Securitizing Ethnic Diversity – Current Challenges and Components for a New Research Design

Thursday, July 13, 2017
East Quad Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Peter Haslinger , Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe
Populist movements, the refugee crisis, regionalist agendas, and the current shift in the definition of national communities in parts of European political discourses pose a challenge for academia as well for the understanding of what multiculturalism means in a contemporary context. Against this backdrop, the current situation of Europe requires a new form of interdisciplinary model building: On the one hand, conflict theory and securitization models have not yet accounted for all facets of multiculturalism and ethnic studies. As a result, these concepts do not yet communicate convincingly with one another. Many questions and problems that arise from the renationalization of European politics are therefore hard to address. Also, the potential offered by a longue durée comparative approach has not yet materialized in this field. On the other hand and perhaps for good reasons, historical analysts of multicultural societies still avoid the term security in their research design. So they also fall short of addressing current challenges adequately. This presentation has therefore three goals: 1) to identify gaps in model building that we can observe when combining theories of multiculturalism, ethnicity, and security, 2) to suggest a framework of components for a new model that takes into consideration new political dynamics that we have witnessed since 2014 and 3) to apply these components to current European developments (with a focus on the Eastern EU member states). In doing so it will also address key aspects of the three other papers and identify avenues for intensified conceptual activities in future research.