three types of growth are presented as mutually reinforcing, explicit attention to minorities in general and to Roma in particular comes only under the heading of inclusive growth, defined as "empowering people through high levels of employment, investing in skills, fighting poverty and modernising labour markets, training and social protection systems so as to help people anticipate and manage change, and build a cohesive society" (European Commission 2010: 17). As part of the "European Platform against Poverty" planned in the area of inclusive growth, the European Commission (EC) calls on Member States "[t]o define and implement measures addressing the specific circumstances of groups at particular risk (such as one-parentamilies, elderly women, minorities, Roma, people with a disability and the homeless" as a means of "rais[ing] awareness and recognis[ing] the fundamental rights of people experiencing poverty and social exclusion, enabling them to live in dignity and take an active part in society" (European Commission 2010: 19).
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Human Rights, Governance, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Tobias Akerlund
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: In recent years Georgia has seen positive developments on the policy level as well as on the ground concerning media. The Law on Broadcasting already obliged the Georgian Public Broadcaster to highlight the concerns and issues of relevance to minorities, in addition to airing programs in minority languages. To improve the situation for minorities in Georgia, The National Concept for Tolerance and Civil Integration was adopted in 2009 and contains provisions to remedy deficiencies with regard to media. Despite these positive developments, however, access to information remains an impediment to integration into wider society as Georgia‟s minority communities are largely distanced from mainstream media due to a lack of quality information in the languages they understand.
  • Topic: Non-Governmental Organization, Mass Media, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Georgia