ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Institutional Representation Policies and Instruments for Ethnic and National Minorities

Zoltán Alpár Szász
Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
Zoltán Alpár Szász
Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper discusses various policies and legal instruments targeting the inclusion and representation of ethnic and national minorities in local, regional and national level politics. Its main theoretical goal is to rework contending frameworks theorising the effectiveness of various policies, instruments and institutional devices created for the incorporation of ethno-national minorities. The main assumption is that the solutions can be ranged into two broad categories: minority-accommodating institutions and non-minority-accommodating institutions. The former were expressly designed to provide better opportunities to minorities, and are also expected to perform in this manner, even if insufficient empirical proof has been amassed to sustain such a claim. The above categories are introduced as an alternative to comparative frameworks used for gauging the performance of various institutional solutions, which supposedly benefit minorities. The argument is that previous frameworks, despite their theoretical and practical usefulness in describing and even proposing solutions in terms of managing severe conflict situations, may prove less suitable for judging the institutional performance and/or effectiveness of (non-)accommodation practices in less severe cases. This interpretation and analysis of inter-ethnic accommodation is envisaged as a contribution to the literature on the inclusion and representation of ethno-national minorities. Finally, the empirical data used herein concern by-ethnic regions in countries bordering Hungary and featuring primarily, but not exclusively, Hungarian minorities. Its first empirical objective is to overview and marshal the institutional arrangements devised for the representation of minority groups (or the absence thereof), whereas its further goal is to investigate how effective these institutions are with respect to securing representation, how effective the representation itself is and what other consequences may the implementation of such policies, devices and institutions have on the lives of the respective minorities and on domestic politics in the analysed countries.