Tove H. Malloy

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Archive for national minorities

Minority Politics in the European Union

Our Research Handbook on Minority Politics in the European Union is out. We asked ourselves whether such a handbook is long overdue or perhaps premature. We decided it was both. It is overdue given the large accumulation of scholarship on minority issues in the EU by an increasing number of scholars and a broadening scope of disciplines. As this scholarship has been scattered in the form of journal articles and book chapters, there is a need to take stock of this in a joint analysis. On the other hand, it is perhaps premature, as it is generally agreed that the legal competences on minority protection and minority issues are rather limited within EU law and therefore the EU has claimed that it is unable to act on minority politics. However, minority politics exists in every EU member state, and the history of the 20th Century has shown that elevating minority politics to the international level has been the best way to ensure proper protection of minorities and good policy-making also at the national level. Focusing on the politics of minority issues as opposed to restricting one to the legal protection of minority rights, therefore, makes sense.

The Research Handbook on Minority Politics in the EU provides a multidisciplinary overview of research on ethno-cultural minority issues at the supranational level of the EU. It delivers a state-of-the-art review of the EU’s approaches to development and institutional implementation of minority policies from the Treaty of Rome until today. Through critical analyses, we tried to address minority politics from the perspectives of politicization and depoliticization of minority rights, anti-discrimination, case law, cultural and linguistic diversity protection, cohesion and regional development as well as enlargement and external action. Chapters also focus on policy areas that indirectly affect the lives of ethno-cultural minorities as well as non-policy approaches emanating from the tensions in the EU architecture and legal framework. Although the Research Handbook confirms the EU’s ambivalence towards minority politics, it also offers new views on a policy area that is under pressure to become more flexible. The Research Handbook is available in hardback and eBook. We hope you will check it out here.


An ECPR standing group