Minorities and Multiculturalism

The ECMI was actively engaged with students of the Europa-Universität Flensburg in 2011-2019 through the MA level course on minority rights regime. Since the winter semester 2020/21, the ECMI will offer the course Minorities and Multiculturalism coordinated by the Director Prof. Pettai.

This course will examine one of the most profound and on-going challenges of our time: dealing with ethno-cultural diversity and heterogeneity in society. Often encapsulated by the word "multiculturalism", the phenomenon covers in reality a vast range of issues, including normative political theory, public policy, electoral politics, ethnic sociology, human identity, international migration, and many others. Most of these will be discussed during the course. The course will be based on three parts: definitions, empirics and normative theory. The sessions will first seek to map out the conceptual realm between notions such as nation-statehood, minorities and multiculturalism itself. Thereafter, they will look at how European countries have become more ethnically diverse, and how policies of multiculturalism have been implemented. Lastly, they look at what multiculturalism has mean in the realm of political theory, including new frontiers for multiculturalism that have been proposed over the last few years.

This course has multiple learning goals, only one of which will be to examine minorities and multiculturalism as such. Additionally, the course's assignments as well as the activities planned for the seminars are meant to achieve the following more direct objectives:

  • critical reading and reflection skills (through regular reading diaries);
  • interactive discussion skills (through in-class exercises);
  • comparative analytical skills (through empirical research based on comparative research designs);
  • methodological training (by examining social science indices);
  • analytical writing practice (through structured essays).

List of lectures:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Nation-state
  3. Defining minorities
  4. Defining multiculturalism
  5. The growth of diversity
  6. Policy 1: Australia & Canada
  7. Policy 2: UK and NL
  8. Policy 3: Denmark
  9. Measuring multiculturalism
  10. Theory 1: the Bristol School and Liberalism
  11. Theory 2: Beyond multiculturalism



Vello Pettai

ECMI Director

Further Information

ECMI Founders