The European Minority Regime Seminar
Minorities have been part of European history and politics since the middle of the 16th Century. Early on religious minorities were seen as obstacles to state-building and later, national and language minorities came to be seen as a threat to nation-building. Minorities who left Europe for the New World experienced less pressure as distinct groups but were nevertheless met with lack of acceptance and respect. In the 20th Century, minorities in Europe became the object of major bellicose conflicts and were seen as an anomaly of international relations - at times as a “fifth column.” Domestically, traditional minorities had to fight their own way to be able to remain in their homelands while new arrivals were received with rejection and were expected to return home. At the same time, personal identity became a public domain item and minority groups emerged and formed on the basis of identity and difference. Whether “old Europe” or the New World, minorities have often been seen as a threat to peace and security and mostly as outsiders who do not fit in. In the early 21st Century of inter-connected societies, minorities are more than ever seen as a threat to social cohesion. The Seminar addresses all these and many other aspects of minority history and politics as well as social and cultural issues related to minority identity.
Aims and Objectives
The major aim of this Seminar is to provide students with in-depth knowledge and robust skills on the basis of which to develop an informed understanding of minority issues in the 21st Century. The approach of the Seminar is multi-disciplinary. Minority issues will be examined from the perspectives of political science and law, including international human rights law and international relations studies, political theory, political sociology and cultural studies. The Seminar will familiarize students with critical and post-structural methods of analysis through the reading and discussion of key texts.
The specific objectives of the Seminar are:
- to enable students to place the issues of minorities in the wider context of European history/politics and the practice of European governance,
- To enable students to understand, critically analyse, and evaluate contemporary debates about minorities,
- To enable students to understand the political and ethical implications of academic research in relation to minority issues.
The Seminar is divided in three parts. Each part deepens the student’s knowledge on the basis of the previous part. Students should have some basic background knowledge of European history. The Seminar is aimed at MA students.
The Seminar is relevant for students who wish to embark on a career in national or international government, international NGOs or social movements as well as for students who wish to continue in the academic disciplines of politics, law or sociology.
Part I: History, International Law and Relations:
- European international law and institutions
- Inter-state relations and European integration
*Detailed information and the list of readings for the first module are available here.
Part II: Concepts and Theories:
- Individuals and groups
- Conflict and unity
- Late-modernity society
*Detailed information and the list of readings for the second module are available here.
Part III: Politics and Policy:
- Conflict mitigation
- Democracy, participation and empowerment
- Diversity management
*Detailed information and the list of readings for the third module are available here.
The Seminar is taught once a week by the Course Director and Assistant Lecturers (see list below). Students will be expected to read assigned texts and make short presentations on assigned topics. Student discussions are an important part of each class.
It is expected that a number of public lectures given by prominent professors in the area of minority issues may be organized during the semester.
Term paper (10 pages, 1.5 line spacing, 12 pitch)
For any inquiries you might have related to the seminar, do not hesitate to contact here.
To download the whole syllabus of the course click here.
Currently Seminar is offered by ECMI for the students of European Studies Master Programme at University of Flensburg.
For the Winter Semester 2012-2013:
Time: 12:00-14:00 on Mondays
Room: HG 236