In the European Centre for Minority Issues‘ Issue Brief #30, Beyond the (Non) Definition of Minority, Dr Jackson-Preece analyses past and present definitions of the concept of ‘minority’. The analysis makes it possible to evaluate current trends and future opportunities regarding the identification of minority rights holders.
The author’s basic assumption is that minority identity is part of the broader socio-cultural context. Accordingly, the identity of a minority right holder refers to the attributes and opportunities associated with being a minority. This includes relationships between individuals and groups, as well as relations between groups. Moreover, it regards these attributes, opportunities and relationships as socially constructed and therefore changeable and relative to time and context.
Jackson-Preeces’ intention is to reflect on how scholars and practitioners should understand and use such definitions. It is not the intention to endorse any preferred definition of ‘minority’.
Dr Jennifer Jackson-Preece is Associate Professor of Nationalism at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Jackson-Preece is member of the ECMI Advisory Council.
ECMI Issue Briefs © from the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI)
ECMI Issue Briefs problematize and present minority issues that have been identified as relevant for greater dissemination by the Centre’s research team. They aim to introduce important issues for further debate and where relevant make recommendations for future agenda setting.
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The European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) is a non-partisan institution founded in 1996 by the Governments of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German State of Schleswig-Holstein.
ECMI was established in Flensburg, at the heart of the Danish-German border region, in order to draw from the encouraging example of peaceful coexistence between minorities and majorities achieved here. ECMI’s aim is to promote interdisciplinary research on issues related to minorities and majorities in a European perspective and to contribute to the improvement of interethnic relations in those parts of Western and Eastern Europe where ethnopolitical tension and conflict prevail.