059 Ethno-National Minorities in Inter-State Relations

Wednesday, July 12, 2017: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
Carnegie Room (University of Glasgow)
Since the beginning of regime transformations in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), a central issue of democratic government and regional security has been the question of ethno-national minorities that have kin-states in the neighbourhood. A rich body of scholarship has emerged about this question, influenced significantly by Rogers Brubaker’s analytical model (1996) about a “triadic nexus” between what he calls nationalizing states, national minorities, and external homelands. Most studies have also recognized the significance of European institutions, and some have adopted what David Smith (2002) called a “quadratic nexus” to include the European framework. Indeed, European institutions have articulated recommendations on legitimate kin-state involvement, and in 2008 the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities issued Recommendations on National Minorities in Inter-State Relations, seeking to provide guidance to participating states on how best to manage their relations with neighbouring states when they involve minorities. Recommendations cover general principles, home state obligations, kin-state benefits, multilateral and bilateral instruments and other mechanisms.

Recent developments, however, including Russia’s aggressive regional politics, raising transborder nationalism and the appeal of “illiberal democracy” in activist kin-states (e.g., Hungary and Poland), have raised significant concerns in European institutions as well as among scholars about the sustainability of peaceful balance in cross-border politics involving minority populations. This roundtable provides a discussion on current state of art in policies and research on minority issues in inter-state relations in CEE. It focuses on research-based assessment of the OSCE recommendations, drawing on experiences in the Former Soviet Union and CEE.

David J Smith
Zsuzsa Csergõ , Kristina Kallas , Bob Deen , Natalya Kosmarskaya and Ammon Cheskin
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