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  • Author: Sergiusz Bober, Aziz Berdiqulov
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This Research Paper focuses on practices concerning recognition and non-recognition of minority communities in six European and Central Asian countries (Denmark, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Poland, and Tajikistan). Additionally, it also assesses the risk of misrecognition with regard to some of the minority communities resulting from these practices. The text is structured as a dual comparative analysis, first scrutinizing approaches to recognition within two macro-regions, and afterwards confronting them in order to identify similarities and discrepancies. This results in the identification of two “cultures” of recognition: a “strong” one in Europe and a “weak” one in Central Asia, with their characteristics originating mainly from differences concerning social, political, and legal contexts. At the same time, some features are shared by both macro-regions: hierarchization of minority communities, general limited access to minority rights, and sometimes a severe risk of misrecognition. Moreover, the paper argues in favour of formal mechanisms of recognition, a wider scope of application of minority rights (especially in Europe), as well as the strengthening of minority rights frameworks in Central Asia.
  • Topic: Culture, Minorities, Ethnicity, Community
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Asia
  • Author: Nina Henke
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: In less than 20 years after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine has faced several events, which have shaped the process of nation-building. The Euromaidan, the annexation of Crimea and the armed conflict with Russia have intensified the ‘us–them’ line of self-identification of the “Ukrainians” versus the “Others”. Ongoing “Ukrainisation” is spreading insecurity among minority groups and endangers possibilities to establish a cohesive Ukrainian society with a shared sense of belonging. In the context of a multicultural Ukrainian space and the international commitments of the State to protect and promote rights of its national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, adopting an ethnocentric approach to the nation-building of the country is a conflict-prone factor. By examining and discussing identities in the perspective of the ongoing nation-building process in Ukraine, this research paper aims to identify the potential of the State and individuals to find mechanisms and grounds for reconciliation and integration. This is approached through a series of in-depth interviews and a complex analysis of current political guidelines on education, language and decommunisation.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Nationalism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Conflict, State Building, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine
  • Author: Ljubica Djordjevic
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The paper analyses the texts of the constitutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia as a basis for exploring how these states deal with the (ethnic) diversity and balance between civic and ethnic concepts of nation. The four countries offer an interesting spectrum of different approaches, caused by different social contexts: the main feature of the approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the category of “constituent peoples”; Montenegro has opted for a civic concept; North Macedonia tries to balance between multiculturalism and a binational state; and Serbia juggles the concept of the nation-state combined with comprehensive protection for national minorities. The analysis shows that the constitutions struggle to various degrees with the balance between the civic (political) concept of a (supra-ethnic) nation and the ethnic (cultural) concept of nation(s), and, in essence, fail to contribute to interethnic interaction and wider social cohesion. Although it is clear that the recognition of specific group identities and accommodation of (minority) rights is essential for pursuing peace, stability, diversity and genuine equality in each of the four analysed countries, it is also evident that imbalance favouring the ethnic concept of nation and failure to establish stronger institutional links of common citizenship, inevitably leads to parallel (one could even argue “segregated”) societies where different groups simply live next to each other but do not genuinely interact, which is detrimental to social cohesion and social stability and prosperity in the long run.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Community, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Craig Willis
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Research on Gaelic language in Scotland has increased substantially in recent decades, as has Scottish regional development programmes following devolution. However, the overlapping of these two aspects remains limited, particularly in the context of regional development data available on regions where Scottish Gaelic speakers mostly reside. This Research Paper uses the OECD Regional Wellbeing index as a framework to measure regional development in Scotland at the level of council area, comparing this with its percentage of Gaelic speakers. Equivalent data for eight of the eleven OECD topics is analysed and the focus is placed on the three council areas with significant Gaelic speaking populations – Argyll and Bute, Na h-Eileanan Siar and Highland. The results show that these three regions consistently perform average or good across the eight topics measured, in comparison to the national average in Scotland. This demonstrates that Gaelic language is not a hindrance to development and the three regions perform comparably to other remote council areas such as the Orkney and Shetland Islands.
  • Topic: Development, Minorities, Language, Regionalism, Identity
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Europe, Scotland
  • Author: Craig Willis
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This Research Paper focuses on economic effects experienced by Roma communities in seven non-EU states during the COVID-19 pandemic and states’ consequent lockdown measures in the first half of 2020. Roma communities in Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine, were all facing socio-economic exclusion and marginalisation before the pandemic and international organisations were warning very early on that Roma communities were at serious risk during the pandemic, including in the fields of employment or loss of income. This research paper uses primary data collected from a survey of 440 Roma individuals across the seven states in order to add empirical evidence to an under-researched area. The main findings include that almost 73% of them experienced a reduced income and the major reason for this was due to access to or demand for informal work was hindered by the lockdowns. Moreover, most Roma who needed to borrow money did so through private means (family and friends) rather than through official or state institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Minorities, Ethnicity, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia
  • Author: Akofa Boglo
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Since the World Health Organisation characterised Covid-19 as a pandemic in early 2020 (WHO, 2020), the spread of the virus and efforts to control it have necessitated an ongoing restructuring of interactions between individuals, communities and entire societies. The pandemic has been an inconvenience for some and a disaster for others. Minority communities in particular have increasingly been shown to be disproportionately affected by the direct and indirect impact of the virus, which has highlighted and exacerbated existing inequalities. This paper aims to add to efforts to understand the impact of this multi-faceted crisis on societies and in particular minority communities through an assessment of the space between government and minority community responses in the Republic of Ireland. By considering how Traveller organisations have worked to protect the Traveller community, and the extent to which this effort was met and supported by the Government of Ireland’s ‘governance response’ during the first ‘wave’ of the pandemic, this case study aims to contribute to understandings of minority agency and inclusion in liberal democratic societies both during and outside of times of crisis, and hopes to show that moments of upheaval are not by necessity points of deterioration for minorities, but can carry the potential for more inclusive practices, processes and societies moving forward.
  • Topic: Minorities, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Identity, Travel
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ireland
  • Author: Ljubica Djordjevic
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to depict some basic considerations regarding the protection of national minorities in light of the creation of larger municipal units through amalgamation reforms. The paper provides an outline of the European standards for the change of municipal borders, both the general ones stipulated in the European Charter of Local Self-Government and the specific ones prescribed in the two European conventions striking for the protection of national minorities. The topic is further elaborated through the presentation of examples of four countries that performed some sort of ‘minority mainstreaming’ in the territorial reform. Albania, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands have been identified as interesting case-studies for two reasons. First, in all four cases, the question of the effects of municipal amalgamation on the protection of national minorities has been raised and addressed during the monitoring on the implementation of the two European ‘minority conventions’. Second, the four examples offer a variety of approaches towards (more or less successful) accommodation of the amalgamation reform for the sake of the protection of national minorities.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Governance, Minorities, Reform, Local, Identity, Protected People, Territory
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sergiusz Bober
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The aim of the present Working Paper is to draw attention to the political activity of three national minorities (German in Denmark, Danish in Germany and German in Poland) concerning regional development. The analysis is focused upon electoral manifestos/political programmes produced by three political actors - that is the Schleswig Party (representing German minority in Denmark), the South Schleswig Voters´ Association (representing Danish and Frisian minorities in Germany) and the German Minority Electoral Committee (representing German minority in Poland’s Opole Voivodeship) - in connection with the recent regional and local elections held in the areas inhabited by the aforementioned minority groups. The conducted research leads to the following main conclusions: (1) regional development features prominently in the analysed documents; (2) each political actor offers nuanced conceptualizations of regional development; (3) influences of sustainable approaches to development are noticeable, as well as perceptions of development not limited to a narrowly defined economic output; (4) all actors are pragmatic when it comes to the potential political alliances necessary for the achievement of their regional development goals.
  • Topic: Development, Politics, Minorities, Elections, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Poland, Germany, Denmark
  • Author: Craig Willis
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This Working Paper is a mapping exercise of the minority communities in the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, with regard to the regional development within the countries. Using census data combined with a series of regional development indicators from Eurostat and OECD Regional Well-Being, an overview of each of the countries’ regions at the NUTS Level 3 is provided, as well as a comparison across all three. This research finds, through a series of bivariate regression analyses, that within and across all three countries, there is no statistical linear relationship between the percentage of minority population in a region and multiple indicators of regional development – including GDP. Rather, the main dividing line is between capital city regions and the rest of the country/s. Yet, in peripheral regions, the regional development indicators show that regions with a large minority population are not necessarily any worse off than other peripheral regions which have a low minority population – particularly the case in Lithuania. This offers some evidence that a large minority population is not a hindrance to a region’s development. Nonetheless, the research provides an overview of the challenges in which many regions home to a large percentage of minorities possess, particularly in the areas with a high ethnically Russian population percentage. Thus, this Working Paper concludes by identifying patterns and outliers of regions in order for intensified and comparative further case study research at the micro level.
  • Topic: Development, Nationalism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Baltic States
  • Author: Kyriaki Topidi
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Europe is experiencing at present intense dilemmas in regulating hate speech and online harassment. Free speech exercise can be offensive and even contribute to a climate of prejudice and discrimination against minorities. Often, the media exacerbate the tendency by reporting negatively about minorities. The first working paper on this topic engages with the normative dimensions of the balance between the need to control and limit incitement to violence in reconciliation with the fundamental right to freedom of expression. Three distinct aspects of hate speech are covered: the first relates to the role of freedom of expression as a tool of inclusiveness. With the limits of liberal tolerance being unclear, just like the definition of hate speech itself, legal actors and systems are torn between criminalising the speaker’s motive alone or in conjunction with the effects of the speech. A survey of recent related European Court of Human Rights case-law demonstrates these ambiguities. The second aspect covered looks at the challenges of the regulation of the freedom of expression in the digital age, with emphasis of the online dimensions of the phenomenon from a legal perspective. The final aspect of the paper proposes an actor-based analysis of hate speech, as it emerges from the current regulatory frameworks applied. This section deals not only with the role of the State but also with that of equality bodies, political parties and private businesses in providing more efficient networks of protection of minorities from such violent expressions of hatred.
  • Topic: Minorities, Discrimination, Hate Speech, Institutionalism, Normalization
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kyriaki Topidi
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Faced with a piecemeal approach to hate speech in Europe, leading to the reduced visibility of the phenomenon with often serious consequences, a variety of regional and international organisations have contributed legal documents and interpretative recommendations that attempt to guide states in their practice of combating hate speech. The present paper, following up on a previous one, will engage first with the international legal and regulatory framework of hate speech, placing emphasis on the European elements of the system in place. At a second stage, the paper will briefly survey twenty European national systems exposing the variety of regulatory patterns on the issue. Finally, the study will conclude with a list of common observations pertaining to the regulation of hate speech in the European continent, as they have emerged from the comparative analysis of the case-studies.
  • Topic: Governance, Minorities, Regulation, Discrimination, Hate Speech, Institutionalism
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Federica Prina, Aziz Berdiqulov
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The concepts of ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ are challenging terms to define in a clear and precise manner, especially in the unique environments of post-Soviet space. Linking the definitional complexities of ‘majority’ to the post-Soviet and postcolonial condition, this paper examines the majority-minority dynamics through the lenses of the fluidity of groups, the interaction of communities and the power differentials between communities. In doing so, the paper analyses cases from two post-Soviet countries. First, the case of Russia illustrates contentious identification of majority and minority communities, where an alternative vocabulary for definition of ‘minority’ and ‘majority’ emerged along with alternative understanding of related concepts. Second, the case of Tajikistan looks at the interplay of majority-minority concepts and discusses how the Russian community as a former ‘political majority’ adjusts to its new status of non-dominant group, while the Tajik community becomes the single subject of the nation-building policies.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Minorities, Ethnicity, Identity, Post-Soviet Space
  • Political Geography: Europe, Post-Soviet Europe
  • Author: Ljubica Djordjevic
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The paper examines local mechanisms for interethnic dialogue which have been established in Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia, with the main question concerning why they have remained ineffective for such a long period of time. The focus lies on local councils (Serbia), commissions (Macedonia), and committees (Kosovo) established in the respective laws on local self -governance, as specific institutional mechanisms for both participation of national minorities in municipal affairs and dialogue among communities residing in a municipality. In all three countries these bodies have been institutionally set as consultative bodies attached to a municipal assembly which deals with the issues relevant for national equality (Serbia), relations between communities (Macedonia) or respect for rights and interests of the communities (Kosovo). The main purpose of their activity is to address recommendations and opinions , primarily to the municipal assembly. They should serve as a channel for smaller communities to express their needs and interests, and as a forum for interethnic dialogue in a municipality. Yet, although legally established almost 15 years ago in Serbia and Macedonia (2002) and 10 years ago in Kosovo (2008), these bodies still remain more of a form than a content. Legal vagueness, lack of municipal support, inactivity, poor transparency and democratic legitimacy are just some of the weak points which cause their po or performance.
  • Topic: Governance, Minorities, Ethnicity, Local, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Balkans
  • Author: Andreea Carstocea
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: When it comes to education policy-making for Roma children, both research and policy-making focus mostly on issues related to segregation, access to education, poverty, and social exclusion. One item that has so far been mostly absent is a focus on the school and classroom environment, namely the prejudiced, hostile, and discriminatory attitudes and actions either of teachers or of classmates towards Roma pupils. In response to this gap, this Working Paper will focus on bullying and microaggressions against Roma pupils in schools, acknowledging it as a significant factor shaping these children’s experience at school. After reviewing the relevant academic debates on bullying and microaggressions, the Working Paper will attempt to summarise the existing evidence of bullying of Roma children in schools across Europe. Finally, following an overview of the existing recommendations by European organisations, as well as of national level policy responses to this issue, the Working Paper will conclude that there is a pressing need for comprehensive data collection, academic research, and policy-making concerning bullying and microaggressions against Roma pupils in schools.
  • Topic: Education, Minorities, Children, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Academia, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nevena Radosavlijevic
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The armed conflict in Kosovo was finished in 1999. Even though almost 20 years have passed, the process of reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians, who were the main actors of the war, is still under question. Even though most of the efforts towards reconciliation in Kosovo are attempted from the top-down level of governance, there are significant bottom-up activities as well. The aim of my research is to explore the influence of dialogue projects as a bottom-up tool to achieve the reconciliation in Kosovo. In order to explain this influence of dialogue projects, I am using the case of Youth Peace Camp (YPC) which can be seen as a dialogue project, organized by the Council of Europe. Through the empirical research about the Youth Peace Camp, my research seeks to find elements of reconciliation recognized by a theoretical framework. According to this framework, reconciliation can be seen as space where two sides of the conflict are meeting in order to work on (re)building relationships; where they speak of the past and share their sufferings and experiences, work on acceptance of each other without feelings of hatred, change perceptions by getting to know the “other” and work on a common, interdependent future. Based on survey and questionnaires with previous participants of the YPC, as well as on the participant observation and interviews with participants at the YPC 2018, I found correlations between the YPC impact and reconciliation. The results of this study are emphasizing the positive impact of the dialogue projects such as YPC on the reconciliation process in Kosovo. The biggest influence of the YPC is made on the theoretical components such as relationship building, experience sharing, mutual acceptance and the changing of perceptions. The aspects of acknowledgment and future planning are also tackled and recognized in my empirical research, but not in the same range as the other components. The overall impact of the Youth Peace Camp on the reconciliation process in Kosovo can be seen as a positive one. Since there is no negative influence, the main recommendation of this research is to implement and organize these kinds of projects as much as possible in order to foster the reconciliation process. Besides the practical implementation, more academic research is needed.
  • Topic: Governance, Minorities, Youth, Peace, Reconciliation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania
  • Author: Andreea Carstocea
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Policies instituted with a view to improving the situation of the Roma in Romania and Bulgaria in recent years have resulted in very limited positive outcomes, as evaluated by international organisations and independent NGOs. Based on a broad outline of these policies, this Working Paper will argue that recognising the impact that anti-gypsyism has on the lives of the Roma, as well as strongly prioritising actions to combat it, represent fundamental conditions for improving the situation of this community.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Discrimination, NGOs, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe, Bulgaria, Romania
  • Author: Guido Panzano
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Located in the northeastern part of Italy, the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen, also known with the historical name of South Tyrol, is one of the two provinces of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol region. It is a border region and a deeply divided place, with a majority of German-speaking population (62.3%) and minorities of Italians (23.4%), Ladins (4.1%) and past and recent migrants (10.2%). On the 21st October 2018 almost 400,000 South Tyrolean citizens (69.1% Germans, 26.4% Italians, and 4.5% Ladins) casted their vote to elect the Provincial Council. This Working Paper therefore aims to analyse the party competition in this electoral campaign, underling specificities and evolutions of such a peculiar political system.
  • Topic: Minorities, Elections, Local, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Dimitrios (Jim) Molos
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: With the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), the Council of Europe recognized that national minority protection was essential for European “stability, democratic security, and peace”. Yet, because the FCNM is nonjusticiable, and because its monitoring mechanism is voluntary and highly discretionary, many legal commentators’ initial predictions were ambivalent or pessimistic. Two decades and several monitoring cycles after the FCNM entered into force, there is sufficient data to begin assessing the accuracy of the initial predictions. This working paper answers a narrow question: to what extent have the FCNM’s monitoring procedure and the Advisory Committee’s recommendations been effective in facilitating Croatia’s implementation of its legal obligation under the FCNM? In brief, the Croatian implementation record reveals mixed results. Whereas Croatian authorities have made significant progress toward full and effective constitutional, legislative and institutional implementation of their FCNM obligations, this success has been marred by resistance and disobedience at the level of local application. An analysis of Croatia’s progress demonstrates that its national minority protection measures are not properly characterized as legislative lip-service, and that even though Croatia has much work to do to fully implement the FCNM, including on several issues of pressing concern, its real progress should be neither underestimated nor devalued. Ultimately, there are good reasons to be optimistic about the FCNM’s monitoring procedure’s ability to encourage States Parties to enhance their national minority protection, particularly at the legislative and institutional levels.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Discrimination, Legislation, Identity, Protected People
  • Political Geography: Europe, Croatia
  • Author: Sergiusz Bober
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Numerous national minorities residing in Europe produce their own printed or on-line media. In most of the cases, the content such minority media offers, includes also information regarding developments (political, economic, social) taking place in kin states. This Working Paper, through the analysis of content published in Flensborg Avis (the newspaper of the Danish minority residing in the bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein), aims to examine how such information is presented. In other words, does minority media rather passively convey content concerning aforementioned developments or actively participate in debates taking place in their kin state? Another related question is also addressed: does minority media feel obliged to follow the political line currently dominant in a kin state? The conducted analysis shows that Flensborg Avis is an example of a minority media actively engaged in debates concerning issues important for Denmark and presenting views not infrequently on a collision course with narratives dominating there.
  • Topic: Nationalism, Minorities, Media, Ethnicity, Identity, Information Technology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Timothy Jacob-Owens
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This paper examines bilingual education as a means of improving educational attainment among Romani children. The paper begins by discussing how bilingual education fits with the international legal framework concerning language education for persons belonging to minority groups. Drawing on current thinking regarding language acquisition, the paper then sets out some key theoretical linguistic constraints to be taken into consideration in the context of education policy design, focusing primarily on the age of onset of acquisition (AOA). Two possible bilingual education models, Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) and Developmental Bilingual Education (DBE), are then presented and compared. There follows a brief discussion of current trends in language education policy for Romani children, focusing on the EU framework for National Roma Integration Strategies and its implementation in member states. Finally, a case study of the Amare Rromentza bilingual kindergarten pilot scheme in Romania is considered in light of the theoretical background. The paper concludes that bilingual education for Romani children can have very positive results in practice and merits more serious consideration among policymakers.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Language, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alan B. Anderson
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Based on earlier work (Anderson, 1989,1990) which was partially included in a presentation, “Defining Ethnic Minorities and Minority Rights in Europe: Implications of the ‘New Migration’” , at ECMI on May 4, 2017, this working paper describes and exemplifies four theoretical typologies, respectively on types of ‘indigenous’ (i.e. non-immigrant) minority situations; ‘immigrant’ minorities; alternative state policies; and minority responses to state policies.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Civil Rights, Identity, Protected People
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Utkur Yakhsiboev
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This working paper is a comparative analysis of Muslim communities in the UK and Russia. Radicalization as a process and the factors for radicalization among Muslim communities in both countries are analyzed to detect the similarities and differences. Both states’ engagement in hard-line policies to tackle Islamic terrorism increases the use of undemocratic measures enhanced by the legal system of each state. Those measures are counter-productive; the social movement theory and the rational choice theory are used to emphasize that the radicalization leading to violence is a political movement intertwined with Islam.
  • Topic: Religion, Minorities, Radicalization, Discrimination, Violence
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Europe
  • Author: Maria Diego Gordon
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Georgia is home for almost 490,000 members of different ethnic minority groups, people that are mostly inhabiting the Kvemo Kartli and Samkhtse-Javakheti regions. Since the beginning of the 1990’s claims have been made by local activists and some NGOs regarding the renaming of their villages in these areas. It has long been discussed the pivotal role played by place-names in the formation of the collective memory of a country. Hence, even though these names are perceived as an unquestionable part of everyday landscape, they are a really valuable reflection of the different political tendencies that the governments and regimes are following, for example, regarding ethnic and national minorities. Firstly, the aim of this working paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the changes that the topographical landscape in the minority inhabited areas in Georgia have experienced since 1921. Secondly, to explain and contextualize the reasons behind the very different regimes and governments to execute these changes.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Civil Rights, Identity, Territory
  • Political Geography: Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Ljubica Djordjevic, Tove H. Malloy
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: This paper deals with the issues considered to be of most relevance when drafting domestic legislation on national minority rights. This covers both technical/procedural issues and substantive issues. Among the technical/procedural issues it is important to: make clear the structure of the legal framework (should one comprehensive law on national minority rights be adopted or not) and the hierarchical relations within the legal framework, to ensure inclusive enacting procedure, and to bear in mind the processes/dynamics after the adoption of the law. Substantive issues refer to some of the central, conceptual questions (such as definitions, the self-identification principle, the character of national minority rights and similar), but also to the very core of regulations set out in the law. In the case of the latter, the paper focuses on the principle of equality, language rights of national minorities, and minority participation in public affairs.
  • Topic: Minorities, Ethnicity, Civil Rights, Domestic Policy, Identity
  • Political Geography: Europe