Workshop Schedule Continued with Minority Rights and Social Movements Workshop in May
Diversity governance in contemporary societies is presently called on to look beyond state actors and their institutions and explore the role of a variety of structures, types of processes and agencies. The growth of civic structures and movements, the trends in devolution of power and decision-making as well as non-governmental agencies increasingly influence governmental power and practices. One of the more neglected dimensions in the study of minority protection, and human rights more broadly, relates to the contribution of social movements in bringing about legal and social change to minority protection norms and mechanisms.
To respond to this gap, ECMI hosted an expert online workshop on 20-21 May 2021, convened by the Cluster on Culture and Diversity discussing the connections, actors and legal approaches connecting minority rights standards and local activism based on ethno-cultural identity claims. The core thematic focus of this interdisciplinary event was to address, compare and explain how local/national actors use international minority rights norms to pursue their agendas. With the help of rich disciplinary accounts ranging from anthropology, sociology, law, political science and gender studies, workshop participants showcased a variety of perspectives on how social mobilization happens in relation to minority rights across the globe as well as its ambivalence in terms of its impact.
The workshop was organized in two parts: the first part focused on Global North perspectives on minority rights within social movements. Theoretical contributions as well as case-studies focusing on Europe gave insights on the mobilization of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities. The second day of the workshop extended the geographical scope of reflection to Latin America, Central and Southern Asia and Africa in order to reveal the global relevance of minority identity claims through social movements and mobilization in the Global South. The presentations yielded valuable conceptual and comparative exchanges among participants. The full programme of the event can be found here.
The event is part of the Culture and Diversity’s Cluster priority research areas on the ways that minority identity is affected today by globalization and on how individuals and groups use the existing minority rights norms to defend, promote or pursue their often complex and multi-layered minority identities. For more information on the research activities of the Cluster see here.